Learning 2.011, Creative Commons, and Connections with Kindergarten

Learning 2.011 in Shanghai has been a whirlwind weekend of fantastic resources, networking, and thinking about the role that technology plays in education. I was fortunate to attend the conference with several of my colleagues, but have also gained tremendously from the wider network that collaborated and shared what they’re doing at their schools. The greatest benefit of Learning 2.011 (and really any other conference that I’ve been to) came from people actively collaborating and sharing tools, ideas, and strategies that have worked well for them.

© Brian Farrell  Inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

© Brian Farrell Inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

It’s only fitting then that I started the first Monday back by collaborating with one of my wonderful colleagues at school by sharing some of my photos of patterns with her kindergarten students. We talked about the differences between natural patterns and those created by humans, and even found some patterns that managed to be a combination of both.

I haven’t done a good job of sharing my photos in the past, as creative commons licensing is a bit of a dilemma for me. I do sell some of my photos, and so I have to actively control what’s out there and what people are using it for. If a company wants to buy one of my photos, they need to be assured that they’re paying for something that people haven’t already used elsewhere for free. Still, I always tell the teachers and students that I work with about the merits of creative commons, and so it’s time I walked the walk and started sharing, even if just a little. Creative commons does allow me to limit this sharing to properly attributed non-commercial uses, and it only feels right to start giving back to a resource that has been of benefit to me.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, and if people start looking at my creative commons licensed photos, they might just happen to see another copyrighted one that they’d like to buy (or trade for more delicious Shanghai moon cakes!).

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