Creative Commons…

I think it’s safe to say that the creative commons have everything to do with standard 3, “Research and Information Fluency.”  Students need to know what is ok to use and what is not.  They need to be able to find information (b and c), that is acceptable for public use, and then know how to use that information.

The exciting thing for me about the creative commons is how much freedom there really is for teachers.  I didn’t realize that there was so much flexibility in what educators can and cannot use.  I didn’t realize that the line is really drawn on what can be taken out of the classroom and what has to stay.  I think that in my case, most of the things I use from the internet, stay in the classroom.  I have never really worried about what I looked at and used, but when I saw the topic of creative commons appear on our class course, I got a little nervous.  The more I looked, the more I am confident about what I am doing.  I tend to use a lot of youtube videos, graphics, and things I just pull off line real quickly.  I am very glad to hear that most of the things I do are ok (and now I’m much more conscience of what I shouldn’t use!).

I think where a lot of teachers get into trouble is photocopying   I know that I have done things I shouldn’t have and now know is not ok.  Since I am a new teacher, I think I have more of an awareness than lots of older, more experienced teachers do about what to use and how to use it.  Since this is something that is not very closely regulated, I think a lot of teachers take this for granted.  There are not any “copying police” that teachers are worried about.  Also, I think that it is a topic that is not talked about all that often.  Unless you are taking classes (like I am), you probably won’t be talked to about how to use things and how to not use different resources.  I do think that there are many infringements, most of them very minor in schools, but none the less, infringements.

As an elementary teacher, my team and I use graphics a lot when we send things home.  We put cute little pictures on papers, put pictures next to our spelling words, and throw different images into our flip-charts.  Most of the time i think this is ok.  Do you guys think it’s ok to put random pictures on homework for spelling?  That’s a part of the classroom right?

I think there are some gray areas when it comes to creative commons, but for the most part I was happy to hear about all the freedoms that educators have.  I hope that teachers don’t begin to take advantage and get some of these privileges taken away.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the internet to help me educate my students!

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4 thoughts on “Creative Commons…

  1. I agree with you that a lot of teachers photocopy worksheets without thinking about copyright. Some books that you buy allow you to photocopy the worksheets because that is how they are designed, and some websites provide worksheets that can be printed and copied for free. I think that teachers need to be aware of which items they can photocopy and which items are considered “consumables”. I personally prefer to make my own worksheets whenever possible because this allows me to tailor the activity to the needs of the class, and I do not have to worry about copyright because it is something that I created myself.

    From what I understood from the Fair Use videos, it is okay to use pictures on homework because it is still part of your instruction. (If I am way off base, please let me know!). I would think that if you were sending home a quick letter to parents or a permission slip, you would want to make sure that you are using pictures that fall under creative commons, not just any pictures, because I do not think that would qualify as instruction, so it doesn’t fall under Fair Use.

  2. I think it’s totally fine if you’re using pictures from the internet to decorate your homework sheets. Based on my understanding of ‘fair use’, as long as you’re using it for an original purpose, such as decorating homework, and not claiming it as your own, I think you’re in the clear. I also agree with the last paragraph from the previous commentator, there’s no harm in checking whether or not the work falls under ‘fair use’ via creative commons.

    Photocopies are crazy to think about under copyright laws! However, I think schools buy curriculum knowing teachers will use certain things over and over again and expect you to copy things. I think if you started to make your own textbook with other text’s resources that would be problematic.

    All this being said, I’m sure you’re using things appropriately. Best of luck with your year!

  3. I completely agree with your feeling of excitement on the freedom educators have in terms of copyright law. I am one of those teachers that have never really thought about infringement upon copyright laws in the classroom. It was never something that came up in my undergrad and never something that I bothered to look up because I never really even thought about it. This is why it makes me happy to know that using something for educational purposes falls under the “fair use” section of copyright law. Now I know for certain that I have not broken any rules when it comes to copyright.

    In terms of your question, as a high school teacher I don’t often need to put pictures on things for my students. However, recently in my Psychology class we were learning about the Gestalt principles of perception and I actually used pictures on their tests! I think that this is completely alright even if you send the pictures home on worksheets because they are still being used for an educational purpose.

  4. “They need to be able to find information” I agree with you completely. In school we were taught how to find books in the library which was helpful when doing a project. However, little instruction was given on how to find things for use online via the internet. Not really sure if it was because the internet wasn’t supper popular or assessable at the time, or just if teachers didn’t know how to instruct students on how to do so…

    ” I tend to use a lot of youtube videos” video’s can be very powerful, I totally support you in using them. I like that most the time they are short and too the point, great learning tool and break from the monotony of traditional lecturing.

    “Do you guys think it’s ok to put random pictures on homework for spelling?” Well pictures that pertain to the spelling words or the subject matter of the homework assignment yes, not just “random” pictures that might confuse the little ones.

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