Monday, October 19, 2015

Digital Citizenship Week: Ownership & Responsible Use

Want to promote responsible use of images in your classroom? Here's an lesson activity you can do with students that helps students understand why respecting the rights of creators is important.

1) Have students create an image on a topic that you are currently studying in class.
2) Instruct students to put their names on the back of the paper.
3) This next step involves temporarily changing the authorship of images. It is best done after a transition that will allow for the teacher to prepare and set the stage.

  • Display student's creations throughout the room
  • Using sticky notes, randomly assign other students names to the creations.
4) As students, recognize the disconnect between their art and the name displayed facilitate a conversation with your class. Some possible questions to get the conversation started.
  • How does it make you feel to see another name on your creation?
  • What's wrong with the teacher randomly assigning illustrators to different pieces of art?
  • Have you ever used an image in a presentation or on a poster that you got off the Internet?
  • Did you find out who the artist was? Did you have permission to display their work?
Wrap up the conversation, with the following Big Idea, "When we use images created by others, we need to make sure we have their permission to use the image as well as give the original creator the proper credit." Transition into the next stage, by asking students how we can fix the problem of the wrong names attached to the creations. Students will generate ideas beyond what is suggested in #5. Choose the student-generated solution that best fits your classroom community.

5) Provide time for proper attribution of student creations by moving the sticky notes. This is also a great opportunity for students to practice commenting on others work. This can be done quietly by having student write comments on sticky notes and post next to the author's creation. Alternatively, you could invite students to present their work and provide a space for their classmates to provide compliments and ask questions.

It is important that students leave this experience feeling validated for their creation because they got recognition and credit for their original work. You can revisit this experience throughout the year as students are looking for images to add to their work. Your class will have a shared experience of  what it feels like for someone to use their work without permission and not give proper attribution. This is an important perspective for students as they both create and use image sources responsibly.

Look for our next blog post on lesson ideas and resources on where to easily find Creative Common Images and provide proper attribution.

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