Week 9: Copyright

In this week’s lecture, we learned about copyright, copyleft and various resources for finding free material.

Copyright, Fair Use & Public Domain

Copyright, a form of intellectual property, refers to the ‘right to copy’ and usually lies by the creator of the original work. If ‘copies’ are made, the original is called the underlying work, and any reproductions are derivative works. However, a derivative work must have a substantial difference from the underlying work to become its’ own original and thus, have those modifications also be protected by copyright.

Even copyrighted works may be used in the context of Fair Use, which includes news reporting, teaching, research or library archiving. Copyright can also expire or be forfeited by the copyright holder, which results in the works becoming Public Domain and thus allowed to use without having to obtain the rights.


Copyleft on the other hand is the practice of using copyright to allow people to distribute copies and create derivative works, as long as those operate under the same license. The GNU General Public License and the Creative Commons License are popular examples of this.

There are different Creative Commons Licenses, ranging from only allowing to share the original work (while giving credit, and only noncommercially) to being able to distribute and modify the original work even in commercial context (while still giving credit!).

Creative Commons Licenses


  • The Internet Archive: Digital library providing free access to a number of archived webpages, books, films and more
  • Free Music Archive: Digital library of high-quality audio files which are free to use for all
  • Project Gutenberg: Free eBooks
  • Google Reverse Image Search: By pressing the camera icon on the google image search you can search for instances of an image on a webpage, either by providing a URL or uploading the image itself
  • Citation Machine: Generates citations in a chosen style (e.g. APA) for books, articles, websites, and other content

Until next week!

Image Source: www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk


Week 7: Presentations

This week we talked about digital presentations and what to look out for when creating & giving them.


Prezi_logo_transparent_2012Firstly, let’s have a look at different kinds of presentation recourses available: The most common programs for creating digital presentations are Microsoft’s Powerpoint, OpenOffice’s Impress and Apple’s Keynote. A few less known, but still powerful online tools are GoogleDocs, SlideShare and Prezi, which we will be using for our second assignment.

Then, there is Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker for creating Mash-Ups of various types of media (video, audio, images), and Screenr, which is a web-based screen recorder and can be used for recording those Mash-Ups!

Creating Presentations

Now that you have various tools at your disposal, you can start designing your presentation. You should make sure your presentation follows a clear structure so it is easy to follow and will engage the audience.

  1. Set the scene. Give the audience a short overview of your presentation: What is the topic, why is it important to talk about it, and why are you in particular talking about it?
  2. Craft the key message. This can be either informative (you aim to deliver knowledge, so the key message is the most important message) or persuasive (you aim to convince the audience, so the key message is the reaction you want to trigger)
  3. Identify the audience’s questions. The body of your presentation should serve to answer the top questions the audience has after hearing your key message.
  4. Write assertions to answer the audience’s questions in a convincing and concise way. Back up your assertions by stories, statistics, endorsement and/or explanations.
  5. All the content should lead back to the key message. End your presentation with, again, summarizing the topic with the most important message and create an impact.

Good luck!

Image Source: prezi.com


Week 6: Digital Imaging

This week we talked about digital image editing (cropping, retouching, resizing, etc.) and the various programs used for that.

  • Adobe Photoshop is the best known image editing software and has many powerful features. It is available on both Mac and Windows, but very expensive. Thankfully, there are many free alternatives:
  • GIMP offers most of the basic features of Photoshop but uses a very different user interface, so it may be confusing to people who are used to Photoshop. It’s an open source program and available for Mac, Windows and Linux.
  • Pixlr is an online image editing service and has an interface very similar to Photoshop. Since it is web-based, it can be used on any operating system.
  • Picasa is more of an image organizing program, but offers editing and retouching functions, too. It’s made by Google and available for both Mac and Windows. It is especially useful for batch resizing/editing images!

Until next week!

Image Sources: adobe.com, gimp.org, pixlr.com & picasa.com


Week 2: Blogging

This weeks lecture was packed with resources, so I decided to make a list with short descriptions for each of them for future reference!

Mozilla Thimble is a simple tool for easily creating webcontent using HTML and CSS. You type your code in one column and instantly see the output it creates in the other. You can then save and directly share your webpage with the world!

Codeacademy offers completely free step-by-step courses on web developing (HTML,  CSS & Javascript), programming languages (e.g. Python & Ruby) and simple coding projects.

TypeKit has a large library of fonts (more of you pay) you can browse and filter (serif or sans-serif? for paragraphs or headings?) to find the perfect font for your cause, font lists (e.g. ’rounded fonts’) and a design gallery to look at remarkable typography examples.

Google Web Fonts is similar to TypeKit, but is totally free and has exclusively OpenSource fonts you can instantly use, both privately and commercially.

WAVE is a tool to check the accessibility of a website. It shows errors, alerts and other problematic elements and explains how to fix them.

The Oatmeal has a few comics about grammar, explaining and correcting common misconceptions, such as the ever-present confusion of ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’.

After The Deadline is a free spelling and grammar checker and can be used with several sites (e.g. WordPress), web browsers (Firefox, Chrome) and applications (OpenOffice).

Grammarly also provides a very advanced Editor for spell and grammar checking, which can be sampled free on the website or with a 7-days trial, but the real thing costs a monthly fee. However, there are also free writing resources on grammar and style available on the website.

ProBlogger has, as the title suggests, a lot of resources for serious and aspiring bloggers.

The Chicago Manual of Style offers – for an annual fee, or free for a 30 day trial – recommendations on editorial style, a Q&A around writing style and several convenient tools for publishing content.

I hope this was useful to you as well. Until next week!