Final Project: A Picture Book



  1. A pitch or query letter to a publisher: Pitch LetterPitch capture
  2. The book:Waffles Cyber World Adventure- A Story About Cyberbullying

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Reflection #2

The Issue of copyright

One of the main topics this class discussed in the second half of the semester is the issues of copyright and fair use in the classroom. As media literacy leaders this is a critical topic to be talking about.


In this course I was first introduced into copyright issues when I was assigned to read Renee Hobbs’s book Copyright Clarity. This book teaches the topic of fair use especially in the classroom to promote student’s development of literacy and learning (Hobbs, 2011, p. vii-ix). It also helps “educators understand and apply the principles of copyright and fair use to develop students’ critical thinking and communication skills (p.11). The issue is that teachers lack of knowledge on copyright and fair use which can affect “the quality of teaching and learning (p.7).” As I have learned in her book “sharing ideas and information is part of the essential nature of all learning (p.8).” In today’s society the internet makes it easier to access information and almost everything on the internet is copyrighted. This is when educators get confused about using the internet, such as videos, because of copyright issues. Some educators believe “the sky’s the limit”, but not everything copyrighted can be used just because of educational and noncommercial purposes (p.22). Some educators are also afraid of sharing products in public and often discourage it. Lastly, some educators are reluctant to use any type of copyright materials (p.23). But in fact educators have the right to fair use. Fair use requires reasoning and judgment (p. 27). To judge fair use you need to look at the “new use of the copyrighted material” to see if it has “a new meaning or interpretation of the work that is significant enough to create a distinct and separate discursive community around the second work” this is known as transformativeness (p. 48). In short, if the original copyright material has been transformed into a different purpose and has a different value then you can claim fair use.


This topic of copyright was also brought up during the Leap #4 assignment. For this assignment I was to explore the website HitRecord by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. What I noticed was that they persistently included information about protecting the rights of creators as well as giving credit to the original authors. When you upload anything on the website there are consistent checks to make sure you aren’t using copyrighted materials and give credit to the author. HitRecord also educates its users about copyright and citing. For more information on HitRecord visit my blog or HitRecord itself.


Another topic of discussion was how authors create. Why do authors “imitate” works? How this support or enhance creativity? Because of the digital age, it is a lot easier to access information which can make it easy to copy someone’s work. But if the author is truly creative he/she builds upon someone else’s work. “Every form of creativity is connected to and inspired by the works we’ve come in contact with previously (Hobbs, p. 17).” But you can’t simply use someone’s work as your own there has to be some sort of transformativeness. Transformativeness is defined as “repurposing of copy-righted materials (Hobbs, p.8).” Creative commons (an alternative licensing scheme) also encourages people to build upon and share someone else’s work (p.21). Thus, ethically it is okay to use someone else’s work in order to create your own.


Creativity is a romanticized idea that a creative idea is unique and original (p.43). This belief is completely false. “Copying is part of the creative process (Hobbs, p. 41).” This is especially true when collaboration, teamwork, and conversation are involved in expressing creativity and developing new ideas (p.44). The Copyright Act of 1976 “exists to support the kinds of copying, borrowing, and sharing that are so essential to fertilize and nurture the creative process (p.44).” Therefore, in order to craft something truly creative you can use someone else’s work in order to assist in your creation. But there must be some changes or creative contributions made to the original work that can add value or repurpose to the original work (p.59). This is when the new idea becomes truly creative.


The article written by Jenkins also hit upon this topic specifically with remixing. Jenkins states that there is an ability “for more and more of us to create new works by manipulating, approaching, transforming, and recirculation existing media content (2013, p. 105),” because sounds, texts and images are becoming more accessible.

The idea of remixing refers to adaptation (p. 108). A remix is when the creative process includes appropriate and recombination of borrowed and original materials (p.109). A remix “is valuable if it is generative and meaningful rather than arbitrary and superficial (p.109).” In other words the original work has transformed into something new. Overall, remix follows the Copyright Act in a couple different ways. One remixing involves recognizing the original author of the creative piece. It is also built upon by combining the borrowed work with the original work (p. 110-111).


