Sunday, January 15, 2012

I've been contacted

I was notified by Jessica of The Art of Education that I've been selected as a finalist for "Art Ed Blogger of the Year", along with some of you! Anyhow, if you want to vote (for me or for any of your other favorite blogs) you can vote HERE. The nice thing is that even though you can only vote once, you can vote for as many of the finalists as you want. I'm not begging for votes; I blog just because I enjoy it. I'm honored to be included, but honestly, the list includes a bunch of my favorite bloggers, so I'm not campaigning!

Meanwhile, I received an email from a reader who has communicated with me before and thus felt comfortable asking a sensitive question. She has noticed bloggers recently who post lessons that have been posted elsewhere but do not give credit to the source of the lesson. She asked "isn't this wrong?" Well, yeah, I think it is lousy manners, poor ethics. It's like handing in a term paper without listing all your sources, or copying a painting without mentioning that it is a copy and not an original composition. There are no governing set of rules for blogging. Still, proper etiquette would be to link back to your source or at least give credit somehow, don't you think?

So if you see yourself in the paragraph above, think about what's proper or appropriate please! Remember how YOU would feel if someone posted YOUR pet lesson without at least mentioning your name.
Do you agree?


  1. Just a thought to add: I think Pinterest has multiplied the problem. I've seen an endless assortment of photos from my blog pinned all over Pinterest. It's inevitable that someone will copy my ideas and not mention where they came from. But I guess by posting them on the blog they are 'public domain'. Thoughts?

  2. I was browsing through some Art Ed blogs I think last year and saw my clothesline lesson with absolutely no mention of me or my blog. It was very obvious to me that it was from my idea! So I posted a comment that said something to the effect of "I'm glad you enjoyed my clothesline lesson!" with a link back to my blog. Pinterest has helped me remember where I saw things and seems to have helped a lot of people cut back on that problem.

    And I'm pulling for you in the blog of the year contest, Phyl! I know you do it for fun, but you were one that I nominated! (Obviously others nominated you, too.) I told Jessica I really admire that even at this point in your career, I admire you wanting to try new things and network with other art teachers, and that you are always one of the first people to help us out, and always do it in a positive, encouraging way! :)

  3. Here is the thing...there are many lessons out there that we think are "ours", but they have been done by others for years(well..maybe not as many years as you Phyl..ha ha). The line design project is not "mine"..many have said they did it when they were in middle school years and years ago. We recycle things often..and make them ours...but they were not birthed totally from our own imagination. Do I think people should note where they got their inspiration...YES. Sometimes is hard to remember though. :)

    1. I agree with Mr. E on the ownership issue - I've said it before, there's nothing new under the sun. I find that Pinterest actually helps you link to the source because pinning something automatically puts the original link up in the top right corner. If someone mistakenly credits me for something I pinned from someone else, I try to leave a comment with the original source - or, that is, what I THINK the original source is. It's really hard to tell these days. I think we all need to keep in mind that if you are sharing online, it will be shared - take pride and joy in the fact that maybe you inspired someone! Congrats on your well-deserved nomination!

    2. Totally agree with Mr. E! It's really hard to know the exact original source, because people have been doing the same things for years just in different ways, tweaking it to do their own thing. Also it is hard to remember where you may have seen a lesson (when you read over 300 blogs like I do). Also, I think most of us are not selling these lesson plans. If I do something directly, such as use a handout from someone, I try to link to where it came from, but I'm sorry if I haven't always done that! Also, the top art ed blog thing is cool.. it's just an honor to be on that list and since I regularly read all of those blog it's hard to pick my favorites!

    3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing a lesson that everyone knows has been done forever (like shading snowmen, for example), I think the problem is when people use a lesson that's not their *original* idea but try to make it sound like it WAS their *original* idea. Obviously nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes but it's always nice to see someone at least mentioning "I saw this on somebody's blog and I can't remember who so if you know please remind me so I can give them credit!"

