One must have caution and a sense of responsibility when reusing media, most of us, but not all colleagues I have worked with, appreciate that there is something unethical about photocopying/scanning whole sections from text books and then distributing to students. When using other peoples work I always ask myself the ethical question but how can I be sure I answer it correctly? It is not only students and teachers that can use material unacceptably, as some recent high profile court cases have shown, corporate websites and advertisers are also included. It can quickly become a very complex issue and I note that many of the articles I have read the author states they are not legal experts. Some simple practical guidelines to follow, consistently modeled by staff and students would be a good way to avoid potential issues – an acceptable use policy. For example a basic understanding of the creative common license and how to use and respect it.
Most school IT department’s have filters to stop peer2peer sharing, monitor sites and generally stop malpractices. They will also have personal that can advise teachers or at least point them in the righteous direction. Myself, I will continue to ask ‘the ethical question’ encourage my students to follow the AUP and discuss with colleagues the use of media to get a better understanding of some of the issues.
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