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Robert Fields

Bound by Law?
The book, Tales from the Public Domain: Bound by Law? by Aoki, Boyle, and Jenkins,
from Duke University, discusses many issues related to public domain and copyright. In
particular, it discusses issues of: clearing rights, public domain, fair use, and copyright and
creative commons.
The first notable issue is that of clearing rights, or obtaining clearance from the
individuals who own the material you want to use. More specifically, in a film, or in our
classroom, if we want to use a picture, video, music, or other protected art/cultural form we need
to ensure that we gain permission from the individual who owns the rights to these artifacts, or
make the appropriate payment, before using them.
Public domain is a broad term. It refers to the artifacts that do not have, never have had,
or have expired copyrights. These artifacts may therefore be used by anyone. Items that
originated in 1923 or prior are in the public domain. Many items that originated between 1923
and 1977 are also in the public domain because of expired copyrights. What this means for us is
that we need to check many of our sources. However, we also can be comfortable in knowing
that the classic works we refer to and use (prior to 1923), we may continue to use without issue.
Fair use is an exemption to the copyright law. We may use items under the fair use
exemption if it meets four requirements. The first is the purpose of using the item. If the item is
to be used for teaching and not entertainment, fair use is on your side. The second is the nature of
the use. If the nature of the item/work is nonfiction instead of fiction, fair use is on your side.
The third is the amount of the item/work you will be using. If you are going to use a small

portion of the entire work versus the whole of the work, fair use is on your side. Lastly, the
fourth requirement is the effect of your use of the item/work. Fair use is on your side if you own
the item, if there are only a few copies of the item available, or if there is not a way to license the
item. Conversely, fair use is not on your side in this fourth requirement if there are numerous
copies of the item, if you make the item available to the public on the web, or if there are
affordable permissions for using the item. That being said, we need to be conscientious of what
we're using and for what purpose we are seeking to use it.
The last concept to discuss is copyright and Creative Commons, these two are very
closely related. Copyright is a legal right given to the owner of an artifact to own the artifact and
its use and reproduction. In order for us to use items under copyright, we must gain permission
(clearing rights) or our use of the item must fall very firmly under fair use. Creative Commons,
on the other hand, is a non-profit organization that organizes and seeks to expand the items
available under public domain. When individuals create new work, it is often immediately
classified as copyright. The individual, however, can opt to register the item under Creative
Commons for its public use. Items found via Creative Commons may be used in our classrooms.
Overall, this book gives a nice, graphical representation of the issues in copyright and
public domain and how we, as teachers, can use the great information available, in a legal, fair
way. The ways in which we can use information and artifacts in our classroom is by getting
information from the public domain (Creative Commons), under the fair use exemption, and via
clearing rights with copyrighted items.

Aoki, K., Boyle, J., & Jenkins, J. (2006). Tales from the Public Domain: Bound by Law? Duke
Center for the Study of Public Domain, Durham, NC.
King, D.D. (2014). Copyright Overview: Basics and Fair Use. University of Louisville,
Louisville, KY.

Robert Fields
Flipped Classroom
A flipped classroom is where the teacher of a classroom becomes more of a facilitator of
learning rather than a lecturer. The students are given reading, information, or conceptual items
to consider prior to the class. This allows the time spent in class to be dedicated to interactive
learning, projects, discussions, and general application of the concepts read/learned individually.
The idea of the flipped classroom can be seen in Bloom's revised taxonomy (for education).
Students begin at the bottom of the pyramid individually, prior to the class, by remembering and
beginning to understand new information. This allows class time to be spent onmoving up the
pyramidapplying, analyzing, evaluating, and ultimately creating new information/material.
This is in contrast to the traditional classroom where the teacher gives students new information
during class time and then assigns homework where the application piece and higher levels of
learning are supposed to take place.
Looking at the pros, many studies have shown the benefits to students, and teachers, of a
flipped classroom. Flipping the classroom allows the students to be more active in their learning
and more responsible for what they get out of the class. The students are able to interact more
meaningfully among each other and with the teacher. On the con side, the act of implementing a
flipped classroom in the beginning is often difficult because it is such a stark change. It has been
suggested that teachers begin with one session of a flipped classroom and judge how it goes for
them and their students and then gradually continue to integrate the model.
As for the application, many collegiate level courses use this model, expecting students to
have read prior to class, so that they are prepared for the application of the material to problems
during class time. This model has also gained steam in some high schools, though it is more

difficult to implement, specifically in the lower grades, because of the lack of responsibility in
many of the students. The future looks bright, however, for the flipped classroom due to its
benefits in the learning process for students and teachers alike.

University of Texas Center for Teaching and Learning. (2014). "Flipping" a class. Retrieved
Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. (2014). Flipping the Classroom. Retrieved from