Copyright, Credit, Citations


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This post could not come at a more appropriate time!  Respecting intellectual property is something that my school struggles with but to get the students on board, I feel like I need to get the teachers on board.  Since I work at a primary school and I’m not in every classroom, it is up to the teachers to model how to address copyright issues while being a part of a participatory culture.  I find that it’s a problem at my school because we don’t have a culture ingrained in our teachers that respect intellectual property…yet.  I’m hoping to help my teachers grow in this area by bringing them some awareness.  This is our first year adopting the ISTE standards and our expectations for teachers this year is to become familiar with the standards.  We are hoping to create an Acceptable Use Policy this year and start next year with expectations built in regarding digital citizenship for both teachers AND students.

As the Tech. Integration Coordinator, it is my job to be the role model for the teachers and the students at my school.  Looking back at my blog posts for Course 1, I was very proud of myself that almost all of the images I used were from which is a website that offers free images that don’t require any attribution for either personal or commercial use.  When there wasn’t any attribution required, I didn’t include any but for some of the icons from, credit was required for some images and I correctly gave them credit. While researching the origins of the SAMR visual I used in my Course 1 Final Project, I traced the origins to here and had a moment of panic when I noticed that others were asking him for permission to use the graphic because I did not!  After digging around a bit more, I realized it’s because it had the creative commons logo on the bottom corner of the image.  Phew!  Tech Coordinator Crisis averted! There were some missteps here and there – I tried citing an image in the Alt-Text box when uploading the image because I thought it would give the information as you hovered over the image (it didn’t) and I did forget to include links for some of the articles that I referred to in my posts.  Going forward, and after the articles this week, I think it would be a great way to show respect for the creator by giving credit for their work – even if it’s not required.

It is an obligation for educators to teach students on how to become full participants in the participatory culture because this is part of the skill set of the 21st Century.   It’s not only about learning about copyrights or how to cite. It’s also about how to respect the content, when and how they can use the content in order to remix it in their own way.   I want students to understand that its not always about “stealing” other ideas but that there is a collaborative ecology where we can still respect the creator but express ourselves in certain ways.

I tried to think if I was an active “re-mixer” of any participatory culture but the closest thing I could think of was my hobby of bullet journaling. Even though the content that is created is not media oriented, everything else follows the different parts of a participatory culture.  The way that this culture is shared is through social media such as Pinterest or Instagram.  There is a informal community, online and in offline.  I have connected with hashtags on Instagram and followed others that I feel like would be good mentors on Instagram.  Aside from the basic components, there is a lot of room for individual expression.  I gain so much knowledge and information about bullet journal via the online community and I use their work to inspire my own work inside my bullet journal.  That is my version of being an “active re-mixer.”  I’m hoping that this self-awareness will help me encourage and inspire my students to be re-mixers themselves.

Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

4 thoughts on “Copyright, Credit, Citations

  1. Thanks for a great reflection on how your school works with copyright. Thanks also for some resources to use to find pictures online.
    Respecting intellectual property as a school culture can be difficult. It is odd that we spend all of our own academic careers adhering to different methods of academic honesty, then once in the classroom kind of start to forget about it. It is great though that your school has started by adopting standards and beginning to think about how these affect teacher practice. I guess it all comes down to how we model, and what types of guidelines we set in place in the teacher handbooks.
    I really like what you say about how when we are teaching about a participatory culture we are not just teaching students not to steal, but that we are respecting the original creator through our own creativity. It is so important to use positive language in how we set out expectations for students and not simply create a list of rules, more of a list of “I can” statements.
    I also agree with how you are a re-mixer even in your offline work. I have also been doing something similar to what you describe but with doodling and creating collages of art with my doodles. In the world of art (and I am not calling my own doodles art) people are always growing and being inspired by others’ ideas, and although this may be a starting point to your own creation, how do we while creating our own work, still pay homage to our inspiration?
    Hopefully we can continue to inspire our students to act in a similar way when creating their own ideas and using information from others. Do you guys use Seesaw, do they cite images on that?

  2. Hi Baromy,
    I enjoyed your post this week and found myself nodding along as I read through so many of your points. Like you, I’m at a school where we’re on the front end of the technology integration journey and we have yet to really embed ISTE standards for students and teachers. And while I think I do pretty well with modeling digital citizenship, it has to be a collective effort from the entire school community to gain traction and become consistent in our practices.
    One thing you mentioned that really stood out to me this week, because I find that it’s my default when interacting with students, is when you said you ‘want students to understand that it’s not always about stealing.’ This is such a valid point, especially when we think of the shift into a more participatory culture online. It’s less about ‘stealing ideas’ than it is about being inspired, giving credit and then building from there to create something unique.
    Have you thought about the ways that you will inform and empower the educators on your team to see this as a valuable and worthy cause for investment? I have done a few workshop-style sessions with teachers in required staff meetings, department and grade-level planning sessions and at whole-school professional development days, and while I feel like it’s relevant and important, it can often get pushed aside to make way for content and curriculum areas in homeroom classes. I’m of the mindset that they can be taught concurrently, but the reality is that it takes buy-in from teachers, additional planning considerations and the strong support of a school leadership team.
    Lastly, I’m wondering if you have given any thought to your final project for Course 2. Our school has an acceptable use policy (, but I would be interested in revamping it and maybe building some sort of ‘badge’ plan for completion of courses in digital citizenship. Let me know if that sounds like anything you might be interested in collaborating with me on! Take care and have a great weekend.

  3. I really like your blogpost because it reminds me of the lack of implementation of ISTE Tech Standards for teachers and students at my school, Dhahran Elementary Middle School. It is mentioned at our school in passing or at PDs but not fully implemented. After reading your post it seems like a useful exercise to implement a training program for teachers, administrators and students to comply with the ISTE Standards.
    As a school all teachers and administrators penalize students for plagiarism but it is mostly based on words and not necessarily images.

  4. Thanks for your interesting post! After a little web searching, I’m thinking of renaming my post on this lesson, “Ignorance is Bliss, Until It’s Expensive”.

    Unlike you, I wasn’t as smart about copyrighted work during Course 1, and I’m having to go back and credit them or (more commonly so far) find alternate photos, illustrations, and graphics to use that fall under either Fair Use or some Creative Commons license. Doing it right the first time is definitely preferable to redoing it.

    While I haven’t yet found instances where copyright holders have come after students, they certainly have come after schools and districts. Adults should know better, and companies don’t seem to hesitate to sue for infringement when it’s obvious administrators don’t care about copyright. I’m at a small international school in South Korea, but I’m guessing copyright holders, especially ones with a presence in the country, wouldn’t break a sweat taking my school to court. So I need to educate my colleagues and the administration in the very near future because they’re more likely to be a create, intentionally or not, real legal and financial vulnerabilities. (And I need to stop showing Netflix movies in my classroom unless they’re documentaries. !@#$!@#@#$%#!! Oh well.)

    Finally, since students will be adults someday, I have to help teach them better as well. They need different, less abstract lessons than the adults, imbued with less fear-mongering, especially since they probably can’t put US$9.2 million into perspective. But I’ll bet your admin can, and it would be fatal blow to many schools.

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