Can I Use That? Exploring Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

This lesson helps students understand and harness their intellectual property rights and responsibilities as they create, remix, and share.

Photo of Gail Desler
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Consuming, creating, and curating media is an important part of students' lives. The Common Core State Standards recognize that “To be ready for college, workforce training and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, report on and create a high volume and extensive range of print and non-print texts in media forms old and new.”  In order for our students to become effective, ethical creators of information and media, they also need a strong understanding of the concepts of copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons, and how to apply these concepts across the curriculum and beyond the school day

The goal of  the Can I Use That? lesson is to reduce copyright confusion, to examine fair use as a reasoning process, to learn about the role of Creative Commons, and to explore the possibilities of remix in teaching and student creations.

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Today's students are part of the remix generation. Therefore, teaching students solely about plagiarism is only one aspect of understanding intellectual property. To ensure that our students use the Internet and social media in an ethical manner to both consume and create content, we need to also include instruction and guidelines to Creative Commons, copyright and fair use.


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Photo of Gail Desler

Thanks, Jennifer, for a great suggestion! Will revisit the lesson and resources with grade levels in mind.

Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos

Yes and let me know if I can help in any way!

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