My learning team "Learning Team E" the E stands for excellence is made up of myself, the old and wizened one, and three 'grasshoppers". Actually they are all good young folk that desire to learn and excel. The team members consist of Evan, an ex Marine and Irag veteran, Jerrad an unemployed banker and the vivacious Clarie a hard working single mom. Evan is 24, Jerrad is 27 and Clarie is old enough to know better. You know that a guy isn't supposed to ask a gal her age so I am guessing thirty something. One thing about the socialist learning team concept is that we all have a life and schedules don't always match up. I have to write my blog and list on eBay, root around looking for crap, excuse me antiques and collectibles, Evan is a disabled vet and stays home and takes care of his new little baby while his wife is off to work, Jerrad is, ya know I don't know what Jerrad does and Clarie works full time and keeps her hands full with a 9 and 11 year old. So you see we are varied people with varied lives. So this schedule thing can get complicated but because the team prescribes to being academic professionals, and we have a team charter to prove it, we seem to be able to work thing out.
So that gives you a little background on the particulars in our learning team. This weeks assignment is to take a position of the ethics and legalities of online content. Which in my intital research is a pretty big deal in the online world. This issue includes copyright infringement, first amendment rights and monetizing through using other peoples work and so on and so forth.
As the story goes working the schedule thing out got a little complicated but through some extra effort on Jerrad and myself we were able to work through it. What the team was going to present was how online blogs are a part of this society's daily routine in receiving news, how these news aggregators have had a tremendous impact on the traditional news sources, namely newspapers, how this translates into violations or skirting of copyright and the use of intellectual property, defining copyright laws and how they relate to the digital world, how host sites protect themselves from user content and how the laws can affect people like me that are bloggers and how this all affects our first amendment rights. Quite a mouthful to be able to present within a 12 to 15 minute period huh?
You need to keep in mind that I haven't ever made a presentation like this and it has been awhile since I was in front of a group of people and made some kind of speech. I have had a little Toastmaster experience and I am full of bull shit so I usually don't have a problem communicating my thought. I was able to research this issue and came across a dot org site that had a wealth of information about online news blogs. I also found some information about copyright laws, terms of service agreements and an article on how blogger's can protect their first amendment rights and avoid penalties and pitfalls from what they blog and the content in which they use.
Jerrad and I met on Saturday evening and discussed out approach and divided up the assignment between the members. I was to do the intro and give some background on news aggregators, Evan was to compile some information about copyright laws, Jerrad was to give examples of terms of service agreements and Claire was to present information about the penalties associated with user content and how to preserve your first amendment rights as a blogger. The team met on Monday evening, at the University, to prepare for our presentation at the Tuesday evening class. Now keep in mind that this is a power point presentation, which I know nothing about, but fortunately some of my team mates do. Our power point presentation included animation, graphics and bullet points as we all made our presentations. I thought it turned out pretty cool. The team practiced our various assignments. We even discussed how the presentation should flow even down to oral cues for the next speaker and to the point of where we were to stand and how we were able to not cross paths as the next speaker came forward. My point is that the team did put a great deal of effort into this presentation.
So last night (Tuesday Nov. 16th 2010) we went to class to make our presentation. This presentation is of course graded and critiqued by our instructor (Sonny) on several different facets. We were to be graded not only on the subject but also presentation which included how we were dressed. Which meant slacks, dress shoes and ties. I had to dig deep in my closet to find a tie but I was able to access the appropriate attire to make this presentation. I must say even at 61 I clean up well. The entire team was decked out for the occasion. I reminded Clarie about how lucky she was to be associated with such handsome men. Of course she agreed.
Our class has four learning teams so there was to be four different presentations. After each presentation the instructor escorted us out into the hall and gave us his analysis of our performance. My learning team took the occasion to be the first to make our presentation. Which in hind sight I am glad we did, because in my opinion, we set the bar for the rest of the evening. I went first, followed by Evan, Jerrad and Clarie. I was a little nervous but I had taken the time to memorize my portion of the presentation. We all did very well and the presentation went off without a hitch. When were were through we followed the instructor into the hall to give us his evaluation. Other than some very helpful suggestions his critique was that we did very well and we received high praise from JK. His inspiration only encouraged us to do even better next time which will probably be fairly soon.
The advantage of having the first presentation was that we got to sit back and watch the rest of them. Learning team E had set the bar and it was my impression that one team came close but the other teams walked under the bar that we had set. It was obvious of who put effort into their presentation and who did not. Of course these other teams don't have the advantage of having the "wizened Ol' fart" on their team. Some of my teammates refer to me as "an over achiever". So be it. We did hit a home run last night. Nest time we will be looking for the shut out. But I guess that is why we all are in college and receiving our edumacation at the University of Phoenix. I r a Phoenix.
Well that's 'bout it. I hope that you found it interesting. There will be more.
Until we meet again