Another connection I have made with this topic being discussed is with the Leap #4 assignment, using HitRecord. HitRecord also deals with creativity. The main purpose of HitRecord is to take someone’s work and make it your own or in some cases help the original author finish his/her production. This is a perfect tool collaborating and sharing creative projects because this is what creativity is made out of copying, imitating or inspiring your own creative works.

Reflection of my participation in the class:

Overall I am very happy with the course. Unfortunately, I have not been able to engage in synchronous classes due to previous engagements (work). But other than that I have enjoyed learning about media literacy and digital authorship, two very important topics in the education system today. Therefore, these are also important topics to me because when I graduate from URI with a MLIS I too hope to be a media literacy leader helping students learn in creative ways.

This class, as well as the previous class I have taken with Renee Hobbs, I have learned course materials creatively. As I have learned in this class, creativity comes in many different forms and assists the learning process especially through 21st century media. “Youth media programming has numerous positive outcomes for participants” it helps them engage with other youth and their communities that are “useful, interesting, and engaging for them (Hauge, 2014, p.428).” This is true of EDC534. Through the use of discussion videos, writing, collaborating, and more I have creatively learned key ideas in an interesting and engaging way. I too hope to use what I have learned in this class to further my education as well as to teach my own students in the same manner.

Cyber bullying cartoon with scared child mobile phone and PC

The topic discussed above about creativity also connects to my final project in this course. My project consists of writing a picture book in fiction like form to help teach students in grades 2-4 on the issue of cyberbullying. Creatively I have been inspired by previous works I have come into contact with. The idea for the picture book actually came from a co-worker. She thought a book that follows what events happen when someone is bullied online would be a great idea for a book. In this class, we have only briefly mentioned digital citizenship, therefore I wanted to explore it further.


First off, I looked at what sort of books are already published about digital citizenship and cyberbullying? I checked out a few of these books from libraries to help me become an expert at the topic. One of my main sources is Common Sense Media which has lesson plans on teaching digital citizenship to student’s grades k-12. These resources helped me form the information in the book.


The problem I was having was that I know what I wanted write about, but I didn’t know how. Of course, after I put all my books away and I shower and settle down at the end of the night, an epiphany hit me: base my story like A Christmas Carol. By using A Christmas Carol’s storyline I can show the events of what happens before, during and after the bullying occurs. Therefore, I was inspired by A Christmas Carol and I will build upon it to create my very own story on Cyberbullying. Not only have I piggybacked someone else’s ideas but I will also use collaboration, using the idea (with permission) from a co-worker, as well as having another co-worker illustrate for me. In conclusion, I am very excited to share my final creative project with the class.



[Common Sense Media: Digital Citizenship]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from
[Copy Right Clarity: How Fair use Supports Digital Learning]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from
[Cyberbullying]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from

Gordon-Levitt, J. (n.d). HitRecord. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from

Hauge, C. (2014). Youth Media and Agency. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35(4), 471–484.

[HitRecord]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from

Hobbs, R. (2011). Copyright clarity: How fair use supports digital learning. Thousand Oaks; Corwin/Sage.

Jenkins, H. (2013). Is it Appropriate to Appropriate? (p. 105-122). Reading in a participatory culture: Remixing Moby Dick in the English classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

[Remix Culture]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from
[Voltaire Quote]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from

Walsh, S. (2016, April 5). Leap #4: Remix Creativity [Web log post]. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from

Leap #4: Remix Creativity


For this assignment I was required to create an account on and participate in some way with the website’s community. Here I will describe my experience using the website including some of the key ideas that I have been learning in this course.

Let’s first introduce you to what HitRecord is. I’ll let Joe explain this for you:

How did I participate in the HitRecord community:

As Joe explained in the video above, the point of this website is for people to create productions together. Instead of just watching something, you get to be involved. I started by doing a creative challenge. A creative challenge is when you know you want to create and collaborate, but you don’t know what to do. With the creative challenge you can pick among many different mediums:

creative challenge.JPG

I picked the photography creative challenges and came across a “Pictures of Cats” challenge. Here you can share you favorite cat picture. I chose this one because I have an adorable Siamese cat named Leo and because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cats.

leo upload

The website was pretty easy to use and figure out. It was really user friendly so anyone can use, share, and collaborate. What really made it easy was that Joe created videos to help you through the website. Videos I encountered were a general overview of HitRecord, about the profile page, copyright information, how to collaborate, and more. Also while I was exploring the website your can explore through what other people have uploaded without collaborating. And you can narrow this down by mediums as well.

are we recording..JPG

How does it relate to what I have been learning?

