It is not uncommon for educators to misunderstand fair use guidelines, especially when it comes to publishing things on the web. The only times when we can be 100% sure that something is fair use is when either we own the material, it is in the public domain, or we have direct permission from the creator for a specific use. In addition, media with creative commons license is fair use as long as you follow the guidelines for the type of creative commons license. Usually this is as simple as giving credit to the owner of the work.
Media that does not fall into one of these categories is trickier. We have to weigh the purpose of the use, the nature of the work, the extent of the use, and the possible effect on the copyright holder. Here are links to a couple of documents that help me when I am making decisions about copyright and fair use. I hope they are helpful to you as well.
Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers (from the US Copyright office)
Fair Use Checklist (from the Copyright office at Columbia University)
Teaching kids about plagiarism can be complicated. In a mash-up world it is hard for students and adults to know exactly where the lines are between fair use and plagiarism. The best measures always use a series of questions to determine if you are plagiarizing or following fair use guidelines. You might want to try using this infographic to discuss plagiarism with your students.
Looking for a place for students to publish their work? Maybe you need a contest for an aspiring young author to enter. Check out New Pages' Young Author's Guide. This site has great tips for young authors who are interested in publishing as well as links and descriptions of publications that take student work.
"I vividly remember being disappointed during my first year of teaching: my students weren’t nearly as excited about primary source documents as I was. Primary source documents, as you know, offer readers a unique, real-world perspective, and I thought my kids would love delving into them. I soon learned that my disappointing results weren’t due to the documents that I’d selected, but rather how I was having students use them. That first year, they weren’t doing anything but reading them. Today, Web-based tools enable students to discover more primary sources than ever before and engage them in dynamic ways." ~ Richard Bryne
Check out this article published in Digital Shift about cool online tools to help students engage in primary source material. I would love to work with some of you to create a primary source lesson or two for next year.
Check out these articles by Caltlyn Tucker that break down the topic of complex texts and give ideas about how to help students access complex text.
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Here are a couple new google tools I heard about in a library forum that you might find interesting:
Global genie - allows kids to teleport to places around the globe. It seems to only do random teleportation, but this could be a cool tool to use to introduce students to a new country by seeing it's landscape in street view.
Google Art Project Gives users a single portal to visit the online collections of art museums from around the world.
A sky map app which allows you to point your phone at the night sky and have the visible constellations mapped. Only for Android. Sorry i-phone users.
Google Moon allows you to walk on the surface of the moon with a commentary by Buzz Aldrin. This is a part of google earth. Unfortunately you can not access the preview from school since it is a youtube video.
Let me know if you find ways to use these in your classrooms!
Did you ever wish you could send a recording of your math lesson home with students to review as they are doing their homework? Now you can! Send students to the Khan Academy website where they can find tutorial videos on most math concepts. The explanations are simple and easy to follow. Check it out today!
WARNING: This website works best in Firefox. It does not work well in internet explorer.
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