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Creating a Sharing Community

April 21, 2012
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Some rights reserved by Kalexanderson

It’s a tough nut, the one about teaching students not to infringe copyrights, not to download music and movies, etc etc.  I have been reading lots of posts about it, and there are many ideas.  The most difficult thing is the many of us do those things ourselves, and so it is an empty excercise to doff the halo and begin to preach to the children.  I have thought about what angle will make the most (any?) impact with students.  I began to think about my own behaviors,and what motivates me to respect the creations of others.

It’s about community. As teachers we belong to a community of creators. And if we choose to share our creations on the internet, through blogging, posting video and photographs, or through commenting, we are choosing to allow the community (of the internet) to borrow our ideas, whether we like it or not.  I don’t think that there is any way around that. So, I think that we need to invest in this amazing community, and enjoy the immense benefits of being able to borrow by letting others enjoy borrowings well. And the way to make this happen is to make everyone feel invested in the community through attribution, and through celebrating what we borrow, and by drawing attention to the creative minds that we mined in order to be able to piece together our own creations.  So part of the answer is perhaps to show our students that they have membership in this community of creative minds, and that they can shape it through respecting their fellow community members.

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