A. Copyright issues

One relation HitRecord has to what we have been learning about is the issue of copyright. In our reading of Renee Hobbs’ Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning (2010) we learned about how to use media resources in the classroom while following the rules of copyright and using the right of fair use. When using copyrighted material you need to give attribution to the original creator (Hobbs, p. 8). It is considered plagiarism when you use someone else’s work as your own and do not give attribution (Hobbs, p.8). Copyright material is “the owner’s legal right to reproduce, display, transmit, perform, and modify work as well as the right to publically perform sound recording by digital transmission”. Once the item has been created it is automatically copyrighted (Hobbs, p.16).

Now how what does this have to do with HitRecord? Well, EVERYTHING! First off anytime you publish or upload something onto the internet you have to keep the issue of copyright in your mind. For example, this blog. In the above paragraph I quote and paraphrase items from Renee Hobbs’ book. Therefore I need to give her attribution through in-text citations and a reference section at the end. It would be considered plagiarism if I did not cite her and there would be serious consequences (since this is a graduate level course taught by her!).

Specifically to the website when you contribute to a creative challenge, lets say the cat picture challenge, I noticed pop-ups and checks throughout the uploading steps of the process. I’ll show you what I mean. When uploading my photo of my cat Leo I was asked if the image I was uploading was a copyrighted image.

do you own this pic

You then get to a page where you can edit your post (such as add a title and a description). You can also choose to make the work a “working file” which is useful for other people to remix the record. As you scroll down you see this:

public domain

And this:


In the first picture, you are required to click on the circle verifying that the record uploaded is the owners original work, records from HitRecord, or in the public domain. The item to notice here is that public domain piece. Public domain is works that are no longer copyrighted (Hobbs, p. 16).  HitRecord, is familiar enough with the copyright guidelines that they acknowledge these guidelines on their website as well as making the uploader aware as well.

The second picture shows a video of Joe explaining the importance of citing resources. If your uploaded record includes someone else’s work, especially from the HitRecord website you can cite them and give them credit for their addition to your record. This brings up the copyright issue and using other people’s work without citing or giving them credit. I love when Joe states “The fun part is the artist(s) you remixed will get notified about your release, which will make them feel awesome, and your new record will be listed as a remix of their original record”. Again, it’s all about collaboration and giving credit where credit is due.

After clicking the circle, clarifying that your record is an original work, a record(s) from HitRecord, or in the public domain, a different video pops up explaining why you can’t upload copyrighted work:

why can't i upload copyrighted work.JPG

In conclusion, it seems very noticeable that HitRecord is very adamant about the copyright guidelines and giving people the credit they deserve. Not only do they protect the rights of the creators but they also educate users about copyright and the importance of citing. As a collaborative site, there is need to make this information known to all who use it.

B. Creativity through collaboration

First I will start off with a few quotes from Renee Hobbs’ book Copyright Clarity:

  • “Every form of creativity is connected to and inspired by the works we’ve come in contact with previously” (Hobbs, p. 17).
  • “Copying is part of the creative process” (Hobbs, p. 41).
  • “Today nearly all forms of contemporary creative expression involve collaboration and teamwork” (Hobbs, p.44).
  • “Most new ideas develop as a result of the conversation process and the sharing of ideas” (Hobbs, p. 44).

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that creativity is built off of other’s works. Some form of copying will happen when someone creates off of inspiration, connection or observation. Also, creation isn’t independent work 100% of the time anymore. Whether they discuss with others or work in teams to create some form of collaboration will take place.

