I continue to become more and more aware of how little we know about copyright laws in education. Just for fun, walk through your school and try to find the person who really knows the laws. Yet we expect our kids to follow these laws. I think in many ways we are waiting for divine intervention.
If our staff doesn't understand the laws, then they are clearly not teaching them to kids. How exactly do think they are learning these laws. Here is another assignment. Now that you have found out that no one in your building can explain the laws to you, go locate a binder or a weblink or something connected to your school that explains it all. Good luck. Don't forget your magnifying glass and Sherlock Holmes hat.
We need to do a better job of educating ourselves and our kids on copyright laws. Just for fun, here is a short list of things you definitely can NOT do:
Your kids can not go to playlist.com and download songs to embed in their movies.
They can not add photos from the Internet to put into their presentations without citing their sources appropriately. And no friends, Google is not a source.
TEACHERS can NOT make multiple copies of CD's to share with their grade level, even if it is for educational use.
As we rewrite our Acceptable Use Policy for the fall and go into curriculum review next year, expect to hear a lot more about this issue. And expect to see a lot of visibility for it (read: weblinks, posters, lesson plans, etc...) If you have any other good ideas on how to communicate appropriate use and copyright laws to staff, students, and parents, let me know. Thanks.
In the meantime, here are a couple good websites with info on copyright laws.