    4. Good points, everyone. I'm always amazed at how we seem to have what I call "parallel brains". You'll see 6 different Matisse lessons all posted the same week, and so on. But yes, if you specifically got the inspiration for a lesson from another blogger, give them credit. Or at least don't present it as though it is your original idea. After all, how many people have done the lesson where you trace hands and feet and then add a body? Maybe you made it into people falling backwards, or floating through space, or whatever. Go ahead and post your version, but admit that it is your twist on a classic lesson.

      Anyhow, always nice to have a fun conversation going here!

      Another point to remember - I'm a public school art teacher with a degree/certification in that field. But among us, we represent a huge variety. There are private school teachers, volunteers, teachers who run after-school or vacation programs, people with fine arts training but no education training, people with absolutely NO training in art ed at all who are volunteering or teaching out of pure love and commitment (or maybe insanity!?) and so on and so forth. We represent a wide variety of the US, and an assortment of locations from around the globe. And yet we have so much in common, too!

  4. You are very correct when it comes to acknowledging the intellectual property of others. I think Phil that you will find that even with blogs one should definitely reference acknowledge the authors or artist. Mind you most of us extend, change, borrow bits of different ideas from each other for the betterment of the students who we teach with a passion.We all know art education is the most important subject that is taught. I have the issue though that we all post images of our students work probably without their permission Even young people have given the right to give us permission to post their art work on a blog. Is there any easy way to do this. I was writing curriculum some years ago and I was required to get the student permission for any photographs of their work which was included in publications. I also had to give my permission for my own photos to be used as well. I suppose if the article is for blog might be non profit it may not count but some websites do have a commercial side to it. Also including the students faces can be also a legal issue. One must be mindful of custody issues.
    This is my perspective on Copyright!!
    Cheryl Hancock
    Perth Australia

  5. I too nominated you Phyl you can read my reason in the post.

    I even used reverse phsycology on facebook to try to get my friends who care little about art ed blogs to check it out;)

    I voted for you, Nick my mom too:) You are the queen bee of blogs art teaching for that matter.

    I have NO idea how you are going to tell the kids which is why I haven't commented about it. I think though it would be nice to tell them because they are going to want to flood you with art work and letters and will feel so bad if they don't get a chance to say a proper farewell for now. No one will be able to do what you do bottom line. In my opinion, the district would be smart to pay a highly qualified teacher like you to stay a month and make the transition for kids and new teacher. I don't think cold turkey is ever the best possibility.

    As for using ideas with no credit. I thank goodness for PINTEREST because now I can click on the picture and see where it comes from. I do feel good when I come up with original ideas because there are so many ideas from other blogs that I'd like to use. So an original idea now is really important and when we share it we deserve credit, bottomline! I hope I do an okay job of being respectful with this but everyone can drop the ball without even realizing it! I hope people will comment with a link if I do!

    1. My blog isn't letting me leave comments, but lets me reply to comments for some reason. These replies show up in a golden text block. Very strange. Anyhow, I just left a comment but instead of being in time sequence it is showing up above. Does that make sense? I did actually read all the ones below before I left the comment so my apologies if this sequence of comments/replies is confusing. I know it is confusing to me!

  6. Hi!
    My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
    Have a great day!

  7. Phyl,
    I agree, but I have to admit there have been a few times I haven't given credit because I can't remember where I got the idea from, but I say that so people know it's not my original idea. Anyway, Congrats on your nomination!! Also wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog about my son. Sounds like your son has been able to incorporate music into his grown up life. Hoping my son will be able to.
    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  8. Phyl,
    So glad you posted about giving credit to others! Like others have said sometimes we cannot always remember where we find our inspirations! Sooo many times I will be at another school, or looking online, etc....etc..and I just cannot remember where I saw the original idea! REPEAT-THANK YOU PINTEREST! I do try and list books or info. I also have been having 'linking' issues on my blog? It is probably me tho! I am not very ''Tech savvy''! I am working on it!