Tag Archives: internet

8 Free Sound Libraries for Schools

sound librariesLooking for music or sound effects to enhance a digital project? Here are some sites offering free downloads that are legal for use in any educational, non-commercial application.
Caution: Some sound collections may contain sounds inappropriate for school use. Discuss with students before using these libraries to confirm their understanding of suitable content.

SoundBible

  • comprehensive list of free sound effects, download in wav or mp3 format
  • may contain sounds not appropriate for school use

Flash Kit

  • has search feature, an easy index to browse through, and lists length of sound
  • it is not obvious how to download – right click the sound and pick Save As

Free Sound Effects.com

  • download button is clear, there is a choice of mp3 or wav
  • even though there are better quality “Pro Sound Effects” to purchase, the list of “Free Sound Effects” is on the first page – scroll down to see them

freeSFX

  • searchable, lists sound length, download button is obvious
  • only mp3 sound format

SeaWorld Animal Sounds

  • safe for young children, click on the animal image to hear the sound or click on the name to see animal facts
  • limited choice, must right click to download

Freeplay Music

  • music is free for use in education, high quality, can search by music mood
  • must create an account and login to download

Partners in Rhyme

  • huge collection, scroll down to Free Resources to find Free Sound Effects or Free Royalty Free Music
  • easy to confuse free downloads with Royalty Free Music which must be purchased

Free Music Archive

  • library of free legal audio downloads, can search by genre, preview and download buttons are clear and easy to see
  • length of music and size file are not listed

sound library

Cyberbullying – Teach Awareness and Responses

As educators, we strive to promote a climate of respect. Bullying behavior is evident on the playground, but it is more difficult to detect and respond to when it takes place online. In addition, students need to recognize cyberbullying. They need to know when the line is crossed and a joke or teasing has gone too far. The first step is to build an awareness of cyberbullying. Next, students should know what they can do and who they can go to for help if they are a victim. Promote a community of responsible digital citizens in the classroom.

What Is a Cyberbully?

cyberbullyingCyberbullies are people who threaten another person by using the Internet to post hurtful or embarrassing messages, images, or videos. Cyberbullies can make a person feel scared, worried, or angry.

Often a bully will say that the message “was just a joke.” Cyberbullying is NO JOKING MATTER and it is NOT FUNNY.

Cyberbullying is illegal. In some countries cyberbullying is a hate crime that can result in a fine or jail time. In other countries, cyberbullying is slander and a lawsuit can be filed against the bully. At some schools, cyberbullying is a reason for expulsion or cause to ban use of Internet at school.

Do Not Be a Cyberbully

Be a responsible digital citizen. Do not be a bully!

  • Do not continue to e-mail someone after they have asked you to stop.
  • Do not post any comments online, using e-mail, chat, or social media sites, which would be hurtful or embarrassing to another person.
  • Do not threaten anyone using e-mail, chat, or social media sites.
  • Do not post or tag a picture of anyone without their consent.
  • Do not share personal information about another person without their consent.

What Should You Do if You are a Victim of Cyberbullying?

When you are bullied it can make you feel worried or scared. Do not ignore the problem. You can stop cyberbullying. To do this:

  • Tell an adult about the bullying.
  • Do not delete the message from the bully. It is evidence.
  • Inform your Internet service provider. They can help find the identity of the bully.
  • If a message contains a death threat or threat to cause bodily harm, contact the police.

What Can You Do to Stop Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying can be done using e-mail, instant messaging, bulletin boards, websites, polling booths, and more.

  • E-Mail: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using e-mail. Often the cyberbully will register for a free e-mail account so no one will be able to guess their identity. They may register for an e-mail address that has a threatening tone such as kickname@live.ca.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the e-mail address of the sender to a blocked e-mail list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. It is possible to trace the source of an e-mail. You can contact the Internet service provider of the e-mail account to try to get the company to delete the e-mail address of the cyberbully.

