I knew at some point we would have to talk about copyright. Why did it have to be now? Cant we just stick with the butterflies and rainbows? That is so much nicer than…
Ok, ok, copyright and use of media is a huge issue. There is a right and wrong. There is a correct and an incorrect. So why are teachers and students so poor at dealing with copyright, citation, and credit? I mean, I know plenty of educators who supposedly deal with this everyday in the classroom and then go home and watch pirated movies. I know many of my students get their media for free from dubious sources. And then we expect ethical behavior in school. Hmmm….
I am not sure if I am going to get myself in trouble here but nobody really cares. I mean the digital frontier is a kind of wild west. Break the law because there is no “Sheriff” that is going to throw your hide in the virtual slammer, or the real one. Giddy up!
But some of us feel guilty (not altruistic). Some of us feel like we should do the correct thing. I need to go back and cite some of the images I used in my earlier posts. I did alright with citation of the articles and links I used but image use and citation was a bit loose. The key is to care about it and to somehow get others to care about it. How do we do that?
When I work with kids on this it always feels like I am smacking them with a wet dead fish. They see it coming. They grimace. They try to take their punishment gracefully (because they are all good kids) and then SMACK the wet dead fish of copyright and citation catches them on up-side-the-head. They get a headache and feel like they need a shower after that. I do not think my teaching of how to determine copyright and make citations helps them care really. Maybe they care because I care? Maybe?
There are many approaches that I know would be superior to mine. I could bring in cupcakes or something. That might make them care more. It might also turn out to be like anything else that we care about though. We have to get to know it intimately. I love the subjects I teach because I know them intimately. (And I am biased and think everyone would love them if they knew what I know) The challenge is that we are teaching our subjects all day long and not spending the necessary time to help student develop the intimacy they need to have with copyright. Wet dead fish anyone?
In all seriousness, this is a problem that I want to work on more and that I will try to model to the best of my abilities here in this class. I am hoping that my cohort peers have some brilliant ideas about how to go about dealing with the issue of caring about copyright. We know there is right and wrong but we have to care.