Schools are increasingly using digital resources and applications, not just as users of other people’s materials but as creators of new materials and applications as well.
Copyright plays a significant part across the curriculum and in schools’ wider community activities:
- While we are all used to copyright as users or consumers we can often be unsure what is ‘OK’ for education use and what is not.
- Digital technologies, in particular schools’ VLE, IWB systems and websites, have brought to the foreground, the ‘re-use’ of other people copyright materials.
- The extension of the virtual school to include the home and anywhere/anytime access through mobile devices is today as much a copyright consideration as the school location itself.
- Schools are also in effect publishers and distributors of copyright materials as schools increasingly use networks, ‘cloud services’ and activities such as ‘podcasting’.
- Copyright is an aspect of e-safety.
- And last, but far from least, ‘copyright’ for creators – an aspect that is highlighted by the widespread use of websites, cams and imaging devices, teacher and student produced presentations and resources and will be significant in the new ICT curriculums with their increasing focus on developing ‘code’.
‘Copy Rights and Wrongs’ brings together information about copyright and licensing from a school’s point of view with introductions to the UK regulations, school licences, open licences such as ‘Creative Commons’, and how they work for schools and young people.
There are also sections on ‘Good Practice’ covering: School Policy, Training and CPD, Risk Management and annotated lists of other resources relevant to UK schools and what colleagues in Europe and other countries are doing. There is also a case study on how ‘Wikipedia’ manages copyright.
Early feedback appreciated the detailed introductions but requested some kind of “speedy intro” to it all – so ‘Quickstart’ was provided – though even here ‘Copyright’ remains somewhat complex as the rules differ media to media and with each different situation that pupils and teachers engage in day to day, in and beyond school. FAQs and Quizzes in the main sections provide alternative routes into the issues of copyright.
There is also a ‘Student View’ of copyright which considers the issues in terms of specific media – websites, images, film, music, etc. – and provides another way into the subject.
A ‘News and Updates’ feature on the homepage keeps schools abreast of the developments in UK copyright – and there are likely to be some significant changes in the next year or two. Since the Gowers Review of Copyright in 2006 the NEN has responded to consultations about copyright providing a voice for schools and is currently preparing its response to the final consultation following the recent Hargreaves Review of last year.
Further materials and case studies will be introduced in the coming months.