Common Sense with Creative Commons

It is common sense. Everything on the internet has gotten there somehow. Pictures were taken by someone. Music and video was created by someone. Everything online was created or “mashed up” to create something new by someone. So of course that someone can be said to “own” that thing. The problem we face is that many people don’t think about it when they copy and paste something they like to use in their own work.

I’ve been the guilty party here myself. For years I copied and pasted images from searches and websites that caught my eye for projects and posters and notices. Then when I started thinking about it and realised that I should probably be referencing the source, I put a link to the website I found the picture on – thinking I was doing the right thing. My idea was right though my execution not quite proper.

What I have learnt through participating in the EduBlogs Teacher Challenge is that there is a certain licensing that attaches itself to a lot of items on the internet. These Creative Commons licenses allow the creator or owner of a piece of work to determine how that work can be shared.

Different sites online have built in search functions where it is possible to search for items depending on what type of license it has. These help a great deal – and now large search engines such as Google have these search features in their toolbox as well. What can help even more is sites like Compfight that assist users with attributing the work to its owner by listing the license and attribution information in a fairly easy to read format.

Compfight has become my main site over the last few months as I have explored more closely Creative Commons and what it all means. It really is easy to attribute images through this search engine – I have posted a photo below (from my search for “connections”) showing how the attribution works from this website:

Photo Credit: courosa via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: courosa via Compfight cc

I see my role now, as a teacher who is aware and somewhat knowledgeable of this, to teach this to students so they understand the reasoning behind it and why they need to be aware of Creative Commons at all times online. I believe it is my responsibility as a teacher to develop student understanding of how to learn and create in our technology filled world. I am involved in building their responsibility and awareness of how to behave online and attributing images and items correctly is a very large part of this behaviour.

Finding child friendly resources is my first step in this journey as well as continuing to learn more myself about the finer details of licences. EduBlogs have given me the starting point and I am looking forward to connecting with other teachers to continue this learning path!

And of course – I am not ever again using an image or media file without attributing it correctly!

Until next time!