Last year, the sixth through eighth grade worked on the ideas behind copyright, fair use, and plagiarism. It's a topic that needs to come up every year, at every grade level. I'm going to be using the work the students created last year as a springboard for the idea of Creative Commons.
We will start with a survey. I'm very interested in seeing how the students respond to five short questions
1. You are making a video for your classmates at the end of the year with photos of everyone from the last nine years of school. You own Martina McBride's song "Blessed". You include the whole track with a large selection of photos. Is this fair use? Yes/ No
2. You work to put together parts of news clips from ABC, CBS, and NBC on a computer video. You like it so much, you want to put it on a CD the school sells to promote the projects students create. Is this fair use? Yes/ No
3. You interview people in Cranford about their roles in 9/11. It is loaded on the Saint Michael School web site to demonstrate your work. Another school in the US downloads the video clips for a 9/11 night. Is this fair use? Yes/ No
4. You write the DAR essay and find a web site that really provides great information on spies in the American Revolution. You cut and paste sections into the report. You don't include it in your bibliography. What is this called? Copyright/ Fair Use/ Plagiarism
5. You created a project about topics you are learning in science class. It is so good, your teacher wants to post it on the school wiki. You found photos on the NASA and Discovery Channel's web sites. Which photos have to be removed from the project? NASA/ Discovery Channel/ All/ None
I found a link to a resource via Clarence Fisher's blog post for a Copyright Comic. The students will read through the comic when they have finished taking the survey. This will lead them back to work they completed in Voicethreads from last year. I added a few questions for reflection. Finally, we will gather at the Promethean board to brainstorm words that should go around a bulletin board display on the side of the room. I want to add some words that describe the basic concept of copyright to the right of the current display.
Why Creative Commons?
When we create movies, podcasts, and other work in the computer lab I must be able to point the students to resources that can be used to enhance their work. I have found invaluable resources at podsafeaudio to create movies out of family vacation photos, a presentation that I am working on for the K12 Online Conference, and images for my blog. I want the students to recognize that they can have very professional looking and sounding work without breaking copyright law.
Making It Personal
We will be looking at videos from the Creative Commons organization to learn about the choices they have for their own work. Once we gain a bit of understanding, I will be having the students create little animated aquariums. They will be able to post their animation with the license of their choice. Hopefully, the will continue to build on their working knowledge of these important topics as a result of this work.
Photo of my classroom bulletin board by me.