September 2015 archive

Google Books

The digitisation of books by Google Books has opened up access to books that previously were limited to only a few. Others believe Google has exploited copyright owners for their own commercial gain. Since 2004, legal action by publishers, The Authors Guild (USA) and individual authors has ensued.

In November 2013, Judge Chin ruled in favour of Google citing fair use. Fair Use in the United States copyright act tries to balance the rights of the copyright owner with socially important uses such as criticism, news reporting, teaching and research by allowing unlicensed use of copyright protected works under certain circumstances. Judge Chin said Google’s use was highly transformative because it transformed text into a comprehensive word index to assist in search and it transformed book text into data for new kinds of research (Zimmerman, 2014). To be transformative, something new has to be created from a pre-existing work and not merely be a substitute.


The benefits of Google Books include:
  • improved search facility for books
  • broader access to works
  • increased audience for books
  • convenient links to booksellers
  • enhanced sales (Zimmerman, 2014).

Most of the arguments against such a project revolve around commercial companies, such as Google, profiting from or exploiting other people’s works for market dominance and financial reward. The Authors Guild argue that copyright owners should be consulted and compensated by commercial companies (The Authors Guild, 2014).

This case highlights to me, that both sides have valid arguments pertaining to access and compensation and balancing the needs and rights of creators, companies and users in the digital age is very complex.


The Authors Guild. (2014). Authors Guild V. Google. Retrieved from


United States Copyright Office. (2015). More information on Fair Use. Retrieved from


Zimmerman, M. (2014). Google Wins Summary Judgment in Books Case. Computer & Internet Lawyer, 31(2), 1-3.  Retrieved from

Creative Culture in Education

Some of the attributes of creative culture can be seen in the principles of Connected Learning.

Connected Learning Creative Commons License This Connected Learning Infographic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

The passions, interests and engagement of the student is central to connected learning. Making, creating and producing at school and outside of school is emphasised. Students are able to draw on the expertise of others, either in person or by using technology. The video below gives a brief overview of Connected Learning. Read more about Connected Learning at my INF530 reflection and at the Connected Learning website.

Retrieved from

Creative Spaces

The creative office spaces featured in this module five provide diverse, flexible and safe spaces for employees. Collaboration is very important and the physical proximity of teams is a high priority, however there is an awareness that different activities require a variety of spaces for the best outcomes. Open, semi-open and closed spaces are available to meet different needs, while communal spaces such as kitchens and cafes allow for chance encounters and informal discussions.


Productivity drives business and Google believes human performance is influenced by space, culture and well-being. They gather data, measure and analyse the user experience of their employees in order to improve and therefore be more innovative and productive. Office space for startups needs to be functional and low cost. Flexible solutions and input from employees   may be a necessary to make the best out of a difficult or compromised space.


Creative industries try to provide a safe place for employees where mistakes, critique and feedback are part of the learning process and this contributes to the culture of the company. Other attributes that can contribute to the culture of a creative company involve their products/services, leadership, sustainability and well-being. A newly designed place may not be successful if employees are not consulted, given choices or given the opportunity to provide feedback.


Key lessons from creative office space design that could inform learning environments:
  • Flexibility
  • Proximity and adjacencies
  • Community
  • Visibility of information and thinking
The culture and pedagogy of a school will determine how successfully spaces are used for learning. Without professional development and consultation, a new open and collaborative learning setting may not be embraced by some staff and students. Tensions may exist between how things were done in the past and how they fit in or do not fit into a new environment.


Catmull, E. (2014, April). Inside the Pixar braintrust, Fast Company. Retrieved from:

Google Ventures. (2013, November 12). Startup lab workshop: Workspace design [Video file]. Retrieved from

Digital Storytelling Topic Proposal


Creative Commons for beginners



My intention with this digital story is to introduce students and teachers to the concept of Creative Commons and to demonstrate how to find materials that use Creative Commons licenses. My audience is senior students undertaking their Victorian Certificate of Education and their teachers.

The ISTE Standards for Students require students to ethically use information from a variety of sources (2015). Teacher Librarians have a role to play in modeling good digital citizenship and educating students about their responsibilities. While some teachers may be aware of Creative Commons, there are others that have not been exposed to the concept.

I will use images, video and text to create a digital artifact with Animoto that can be shared on the library website and played via the library’s digital signage screen. Animoto also allows for sharing via social media and can be embedded into a blog where interaction with the user may occur. Canva will be used to design original content for use in Animoto. I will use my own photographs and Creative Commons material.

Non-fiction storytelling is widespread in marketing and public relations. My challenge with this subject matter is to make the story engaging to the audience (Alexander, 2011).


Alexander, B. (2011). Storytelling: A tale of two generations, Chapter 1. In The new digital storytelling: Creating narratives with new media. ABC-CLIO.Retrieved from

International Society for Technology in Education. (2015). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved from

Playing with Digital Space

I am applying the iterative process of needfinding, ideation and prototyping (Seidel & Fixson, 2013) to a digital space in my school library.

I have observed how other public and school libraries use digital signage screens to convey information to their users. I gathered these insights and brainstormed my own ideas. The ICT Department was receptive to me wanting to know about the digital signage system and offered to train me in the use of the software.

Once I knew what the software would allow me to do, I sketched a layout of a screen template on a piece of paper. I then played and experimented with the software to try and replicate my layout. Trial and error helped me to become more familiar with the software interface.


Prototype of digital signage screen

I now have a prototype screen layout. The layout is basic but I want to test it on the screen and get some feedback before I proceed further and invest more time and resources. If my prototype does not appeal to library users, the design will need to be changed (Kuratko, 2012). So while I still have a way to go, I have used the iterative process to make a good start.


Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process Innovation acceleration: Transforming organizational thinking (pp. 103-123). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved from  

Seidel, V. P., & Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting Design Thinking in Novice Multidisciplinary Teams: The Application and Limits of Design Methods and Reflexive Practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19-33. doi:10.1111/jpim.12061