Tag Archives: Columbia University

Getting ready for TEDxYouth@TheSchool this Saturday! Follow @TEDxYTheSchool for info


(I’m retreaching myself InDesign in order to edit this year’s brochure for TEDxYouth@TheSchool…)

TEDxYouth@TheSchool is Nov 19th, 2001 (this Saturday)! A group of faculty members and I gathered speakers that I hope will inspire and empower our attendees (middle schoolers, siblings, parents, teachers, guests). There are over 100 events happening worldwide this weekend as part of TEDxYouthDay coinciding with Universal Children’s Day

Our website: http://tedxyouth.theschool.columbia.edu
Our Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDxYTheSchool
Our Facebook: http://facebook.com/TEDxYouthTheSchool

Our speakers are listed below and their talks will be live-streamed and viewable from the TEDxYouth@TheSchool website:

Ben Hirschfeld
The Lit! Solar Lantern Project

Ben Hirschfeld founded the Lit! Solar Lantern Project as a high school freshman in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Lit! provides solar lanterns to students without electricity in the developing world, replacing their kerosene lamps. Kerosene smoke contributes to diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and even lung cancer, and contains carbon dioxide that leads to global warming. Lit!’s research shows that children receiving lanterns are better prepared for school, while their families can buy much-needed food now with the money formally used to buy kerosene. By providing solar lanterns, Lit! is preventing global warming at the same time as helping children gain literacy, better nutrition, and better health. Ben is passionate about the Lit! Project, flannel, and the outdoors.

Charles Colten
Aikido in the Schools

Charles Colten is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido in the Schools, which is dedicated to bringing the benefits of Aikido into public and private schools. After decades of practicing Aikido and working as a classroom teacher, he brought these two streams together, and has been sharing Aikido in schools for the past four years. Charles began his Aikido training in 1986, currently teaches Aikido to adults and children in New York City, gives seminars around the USA and has also taught/practiced in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He earned a Masters Degree in Organizational/Educational Leadership at Columbia University Teacher’s College and sits on the Board of Aikiextensions, an international organization dedicated to applying Aikido principles in business, law, mediation, health-care, arts, education, play therapy, and international development. Charles is passionate about learning, play, Aikido, and the “places” where they all happen together.

Charles Wilson
co-author of Chew On This

Charles Wilson is the co-author, with Eric Schlosser, of the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book, Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist. He is the collaborator with the Milwaukee urban farmer Will Allen on The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities, a book to be published by Gotham/Penguin next May. Charles is passionate about reading, his friends and family, and long-distance running.

Dr. Dickson Despommier
Vertical Farm

Dr. Dickson Despommier was born in New Orleans in 1940, and grew up in California before moving to the New York area. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame and conducted laboratory-based biomedical research with NIH-sponsored support at Columbia University for 27 years. An Emeritus Professor, Dickson has always been interested in the environment and the damage we have caused by the simple act of encroachment. At present, he is engaged in a project to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers.  There are now five vertical farms up and running: Korea, Japan, Holland and two in the U.S.A. Dickson has received numerous teaching awards and has lectured on the subject of vertical farming to engineers, professors, and government agencies all over the world. He has given a TED talk, and three TEDx talks (Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Bermuda). Dickson is passionate about fly fishing, teaching, and photography.

Don Buckley
The School at Columbia University

Don Buckley has transformed learning spaces so they work for teachers and students and not just architects, he has transformed textbooks so that they work for students and teachers and not just publishers, and he has transformed new media resources so that they work for students and teachers and not just programmers. He has advanced degrees from leading European universities, is a former industrial chemist, published photographer and consultant to MOMA. As well as teaching a graduate course at Columbia Teacher’s College in Educational Technology and directing the Communications Technology program at The School, he is an author for Pearson’s Interactive Science Program (a K-8 Science series for 21st century schools). Don is passionate about Travel, Architecture, Design, Change, The Future, and Innovation. He is a scientist, technologist, educator, author, traveler, futurist, innovator, and dual citizen of Ireland and the United States. Don is passionate about architecture, travel, and design.

