But what exactly is copyright? I would describe basic copyright laws as meaning that all rights are reserved to the person who originally produced the digital material- the copying, distributing, displaying, or adapting of digital media found online is prohibited (Figg, 2013). This means, as a Canadian teacher, that in order to use online material, I must ensure that it has a Creative Common (CC) license that allows distribution.
I believe the most important thing to teach students is exactly what copyright really means. Having a whole class discussion on what copyright means is a great way to probe questions that invite critical thinking, as well as inform students about infringement and how to avoid infringement all together. A great way to begin this discussion is by asking students how they would feel if a stranger or one of their friends took their homework without asking permission. This is essentially the same thing as finding someone else's idea or information on the Internet and taking it without permission. It is important to ensure that students know that the information found online has been created by someone else, and we can not take it without permission and providing credit to that person. As an educator, it is my job to each my students about copyright and to model correct behaviour in the classroom by ensuring that all materials I use is copyright-friendly.
|This image of children and computers is attribution-free. The link for others to use: https://pixabay.com/en/children-win-success-video-game-5993313/|
A great way to teach students about copyright using a hands-on method is to have students create their own images and get them to apply the Creative Commons license (CC) for others to use. This activity is an excellent way to give students the opportunity to be creative, learn about technology, and learn about copyright by applying their knowledge of proper attribution.