CABOCES Student Programs is collaborating with iDESIGN Solutions to bring more esports gaming opportunities to middle and high school students in the region. The newly created Empire Esports League (EEL) is set to kick off with pre-season scrimmages during the first week of October. There will be two eight-week seasons, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, offered this school year. A seasoned esports league commissioner will oversee all play. Three to eight players can form a team and districts can field multiple teams. Teams will have the flexibility to choose the day and time to play their opponent each week. All match results will be submitted by 10:00 pm each Friday.
Regular season play of the Fall 2021 league, featuring Rocket League, is set to begin October 11th. Bolivar-Richburg Central School, Cuba Rushford Central School, Wellsville Central School, and Whitesville Central School have already registered teams.
A Championship event will take place in December, either remotely or in-person in Buffalo, New York. Banners and trophies will be awarded to the top schools.
The Spring 2022 season will follow a similar timeline, with new games added.
For more information on the Empire Esports League (EEL) go to https://empireesportsleague.com/
To learn how to start an esports program in your school or to register a team, go to https://empireesportsleague.com/events and contact Jean Oliverio (Jean_oliverio@caboces.org, 716-376-8323).
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programs
School librarians are required to have a graduate course in copyright law, and it was one of my favorites for its practicality. It’s relatively easy to understand when applied to the rights of the creator, however, this understanding can become muddled when Fair Use is applied. Librarians not only manage resources but have a professional code of ethics to follow, in which one of the eight articles specifically mentions copyright. With this knowledge, school librarians have a responsibility to provide guidance in how resources are viewed, used, copied, and streamed within the public-school setting.
Years ago, before technology provided fingertips easy access to a plethora of resources, there were simple guidelines for using music, photocopying print materials, and viewing videos. Not only has technology changed how we retrieve resources, but it has also drastically changed how we share resources - like videos.
Streaming videos from Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Netflix into the school environment is quite easy to do but the licensing agreement applies to the subscriber’s in-home use only. Even with a movie license purchased through SWANK/Movie Licensing USA and Motion Picture Licensing Corp. (which may be purchased through the Library 510 CoSer), streaming a movie from a personal account is not permitted.
So how do educators use videos for classroom use? There are three options. One is to use a physical DVD and measure its use against a Fair Use checklist, like this one from Cornell University: https://copyright.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/2016-10/Fair_Use_Checklist.pdf The DVD may be from a home collection, rented from a vendor like RedBox, or borrowed from a library.
The second option is to use streamed videos from CA BOCES’ Learning Resources. PBS, Discovery Ed, and CCC Streaming. Videos are educational, entertaining, complement curricula, and have already been vetted for Fair Use.
The third option is purchasing video streaming services through SWANK/Movie Licensing USA. It is rather inexpensive and offers 200 popular titles frequently requested by educators. Additionally, a school may submit an additional 15 titles into the collection.
What if an educator, parent group, or student club would like to host a movie viewing for entertainment? An umbrella movie license is required and is relatively inexpensive when purchased through the Library 510 CoSer. If a movie’s title is within the bank of titles listed, the video may be shown but it cannot be streamed from a personal account. Many schools choose to have a community event and host a free movie night. Snacks and beverages may be sold to raise funds. If admission is charged for viewing the movie, it must be applied to the cost of the movie license.
Although this is a quick overview due to limited space, I am happy to provide you with further information or answer additional questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org or (716) 376-8206.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
For the last several years, educators have been keen on utilizing drones as a tool for teaching and learning and have had to overcome a few obstacles along the way. Insurance options? Check. Students verified as recreational users? Done. Part 107 preparation for educators? No problem. However, with several changes in regulations taking place over the last year, it is due time to highlight some key details to help ensure that educators are appropriately taking to the sky.
As of April 21, 2021, new regulations regarding operations over people, over moving vehicles, and at night went into effect. “Drone pilots operating under Part 107 may fly at night, over people and moving vehicles without a waiver as long as they meet the requirements defined in the rule” (FAA).
Similarly, “All drone pilots required to register their UAS must operate their aircraft in accordance with the final rule on remote ID beginning September 16, 2023” (FAA). Essentially, this rule indicates that drones must be enabled with the ability to be identified remotely by other parties.
Most importantly, as of June, 2021, recreational fliers must pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). Public schools this is both good and bad news. One the one hand, it is good since there has been additional clarity offered regarding whether educators fall under the commercial or recreational use classification; it seems more clear, now, that schools meet the requirements of a “community-based organization” and educators can be acknowledged as recreational users when utilizing drones for educational purposes.
The down side, albeit minimal, is that students also fall within the recreational user definition, and consequently, must be able to verify a completed TRUST certification as well. While the certification process itself is simple, the list of providers minimally require an email address and a name for the individual seeking certification which means a data privacy agreement must be obtained to be in compliance with Education Law 2-D. Until agreements have been reached, it is recommended for students to obtain their TRUST certification at home under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
DJI Mavic Mini/Mini 2
Not only are regulations changing, but the technology is as well. To make sure drone pilots were more easily able to fly and avoid Part 107 regulations, DJI released the Mavic Mini (and more recently the Mini 2) weighing only 249 grams, 1 gram beneath the regulation requirements. While this drone is small, it still captures high quality photos and video.
Like the larger Phantom and Mavic models, the Mini is extremely easy to operate, but the fly more bundle is substantially cheaper for the DJI Mavic Mini and the DJI Mini 2 at $399 and $599 respectively.
Lastly, I think it is important to bring us back to educational implications. There are limited curricular resources written that utilize drones as an educational tool and are freely available, so educators must carefully consider the ways in which they intend to facilitate learning with these devices. To keep the conversation going around educational drone curriculum, reach out to Mark_Beckwith@caboces.org
By: Mark Beckwith, CA BOCES Professional Development
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