Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Citing Sources Part 1: More on facts.

In my last post, I mentioned a few sites where I send kids to learn about copyright and fair use.  This is part two.   I spend a lot of time in class talking to kids about fair use.  I often start off giving examples of scenarios and asking kids if they think the issue is legal or illegal. It's surprising how many of the kids think things are legal!  (By the way, this is a great way to use polling software to get results and collect data.  You could even do a pretest- post test of the materials to see what kids have really learned.)

One of the places I send kids is readwritethink.org.  Although it is a site developed by the National Council of Teachers of English and not a librarian site, it is a fantastic go to site for teaching copyright (and anti-plagiarism). Upon visiting the site, you can search for copyright in the search bar and find over 50 lesson plans to help you teach the topic to various grades. This is a great tool for English teachers but also anyone who teaches the rules of copyright and plagiarism. I often pull a few of the lessons and do them with the kids. There is often a lot of discussion when I do the lessons.

The copyright alliance education foundation has a great copyright quiz I have used time and again to get kids thinking about the rules and laws. The site has a plethora of materials for teachers to use in their classrooms.   There is a comprehensive program for teachers as well as lesson plans. The tools here are excellent for teaching kids how to follow rules and guidelines about copyright.  This is a good starting point for a classroom teacher focusing on the topic. The site is lacking information about fair use, however.

To teach students about this, I visit the Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center.  Here, I find a lot of direction and information to share with kids about fair use. I really get them thinking about some of the rules. The discussions we have had have lead the kids to question a lot of things they face daily.  They have learned a lot of information but they start thinking about things, which is what I want to see happen.

Copyright with Cyberbee is a little more elementary, but if you are working with middle school kids, it may help get the point across. It has a bunch of questions you can click on and learn the answer.  I see success with grades 6-8 here, and no so much with high school, but, I have added it to my bag of tricks when the middle school kids walk through my door.

Finally, Richard Byrne also has a fantastic amount of information on his site Free Tech 4 Teachers.  He has information about everything, but, he has a nice site devoted to copyright.  It's worth checking out.

The idea of teaching copyright and plagiarism and citations can be a little scary.  Kids have no fear about what is right and wrong and it is our responsibility as teachers to make sure they follow the rules.  Hopefully, my links will help make that happen.

Next in the series...Citation Machine as a way to help make the proper citation.

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