Lucas Ward
8th Grader

Lucas Ward is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University. He writes music as well as recording and producing his own songs and music videos. He created the music group Ninjaz Entertainment, which already has three songs on its YouTube channel, but more are coming. He enjoys using Flash to draw, design graphics, and animate. He also draws freehand and especially likes to draw cartoons. He hopes you enjoy his presentation. Lucas is passionate about music, drawing/cartoons, and animation.

Mauricio Salgado
Artists Striving To End Poverty

As the Director of Domestic Programming for Artists Striving To End Poverty, Mauricio Salgado handles volunteer recruitment, training and coordination, program management, and curriculum. Originally from Miami, Florida, Mauricio graduated with a BFA from The Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Mauricio has been invited by organizations around the world (the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Peru and India) to teach the ASTEP methodology of using the arts as a catalyst for mentorship and education. In 2005 and 2006, Mauricio was hired as a teaching artist for Dreamyard to work with New York City public school children. He currently teaches annual Social Justice through the Arts workshops at Santa Clara and Juilliard Universities. In March of 2009 Mauricio was presented with the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award in recognition of his outstanding work with ASTEP. Mauricio is passionate about story-telling, compassionate service, and his wife.

Monica Louie
Engineers Without Borders

Monica has been volunteering with Engineers Without Borders NY Chapter (EWB) for 3 years. EWB is a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides engineering services to developing communities. Monica’s involvement brought her to Cambodia with the design and construction of a dam that provides water for irrigation to 9000 residents, and Kenya, for a clean water distribution system. She has actively been involved in promoting the organization’s vision and mission as a member of the executive board. The recently formed EWBNY-Education Committee promotes engineering and global development to students K-12 in NYC. Monica is passionate about international development, travel, and food.

Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari
High School Junior

Born and raised as a Tibetan exile in India, Trichen is currently at boarding school in the United States. Last year, he made his first documentary film about his life as the descendant of the Great Kings of Tibet and the struggle of the Tibetan people in exile. His film, My Country is Tibet, was made through BYkids and has screened to critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. The film will be distributed by Discovery Education to half the schools in America. The Dalai Lama has recommended he go to college in the United States, so Trichen is passionate about studying, teaching people about Tibet, and rowing.

A cappella group from Columbia University

Nonsequitur is an a cappella (without music) group from Columbia University. Founded in 2000 by five Columbia students, the group was originally formed as an all-male group specializing in alternative rock. Nonseq (as it’s popularly known) quickly grew to include all genders and genres, eventually becoming Columbia’s hippest group. Students come together to combine awesome vocal harmonies and killer choreography. Over the last eleven years, they have toured Canada and the East Coast, and performed with renowned a cappella groups from across the country, and in 2009, took first place in the quarterfinal round for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Nonsequitur has also enjoyed great success off the stage. In 2007, they won the Columbia Organizational Achievement Leadership Promise Award for being the student organization with the best potential for positive impact on Columbia’s campus.

Sharon Unis
Pop-Up Adventure Play

Sharon Unis co-founded Pop-Up Adventure Play and serves as the Managing Director of Business Development. Pop-Up Adventure Play is a US/UK social enterprise advocating for children’s hands-on and self-directed play within communities of supportive adults. Working internationally to catalyze free play opportunities, her team operates both globally and regionally, promoting low-cost, place-specific solutions for optimizing community organizing on behalf of children’s play. Sharon’s other recent experience includes work with the New York Coalition for Play, the Children’s Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the NYU Child Study Center. She earned a BA in Economics and Environmental Science from Barnard College at Columbia University. Sharon is passionate about children/youth, nature, and playing/laughing.

Shannon Durugurdon, Kate Scheuermann
8th Graders
Shannon and Kate are part of a group of 8th graders at The School at Columbia University participating in JR’s InsideOut Project as an Art elective. They will explain the project and their inspiration. They are both scholar-athletes and integral members of The School’s community. Shannon is passionate about sports, acting, and taking care of others. Kate is passionate about lacrosse, training wild mustangs, and skiing.

Conrad Milhaupt, co-host
8th Grader

Conrad is an eighth grader at The School at Columbia University, and is currently the President of the Student Government. As President this year, he hopes to empower the students of The School and prove that students of all ages can make a difference in their communities. He is an athlete, learner, and devoted community service volunteer. He is looking forward to co-hosting the incredible TEDxYouth@TheSchool event this year. Conrad is passionate about baseball, math, and smiling.

