Initially, I started with the week’s topic, “Respect the Remix”, by reading through the materials on copyright and citation. The blog post that was written by Rosenthal Tolisano titled “Copyright Flowchart: Can I use it? Yes? No? If this … Then…” made me reflect on my own actions in modelling good digital citizenship to my students.
While I had created content respecting copyright and acknowledging sources, I did not make it explicitly known to my students. When covering copyright and intellectual property, I did not explicitly model or indicate to students how I was addressing it in the learning materials that I created. Upon reflection, it would have been a great opportunity for my students to see how it was a common practice for me to be addressing this in the learning materials that I was presenting to them. I feel for it to be effective it should be a whole school practice where all teachers are demonstrating and modelling good digital citizenship as well.
I found Tolisano’s blog post titled “Citing an image is not enough!” and “How to cite images on your blog” to be such an eye-opener as to how to correctly cite images. I find teaching students about using images that are copyright free to be quite tricky. On the one hand, they understand the concept of needing to receive permission. On the other hand, it is difficult for them to understand and identify whether they have permission or not.
The graphic by Curtis Newbold in his blog post “You can use a picture if: Guidelines for image copyrights” provides a clear distinction as to when a picture can be used. I think that for my younger students I would introduce the first two scenarios and for my older students, I would start to explore the creative commons license. I feel that the attribution and license agreement of the creator might be challenging for them to be able to apply.
I feel that with written content students are able to respect copyright and avoid plagiarism easily because they are taught at a young age to recognize the title and author of a book. I feel that this practice allows them to develop an awareness of the author and to acknowledge their work in writing the story. In theory, students should be able to transfer this understanding to content that they read online. However, if students do not develop the skills in how to process the information on their own, they would ultimately fall into plagiarism.
There was a competition earlier this year on the intellectual property laws that exist in Hong Kong for both primary and secondary schools. The Intellectual Property Department has a website for the youth to be able to learn and read more about the intellectual property laws. The website was highly informative and provided students with an understanding of what the different laws entailed. Despite understanding what it is, they were not able to practise nor apply it to their daily life. This has made me think about how I could provide an authentic learning experience for them to understand and practise this. I think a first step would be to continue to remind them to respect and address copyright as they are completing other learning activities throughout the year to show that it is something that should be practised constantly.
Kirby Ferguson’s Youtube video “Everything is a remix” brought to light the complexity that exists within an idea. What struck me the most was how he had mentioned that technology was exposing the connectedness that existed in our ideas. Everything is a remix. All of our ideas came from somewhere. Evolving from older ideas. I find that there is beauty in how we are all connected. While are our idea can be unique and have individual properties, it is made up of different layers that are intertwined together. Instead of vilifying copying, I think we should equipping our students with the skills to be able to transform and combine these ideas. They should be aware of how they can become creators of content and how to do so in a way that respects the remix.
A final and conflicting thought that I had in regards to copyright was from Nina Paley’s TEDTalk video titled “Copyright is brain damage”. She mentioned how copyright can activate your internal censors. This made me wonder if by focusing and narrowing on copyright whether students’ creativity would be restricted. It makes me think of the what if. If they did not have to worry about copyright, what kind of work would they produce? Would it be different to what it is right now?
In light of all this, I think that the ISTE Standards for Students provides guidance as to how we can prepare students to be able to navigate in this technological landscape. I think by ensuring that students have their own voice and agency and equipping them with the skills to be able to leverage technology that they would be able to add to the remix.