  • Instant Messaging: Cyberbullies send hateful messages to a person using chat software. Often the cyberbully will change their nickname to include a nasty message such as “Name is ugly” or ” I hate name.” Everyone who receives an instant message from the cyberbully will be able to read the mean nickname.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Add the contact information of the sender to a blocked list. This will stop new messages from being delivered. If the cyberbully is a student, you can contact their parent or teacher to let them know about the abuse.

  • Bulletin Boards: Cyberbullies post hateful messages to a bulletin board that people can read. The messages often include the victim’s telephone number or e-mail address to get other people to abuse the person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Contact the manager of the bulletin board. The manager can delete the hateful message and stop the cyberbully from posting any new messages.

  • Websites: Cyberbullies create web pages that have mean pictures or hateful information about another person.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Most Internet service providers have rules about the content of websites. When cyberbullies create hateful web pages they are breaking the rules. The Internet service provider can request that the bully remove the content on the web page or delete the website.

  • Polling Booths: Cyberbullies post online surveys where people vote for the ugliest, fattest, dumbest boy or girl.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Polling booths are often part of a service offered by an online social community. Most communities have rules about the content members can post. When cyberbullies create hateful polls they are breaking the rules. The operator of the social community can request that the bully remove the poll or delete their member account.

  • Imposter: Cyberbullies will hack into the victim’s account. As an imposter, they will send fake e-mails or post rude comments.

    What can you do if you are a victim? Protect your identity. To do this, create a password that is difficult to guess. Do not tell your password to anyone, except your parent or teacher. Always log out when you leave a computer. If someone hacks into your account, change your password right away.

For more Internet activities and digital citizenship lessons, see TechnoKids’ technology project TechnoJourney.

Stop Copyright Violations when Teachers Share Files

Do you provide instruction or share resources with your students using the Internet? This is okay if you created the materials. However, if the content is from another source you may be violating copyright. Do not put your career or the school district at risk!

copyright symbol

What are the Risks When Sharing Files?

Today it is simple to provide instructions for school work digitally. A teacher can list directions, create a video, or link to a file using a classroom website, blog, or web-based service. If you did not create the text or materials, you could unknowingly infringe on intellectual property rights, violate copyright laws, or breach a license agreement. If this happens, you place yourself or your school board in a vulnerable position. The copyright holder can seek damages. This can result in financial penalties. In addition, you risk breaking the terms of your teaching contract, which could end in job loss.

How Will Anyone Know What I Have Posted?

Make no mistake, publishing companies and authors, in this very competitive environment, are vigilant in searching for violations of their materials. You may think that no one will notice your classroom website or blog. This is not true. If the file is on the Internet in the public domain, it can be found.

Every file that you place on the Internet has a URL. Search engines use web crawler software to troll the Internet looking for new URLs to add to their directory. Soon the information that you posted is available in search engine results and anyone in the world has access. When this happens, you and often the school district where you work, are an illegal distributor of copyright protected material.

Excuses Won’t Protect You

When you share resources with your students your focus is on teaching valuable knowledge or skills in a meaningful way. You may not have given a second thought to whether you have permission to post the content or if the location is accessible to unauthorized users. Excuses cannot protect you from the consequences.

Don’t make these excuses. They won’t protect you!

  • My students like videos so I transformed the content into an instructional video.
  • I created my own handout from the materials.
  • That content was posted a long time ago and then I forgot about it.
  • I only used those resources once for a workshop.
  • Instead of posting the entire thing, I only did one assignment.
  • The person that posted the files doesn’t work here anymore.
  • I didn’t think anyone could access the materials unless I gave them the link.
  • I forgot the password to my blog or website so I cannot login to remove content.
  • The materials are for kids so they can learn.
  • I paid for the materials so they are mine.
  • I am new to the position and did not know.