Brandon Bell, co-host
8th Grader

Brandon is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University, and is Vice President of the Student Government. One of Brandon’s campaign promises was to work on the need for additional community service projects in his school so that kids can make a difference by helping those in need. He is looking forward to co-hosting TEDxYouth@theSchool. Brandon is passionate about swimming, running, and reading.

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Publicly learning my lesson about properly using digital images from Artstor.org

As per my last post, I just finished a Renaissance Photoshop art project with 6th graders where we located digital images of Renaissance paintings from ARTstor‘s online digital gallery and then used Photoshop to layer themselves into the painting. During the course of the 3-day project, we had discussions about copyright, fair use, and public domain. We talked about how the Mona Lisa and all the other works we were altering are in the public domain, and our contributions to the original paintings were copyrightable.

I said that there were two possible hiccups preventing us from going forth and copyrighting our art: Our digital images of the paintings came from http://ARTstor.org, and the hardware/software we used is owned by Columbia University. Because I hate being ignorant and I love being right, I contacted ARTstor to find out if we could convince ourselves that we owned our altered image. I spoke to Cassy Juhl, a User Services Associate, who conferred with ARTstor’s lawyers and emailed me a few days later. Essentially, we can access/view/use images from ARTstor for academic and non-commercial purposes because Columbia University subscribes to their service. However, since ARTstor does not own the images in their digital collection, they can’t authorize manipulation of the files. I reminded the kids that ignorance is a terrible excuse for doing something unethical; Since we now know that we can’t use ARTstor’s images for this project, we cannot further ignore and abuse their Terms and Conditions of Use.

So, my latest idea is to generate our own collection of digital images of works of art at The School at Columbia University. Tons of museums allow no-flash photography, so I (or my students) can just gather our own photos of public domain art that we can then freely alter. As per the Mona Lisa, I’ll either have to elbow through the throngs of tourists at The Louvre this summer to take the best possible photo of her or establish a contact that can offer us a fair use copy.

Below is Cassy’s response that I shared with my 6th graders:

Dear Karen,
Thank you for your phone call.  After looking into your question regarding ownership of an altered image and I have a response for you. The ARTstor Terms and Conditions of Use ( http://www.artstor.org/our-organization/o-pdf/terms-conditions.pdf ) prohibit the modification of ARTstor images.
Specifically, see Section 6:

Prohibited Uses. You may not: (a) use the ARTstor Digital Library, or use, display or make performances with, reproduce, or distribute Content from the ARTstor Digital Library, for any commercial purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to fee-for-service use of the ARTstor Digital Library, or make any use, display, performance, reproduction, or distribution that exceeds or violates these Terms and Conditions of Use; (b) distribute and/or make available Content in the ARTstor Digital Library to persons other than as expressly permitted herein; (c) provide and/or authorize access to the ARTstor electronic database, such as through the sharing of passwords, to persons or entities other than Authorized Users; (d) download or print, or attempt to download or print, substantial portions of the ARTstor Digital Library; (e) incorporate Content into print or electronic materials that are for purchase or are disseminated for commercial purposes (such as by a scholarly or commercial press); (f) use (including reproduce, distribute, display or make performances of) the ARTstor Digital Library in any way that is not authorized under this Agreement and that infringes another’s Intellectual Property Rights therein; (g) make any adaptation or modification of, or any derivative work from, Content; or (h) attempt to override, circumvent, or disable any encryption features or software protections employed in the ARTstor Digital Library.

ARTstor does not own any of the images in the Digital Library and as such we are unable to broker rights for said images.  We are only able to offer high quality images because our contributors provide images to be used for the very specific uses outlined in our Terms and Conditions of Use.
Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or concerns.
Kind regards,
Cassy Juhl
Cassy Juhl
User Services Associate


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Using Mona Lisa and Shepard Fairey to discuss copyright, fair use, and public domain

My 6th graders just finished a 3-day unit using Photoshop to rework a Renaissance painting. Today, we had a belated yet robust conversation about copyright, fair use, and the public domain. We specifically focused on two key pieces of art familiar to most everyone: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Shepard Fairey’s Hope.

