2WebWatchers would like to thank Microsoft for the excellent free resources they have created on key topics of digital citizenship:
Thank you, Microsoft!
What’s your approach to teaching your students about Copyright and that very gray area known as Fair Use? Is there a chance that, like many educators, you fall into one of the categories below?
Thanks to the efforts and vision of a national team of educators and legal advisers, understanding your copyright and fair use rights and responsibilities does NOT require a law degree. Wonderful new resources such as the Center for Social Media website, which includes the 20-page Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, the Copyright Confusion wiki, and Renee Hobbs’ recent publication Copyright Clarity, we now have access to a range of engaging, timely explanations of how our fair use rights should apply in our individual classroom situations.
We can also start distinguishing, for instance, between copyright fact vs. copyright myth. Let’s look at one of the myths from the Code of Best Practices handout:
Myth: Fair Use is too unclear and complicated for me; it’s better left to lawyers and administrators.
Truth: The fair use provision of the Copyright Act is written broadly – not narrowly – because it is designed to apply to a wide range of creative works and the people who use them. Fair use is a part of the law that belongs to everyone – especially to working educators. Educators know best what they need to use of existing copyrighted culture to construct their own lessons and materials. Only members of the actual community can decide what’s really needed. Once they know, they can tell their lawyers and administrators.
What we (2WebWatchers) have learned from the above resources is that teaching students about fair use is essential to their developing media literacy skills. We’ve also learned that exercising our rights to fair use requires a case-by-case examination of the context and situation. In a nutshell, copyright and fair use are a balancing act, with the over-arching question being: Is the cost to the copyright holder greater than the benefit to society? I think the School-House-Rock style video below (from the Center for Social Media website) does a great job of explaining the balance act:
Want to learn more about copyright and fair use for educators? We’ll be posting dates and times soon for our upcoming workshops. Come join the conversation!