Creative Commons

This week, Project ELITE has been investigating Creative Commons. I’m a bit ashamed that although I knew about this Copyright status, I have not educated my students nor fellow educators about it.

I hope to rectify that with a few lessons to my students and some gentle conversations with the teachers. I also plan on displaying some information cards to be attached to the computer monitors in the library.

When I first started investigating this issue, I was very concerned that I’d have to limit students to a few websites that had CC images. I knew this would be impossible given how addicted students are to the Google Image search. (We won’t discuss their general use of Google right now.)

However, I was grateful to find that in the Advanced Search options of Google, you can limit the results to images labeled for reuse. HALLELUJAH! I can just modify my students’ current habits and not force totally new ideas on them.

This got me wondering about something else, though. As part of their web filtering, Chicago Public Schools, limits Google searches to the Safe Mode of “Moderate.” If you try to search all websites, the screen goes to a Warning sign and an obnoxious siren wails. This Google setting is preloaded on the networked computers.

Now for my wondering – why can’t CPS automatically change the default setting to also only look for images which are labeled for reuse? Is this possible, or has it just never been considered?

I supposed I must also wonder if this should even be something I should advocate for. It would protect copyrighted images from misguided or uninformed students and teachers, but it would also greatly censor the internet.

I’m sure the best solution is to make sure that my students and teachers are educated. Perhaps if they see that there is a multitude of images that they already have permission to use, they will not be tempted to use work they need further permission for.

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Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. You raise some good points about Creative Commons licensing and I’m happy to hear that you plan to inform your students about it. I personally would not want to see an automatic filter only for items labeled for reuse. Sometimes, people want to use items that are not labeled that way and it is a good experience to contact the owner of the intellectual property to ask for permission. Thanks for the tip about advanced searching in Google!

  2. I want to thank you for the advanced searching in Google tip! That is how I plan on teaching it to my students and I was really unsure how to even approach the assignment until I saw yours — is that cheating? I hope not. Thank you for allowing me to keep my students addicted to google — just kidding. We will have to have a converstation on google some other time. Just wanted to quickly add that sometimes students / teachers / any of us just want to look at picture and not always reuse it, so I would not want to see it blocked. I think too much is blocked already. Those sirens really are crazy — we didn’t have those in NYC. Well, looking forward to seeing you Thursday!


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