License: What, why, and how.

Students will understand the value of copyright licensing by ultimately deciding on a Creative Commons license for their own work.

Photo of Ms. Christina Wenger
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This is not a full lesson, but a series of three skills to teach in order for students to understand the value of copyright law and how it applies to their own creations.

Skill #1: 
Students find a medium’s copyright licensing statements (or lack thereof) and explain what that means about another’s legal rights to use the medium.
Subskills required for this skill:
Learn definitions of basic Creative Commons license types.
Advanced Google Search for license rights.
Reverse image search in Google.

Related mindset: I understand that there are ethical and legal limits to use of another person’s work.

Skill #2: 
Students evaluate case studies to determine whether intellectual property use falls within or without the category of “Fair Use.
Subskill required for this skill:
Learn definition of "Fair Use."

Related mindset: I understand that learners and creators have protected rights under the law; I understand there are limits to those rights.

Skill #3: 
Students choose between various Creative Commons license options when publishing their own work. They mark their work with their chosen license. Students explain reasoning for their choices.

Related mindset: I understand that I can make ethical choices to determine what can and should be shared for public use.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

1) Conversations with college professors, university librarians, and friends in the digital media world who wish young adults had a better concept of attribution/citation/remixing--in short, these professionals expressed a need for responsible reuse of material. 2) The ISTE standards. 3) Working with my students in the library--when they make choices about their own work, they make better choices about using other's work.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paloma Nikolic

This is a super interesting idea! A few questions I have are, what age group is this tailored to, and how could it be modified for different age groups?

Have you tried this out with your students? How did it go?

Photo of Ms. Christina Wenger

@ Paloma: This is tailored towards high school students. I've done parts of this series of lessons with different groups, but never all of them with one group. All Spanish 1 students receive direct instruction from me and practice in the Skill #1 section of the series, and that goes really well. The students start finding and using materials that are either free for reuse, or making sure that they're citing those that require citation. In fact, they even sometimes catch their teachers on failing to do the same! :) I've worked with the student TV news updates on the Skill #2 section of the series. Student leadership of the club reached out to me to ask for help in determining what music, clips, etc were okay to use. We had a great opportunity to practically apply Fair Use principles. And, what I really love, is that the TV bits that have come after our work together have been more creative and interesting. I think students are challenging themselves to make something new or remix in a more thoughtful way, and that has been wonderful. Finally, I've worked with individual students on the parts related to Skill #3, but never a whole class. I would love the opportunity to work with a digital media, art, creative writing, music composition, or similar class, and teach the whole series to the whole group to see how it turns out.