It’s Not a Load of Cite

I am not afraid to admit that up until the start of this year, I had lost my way with copyright, citations etc – I put this down to moving away from the UK – see paragraph 3. I had a somewhat laissez-faire approach to citations and general use of images in the classroom. I wanted to focus on using the best available resources to improve learning opportunities for my students. Although, having read through the resources available for this week’s task, combined with working at a school that puts a lot of emphasis on citing works, this previous model was paradoxical; because the learning opportunity regarding copyright was overlooked. I dare say that I am not alone when it comes to not having a lot of knowledge about copyright, but this week’s readings have gone some way to solve that problem. Furthermore, it is now clear to me that I should take the lead in passing on this information to my students and colleagues. Yes, there will be a load of citations to do done, but it is a worthwhile habit for the remix culture.

Don’t Be a Copyright Cowboy

Photo by Blake Guidry on Unsplash

In the case of citations and deciding whether or not it is ok to use someone else’s work – a little learning is a dangerous thing…
I think the copyright flow chart provided by the excellent people at Langwitches, isn’t so much flow as it is a tidal wave of pictures and text. Initially I found the information harder to digest than drinking a bucket of concentrated prune juice. However, I persevered (for an extra 5 minutes) and now I am confident with the facts! The best way we can inform our students and colleagues is to model the correct behaviour. For example, earlier this week I gave a presentation to parents on what our school is doing to promote digital citizenship in the classroom and beyond. My presentation contained images from Unsplash, Flixr and Pixabay but I didn’t have time to put the references directly below each image – instead I put them in the slide notes. So I told the parents that I would not share the presentation until I had updated it to include the citations below each image. Another example would be for this very blog! I quickly sketched out a little stick person holding a placard saying “Citations Needed”. I then created an account on Flixr and uploaded my masterpiece, choosing what I felt was an appropriate license* for this work, given that it took me 17 seconds to create. *It is public domain. But the best bit about this process is that I cannot wait to teach it to the students next week! I will almost certainly remix the fantastic poster from Langwitches on how to cite images in your blog.
In conclusion, at times the internet feels like a digital manifestation of the Wild West – but let’s not create a generation of binary cowboys/girls, where anything goes when it comes to copyright and citations.

Expat Copyright Travel Guide

A male passenger sitting at an airport looking out at a plant taking off.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

The question “how to teach copyright in countries where international copyright law is not clearly defined or followed” is easy to answer. You teach your students to be global digital citizens – and as this arena includes countries with strong copyright laws, I think we should use those as a bench mark and teach to these standards – whether or note they are applicable in the country we teach. I have now taught in 3 countries, these are: England, Cambodia and China. The former of the three has strong copyright law, and for the most part, is applied in schools. However, on moving to Cambodia and then China, it became apparent, very quickly, that copyright is, seemingly, more of a set of loose guidelines. As I stated above, this had some effect on my approach to copyright and citations for a while. But fear not friends, as I am back into the copyright correctness room. But here’s the thing – not all my students will have had my experience of living in countries with different expectations of copyright law – therefore it may be harder for them to appreciate the rules associated with citations and copyright licenses – so we need to be aware of this before moving forwards. It does help to have a curriculum that supports citations, i.e. IB and to have knowledgeable colleagues; at our school we have a super hero in the guise of the librarian, who has various super powers such as Noodle Tools, to help students get their citations right.

Create the Culture

Graffiti on a brick wal saying Together, We Create

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

We not only have the obligation to teach copyright and citations, but we have the opportunity to promote the participate culture and get our students remixing it up! Just think of the possibilities to really empower our students to become empowered (ISTE Student 1B and 2C) and build networks* on Flixr, unsplash and the like! *They are already doing this with gaming, YouTube and social media. It also provides an truly excellent stage for them to carefully curate a positive digital footprint (spoiler I will be doing this very thing with my students in April/May).
In the Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture I came across a term that I can definelty relate to which is Circulations – shaping the flow of media. This is something I am trying to do with my ramblings on this blog, perhaps my fellow COETAILERs can also vouch for this? The second thing that really stood out, at least in page 3-6, is that it states that “more than one-half of all teens have created media content, and roughly one- third of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced.” Well, I am going to challenge my students to beat this, to 100% will create and share content, and to give their work the most appropriate licensing while they are at it – together, we can create.


And Finally, GET

Although Google of course has an excellent search facility, it should certainly make it more obvious on how the Tools – Usage rights options made available to the user. This is an awesome facility which allows you to search by different usage rights according to licence. As mentioned in the GET unit for this week, several of the different apps listed could be used to support our colleagues and other educators around the globe. My pick would be Google Sites, Drive and Hangouts (R.I.P. Google+). Google sites could be used to create a PD site, with different areas relating to intellectual copyright, citations and so on, any resources would of course be saved and shared on Google Drives (Teams?), with Hangouts used for more organic conversations – rather than email.

3 comments to “It’s Not a Load of Cite”
3 comments to “It’s Not a Load of Cite”
  1. David, I like that you put yourself out there in front of parents to admit your own folly, but also to speak to how you will correct yourself before you share the slides and presentation with them. I think they will respect this in the long run, and it gives them an indication of the level of professionalism they should be teaching their own students when it comes to copyright laws and citations.

    I like your approach to the question of teaching copyright laws in countries that do not have it defined. Teaching good digital citizen skills and how to be a good global citizen are important and I believe will help our students, even when the waters are murky around the laws. I am curious to know what program you are using for digital citizenship and if you are having success with it?

    • Thanks for your comment Ryan 🙂 Copyright and citations, and the like, is a challenging area to understand initially, to say the least. I hope that by showing parents/teachers that I am still learning and improving in this area, may go someway to getting them onboard and therefore back up at home with what we are trying to push at school.

      Upon reflection of my own blog, I think the question of teaching copyright laws across different countries can be approached from a much simplier point of view. Perhaps if we can show the students why the laws exist in the first place, it may be easier for them to accept why we are teaching them to acknowledge them.

      I am remixing digital citizenship up more than a cement mixer set to 100mph. I use a bunch of programs from Common Sense to Reach Out; which I adapt to try and best fit the needs of our students. I’ll share them in Slack, as my citations here (as well) are due an overhaul.

  2. David, I can totally identify with your experience of slipping into the “laissez-faire” approach to copyright when moving to a country where there is little or no emphasis put on them. As I imagine with most people, my citation game was at its strongest immediately after graduating from university, but shortly after that I moved to Thailand. In my new school it was common practice to photocopy whole text books, or copying branding and designs for promotional material. Needless to say image citation was not something people thought much of.
    Having spent a few years in Europe now, I’ve had to spring back into a more “moral” form, however I still struggle with balancing how much emphasis to put on correct citation and understanding copyright with the younger grades. I like your idea above of focusing on showing students why the laws exist in order for them to feel that they have importance and meaning, and hopefully give them some good habits at a younger age.

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