Week 3 – Copyright and Copywrongs

Wow – what a week of overload.  From air conditioning to heat, rain, sleet, and snow.  Then ending our school week with testing, fire drills, and bad weather drills.  The best part of this week is that we only have one more Friday until we are out for the Christmas break!  The second best part of my week was visiting with our new Director of Technology.  He observed my students, asked them questions, gave them praise, the gave me good news.  We have purchased Blackboard to use in my classroom and throughout the district.

Copyright law isn’t a favorite of mine, any type of law isn’t a favorite.  I feel I learned a little more than I can comprehend.  But, I’m definitely more aware and conscientious about how and where I will access and share information with my students.  Through our discussion boards and great conversations with my cohorts, I feel like I’ve added more resources to this week’s reflection than any other week.

#1 – How do you instruct your students about what elements they can and cannot use in their projects?  (How do I or how can I improve the way I instruct?)

A new resource for me to use with my students is plagiarism.org.

Other new resources that I will use in my classroom are:

Creative Commons


pixabay.com *** attribution free



The Teach Act Toolkit


Even using creative commons, it’s a good idea to cite that all images are from **** and are attribute free.

#2 – How do you (or will you) give credit where credit is due? (How can I incorporate this into my classroom routine?)

Model, model, model!  I must first model the process in my classroom, then praise students when they cite properly, and finally assist those who need a gentle push.  One idea that I’m going to try is to get a list of the approved resources that we can use in our district.  The high school librarian can assist with this aspect.

Dash Notes was the most interesting topic of the web conference in my opinion.  I can see where high school students can benefit from this practice.  Bulleted items, not allowed to copy, no plagiarism.  Again, I will model how to create dash notes, then create an assignment for my students to practice.  Finally, I will bookmark all of these references and insist that my students do the same.

My final resources are in the definitions/comments below:

Plagiarism – stealing someone’s intellectual property and using it as their own.  I really have a deeper respect for plagiarism and penalties for stealing since I’ve started the DLL program.  I’ve worked extremely hard to create documents and projects that are mine.  I would NOT like for anyone to steal them and use them as their own.  My Graphic Design students had to “create” a timeline on the history of graphic design.  I was horrified at the amount of copying and pasting.  I would ask them to read the powerpoint slide to me.  When the student couldn’t pronounce a word, I asked him what it meant.  Then when he couldn’t give me a definition, I asked him to put it in his own words and put that on the slide.

Copyright infringement – when someone misuses a copyright – either by copying the work, displaying or showing the work without the owner’s permission.  A perfect example that I’ve seen thousands of times in my career is copying a workbook for a student when we run out of printable workbooks.  When we only purchase 30, but print 10 additional copies.

Attribution – properly citing in an approved style to give credit to the person who you are quoting.

We are definitely learning how to properly cite using the APA style.  I haven’t had to write anything scholarly in so many years that it really stresses me out.  My sister (34 years old in graduate school also) can cite APA style in her sleep!

Transformation – making changes to someone else’s work and posting or using it as your own original work- music, videos, speeches, etc.

I’ve mostly head about this in the music industry.  But, I’m quite positive that this exists on YouTube.  With the availability of video equipment at our fingertips, I’m quite certain that my students don’t truly understand what transformation means.