Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr. Remix; or how I learned to stop worrying and love citation ~ Bud Hunt & Joe Bires at #EduCon 2.3

Joe Bires
Bud Hunt, aka, budtheteacher, on Dr. Remix caught my attention by the title, his reputation, and his essential questions for engaging conversation. Hunt is joining us from Colorado via Skype. He is joined live with Joe Bires on site at SLA.

From the program precis: Where do our ideas come from? How do we credit our sources as we extend their reach into and beyond our work? What place does citation and attribution have in the digital space of the read/write web?
As a teacher who writes or asks students to write, how does the complication of citation work? Bud and Joe are on different poles on citation, so they ask us to think about where we are now, and where we locate ourselves after both points of view are expressed. The more practical view is the hope that when we walk away, our personal, professional, and academic life will be easier.

Throughout this session, participants had opportunities to collaborate in conversations in whole and small groups, as well an engage in a writing component. Very exciting dynamic in a fast-paced session that ended too soon.

Bud Hunt &Joe Bires - Dr.Remix: Writing Together - EduCon 2.3

William & KJ at Saturday Keynote
Educators (and students) can't be loose with material, cannot pass it off as original when it is not. Is it irresponsible if material is not cited? As someone immersed in the work of today pointing students toward tomorrow, Bud believes citation is a must. You cannot play fast and loose with sources. What is important about citation referencing? If you are an expert in an area and you recognize content, you have an obligation to make certain that citation occurs.

According to Joe, in the 1980s, citation was simple. You cited your textbook or went to the library. You added a Works Cited (because footnotes were going out). In the 1990s, enter the Internet. You could read webpages and email. You could copy a link and add it to your paper and consider yourself covered and cited.

Conversations: Virtual, Real Time, Writing, Sharing
In 2000, you have Google Docs and a true online collaborative tool. Bud and Joe collaborated on the document. If you look at each presenter's short points, they are clearly identified. But the rest of the work is blended; how do you negotiate citing both Bud's and Joe's work? As this document grows through collaboration in this session, how do we cite and/or identify intellectual ownership, and does that intellectual property make us liable for lawsuit if not properly cited. And the big point: how do you cite a mashup when the world is hyperconnected. Citation breaks down and becomes a laborious task.

Still Joe:
There's a bit of a pyramid of connections that make citation more difficult. In addition, citation is just as broken as copyright. Is Creative Commons the solution. According to Lessing, For the Love of Culture, every single use of information in a digital space must be cited. But that too is a broken concept because it is difficult to say where the origin of the idea lies. The last piece of Joe's argument is citation is ultimately based on the idea of the moral imperative that people have a right to ownership of their ideas. From a moral perspective, if I want to use your idea and I do not cite it, then I am not a moral ethical person.

Six words:
plagerism stealing adultery sharing giving love
Positive and negative connotations, and they are built into our experiences and emotions.
Joe says our moral imperative is "screwed up." What we focused on is ideas, and ideas today live in a collective. We are digital citizens and there is the notion we are working as a collective trying to improve society. We are not working individually, but we are expected to cite individually--the individual experience of research and the individual experience of citing my idea--so give me credit.

Joe says we need to focus on idea building and rethink where ideas come from--a society as a collective. Creativity is a collective association of society.

Bud's turn.

When what is being said doesn't match with his schema, Bud says he's mad. "What has been will be again..." from Ecclesiastes 1:10. Bud thinks teachers have abdicated their responsibility to referencing, citing, waypointing, marking, tracking, aka citing information. There are ideas bigger than us, and most of our ideas won't be original, but yes we should cite them. Bud doesn't see honoring who people are and where they come from as broken. We should do everything to honor the contributions of our teachers and students and if we got an idea from someone else, we should cite it. Bud cites Bill Bryson's new book, At Home. He says we value certain types of furniture because it was well documented. We need to share our notions of where we find our stories. We need to recognize conventions in language that make it easy to tell our story. For example, in Bill Bryson's book,......We need to be able to do these types of things, and many of them are informal.

Bud says that our #educon tweets are not properly citing people's thoughts. Put quotation marks in your tweets if you are using someone else's words. When we reference those folks, use their names/tweet ID...We are ethically lazy in borrowing other people's ideas, plans... Teachers need to model responsible use and honor other's contributions. Bud doesn't recommend going down the paper trail to the starting point, but honor the person from whom YOU received the idea.

SLA student live streaming Dr. Remix session
The idea of journalism is that we are a proxy for someone else. We stand in for someone else who cannot be there because of access issues. My job is to say look at the world; look at these 5 ideas. Another thing is a transparency idea; model how we get our information in our professional lives. 50 tweets later, should I have to trace the re-tweets back? Bud would be interested in finding the original person's tweet's brilliance. Real research is taking a question and trying to filter it through old knowledge to find new concepts. Does what a student's sharing contribute to the world's knowledge? Citation and referencing isn't perfect, but we should be taking the opportunity to reference the people who have influenced us.

Big problems come from ignoring small ones, according to Bud.

Responding to an audience question, what is the experience that Joe and Bud have in creating?
Joe says his technology literacy dissertation requires him to cite what he uses, but it has become a huge boondoggle citing everything. Citation is an exercise in exercise, and he can't imagine what working will be like in 10 years. Joe would rather focus on building his ideas rather than wasting his time in laborious citation. Our current system of citation doesn't work because everything has speeded up so quickly.

Bud's rebuttal.
Not true. We have online citation websites, permalinks, hyperlinks so it is easier to cite work. Bud says it is not time consuming. Bud says he has experienced analog and digital citation crimes. It is wrong to take a tech talk and then pass it off as yours. Why not say, "I got this idea from..." Hard does not mean not worth doing (from an audience participant).

From the audience:
Are teachers less citation oriented because they are not content creators? Bud says no. Rather, if you are regurtating the textbook, where is the need to cite since everyone has the same source. Are we conflating copyright and plagarism? Without citation you have no confirmation for research in academic work, therefore, decontextualized.

Joe says the morphing of content and ideas makes citing things difficult because of how the point of origin has been lost in recontextualizing.
Bud says that he gets integrity, honesty, and citations from the 30 minutes he spent citing. The idea of mashups is not new; it been here since the beginning of culture. What we have as ideas being mixed together we have dealt with before; nothing new here. Bud wants to see citing, and if it's digital in-text, that's ok. But let's get teachers to model this for students.

From the audience:
Attribution and citation are different. As a teacher, attribution is the basic expectation. Citation is the formal experience.
Confusion between copyright law and plagarism is still problematic. Do you have permission to cite?

For more information about Bud Hunt, check his websites:

Of the sessions I attended today, this one I believe best exemplified the EduCon concept of conversations. This session was lively, mixed with point counterpoints, engaging, and quite honestly, I could have stayed another hour and enjoyed the learning. In the spirit of Chris Lehmann's advice to collaborate, learn, and change, this session was truly inspiring, informative, collaborative, and dynamic. 
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