Integrating Open Resources into the Clasroom

This week for EDUC 206, we were assigned the task of integrating copyright free or open resources into one of our classes.  The class that I decided upon was my Film Studies class.  Right now in the class, I do not use a text book.  Film Studies text books can be dense and expensive, and for that reason, I didn’t think most of them were appropriate for my workforce-focused class.  Instead, I have put together a series of lectures pulling from a variety of resources.  However, I would like to have some better materials to use that would allow my students to explore Film Studies on their own.

For the purpose of this assignment, I wanted to find resources to support a lesson in the Film Studies class about editing.  One thought that I had was that I could use a chapter from Walter Murch’s In the Blink of an Eye. I met with one of our librarians, Heather Davis, and she checked if the school had copyright clearance to use a chapter in my course.  After checking, she found out that we didn’t have clearance and so I had to look elsewhere for content.

Fortunately, Heather introduced me to a couple of other resources including LWTC’s ebrary.  The ebrary is a collection of published books which are also available in electronic form.  The books can easily be placed in our Angel shells and used as a part of our course.  After a quick search through the ebrary I found a great resource which rivals the book that I had wanted to use.  It is a series of interviews with Walter Murch about film editing titled Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Film Editing.  I will hopefully put this into my lesson content starting next quarter.

I think that I learned from this experience that using copyrighted and open resources is an exercise in flexibility.  While you may not be able to use your first choice, looking for options that have flexible copyright restrictions will ultimately save money for your students.  I think that is also a good opportunity to fully use the resources that library has available.