Today, so much of our research happens online, and part of what makes the internet so wonderful is the ease at which it brings information into our lives. But when that information is so easily available to us, it is sometimes easy to forget that someone else produced that information, and they deserve credit. Plagiarism is as much an issue now as it ever has been (we’ve even devoted a portion of an issue of Edudemic Magazine to learning about the anti-plagiarism tools available for teachers and students). Teaching students about copyright is more than just letting them know that they should be doing their own work, and not copying off the web.
Luckily, there are a number of resources on the web which make copyright and fair use guidelines much more clear. Many are designed especially for teachers, so that it is clear what you can and can’t use and under what circumstances.
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Creative Commons – Creative Commons is a non-profit that enables easy information and resource sharing, while protecting the creators of the information. They offer free copyright licenses which enable users to share their work under the conditions of their choice. So much of the information that we consume on the web is backed by Creative Commons licensing.
Teaching Copyright - Teaching Copyright is a resource created expressly for teachers, and is a curriculum designed to help teachers and students understand what is legal online, what are our digital rights and responsibilities, and how creativity online is encouraged through copyright.
Copyright Kids - Copyright Kids is another resource designed especially for teachers, and definitely has younger students in mind. It offers simply laid out, easy to understand rules of copyright, and also includes a quiz that you can use with your classes to ensure that your students understand the material.