All participating teachers are encouraged to share with others any lesson plans they use for this project.


(from Sinikka)

I don't know how it is with your students, but in our school, students need special training in how to appropriately cite Internet content they use in their school work. Maybe it's because all kinds of information and content seems to be so easily accessible on the Internet that students don't even think twice about producing 'cut and paste' work that they then claim to be their own. This is quite a serious issue, and I have heard at least a couple of TRUE stories about students copying copyrighted photos and after the owner found this out, bills of thousands of euros were sent to the schools!

Here are some of the issues I go through with my students before any project where their work will be publicly uploaded on the net.
  • Any information (text or pictures) on the net is the PROPERTY of its creator, especially if marked with the copyright sign, or the text 'all rights reserved'. Nobody is allowed to copy any such content as their own.
  • However, with the development of new networks on the Internet a new set of licenses has been created, called 'Creative commons'. These licenses give more flexible rights to others to copy and reuse text and pictures from net sources. There are a few different Creative commons licenses (eg. noncommercial or sharealike) that are explained in detail on the Creative commons website. Basically, most of them allow the use of the product under the condition of always crediting the owner/creator of it by proper citation.
  • I usually show this short introductory video called "Wanna work together?" to my students to illustrate what Creative commons licenses mean.
  • I tell my students to ONLY use material that is under a Creative commons license in any of their project work, and to learn to identify their sources with proper citation

How to cite online sources?

- For example the following format can be used:
Title of text/photo. [online] Available URL, Date. (date refers to the date when you retrieved the information from the net).
- Alternatively a link can be created in this Wiki by highlighting the title of the text/photo and then linking it to the original website. As an example, you can look how I have credited somebody else's photo I used in one of my blogs by using links. (look at the photo credit and links at the end of the blog post)

Where to find eg. photos under the Creative commons license?

I am a keen user of Flickr. There are millions of photos publicly viewable, but many of them are copyrighted, and so out of bounds for copying. However, when you search for particular photos, after the initial search, click 'advanced search', scroll down a bit, and you will find a 'creative commons' box to click and then you will get photos of your required subject that you will be able to copy, as long as you remember to cite them as explained above.

Also the Creative commons website offers a search feature for several net search engines (including Flickr). This is actually on the same page as the video I mentioned above. You simply choose the search engine tab you want, then type what you are looking for in the 'enter search query' field and you will get only results with a Creative commons license. Easy, huh?