Remix copyrighted material for digital learning
Lots of teachers, librarians, and technology coordinators feel like gatekeepers when it comes to using copyrighted materials in the classroom. You may wonder:
- Is it true that you can get sued for showing a Disney film?
- Is it true that you're not allowed to use Google images as part of your own creative work?
- Are all of those rules and guidelines and rules taped on the wall by the copier really necessary?
It turns out that educators make a wide variety of uses of copyrighted materials in their instruction, from analyzing copyrighted media, to making copies for classroom use, to selling curriculum guides that use copyrighted materials for illustration. Media literacy educators have joined together to develop the Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. By learning some key questions, you and your studens can evaluate which uses of copyrighted materials are not only legal, but encouraged to enrich teaching practices and create new knowledge.
ACTIVITY: EXPLORE THE POWER OF REMIX FOR CRITICAL THINKING AND CREATIVITY
1. Start with Experience. Watch the music video, User Rights, Section 107 and download or display the Lyric Sheet and sing along. Discuss: What does the word transformative mean? How does using other people's work transformatively support the creative proces?
2. Explore Examples to Consider Adaptation to Learners and Contexts. Children can develop creativity and critical thinking skills by using copyrighted materials to create something new. View The Fight for Green Energy Remix and notice the choices of images, language and sound. What inferences can you make about the purpose and target audience of this video? Then view Making the Remix which depicts the work of a group of Grade 6 students involved in learning about remix. Finally, view Fair Use Justification, where children explain why they believe their use of copyrighted images is transformative. Discuss: What elements are evident in children's understanding of copyright and fair ue? What elements are emerging, missing or incomplete?
3. Compose, Create and Take Action. View the short screencast Using Remix for Media Literacy and Gender Stereotypes to learn how to explore the Gendered Advertising Remixer. This fun tool enables students to experiment with remixing images and sounds. Students see how images and language, music and sound convey gender messages. This interactive activity supports the process of exploring gender stereotypes. Then read the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education to learn more about copyright and fair use in education. It's important to understand your rights and responsibilities under the law.
GUIDING QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
How do remix practices support critical thinking and communication skills?
How do remix activities change the way we pay attention to and learn from media messages?
When are students' uses of copyrighted material most likely to be transformative?
Why are copyrighted content from popular culture, mass media and digital media necessary for digital and media literacy education?