Thursday, April 30, 2009

Copyright 180

I am attending the always wonderful PSLA Conference at State College, PA.

Yesterday morning I attended a session for librarians and the CFF (Classrooms for the Future) coaches. We began with an enlightening session on how CFF coaches and librarians can work together instead of fighting "turf" wars (see great wiki on collaboration by Hempfield School).

Afterwards we began an eye-opening session on copyright by Renee Hobbs. Renee is founder of the Media Education Lab. Renee provided us with a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. I feel like the copyright chains have been released for educators and students. We discussed fair use and transformative works in the context of education and how that allows us and our students to use copyrighted materials in many cases where we previously thought we could not. The idea of transformative works is the open window in the stifling environment of copyright guidelines. I feel better equipped to teach my students and teachers how to use copyrighted materials in accordance with the Code of Best Practices instead of always saying, "No, you can't use it."

Watch this video by the Media Education Lab on User Rights! You will do a 180 on the way you deal with copyright (if you haven't already).

Although, I did leave the session wondering, "Where does Creative Commons fall into this picture?" As my students have been creating more digital/media products, I have been pushing Creative Commons this year. So, as if reading my mind, Joyce Valenza began her session on Creative Commons.

Photo used under Creative Commons license from

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