Upper elementary digital citizenship: copyright


Not the most exciting topic in the world, right?

Think again! Anything can be exciting if you try.

My learning target for this lesson was based on the TEKS “(B)  comply with acceptable digital safety rules, fair use guidelines, and copyright laws; and (C)  practice the responsible use of digital information regarding intellectual property, including software, text, images, audio, and video.” I told students that our goal was to understand these complicated laws in order to be responsible media producers and consumers, and we broke that down even further.

We started this unit by watching this awesome video from Common Sense media.  It does a really good job of explaining copyright and Fair Use laws, and I found that the kids grasped these huge concepts a lot more quickly when I showed this video.

After reviewing the concepts from this video, I showed them a series of videos and asked them to decide why they fell under Fair Use or not. The ones that didn’t fall under were too closely identified with what they were “parodying” or didn’t add any original thought or work to the video. I don’t want to post them here because they were clearly student productions, and I choose to believe that they have learned from their mistakes now!

One of the great things about kids is how familiar they all are with YouTube…and how easy they are to impress. We determined that the following videos were okay through Fair Use laws, and the kids cracked up. Many of them came up to me afterward with examples about other things they’d seen that fell under Fair Use.

This is a complicated area to be sure, but I was excited to see that the students were starting to make connections and learn.




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