In Week 3, my smile has disappeared, and I am officially running on fumes. This week was overwhelming regarding the content exposure. Simple links turned into thirty-page documents and the I was personally challenged with understanding how to answer the case study assignments. That being said, I continue to expand on my understanding of digital citizenship and the laws surrounding it. The assignments this week lacked in the COVA model, though. I felt the discussion board was lacking as well because there was not much to discuss. Everyone had similar responses and it felt like we had to force side topics of discussion. That being said, the lessons I learned about copyright law continue to follow the theme that Curran (2012) found to be significant in creating a productive and safe learning environment. In this case, the safety is from a legal stance.
“I store my knowledge in my colleagues. It is not about knowing everything, but it is more about knowing who or where to go for answers.”
I used this quote in a response this week because I felt it speaks volumes about copyright law and fair use. As educators, we are in constant contact with individuals physically or in today’s world, digitally. These people offer insight, answers, and tangible content. We also read numerous books and usually scour the Internet for ideas. Information is at our fingertips and the power it provides us allows for improving the learning process for students. However, educators must use their resources wisely and legally. Copyrighted materials allow authors of content the ability to own their creativity or research. Using these resources appropriately demonstrates that the teacher is respectful and properly prepares themselves to work with their learners. Giving credit when credit is due, which is every time you use someone’s work, models the skill of working cooperatively with others to expand on ideas.
It should also provide the facilitator the experience to enlighten their students about proper citations, plagiarism, copyright infringement, and fair use. Bailey (2013) explains the differences between copyright infringement and plagiarism, and this understanding must be conveyed at an early age to contribute appropriately in a learning community. Educators have the duty to share the proper procedures and employ best practices for their learners. When students understand proper research techniques and apply the correct citations, they allow themselves the opportunity to gain respect in the discipline they hope to make their mark on. Therefore, when teachers effectively use copyrighted materials and students do as well, the learning process improves in a way that makes each individual a teacher and a learner simultaneously.
During this week, I also began to plan, or “worry” about the culminating assignment. Developing a mantra or brand is difficult, but it coincides with a plan that is taking place in my school district. I am personally on the NJ Taskforce to develop Future Ready schools. I have a theme I want to convey for the final project, but I am toying with the words to use. I currently use this on my business cards, “Bridging The Gap Between Consuming Technology and Creating With It.” It is ten words and I want to trim it down. Some ideas include, “Ed Tech: Creation over Consumption” or “Future Ready Means Changing Now”. Hopefully, these final two weeks will fewer readings and videos and more opportunities for creativity.
- Curran, M. (2012, June). iCitizen: Are you a socially responsible digital citizen. Paper presented at the International Society for Technology Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Retrieved from icitizen_paper_M_Curran.pdf
- Bailey, J. (2013, October). The Difference Between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism – Plagiarism Today. Retrieved from http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2013/10/07/difference-copyright-infringement-plagiarism/