Copyrights, copyrights…, regulations we should all follow, but not many of us know about! If you are the creator, designer, producer of any product, you have the right to be in charge of its use and one way to control it; is by having copyrights. However, in the educational system not many teachers know about them. Teachers, sometimes unwittingly download material that are not supposed to be used without the author’s consent; and they keep on doing it because they have always done it and no one has told them not to.
In my opinion, this unintentional action is a direct consequence of the lack of information teachers have about how to use technology in the classroom. Once this subject is openly discussed in the educational system; and teachers are professionally developed in this area, they will star using consented materials. They will even contribute to expand the numbers of educational websites, and most significantly they will be better prepared to guide and teach their 21st century students.
I teach in a private school to secondary students, and this has been an important issue I have always discussed with my students _ “never take somebody else’s words as yours” students must write the source they took it from or the website it came from, and of course, write it in quotation marks. However, when it comes to power point presentations where they normally download images, songs, poems or even a text to analyse, they do not write the name of the source or website the information came from, and to be honest, I have never told them to do so, and I believe no teacher in the school have informed them either about copyrights, they are totally unaware they are doing something wrongful.
This module has been very productive and useful to all of us, teachers. We need to dig in for more information, be aware of all the educational websites we can use for educational purposes and even try to get in touch with the people in charge of giving permission for the use of songs in the classroom. In this way we will be in a better position to teach our students and lead them the way through the grey zone of copyrights. It is a start; we cannot just say “I didn’t know”.