Part 1 – Copyright & Creative Commons

The information for this week is very informative and of interest to me. The videos talking about Fair Use spelled it all out in an easy to follow format.  The copyright laws for use on the Internet have had to redefined so they are not so restrictive.  If someone is doing something for the greater good of society, like teaching, then the needs of teacher supersede the rights of the owner under the law.  The restrictions were interesting in the sense of the limitations on limitations which was not for use of entertainment, rewards, and videos & CDs.  I was a little bit fuzzy on this in that many times teachers will “reward” students with movies.  I am guessing because they have purchased the DVD or rented it, then this is ok under copyright laws. But they are not allowed to download a movie and show it.  It was interesting to know that any tests, worksheets, scantrons developed by companies for schools were not allowed to be copy.  This stands to reason, as was talked about in the video, if we as teachers want to keep these companies going we need to purchase the products.  Another idea which caught my attention was “face-to-face instruction trumps copyright laws.”  There is a lot of latitude available to teachers, if they are aware of the laws governing copyright issues.

The YouTube video was great in the sense it gave kids a good idea of what copyright infringement is.  I felt like it went along with what the thinking process in children tends to be, especially for the younger ones.  The graphics were not only entertaining but also something kids could and would understand.  The written info with the fast talking announcer would be lost on most kids, though.  Too much information, too fast talking, and I could see them just glossing over it.  I understand YouTube’s need to include the information, just as car sales commercials to too, but it was distracting also.  I am not sure how this could be changed.  As an adult it was a positive graphic reminder of the basic copyright laws for using YouTube.

Being a newcomer to the Internet and teaching in general, I am very excited to learn about Primary Sources and the use of them in the classroom!  Most of what was available years ago when I first taught, it all had to be in books which were not easy to come by, then had to be copied in some way.  I think the use of the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, National Archives and museums across the nation and world opens up some exciting ways to use the Internet within all areas of the curriculum!  For myself, I will need to push myself to get completely immersed in the information available.  From my other classes we have talked about how do we as teachers get the students more interested in school and the subjects which we teach. I believe this is the way in which to do it.  I looked at a lesson plan done for 4th grade math and it was teaching skills about geometric shapes.  It used the idea of quilts.  There were several pictures of quilts and then went on to talk about the different shapes which make up the quilts.  After class discussion they went on to make their own math quilt.  Very innovative and inspiring to me! This also ties into the discussion about creative commons by the ability to use another teacher’s lesson plan to teach a subject.  Plus looking at what others have done, gets my own creative juices flowing and I can see ways in which to go off in my own direction from there. I like the creative commons video talk of  “Share – Reuse – Remix”.  The wheel does not need to be reinvented in teaching all the time. 

NETS standards for teachers plays out a lot in this weeks topics.  The first standard talks of “Facilitate and Inspire Student learning and Creativity.”  With the use of primary sources to enrich the learning it can get students fired up about learning.  Another NETS-T standards is “Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments” using different sources on the Internet will also enhance learning, and meet one of the standards goals.  As a future teacher, I believe when I am excited about a subject or subjects the students will pick up on that and become excited to explore and learn also.  Since the possibilities to develop all lessons are awesome on with the web, it will be important to me to remember to narrow my focus to the subject at hand, and not get overwhelmed by the process.  I will be in a learning mode, too, as I work in the digital age.


About Jan Rue

Hi, I am a graduate student at Western Oregon University working towards a masters in teaching with an endorsement in reading. I am not currently teaching but hope to be able to teach in the elementary level.
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7 Responses to Part 1 – Copyright & Creative Commons

  1. Kristy says:


    I loved your reflection “as a future teacher, I believe when I am excited about a subject or subjects the students will pick up on that and become excited to explore and learn also.” I remember my U.S. History teacher in high school. I hated history. I was never any good at it. Then I had Mr. Raasch. His passion for history, and his ability to pass that excitement onto students was what allowed me to love history. When I became a teacher, I remembered that passion and excitement of Mr. Raasch’s and how it affected me, and I vowed that I would do the same for my students. I mean, is that not part of our job? Get our students excited about learning? What better way then to show them our excitement!

    You also mentioned at the end of your post that “I will be in a learning mode, too, as I work in the digital age.” I don’t know about you, but I feel like the second I stop learning something new I get bored! I believe that times are always changing, and especially in regards to technology, we will always be learning not only how to use it, but how to implement it into our classrooms. I like your willingness to do so!

    • Jan Rue says:

      Thank you for the encouragement! I also like what you said about learning and continuing to learn. Life is a process and it is true, when you stop learning something new it could get really boring. I will keep this in mind as I continue to learn and grow, along with my students and children.

  2. Jan,
    In terms of the internet and copyright laws, I am new to all this as well. Never before had I heard the term primary source or the concept of creative commons websites. I had no idea what the difference was between any of these ideas. While some teachers are stuck in their “traditional” ways of instructing, it is refreshing to know that there are also many out there who are embracing changes and adapting to using technology with their students. Technology is a huge part of everyone’s daily lives nowadays and it’s important that teachers embrace it instead of push it away. I have always thought that the best teachers are the ones who are passionate about their work. This is true with any profession. Students pick up on this excitement and I think it’s wonderful you have found a career you are so passionate about.

  3. lukeandelona says:

    Hi Jan,
    I really connected with your comments and thoughts about teaching not needing to be reinventing the wheel all the time. A few years ago, a teaching team member and I took a class together about maximizing time as a teacher. We learned a lot about saving time with little things so that we have that time for correcting papers, grading, etc… One major theme of this class was to work together, rework others’ ideas, collaborate and SHARE. There is no reason that our work should be autonomonous of each other and isolated. Education isn’t that way, never has been meant to be. Taking the extra effort to get into the habit of working together really saves time! Also, as the saying goes, two heads are better than one!

  4. shafner12 says:

    Hi Jan,

    One of your first comments is that you were “a little bit fuzzy on this in that many times teachers will “reward” students with movies.” You also said, “I am guessing because they have purchased the DVD or rented it, then this is ok under copyright laws. But they are not allowed to download a movie and show it.” I too was a bit unsure about that aspect of the copyright laws. I’ve had many teachers in grade school and college show movies, either as part of the course or as a “fun day” (usually if there was a sub in class). As you did, I assumed they owned the movies so they didn’t need permission. I guess that’s how it works. 🙂

    I also completely agree with your comment about the YouTube video: “Too much information, too fast talking, and I could see them just glossing over it.” I thought the video was overly silly and unhelpful for both kids and adults. The talking was way too fast for kids to understand, especially with an important topic!

    I’m new to the technologies we’re finding in this class too! I’ve always been a bit technologically challenged. Good luck with becoming a teacher! I’m new too!

    • Jan Rue says:

      Its nice to know I am not the only one started out on this journey with the digital age. I was talking with Dr. Z and he had a great comment. He said he doesn’t expect teachers to understand all there is to know about the Internet. But if they could increase their students learning by 10-20%, it would well worth the effort. I like this idea and it frees up my thinking of having to do it all! I can incorporate different skills I am learning to “increase the learning”for students and add to it as I go along. I love it!

  5. Jan,
    I was surprised to see all the special copyright rules as well. Some of them were rather confusing to me too. Like the showing a video in school: I remember having a lot of movies played in my classes over time, I even remember bringing one in myself one time in elementary school but I never realized how technical the rules were on all of it. I too guess that owning it makes it ok, but I know in the event of showing a movie to a large group outside of a school setting you are suppose to get permission.
    I too found a lot of great tools from my glance at Primary sources and I’m excited to learn more and use them!

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