Block Seven - Digital Citizenship


A movie crew often owns the film's intellectual property rights. The crew concerns itself with the exclusive rights regulating the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. Similar to camming, learners must practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology to refrain from infringing upon a copyrighted work.

I believe that we must help students learn to:
  • Seek the truth and express it,
  • Minimize harm,
  • Be accountable — be responsible, and
  • Protect the information infrastructure.
This is not something that we teach in the third grade, check it off, and go on. It’s not a skill. It’s habit...and it needs to be a part of almost every conversation that we have in our classrooms. [David Warlick's adaptation of the Society of Professional Journalists, code of ethics]

Block Overview

In this block we will examine two aspects of safe, responsible and ethical use of the internet. In the first part we will look at copyright and the emerging creative commons licensing options. In this section you will have the opportunity to explore online bibliographic tools and ponder the need to teach bibliographic formatting ever again!

In part two we will focus on digital safety. What do we need to do to keep our students safe while they converse, collaborate, create and contribute online?


Learners will understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behaviour.
  • advocate and practice safe, responsible use of information and technology
  • exhibit positive attitudes toward technology uses that support collaboration, learning and productivity
  • demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
  • exercise proactive leadership for digital citizenship
  • actively demonstrate civil and respectful behaviour in the digital environment

Achievement Indicators

Each learner will have
  • identified key copyright issues and strategies in a Web 2.0 world
  • compared online bibliographic tools by creating a bibliography of the resources used thus far in the course
  • posted a critical response to a posed statement

Learning Activities

At what point do concerns about safety become a fence preventing our students from participating in an increasingly flat world? Putting the ‘social’ into social networks allows us to freely exchange information. But with the free exchange of information comes the responsibility of how we share it, and how we give credit to the author of that information.

Check out this video, “A Fair(y) Use Tale” and learn some history of copyright

In the school library and classroom, we are often faced with the copyright challenges of when it is acceptable to copy something and how much of an item [book, website, music etc] we can copy. Faced with declining budgets and little time, we are tempted to go ahead and make the copies. But with the advent of file sharing, downloading and RSS, we must acknowledge and teach the ethics of information gathering and sharing.

Background on Canadian Copyright Legislation
Copyright Matters (the orange little booklet you should all have in your school)
Internet Citizenship from Media Awareness Network - overview and a list of links with more information about copyright and plagiarism.

A Need for Change?
As teacher-librarians we are knowledgeable about copyright issues, but the new participatory culture created by Web 2.0 and the proliferation of user generated content (UGC) in a rip, mix and burn world creates new issues about finding, using and sharing information. As our students become content contributors how can we not only teach them the ethics of using others ideas but also how to protect their own intellectual property? Commons Creative Commons is a copyright license that allows us to choose to share our intellectual property. This course is designed under a Creative Commons license and is an example of how one can take a piece of information or a product and re-work it to make it fit your needs. By acknowledging the original authors, they have given permission for you to share. One place for good information about what's going on with the Creative Commons is Lawrence Lessig's blog. Lawrence Lessig is one of the Creative Commons developers and a Stanford University professor."

Where to search for Creative Commons Media
See Joyce Valenza's wiki pathfinder on copyright friendly media.
Creative Commons Media Search - the place to go for videos, photos and music that have creative commons licensing.

tryitout.jpgWrite a post that describes your understanding of the new issues that arise when information is so readily available for reusing and sharing. Has the way in which we teach about copyright and how to use and document other people's ideas changed? What kinds of resources and information do we need to provide our students who have become content creators on the very visible Web.

Using the image tools that you explored in block three create a poster or slide show that demonstrates what you believe are the most important copyright concepts your students need to consider when using and creating information. Post it on your blog.

Citing sources

I,Donna, attended a library workshop as part of a grad class in which I am enrolled. I was totally thrilled with not only the overview the databases, but with the introduction to RefWorks. I am able to mark items during my search in the databases or in the card catalog and then later export to RefWorks, which creates a completely formatted and alphabetized reference page for me. Too Cool! There is even an accompanying program which I can use to automatically insert the in-text citation into my paper. Wow! This makes me wonder about how extensively we need to teach students about the correct formatting of a bibliography page. Why not just use a citation generator - there are several available.

tryitout.jpg Citation Generators
Examine the different online citation generation tools below. Use one of them to create a short bibliography of some of the sources you used for this class. Write a short post that describes your use of the online generator tools. How easy or difficult are the tools to use? What skills or concepts do students still require when using citation generators?

Landmark Son of Citation Machine
NoodleBib Express,
OttoBib (books only)
Zotero new_clipart.gif
Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and, such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways.

Online Safety

Do you have a FaceBook account? MySpace? If you do not, can you truly understand the environment in which our students exist? Teacher-librarians have always been stalwart defenders of the right to information. Can we, should we, still do so in an age when not only the tools that we use to read, view and listen to information but the also the tools that we use to create and share information are banned, blocked and filtered/ What role do teacher-librarians have in defending school-based use of these tools? What role should we play in determining the policies which govern the access of these tools for teaching and learning? It is important to understand the concerns, the dangers and the behaviours of children and teenagers when online so that we may become advocates for intellectual freedom on all fronts.

Reading Materials
The Internet's New Dr. Spock? (All parents question how technology is affecting their kids. Henry Jenkins, a media scholar at MIT, is working on the answer.)
Profile of a teen online victim: This article illustrates the characteristics and actions that create a victim… and its not always what we think.
Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace.
Students gullible online (summary of an article from the New York Times)
We can't teach the New Literacies soon enough

The SlideShow from the Webinair presentation Policies 2.0 from Doug Johnson

After reading the resources above and watching the Doug Johnson slideshow write a blog post which responds to this statement from Doug Johnson, "The danger to kids in Web 2.0 comes not from what they may find online but from what they themselves may put online for others to access."

Learning Resources

Resources to help teachers make decisions about digital citizenship including cybersafety, privacy, cyberbullying, and creating and using information responsibly and ethically.
from David Warlick

Classroom Provisions of the Canadian Copyright Act
Cyberbee Question & Answer
Copyright Comic Book

Online Safety
Surf Swell Island
Who’s Afraid of Little Sweet Sheep? (Chat Room Safety)
The Bad Apple (E-Mail Safety)
Web Mania (E-Mail Nettiquette)
Netzsmarts: Great resources including videos and lessons for parents, teachers kids and teens.
SafeKids : A family’s guide for making the internet and technology safe, fun and productive.
Cyber-safe Kids. Cyber-savvy Teens: Resources and free booklets for parents.
Center for Save and Responsible Internet Use (Tons of great resources)
Parenting the Net Generation: A PowerPoint Presentation from Canadian Home and School Federation and Media Awareness Network. It is a great resource designed to educate parents about what kids do on the Internet and offer strategies for ensuring safe, wise and responsible Internet use in the home.
Short lesson about online safety from Clarence Fisher

American Copyright Information
These are useful tools for using with students but some caution should be used as there are differences between Canadian and American copyright law.
Copyright Kids
Copyright: InteractiveJourney

What goes on the internet stays on the internet!
Students need to understand that information that is posted on the internet never really goes away. This short video helps explain the permanence of pictures and information placed online.

Think Before You Post

Cyberbullying Talent Show


Participants are expected to complete this block, Digital Citizenship, by November 4th to foster communication, however the completion of Meet The Stars is November 18th.

Block Five: Behind the Scenes| Block Six: The Talent Agent| Block Seven: Digital Citizenship| Block Eight: The Screen Writer