Become Informed About Copyright Violations

Changing the Format Does Not Make it Your Content

Most copyright holders do not permit the creation of derivative works. A derivative work is taking something that already exists and changing it to make something new. For example, if you take text written by someone else and transform it into an instructional video the work is not owned by you. Or, if you take content produced by someone else and reverse engineer it to change the file type the work is not owned by you. The original copyright holder owns the intellectual property rights to their material even if the format changes.

Making Slight Changes Does Not Make It Your Content

Plagiarism is when you take someone else’s work and pretend it is your own. It is illegal. You may think if you rephrase, delete, or add content to existing work that it is okay. It is not. Paraphrasing text for a presentation, removing part of a set of instructions, or adding questions to existing content is plagiarism. Slight changes do not make you the owner of the copyright protected material.

Memory Lapses or the Passage of Time Does Not Negate Responsibility

Teachers are busy people with lots of responsibilities. With so much to do each day it is easy to forget about files posted for a class, semester, or half day workshop. However, the Internet has a long memory and the content you only needed for a brief time can remain there forever. You are responsible for everything you post online no matter how much time passes or whether you are currently using the materials.

Sharing an Excerpt May Not be Fair Use

Teachers and students can often use part of a work created by someone else for educational purposes under the guidelines of “fair use”. For this reason, you may think it is okay to take just one assignment or just one section of text to share with students or a colleague. However, this is not always the case. Often a license for instructional materials will restrict use to the district, school, teacher, or by number of students. If any part of the work is shared with unauthorized users, it can be a violation of the license agreement. It is important to follow the terms of use provided by the copyright holder as “fair use” will not protect you from liability.

You Could be Responsible Even if You Did Not Post the File

A school or district can be held responsible for copyright violations committed by its staff. This happens when a person posts content to an organization’s website domain, file server, or web-based subscription service. The organization is now the host and is distributing the content. Even if the person who posted the content moves away, retires, or goes to work at another location this does not eliminate the responsibility to the copyright holder. If the school or district is the host of unlawfully posted files they must promptly remove the content at the copyright holder’s request.

Sharing a Link Privately Does Not Mean the File is Not in the Public Domain

A copyright holder may grant permission to share content with authorized users. You may think posting the file using a web-based service and then privately sharing a link is okay. However, a web-based file can be accessed by the public even if there is no hyperlink to the file on a web page or blog post. This can happen in several ways. For example, folders on the Internet are trolled by web crawlers and added to a search engine directory making the files accessible to anyone. In addition, the privately shared link may be forwarded onto an unauthorized user. If the copyright holder permits sharing content or files, make sure the location is restricted to authorized users.

Forgetting Your Password Does Not Let You Refuse to Remove Content

You may have begun a classroom website or blog with great enthusiasm that waned over time. When that occurs, often a username or password can be forgotten. Unfortunately, the content remains on the Internet and since you are the account subscriber you are responsible for the information. If a copyright holder requests you to remove content, but you cannot remember your login, contact the web-based service and request the account be deleted.

Caring About Your Students Does Not Make Copyright Violations Okay

Teachers have the best intentions. You want to provide learning opportunities that will engage students. Sometimes, obtaining proper licensing for instructional materials can be cost prohibitive. In this case, you may rationalize that it is okay to illegally use the content because it serves a higher purpose – to educate kids. Caring about students and their learning is an admirable quality but it won’t protect you from the consequences of copyright abuse.

Paying for Materials Does Not Let You Do Whatever You Want

When you purchase instructional materials, you may think you are the owner and can do whatever you want with the resources. This is not true. The copyright holder retains ownership of their intellectual property even after you have bought it. You may own the subscription, book, or video, but the actual content belongs to the copyright holder. The rules for how the materials can be used must be followed. If you fail to comply with the terms, even if you paid, permission can be revoked and your use terminated.

Assuming a New Job Role is Not an Excuse

It is exciting to have a new position in a school. You are busy decorating your class, planning your lessons, working with staff members, and getting to know all the students. Often the school will have materials already set for a program. It is your job to learn about license restrictions as you will be held responsible if you violate the terms of use.

