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Are You Information Savvy?: Creator

Savvy Creator: How do you create new information or knowledge?

Why does this matter?
You are not only a consumer of information but also a creator. This may mean creating something entirely new or modifying an existing resource to share ideas and concepts.

You have an Astronomy assignment to share your research results with the class, but instead of a traditional research paper, the instructor would like you to create a video, podcast, or poster to convey your research results. What tools could you use to do this? How might you find images for use on a poster without having to worry about possible copyright violations? 

Tools For Creating

Do you need assistance with specific software or technical skills? Check-out LinkedIn Learning* (formerly an online training resource containing thousands of videos on the latest software tools and skills. All U Sask students, faculty and staff have free and unlimited access to this resource.

Name of Tool Description Use For Creators
Creative Commons The site for finding out about Creative Commons licenses and for searching for images, music, and other files that carry a Creative Commons open license. Use Creative Commons licensed materials for educational and other purposes without having to worry about most of the limitations set by copyright restrictions. Also, determine what open license you may wish to put on your own work.

Google Slides / Slide Carnival / 
Haiku Deck / 
Keynote (Mac) / 
PowerPoint / 

Slide creation and presentation tools  Can be used to create slide presentations or posters. Also a useful tool for communication.

Sources for images:

Use Creative Commons licensed materials for educational and other purposes without having to worry about most of the limitations set by copyright restrictions.

Always provide credit to all your images even if the site states no attribution required.

This video provides more information on finding and using images in your work.

Audacity Audio recording and editing software. It is a free and cross-platform tool. Can be used to create audio files including for podcasts.
Blog (Wordpress supported at USask)* A blog (short for web log) is an online tools that can be used for sharing reflections, news, photographs, and other pieces of information that others may comments on. It may be public or private. It can have more than one contributor / author. Write blog posts that may include text and media. Also a useful tool for curation and communication.
Screencast-O-Matic Web-based screencast creation and editing tool. Can be used to create and edit videos of slides presentations with voice over.

*Tools officially supported at the University of Saskatchewan.

Resources for Creating

Seneca College's Sandbox website has an amazing array of information (e.g. instructions, tips, examples, modules) on creating and communicating various digital media projects, including:

  • Present Awesomely
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Student Video Projects
  • Creating Infographics
  • Simply Awesome Websites
  • Creating an ePitch
  • Creating Educational Videos
  • Designing Digital Assignments
  • Finding Free Images and Audio Online

Creating a Podcast

This blog post (from the University's Distance Education Unit) provides information for both instructors and students on designing a podcast for an assignment.  There are tips and resources for students as well as information specific to submitting audio files via Canvas.


Using, Creating, and Sharing Ethically

When you create something new or re-mix existing works, likely you have consulted others' ideas, works, etc., to inform your own creation whether that is a research paper, an infographic, or a presentation.   It is important to work with integrity and give a formal shout-out to all of those that help shape your own work. 

An initial step is to ensure you are working ethically and with integrity, meaning you are not stealing other people's works and representing them as your own.  That is not cool and even more serious, you could get into serious trouble for academic misconduct for committing plagiarism. 

Your best bet is to always provide attribution, or credit, to the ideas and works that are not your own. Basically, always give credit where credit is due!  What does this look like in practice?  The Writing Centre and the University Library has many resources on how to paraphrase, summarize, and cite, including

Academic integrity means as a member of the scholarly community, you act with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.

The University created an academic integrity tutorial which introduces the concept via the following three modules:

Module 1: academic integrity and the values associated with it.

Module 2: students' rights and responsibilities and the university’s policies that govern academic misconduct.

Module 3: developing the academic skills that help to prevent academic misconduct.

Open Licenses For Your Work

This video provides an introduction on how to assign an open license to the work you created.

Want to discover more?

Chapter 7: Ethical Use and Citing Sources and Chapter 8: How to Cite Sources (from the e-book Choosing and Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research)  provides practical information on why it is important to cite sources and how to go about doing this.