Again, back to the issue of copyrighting, under fair use, the court will most likely to find any work used fairly when there is transformativeness (Hobbs, p. 48). Transformativeness is when you repurpose copyrighted material as part of a creative project (Hobbs, p.8). Therefore, when you take someone else’s work and add or change it to where the new work is not just a copy of the original work, you can claim fair use. (Fair use is a part of the copyright law that “enables people to make legal use of copyright materials without payment or permission” (Hobbs, p.16)).

This is true of HitRecord. You can take something that another user has uploaded, for example a beat (music). You use the beat to create lyrics and then sing it over the beat while recording yourself singing. You then upload this, with citation of the original record, on HitRecord. This is transformative because you have added lyrics to the beat and recorded yourself singing them. This new record is completely different from the original record.

Scott McCloud, briefly hits on collaboration and creativity in his book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. He state, “invent new ways of showing ‘the same old thing'” (p. 176). In the end, creation takes bits and pieces from others in order to create new and different pieces. This is one of the main purposes of HitRecord. The creative challenges help people collaborate in creating something together. Users who may need help finishing a production can also use the site. They upload what they have and look for people who can help. This all takes collaboration.


Gordon-Levitt, J. (n.d). HitRecord. Retrieved April 05, 2016, from

Hobbs, R. (2011). Copyright clarity: How fair use supports digital learning. Thousand Oaks: Corwin/Sage.

McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics. New York: Kitchen Sink Press.


*Photos were taken from using snip it



Reflection #1:

