How would you plan to advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources?
A major skill taught in every single school across the nation, is citing your work. As students grow in age and schoolyear, the way in which they cite where they are getting information from and using it within their research paper is an evolving practice. Though schools do a great job in teaching what citations/ reference pages look like and how to create a reference list, students still need to be taught the why aspect to fully understand the importance of citing your work.
Every year that I teach about creating citations and how to format them, the class always comes to a point where a discussion is needed about why the students have to cite their research. Giving credit to someone else’s ideas is not always an easy aspect of the subject to teach because so many students assume that if they can access the information than it must be free to use. Making sure that the students understand the idea of intellectual property, and that if they were to come up with a very specific idea, or invention, they would want credit for it and would not want people just taking it and using it however they wanted. From there, explaining what copyright is would be an important step in my room; “Copyright is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used” (Copyright and Fair Use). Making sure students know a copyright is to protect the creator of the idea or piece of work is very important, and something they would like if the work was there’s.
From the initial discussion on what copyright is and why it is important within education, providing some helpful sources to my students would be very important. For example, showing the video, ‘Creative Commons Kiwi’ (Creative Commons explained) that helps explain what Creative Commons is and how it works would be something that is very helpful in explaining how the students could take advantage of this source. To build off of employing Creative Commons and the important model the website provides, I think it would be important to also talk about freedom of information in general, and how through proper uses of copyright and citations, work stays more accessible to all of us, especially in the United States (Progressive Visions). I think that it is important for students to realize the benefits they incur by having so much access to so many different types of materials, and one of those reasons is through copyright protections of someone’s work. This is seen to be true once again with a website like Creative Commons, where the website has connected over 80 countries as a global digital sharing platform for information and ideas (State of the Commons). Introducing this to the students and teaching how they can use a site like this for their benefit would be extremely helpful in their research and ability to gather information.
One last way I could better teach copyright to my students, is to become more knowledge on the topic as a whole. For example, seeking out new PD opportunities to become more aware of the laws and how to navigate them, and find time to read educational books on the subject, like Copyright Clarity, by Renee Hobbs, where it starts to explain; “What do educators really need to know about copyright? Well, it turns out that we’re in the middle of a great civic and cultural awakening about the topic of copyright and fair use, one that’s increasing in visibility and importance as a result of the Internet and communications technology. Educators have a vital role to play in this process” (Preface ix). Becoming more knowledgeable in this topic would be very beneficial for my own safe and effective use, but also for my students, and taking the time to read books such as these would greatly improve my ability to model appropriate documentation of sources.
Creative Commons (2012). Creative Commons explained. http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/video/creative-commons-explained-video/
Creative Commons (2015). State of the Commons. https://stateof.creativecommons.org/2015/
Electronic Frontier Foundation (2015). Progressive Visions for the Future of Copyright in Europe. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/progressive-visions-future-copyright-europe
Hobbs, R., & National Council of Teachers of, E. (2010). Copyright Clarity : How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin. Retrieved from: http://0-web.b.ebscohost.com.www.consuls.org/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/ZTAwMHhuYV9fNDcwNTQ3X19BTg2?sid=0ad9e004-0f1f-48db-85db-46ec67fcd90e@sessionmgr1&vid=3&format=EB&rid=3
University of Maryland University College (2011). Copyright and Fair Use in the UMOC Online or Face-to-Face Classroom. http://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/copyright.cfm