The class began with an awesome slide show put together by Yoshiko Maruiwa consisting of different images of the Mona Lisa. Kids were asked: Is it art? Who owns it? The answers were fabulous and fascinating. Most students decided that the altered Mona Lisa’s should be jointly owned by Da Vinci and the other artist. Some thought only the new artist owned the piece, as it referenced the Mona Lisa but was not an exact replica. One romantic hopeful thought no one should own the art, as Art is an exression of love and should be shared as a gift to the world. True.

After, I continued and facilitated the conversation from the front at the Eno board, punctuating our discussion with a bunch of quick Google searches to answer the questions that were brought up.

The Mona Lisa has a long and convoluted history. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci who was commissioned by some patron. Da Vinci had it in his possession while on a trip to France and sold it to King Francois. It became part of the Royal Art Collection, passing from monarch to monarch until the French Revolution. At this point the painting became part of the public art collection housed at The Louvre and overseen by the French Government. It was stolen by an Italian and returned to The Louvre two years later (where it is still housed).
Q: Is there any Copyright protection on da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?
A: No. The copyright laws were not invented at that time.

A basic tenet of copyright law is that once a copyright has expired, it enters the public domain, for all to use. But when someone adds a copyrightable contribution to a public domain work, that contribution is copyrightable.

Title: LHOOQ
Year: 1919
Artist: Marcel Duchamp (1887 – 1968)
License: Protected by French copyright until 2039 (life + 70 years)
We were floored that there are two copyright camps based on whether you are in the US or in France:
1. This image is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States prior to January 1, 1923. Other jurisdictions have other rules. Also note that this image may not be in the public domain in the 9th Circuit if it was published after July 1, 1909, unless the author is known to have died in 1940 or earlier (more than 70 years ago).

2. This file will not be in the public domain outside in its home country until January 1, 2039 and should not be transferred to Wikimedia Commons, as Commons requires that images be free in the source country and in the United States.

I shared a brilliant idea of printing T-shirts of Duchamp’s painting and selling them to French tourists as soon as they land in the US.

Then, we talked about Shepard Fairey’s Hope painting which was inspired by an Associated Press photograph. Essentially, the Associated Press commissioned Mannie Garcia to take photos of Obama at an event in 2006. Fairey adapted the photo in 2008, and his painting became immensely popular and was reproduced on button, tshirts, posters, sneakers, etc. The AP sued Fairey because Fairey did not ask permission to use the image, Fairey never cited the AP as the owner of the image, and the AP was not compensated. Fairey filed a countersuit saying he had Fair Use to adapt the original image. In an interview with Iggy Pop for Interview Magazine, Fairey states: I feel like what I did was both aesthetically and conceptually transformative. I think it’s fair use, but the Associated Press thinks it’s copyright infringement, and they’re really going after me.


Unfortunately, Fairey destroyed evidence. We clicked to the Wikipedia entry about Shepard Fairey and read: …in October 2009 Shepard Fairey admitted to trying to deceive the Court by destroying evidence that he had used the photograph alleged by the AP. His lawyers announced they were no longer representing him…In May 2010, a judge urged Fairey to settle. Another good source is this piece in the Huffington Post.

At the end of class, we revisited the legality of our own Photoshop renditions of Renaissance paintings. All of the paintings we used are in the Public Domain (since they were painted hundreds of years ago before copyright laws were created), and each student produced copyrightable contributions. However, I pointed out two main issues that could prevent us from copyrighting our versions of famous masterpieces:

1. Even though the artwork is in the public domain, the digital file we used was downloaded from Artstor.org.
On their website, Artstor declares it is a “non-profit digital image library for education and scholarship.” Columbia University subscribes to Artstor, and therefore my school has access to the library. Under their Terms and Conditions, Artstor permits use for classroom instruction, related activities, and noncommercial scholarly or educational presentation. I’m currently waiting to hear back from Artstor’s legal department to find out if my students could feasibly copyright their photoshopped version of an Artstor digital image of a public domain painting.

2. All of our work was done on Columbia’s hardware using Columbia’s software during a “work” day at Columbia.
Any discovery that a scientist or professor makes while on the job or using work equipment belongs to the company. Doesn’t that apply here too?


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