Copyright and the Classroom

16 Sep

Here is my “amusing” cat, which I found on, by clicking on the “animals” category and then “cats and kittens.” According to the website, all the pictures have been placed in the public domain, so they can be used for either personal or commercial use.

Copyright for online information has become just as important as citing books and “hard” copies of material in this digital age. As teachers, we must teach by example, so it is important for us to know how to properly cite and give credit to the sources from which we get our information. Soloman and Schum assert that in the future “….we see…the integration of tools for greater transparency and ease of use…anytime learning and more equitable access” (Soloman & Schum, 2010, p. 14). The illegal use of information on the internet is common and easy now, but if the future is heading towards a more “transparent” world- with information even easier accessed than today, without a population well skilled in the rights and ideas behind copyright, intellectual property faces a dangerous future.

Students should understand why and how intellectual property is protected- and that the same protection could one day help them as well. Just as it is important to share this information with students, it is important to practice this as well. I’ve frequently used pictures off of the internet in my powerpoints without a second thought, but it’s good to have these other websites as resources geared towards the fair use of pictures. Chances are, students may not know about these websites either, but may be more likely to use them once they do- knowledge is power.


Cat picture retrieved from:
<a href=”” title=”Cat in a tube”>Cat in a tube</a> on <a href=”” title=”Public Domain Images”>Public Domain Images</a>

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2012). Web 2.0 how to for educators. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.


One Response

  1. Margaret Ray says:

    I think the idea that copyright protection could one day help students is an important point. This idea could be further developed and used to motivate students to learn about citing sources. But as with many things, it is hard to get students to look into the future and imagine the importance of property rights to themselves and society.

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