Are you really CC Savvy?

This is the post I wrote for the task in Week 2 of “Creative Commons for K-12 Educators”:

For this task I chose to teach my class about Creative Commons. The reason I am taking this course is to further my understanding of Creative Commons so that I can teach my class about it and then as ICT Leader inform the staff at my school. I teach a Year 3/4 class of 8-10 year olds. I think it is very important that my students have a grasp of Creative Commons as they use and create online content almost every day, often without a thought for the laws that apply.

Before the lesson I was wondering how they would go with the topic and how I could simplify it enough so that they could understand the content. I knew that they had very little prior knowledge except a vague understanding that Copyright protects content. Most of their understanding applied to movies and music created by organisations and famous artists. They didn’t have any understanding about Copyright or Creative Commons in relation to their own work.

My class responded really well to learning about Creative Commons. I thought they may find it boring but they were actually very interested and excited to be learning about it. I used lots of examples in the lesson to try and express how different people want to license their work with different options.

One student asked: “What happens if they don’t catch you?” This was a great question and led to a discussion about the ethics behind using other peoples work. We discussed the similarity in using online content without permission to shop lifting and not getting caught. My class agreed that taking online work without the correct permissions is not the right thing to do, even if they don’t get caught.

Some of the questions my class still have are:

  • Will they change the Copyright laws?
  • Will there be more Creative Commons symbols?
  • Who made the Copyright and Creative Commons law and when was it made?
  • Why is Copyright international?
  • How many people have been caught not following the law?
  • What if you copy a photo or music into your presentation but you don’t share it on the Internet?
  • What happens if you want to use a photo that you are not allowed to and you ask the person, but they don’t respond?

Creative Commons and Copyright is definitely a topic that my class will be revisiting. I hope that every time we create and use online content we will think about and discuss these laws. I also hope that my students might start to use the Creative Commons licensing tool to share their work.

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