Part I: Connections on topics learned in class
Over the course of the past few weeks I have noticed a common trend in the articles that we have read. That common trend being the importance for children and students to understand, interpret, and criticize the messages found in media culture. According to four authors of articles that we have read in class, Buckingham, Hammer, Kavoori, and Micheli, the definition or belief of what media literacy is similar. All four mention that media literacy is a skill in which knowledge and skills are required to understand, interpret, analyze, and evaluate both media messages and the world around us. It was also noted by Buckingham that interpreting the world is similar to interpreting media.
It was also noticed that between these authors, they felt the importance of media literacy. Hammer states, “It is essential that students learn how to understand, interpret and criticize the meaning and messages of media culture.” He gives an example of how important these noting that only 50% of college seniors scored below ‘proficient’ levels on a test that required them to understand arguments from newspaper editorials or compare credit-card offers. This was surprising and shocking to me for a couple different reasons. One reason for my shock was that as a high school student I was taught how to analyze documents over and over again. Whether it was History or English class we were given documents to read, analyze and then write a paper proving our thesis. My experience didn’t end there; I continued my practice of analyzing documents during my undergraduate degree. As a History Major I constantly practiced the art of analyzing documents and putting together a well thought out thesis paper. I think, too, it would also be safe to assume that other majors, such as Psychology, English, and Science, did so as well. My second reason being, that I felt disappointment. I felt disappointment because these college seniors don’t have this skill. Without this skill, how can they survive in the real world? For example, if they read a newspaper article that is sarcastic or not giving 100% true information , that college senior doesn’t have the skills to see its dishonesty and think that just because it was said means that it is true.  Or when they are looking at different credit cards, they won’t be able to compare them to see which one is the most appropriate pick. These situations I bring up are concerning because people without digital literacy skills will not be able to think for themselves. Hammer also finds these skills important because multiple generations are so engrossed into technology: phones, tablets, video games, computer, etc. Just because of that fact alone, it would only make sense for schools to be educating students on media literacy.
Media literacy comes with many skills and positive aspects. One of these skills is that students can become more conscious of how the views of the world are caused and put into media. They learn to critically read, connect and interpret media culture which then empowers them to have a voice and vision to their own ideas. It also teaches them communication and cooperation skills (Hammer). Buckingham explains this in a different way stating that a person who has these skills is a sophisticated viewer. That sophisticated viewer can see past the illusions and manipulation media messages can fabricate to viewers about the world. Kavoori statement is similar and adds on to the previous statements. He states that by creating a community of active readers, those readers can decide their position on topics such as social, economical and political. For example, a person may read articles about the current presidential candidates, which may include some true and false information. That same person also watches the news and presidential debates. Using all that information given to him, he can decide for himself what is true and what is not true and then make his own decision on which candidate he thinks will be the best fit for our country.
This then brings up the issue of media consumption habits. The one worth talking about here is the one with the most problems: the audience as a passive victim (Micheli). As a passive victim, they are not critically viewing, let’s say, what they watch on TV. They believe everything they see on the news or what is said or seen in cartoons.  This is an issue because it brings a negative impact, especially with children. The only way this can be counteracted is through explaining the risks and problems that media messages can give. It also helps to encourage them to be more active and critical participants of the media culture that surrounds them (Micheli). Again this brings us back to what Hammer was explaining about the college students unable to analyze credit-card offers. Without these media literacy skills, children especially will grow up with false information and ideas. They need these skills to understand the real world around them and not because they were fed information but because they were active participatipants.
One final thing I would like to mention about this topic is also pretty concerning. It is unfortunate that teachers are not receiving adequate education and training on media literacy and even more disappointing is that parents, administrators, and government officials has deemed this unnecessary. Children cannot learn this lesson on their own. They need the help of teachers and parents so that they grow up empowered to voice their visions and ideas. We need to teach children to think for themselves, because if we don’t our society could be run by adults who can’t voice their own opinions and go along with what others are saying. We will no longer have any true leaders in our society.
 Part II: Reflection on class participation
As I have already stated previously, this lesson of becoming an active critique has been a huge part of my educational life. As I reflect upon it in my entire life, I too see how it has carried over. One example is having the ability to see the sarcasm in a text or Facebook message and even in person. I can also notice the adult jokes that are snuck into children movies or cartoons. I also have to say that “vegging” out on TV is fun, but even more fun when you become an active participant. An example is not agreeing with a referee during a football game. You watch the replay and listen to what the referee has to say, but you have your own belief on what really happened and scream at the TV in frustration.
I also feel to mention that there is a similarity between being and active reader/viewer and digital citizenship. The past few weeks I have been observing as well as teaching elementary school students the importance of digital citizenship and being safe online. We had some really great conversations about what you should and shouldn’t do online as well as issues on cyber bullying. What I find similar is that children need to be able to recognize websites and games and situation that might not be right for them. And from there, what they should do about it. I also find similar that children also need to be able to voice their opinions and beliefs. This is especially true when it comes to cyberbullying. In a situation like that they need to be able to speak up and tell the bully to stop or find the voice to tell a trusted adult. This topic was also discussed in the article section titled “Lesson Plan Review: Performing Facebook-Related Awkward Situations. Lesson Design and Implementation” by Micheli. This lesson focused on issues of online identity and privacy management. The program was also aiming to “instilling community consciousness… and sustaining participatory learning.” Here is the website for the Pause & Think Online video by Common Sense Media:
In conclusion, this topic is very interesting and applies to my own life in many ways. For my independent project I would like to continue to explore the idea of digital citizenship and media literacy. My idea would then maybe creating a graphic novel or storybook dealing with a similar situation. That way students can learn about these skills in a fun but yet educational way. I haven’t fully developed the idea as of yet.
Works Cited
All Good Digital Citizens [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
Buckingham, D. (2003). Media literacies. Defining the field. Becoming critical. Getting creative. Media education: Literacy, learning and contemporary culture (pp. 35 – 69). London: Polity.
Common Sense Media. (2013, September 24). Pause & Think Online [Video]. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
Hammer, R. (2011). Critical media literacy as engaged pedagogy. E-Learning and Digital Media, 8(4), 357-363.
Kavoori, A., & Matthews, D. (2004). Critical media pedagogy: The Thinking Television project. Howard Journal of Communication, 15, 99 – 114.
Media Literacy [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
[Media Literacy in All the Classrooms]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
[Media Literacy Remote]. (2013, February 12). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
Micheli, M. (2013). New media literacies in after-school settings: Three curricula from the program ‘Explore Locally, Excel Digitally’ at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles. Journal of Media Practice14(4), 331–350. doi: 10.1386/jmp.14.4.331_7
[Rules of Social Media]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2016, from Citizenship
[TV Feeding a Person]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
Walsh, S. (2016, February 16). Compare and Contrast Diagram of Key Ideas. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from