Creative Credit, Copyright and Fair Use



The Leading Edge Certification for the Digital Educator course includes a section on Digital Citizenship. The content for that section is displayed below. 
  1. Take a moment to read the content first, to understand which digital citizenship topics are being addressed. 

  2. Choose one activity from the several listed (and hyperlinked) to explore in-depth.  

Copyright and Fair Use

Kids live in a "copy/paste culture" where they often think, if it's online, it's mine! Most teachers have experienced some kind of problem with student plagiarism and/or improper citation (or lack thereof). Palfrey et al. (2009) found, in research with 12-22 year-olds, young people are fairly ignorant of their rights and restrictions with copyright law, but yet show an interest in the rights and livelihoods of creators. In a digital age, it's more important than ever that students learn about copyright, fair use, and attribution. And, in a digital age we no longer cite just the quotes we use from a book or article, but the images, videos, and websites we use too.

 Read and/or watch the following resources to get familiar with fair use and copyright:

Another aspect that falls under copyright is learning about the legal and ethical issues regarding piracy (illegal downloading of music, movies, software, etc.). Read this article to get a background on how piracy affects everyone, and why education is an important part of the solution (Forbes, 2012). 

Teaching about copyright does not have to be one-sided in having students learn their responsibilities as creators in a digital world. They also should learn about their rights as creators--particularly their rights to fair use. One question that most students get invested in is: How would you allow others to use your work (can others share it, alter it, make money from it, etc.)? Students can also learn about Creative Commons, an alternative to copyright that gives people the right to share, use, and even alter and build upon a work. Watch this short video about Creative Commons and  explore the different types of licenses. 


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