How Do You Protect Yourself from Copyright Violations?

It is important to be informed. If you are the creator of the material and it is original content, you can post it in the public domain. However, if you are not – stop and think before you post content or share files. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have written permission from the copyright holder to share content or files?
  • What restrictions are in the license agreement limiting the use of the materials?
  • Will unauthorized users be able to access the content or files?

Tips to Protect Yourself

Most teachers do not know they are breaking the law when they post content or share files with their students. Use these tips to protect yourself.

  1. Educate and Inform:
    At all levels, from student to teacher to school district, everyone using copyrighted materials must be aware of the rules and their responsibilities. At the professional and at the classroom level, teach respect for copyright law, what is and what is not legal, and how to share materials. Ask questions to learn about the status of materials BEFORE posting content or files.
  2. Use Secure Sites to Restrict Use to Authorized Users:
    Find out if and how the owner of copyrighted materials allows users to share files. If you have permission to place the digital resources in a password protected area, not in the public domain, there are a variety of tools available. Learning management systems such as Edmodo and Microsoft Classroom are secure options that restrict users to those with authorized usernames and passwords.
  3. Practice Due Diligence:
    School districts can be responsible for hosting material on the Internet using their resources. To protect the organization, the technology department should have administrative rights to remove files. When a teacher moves away or retires, the directories they maintained should be completely removed.
  4. Delete the Files Not Just the Link:
    If you have files on the Internet for your students and realize your actions violate copyright rules; you must remove them immediately. Deleting the hyperlink on a web page or blog post that connects to the file will not fix the problem. Instead, you must delete the files themselves. Removing the files will prevent others from accessing the materials.
  5. Complete Removal Requests:
    It is a good idea to close unused Internet accounts. Most web-based services have online forms that make it easy to make removal requests. If the service does not have a form, refer to their Support FAQ section, or the Contact Us page to learn the proper procedure for closing accounts or removing content.

Copyright Compliance is Important

Legally and ethically, copyright compliance is of vital importance. School districts and teachers are responsible for the content and files shared with students. Avoid the consequences by following the rules.

Updated Internet Activities for Kids

TechnoJourney internet activitiesTechnoJourney internet activities have been recently revised, with new and improved lessons for elementary and middle school grades. The Internet is constantly changing and so are TechnoKids projects! TechnoJourney is a fun introduction to the Internet and it has just been completely updated. Have your students become Internet savvy with TechnoKids authentic online experiences.

Teachers, do your technology curriculum objectives include any of the following?
internet activities

  • internet safety
  • digital citizenship
  • research skills
  • copyright awareness
  • cyberbullying
  • e-mail etiquette

TechnoJourney teaches these concepts and more with fun, engaging activities. Students travel the Internet with a passport in hand. Choose a destination: Visitor’s Center, e-Library, e-Media Center, e-Playground, e-Mail Depot, or e-Cafe. At each stop students explore the sites, complete activities, and receive a stamp in their passport. This online expedition allows students to discover the wonders online as they learn the importance of responsible digital citizenship.

TechnoJourney internet activities

Learning objectives achieved in TechnoJourney internet activities include:
  1. demonstrate responsible, ethical, and safe behavior
  2. use search strategies to locate online resources
  3. bookmark web pages and organize them in a folder
  4. assess trustworthiness of web-based information
  5. watch educational and entertaining videos
  6. play online games, listen to music, view webcams
  7. communicate with e-mail using netiquette
  8. prevent cyberbullying
  9. communicate using chat
  10. evaluate forms of social media

internet activitiesWhen you order TechnoJourney you receive a teacher guide, digital student worksheets, and customizable resources. Additional materials such as an Internet map, Internet passport, Internet citizenship card, assessment tools, and enrichment activities support learning.

Transform your students into Internet experts with TechnoJourney internet activities!