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A Matter of Ethics: Copyright Lesson Plan

Standards Matrix
TechQuest
Resume

Introduction
Target Learners
Educational Objectives
Associated Standards
Assessment
Primary Teaching Strategies
Time and Resources Needed
Learning Activities

Introduction

Knowing the guidelines for sharing digital information is critical for teachers. Due to the explosion of educational materials on the web, more and more high quality, easily reproduced, and easily distributed materials are available for teachers. While these materials can greatly enrich the classroom, teachers must take care that they are using these materials in the manner intended by their creators. In addition, every time teachers use digital resources with students they model for students proper use of these materials. It is therefore doubly important that teachers ensure they are following best practices when distributing digital information.

To make sure they are taking advantage of digital materials in a legal and ethical manner, teachers must regularly brush up on their understanding of copyright law and fair use guidelines. The following lesson is intended for use with high school teachers during an in-service day or during one or two faculty meetings. As they follow the steps of this lesson, teachers learn up-to-date guidelines for using digital materials. They also collaborate on creating school guidelines that will be used for a twice-a-year teacher self-assessment that measures compliance with copyright law and fair use guidelines.

Target Learners

This lesson was prepared specifically with Conserve School teachers in mind -- 9-12th grade teachers from a variety of disciplines. This lesson is generic enough that it could be used with teachers at all grade levels and content areas.

Educational Objectives

The objectives of this lesson are, first, to make sure that teachers understand copyright law and fair use guidelines, and, second, to ensure that teachers follow these guidelines in daily practice.

Associated Standards

The International Society for Technology in Education sets standards for technology use by both teachers and students. The section entitled "“Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility” of the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS•T) and Performance Indicators for Teachers clearly supports the concept that teachers must understand, practice, and model copyright law and fair use guidelines.

Assessment

During the lesson, t eachers will self-assess on their understanding of copyright law and fair use guidelines. After the lesson has been completed, on a twice-yearly basis, teachers will self-assess on their compliance with these copyright and fair use guidelines. They will review their self-assessment with their supervisor. The librarian will also review teacher practices at this time and corroborate these self-checks.

Primary Teaching Strategies

This lesson mixes short bursts of inductive learning (both lecture-style and independent reading), collaborative learning, light-hearted competition, and self-assessment.

This lesson is designed with as much active learning as possible to increase teachers' engagement and motivation to learn. Inductive learning is used to quickly provide teachers with basic information but is avoided as much as possible. The lesson begins with traditional "sage on the stage" inductive learning for a brief introductory period. The librarian and the principal review the ISTE sub-standard “Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility” with teachers and explain the importance of following proper copyright and fair use practices. Teachers are then given a short period of time to independently review these standards and read a short article and a chart on copyright and fair use. Once teachers have completed this brief introduction to the topic, they move into collaborative learning groups. In departmental groups, teachers collaborate on a true/false quiz on the material they have just read. (Each department completes one quiz together.) The answers that each department arrives at are written on a whiteboard for all to see in order to add a stimulating element of competition between departments. The librarian and principal again lead another inductive session, going through the answers, explaining any difficult points, and taking questions. The librarian and principal explain the next task: creating a self-assessment checklist for teachers on compliance with copyright law and fair use guidelines. (Twice-yearly self-assessment lists are already in use at the school so teachers are accustomed to this format.) Teachers then move into small interdisciplinary groups (changing collaborative groups in order to increase interest and to get people moving). In these groups, teachers collaboratively create a short checklist for use in twice-yearly self-assessment and evaluation on compliance with copyright and fair use.

Time and Resources Needed


 

This lesson could be completed in one or two faculty meetings or in a morning or afternoon in-service. All teachers at Conserve School have laptops. In a school without laptops, this lesson would be completed in computer lab. For a school that does not have these resources, paper copies could be used (in a manner that aligns with copyright and fair use guidelines, of course). At Conserve School, teachers are provided with snacks and beverages at all faculty meetings. Providing these items increases positive attitude and mental alertness and therefore are highly recommended resources to support this lesson.

Websites to be used as resources:

ISTE Technology Standards for Teachers (section on "promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility")

Ten Big Myths About Copyright Explained

The Educators’ Guide to Copyright and Fair Use and Quiz

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers (chart)

Learning Activities

  1. The librarian and the principal present to teachers the ISTE Technology Standards for Teachers on promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility using a Smartboard. They explain to teachers the importance of following proper copyright and fair use practices. To help teachers understand the purpose of the activities they are about to take part in, they briefly explain the sequence of learning activities and the final product that teachers will help produce through these activities.
  2. Teachers quietly and individually read through “Ten Big Myths about Copyright” and the “Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers” chart.
  3. Teachers move into departmental groups. Each group collaboratively takes the Technology and Learning quiz.
  4. Each department places their answers on the whiteboard in rows, so we can compare how each department answered each question.
  5. The librarian then goes through list of actual answers, explains any difficult points, and responds to any questions teachers have.
  6. Teachers then move into small interdisciplinary groups to create lists of items for a self-assessment that teachers will begin to use twice yearly.
  7. The l ibrarian collects the lists and in collaboration with the principal uses them to compile a self-assessment document that will be used during the regular teacher evaluation process to check teachers' compliance with copyright and fair use guidelines.
  8. At a follow-up meeting (a week or two later), the librarian and principal present the completed self-assessment to teachers, reviews again with teachers the ISTE guidelines for teachers on promoting citizenship and responsibility in use of digital materials, and emphasizes again the importance of following these guidelines.

Updated December 11, 2008

 

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