Monday, October 19, 2009

Creative Commons

One thing that I am becoming increasingly interested in is the use of Creative Commons in the classroom. In particular the use of visual works by students. One thing that I see commonly happening in the classroom is the use of copyrighted images for work. I have also begun to think more deeply about this and how this relates within my own classroom.

As teachers we often talk of plagarism. "Don't copy work, otherwise it's just like stealing... etc etc." "If you take written work, remember to write down the book... the website..." Often we only talk about this on a text level and then are more than happy for students to "google" an image to copy, paste and use without acknowledgement to who or where it has come from. As a keen photographer, I put a lot of hard work into creating powerful and interesting images when I photograph. I don't see this as any different from someone who has taken the time to create a piece of text. So what makes images and text so different?

Creative Commons is working along the principles of the web - sharing, creating and collaborating within a context that allows for acknowledgement of creation. If an image is shared under CC it can work in a number of ways (see here for more information). But most importantly - it is opening up the content that is being created to allow our students to continue the creating and remixing that many of them are used to. The main underlying idea is the idea of acknowledgement of work - or attribution. If work is taken from somebody and used in the ways they allow - they should be acknowledged for this. Whether is be a design, a drawing, a photograph, a piece of music, a movie or a piece of text.

This is an important piece of information and a huge movement, that our students need to be aware of. Last term, I begun talking more about this and developing the knowledge of creative commons licenced work with my students - most importantly attribution of all work taken. I am stoked to see that many of them prefer to create their own content. The flip side to this is that they also need to understand the rights that they have to place copyright or creative commons on their work, as they own it. This is something that I can see many of my students don't understand by openly sharing their work via the internet. It is something I will be thinking more about over the next term - I would like to talk more with my students about this and see what their understandings and ideas are on copyright and creative commons.

Image used under CC:

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