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Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens

The project was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the Center for Copyright Information. Click here to review the curriculum without providing your information.

With Special Thanks

iKeepSafe would like to thank the many experts who contributed to Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens.

Legal Review

Center for Copyright Information, attorneys and experts

David Sohn, Center for Democracy & Technology

Jerry Berman, Founder, Center for Democracy & Technology; Internet Education Foundation

Michael Carroll, Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University, Washington College of Law, Creative Commons co-founder and board member

Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge/FCC

Annemarie Bridy, Professor,University of Idaho College of Law; Affiliate Scholar, Stanford University Center for Internet and Society

Pedagogical Review

The Education Advisory Board met to review the lessons for teaching methods, age appropriateness, and relevance to the education community. We appreciate their attendance at a working session and follow up revisions.

Frank Gallagher, Vice President, Cable Impacts Fountation

Michelle Lipkin, Educator

Barbara Stein, Director, Partnership for 21st-Century Skills

Glen Warren, Teacher-Librarian, California School Library Association

Lesley Farmer, PhD, Professor, California State University Long Beach, California School Library Association

Camilla Gagliolo, Instructional Technology Coordinator in Arlington County Public Schools, ISTE Executive Board

Dana Greenspan, CTAP Specialist at Ventura County Office of Education

Jaimie Potts, Educator

New High School Curriculum

Complete the form below to download the K12 curriculum in iBooks or PDFs.

Welcome Educators!

Never before have educators, copyright experts, and open information advocates worked together to teach kids Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens™. The lesson plans, videos, activities, and handouts are designed to inspire creativity and help students make conscious choices about sharing their own creative work while understanding the value of respecting the rights of other creators.

Why teach copyright to students?

Giving students a basic understanding of how copyright and fair use work together to encourage creative work is essential for several reasons:

  • Basic Student Competencies: Students today grow up with powerful technologies at their fingertips from very early ages. Through these technologies, they experience digital worlds where they access, share, and generate their own creative work. This highly connected environment creates an immediate, practical need: Students need to know the rules of the road in these digital worlds, and copyright and fair use are an important part of the law.
  • The Future of Creativity: Beyond the students’ immediate needs, the future of creativity will be affected by how we choose to interact with creative work. We all want encourage great new books, music, games, movies, and art for everyone to enjoy. To keep creativity flowing in a world where copying and distributing are so easy, we look to copyright. Technology doesn’t just make it easier to copy—it also makes it easier to create, and we want our own creations respected.
  • The Future of the Internet: How we interact with each other online is also important to the future of the Internet. Noted Internet and civil liberties expert, Jerry Berman recently explained: “In order for the Internet to function as a free and open entity, we need citizens to choose to live ethically in their digital environments.” We all benefit when we connect online ethics with the benefits of existing in an online world where people choose to play fair. Helping students understand the civic boundaries we agree to abide by as we interact in digital spaces will give them an ethical edge as they make creative work themselves and as they use others’ works.
  • AASL Library Standards and new Common Core Standards identify “understanding copyright and fair use” as essential 21st century skills. Our goal is to make these concepts clear and accessible to students and to give them the knowledge and skills they’ll need to be successful in the digital world. We anticipate that these lessons will prove practical and relevant in multiple curricula that deals with creative work.

    This new digital citizenship curriculum helps middle school students understand their rights and responsibilities as both creators and consumers of creative work. Students learn the basic protections of copyright and why copyright is important for our creativity. Students also learn the limitations of copyright, such as facts and ideas, government documents, and situations of fair use.

    In addition, students learn important skills for navigating online media, how to acquire creative content legally and ethically and why it matters. Lessons also help students recognize the good players—sites that offer content legally versus those that encourage illegal filesharing. Finally, students discover how to find creative work online that is free to use as well as situations where others’ creative work may be incorporated into our own. Lessons are supported by case studies and activities that teach critical thinking.

    Development Process

    iKeepSafe applied a rigorous development process to ensure an accurate, age-appropriate curriculum on copyright and fair use that will be easy to implement and enrich existing class lesson plans and projects.

    Education Standards

    Click here to see how the curriculum aligns closely with current education standards: AASL, ISTE Standards•S (formerly known as NETS), P21, Common Core State Standards, Model School Library Association.

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