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Copyright and Kids…

Image from: brisbanegrammar.com

Image from: brisbanegrammar.com

As you may be aware i have been completing a Certificate in Emerging Technologies through VITTA. Over 4 great workshops we have covered everything from Podcasting to Blogging to Wiki’s to Mobile Technology integration. The 4th and final session held this evening was focused on Copyright and Digital Citizenship. Thanks to Jo Mcleay for hosting this great workshop and sharing her resources!  

Students and copyright… Music, film, text, and image, all of which play a major factor in the technological lives of our digital natives. Students we have found can be so very blase’ about breaching copyright laws and using others’ work and, either claim it as their own, or use that persons works without referencing and citing it as they should.

Now.. in the big scheme of teaching students about ICT, educating them about Copyright, Cyber Safety and being a good ‘Cyber Citizen’ can be perhaps, arguably, quite mind numbingly boring! As teachers it is easy to see that students/teenagers do not place a large focus on the above, especially by the way that they can occasionally speak to one another online. As educators on a daily basis we do place a focus on teaching students to be great citizens, therefore we need to do the same whilst they are online. We need to model effectively how to deal with issues surrounding copyright and pirated material and how to use and where to find legitiamte digital material, whether it be audio, image or film. One small way i have combated students NOT using music for presentations in an illegal way, is to have them create their own music and audio tracks. Software such as Garage Band has been instrumental in educating students about the rigours of creating original scores of music to embed in to their own presentations. Once discussed, students usually get a very good idea as to how they’d be feeling if others were ‘using’ their created pieces without their permission. They feel even more strongly about this once they realise that they could also be loosing money as well, in theory!

Lately I have moved away from using the term ‘Cyber’ and moved to using ‘Digital’. I feel once students hear the word Cyber (safety, safe, smart), they immediately switch off. As an educator the most powerful way i can educate my students about copyright and being a good digital citizen is to model what i do in front of them.

During the latest workshop of completing my Emerging Technologies Cert, we investigated in depth copyright terms and conditions. Trying to get my head around what breached copyright, what did not, what OER was, what this meant and what that meant all started to do my head in! Slowly it all started to make sense and from the excellent resources that Jo has shared, I started to get a better understanding of all of this.

One great example we viewed of a short film NOT breaching copyright laws can be found below. As you watch you may be well aware as to why… 😉

To reflect upon the workshop i suppose that as i have mentioned it is about demonstrating good practice in front of students. By discussing copyright issues as you teach as they arise, you can inform your students that what they may be doing is illegal, and that they can be charged for it. As i have told my students not all that long ago, a 24 year old man in Queensland was sued and find $1,500,000 for illegally uploading a Super Mario Game via the web to share with others who, I assume, were too tight to pay for it! The article for this story can be found HERE. An interesting discussion piece.

We need to be teaching valuable notions throughout our teaching practice. Pull out these teaching moments and share them explicitly.

Several resources that we looked at this evening are linked below and are great for locating some excellent Creative Commons based material!

Flickr Creative Commons

OER Commons

Creative Commons.org

Creative Commons Australia.org

Australian Copyright Council