Legal and Ethical Use of Digital Materials

Digital books, tapes, news reports, etc. are forming our thoughts more and more everyday! But what can we believe and what can we use without copyrighting? Learning over the years in school we become more and more aware of what we can and cannot use, but many teachers do not teach the use of these materials and ethics well enough. Slowly moving into the education field and realizing more now in college the correct ways and usage of different materials I have came up with tools and games to use in the classroom. These games and tools are designed to educate the students at an early age about the legal and ethical use of digital materials. At the beginning of year you “put students to the test” by having them write a short essay about a certain topic, one that may be a little challenging. Many students may plagiarize without even knowing they are. You can have the students submit their papers to a link on Blackboard that filters out their papers and highlights plagiarized parts. Once they are all filtered you can show the students just to put a little “fright” into them and explain that it is wrong. From this early point on in the year plagiarizing hopefully will decrease because students know they will be monitored.

We can teach students that they are allowed to use certain parts of online journals, articles, books, movies, audio tapes etc. but they need to be informed on the amounts they can use. Another way to ensure copyright issues are not violated in classrooms is by showing the the web-page Editors Guide to Fair Use. This web-page explains the limitations on using another persons work/s. Along with giving them helpful sites and guides to ensure they do not copyright you can always have students take surveys or quizzes to test their knowledge on what should know and guidelines they should be following for the legal and ethical uses of digital materials. These surveys or quizzes will serves as monthly reminders!

There are multiple way to teach the knowledge about legal and ethical use of digital materials in the classroom, these were just a few!

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