Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CEDO 555 - Post 2: Creative Commons

The question posed was, “How can you implement Creative Commons in the classroom or work situation?”

Before we discuss implementing the use of Creative Commons in the classroom with students, I think we need to step back and begin with some primer material in Media Literacy for teachers first as well as a Media literacy unit in some course or class for students.

Some good places to start are:

The use of Creative Commons will come as a result of first being informed of the issues of intellectual property, plagiarism, copyright, copyleft, fair use, public domain, citing sources and giving credit to works and the like. Activities focused on searching and finding media of all types that are acceptable to use in one form or another are necessary also.

At the same time, students will have to learn and to appreciate the value of their own work.This is a prerequisite to valuing the works of others and respecting any copyrights or attributions. Only then will students feel compelled to adhere to restrictions and guidelines set forth in copyright, fair use and attribution issues.

Of course, teachers must set examples for all of this for it to be effective. the use of Creative Commons media and attributions is just one part of a much larger topic to be addressed.

In using Creative Commons for finding images there is a distinctive skill that must also be taught and learned. When thinking of the image you want, often you have a picture in your mind and that's what you want because it will be perfect for what it is you are doing. However, easier thought than found. Quite often, the image you might be thinking of can be found at a royalty free stock photo site where you pay a fee or subscription. If you are looking for something free on the other hand, you need to be more creative and wise in your search.

First, give up the idea that you must find an image that matches the picture in your mind. (I know, sometimes you really need that Civil War battle scene because that's what you really need. Best of luck finding one you can use. Otherwise...) Think outside the box image. Think about what the feeling, emotion or main message is that you want to get across with the image. Try those words for searching. Try synonyms or two word summaries of those feelings and emotions. Or, think of another image that relates the same feelings or emotions. Example: I was trying to find an image to relate to the word "collaboration". Nothing came up really. "Cooperation"? Nada! How about an image of two people at two different computers? Too dorky and cliché. So I instead thought of "3-legged race", an activity that implied collaboration and cooperation. I found just what I was looking for.


  1. I don't know Curtis. We've become an instant gratification society and the internet makes rampant copyright issues as easy as cut and paste. More people are pirating Game of Thrones than are watching it on HBO.

    People are not going to take the time to read all material to educate themselves when they feel they are not doing anything wrong with copyright or don't have any fear they will get caught. I'm not advocating this kind of malfeasance. It's just that knowledge and restraint are hard and ignorance and gratification are easy.

    1. Exactly and of course Zac. That's why the discussion of using CC in school is kind of silly unless/until you can do the things I talked about which will happen ??% of the time. I think the key part though is getting students to value their own work first.