Thing #9 – Be Legal and Fair

Copyright Quiz!

I was aware that there are copyright laws on the pieces of information that I share in class or that my students use for their projects and presentations.  After taking the quiz, I received a score of 16.  I think this demonstrates that awareness is pretty important.

Copyright Quiz

However, simply being aware is does not make me exempt from unknowingly breaking copyright laws.  This past year, I was short on textbooks from my Connected Math series.  These are very small textbooks, they look almost like workbooks, and for one of the units, I didn’t realize I was 3 books short until the day I passed out the new units.  I quickly went to make copies on my planning hour for students to use, and those students continued to use the copies for the entire unit (which typically last 4-6 weeks).  This copyright infringement may have affected the publisher of the textbooks, Pearson-Prentice Hall, because they did not receive the additional funds for those extra students because I copied the textbook rather than purchased new ones for the students.  Next time this happens, and I’m sure it will, I intend to perhaps use the photocopies in a pinch for a couple of days until I put in an order and get student copies for each of the students, rather than using the copies for the entire unit.  I would also collect and destroy the photocopies once students have their own books.  I could also have students pair up if I am short on books until the extra student copies arrive.

Creative Commons Licensing!

I was able to go to the Creative Commons site and create a license for my Weebly page.  I work very hard on the documents I share with my students, so I chose not to let anyone to make changes to or commercialize my work.

Weebly Creative Commons


Plagiarism Checkers!

Our English department has encouraged us to use for a couple of years now, and I could never really get used to it.  In math, I don’t have students do a LOT of writing, and this service just always seemed so cumbersome.  DupliChecker seems quick and easy to use.  I submitted my husband’s Human Anatomy and Physiology final research paper to see that he did a very nice job of using his own thoughts and ideas.  The only thing DupliChecker found were the direct quotes that he used and properly cited.  In my own classroom, I can definitely see using this as I assign quick homework writing assignments to my students.  I often ask them to pretend an alien has just arrived from outer space and does not have ANY idea how to subtract rational numbers, for example.  Students will then write a comprehensive explanation of exactly how the would explain this concept to our visitor.  These brief writings could easily be submitted to DupliChecker to make sure the students haven’t found too much “help” online.

ISTE Standards

4b Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources – Making sure that students are not unknowingly infringing on copyright laws by encouraging them to search images, music, and other media using the Creative Commons website would ensure that they are gaining access to the appropriate digital tools and resources.


Summarizing and note-taking – If students are accurately and effectively summarizing what has been learned and taking notes on the information in their own words, plagiarism checkers such as DupliChecker and PlagTracker submissions should illustrate that the work is definitely not “cut and pasted”.

Assigning homework and practice – Instructors could assign research papers or other smaller writing assignments, making sure students are not copying the work of others.  Students could be directed to find illustrations through a Creative Commons search rather than a regular Google Images search, and they could also assign a Creative Commons license to their own work, making them more aware of the essential copyright laws.

Cues, questions, advanced organizers – Creating an organizer for a project involves students producing an original piece of work, the perfect occasion for a Creative Commons license!


One thought on “Thing #9 – Be Legal and Fair

  1. There are more and more public domain images and resources that people are sharing which is really nice for all. Having a CC license on everything helps us know what we can use or not. We need to encourage everyone to CC their work.

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