Saturday, May 22, 2010

Important conversations

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Last week I had the responsibility to create a trial presentation on Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain and Creative Commons to stimulate conversation amongst the teaching staff to help them understand what is allowed and what is not, and what is the best way to reduce copyright infringement.

I spent a considerable amount of time researching "fair use" as this is very grey area, and found to my surprise that a lot more is allowed than previously understood. The copyright owners have used fear to blindside us into trembling when we use resources in education, however, if a resource is legitimately acquired, there are many uses under the umbrella of education.

The conversation we had with the two teachers that came (one a visual arts teacher) was stimulating and useful, and I think they went away feeling a little more confident about their rights as users of information, but what was most rewarding was that I was able to explain and show them the new Creative Commons and how finding resources that could legitimately be used without fear.

They were surprised about the advanced searches on both Google and Flickr which allow searches for different levels of licensing, and they were also interested in how copyright holders can take control over who and how people use their creations.

Our school has just created an Academic Honesty policy, and so this conversation will continue next school year as we as educators try to model and teach what Academic Honesty is and also move toward our students as producers of creations rather than just users, implementing the creative commons to their own works as both users and producers.

The Prezi I compiled and created is embedded below. It is not comprehensive explanation of copyright, fair use and Creative commons, it is a conversation starter. We stopped between each slide and discussed what we learned, how it affects us and how we should model it. I have also ordered the book "Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning" by Renee Hobbs to help me understand more.

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