Feeling a bit out of depth on this topic but here goes!
This past January I had the opportunity to participate in an online workshop called ‘Open content licensing for educators’ through wikieducator.org. The course focused on open education resources, copyright and creative commons and was offered free of charge around the world. Now when I told people I was participating in this workshop, I got a mixture of confused and intrigued looks. One may ask, why would I as a preservice teacher specializing in the Early Years have any interest in something that is seemingly so out there and unrelated to young children?
Well the premise of creative commons is simple: if you share something with the world you can pick a licence for your creative work that helps others quickly understand how much remixing, sharing and copying of your work you are comfortable with. If you go to creativecommons.org you can pick a licence and it will spit out an easy to read icon with a link to a page that explains what the authors chosen licence means. Once you have deciphered what licence the work is under, you are able to understand if you may share, use or modify the work for your own purposes!
So again, how is this all relevant to me?
- Creative commons provides a framework for sharing and an easy way to understand how can share, modify or adapt others work. It also tells you how the author would like be attributed if you end up using their work.
- As a blogger Creative Commons allows me to easily ascertain who doesn’t mind me using their photos to embed within posts. As the saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words! (My favourite program for finding pictures: Photopin.)
- Knowing about Creative Commons and copyright means I am able to model the importance of respecting others work and how to give proper attribution. Every early years teacher knows it’s all about modelling proper behaviour!
- Knowing about OER and Creative Commons means that when I share resources I have created I will be able to make clear that I value the work I have created, how I want it to be used and attributed.
The are quite a few nuances regarding how you can use and should attribute others work but with practice and reading it gets easier understand.
I am in no way an expert and am still learning the ropes, so if you would like to know more about Creative Commons visit their site at: http://creativecommons.org/. They also have a fantastic search engine that searches for Creative Commons Content that you can use: CC Search.
And as life usually works earlier today I saw this post tweeted out into the twitterverse: The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons. It provides a good guide for educators wanting to know more about copyright, fair use and creative commons!
It can be a complicated world out there on the web but sadly ‘ignorance is bliss’ is not a very good excuse. So if you are going to use others work take the time to learn about Creative Commons and copyright!
Oh and yes incase you were wondering this blog is under a creative commons licence. Still mulling over if I am going to change the modify/adapt portion of the licence. But as it stands right now:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Meaning: you may use, distribute, display and perform this work. And if you use my work you must give me attribution Name and Link is fine. You may not use my work for commercial purposes nor may you create derivatives of this work. (If you do want to create a derivative work of something on here all you have to do is ask).