How Should We Teach Our Students About Copyright and Creativity?

Copyright and Creativity in the Classroom

In this episode of the TeacherCast Podcast, we discuss the importance of helping our students understand Copyright law and how it can affect the projects that they work on each day in class.

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In This Episode We Discuss

  • Why we believe that kids today need to be taught the basics of copyright.
    • It has become an essential element of digital literacy.  Students may not realize it, but copyright and fair use are relevant to online activities they engage in virtually every day, both as consumers and creators and both at school and at home.
  • What resources Copyright and Creativity offers
    • A full suite of K-12 resources, including lesson plans, lesson slides, learning videos, visual aids, and a professional development course for teachers.
    • Available for free.
  • How Copyright and Creativity aims to make these resources engaging and effective for kids
    • Balance — development process took input from all sides, avoided serving as propaganda for a particular viewpoint in ongoing debates over copyright policy.
    • Take a positive approach, emphasizing what copyright enables and allows.  Avoid teaching it as a set of negative and restrictive “thou shalt nots.”
    • Emphasize kids’ own role as creators
    • Provide teachers with videos that walk through the trickiest parts, and with professional development, if they feel they need more background in copyright before they’d feel comfortable teaching it
      • Very age appropriate– shorter, wordless videos for younger students (K-4) and real world examples of copyright in action for older students.
    • Provide practical info about the copyright-related activities kids regularly engage in:  acquisition, sharing, and using someone else’s creative work in some new creation of their own.

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About our Guests

David Sohn

David Sohn is a lawyer and the former General Counsel of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a leading online civil liberties group based in Washington DC.  Mr. Sohn led CDT’s Digital Copyright Project, which advocated for balanced and consumer-friendly copyright policy. Mr. Sohn is currently Director of Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens, a project aimed at providing practical and accessible resources for teaching students about copyright and fair use.

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About the author, Jeffrey Bradbury

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!