Monday, May 30, 2016

Nurturing Learning Communities Reflection 3

The suggested prompt for this week was:  What have you seen that you think may violate creative commons, fair use, or copyright law? Did you do anything about it? Why or why not?
Personal Screenshot

Nothing but the work my students complete comes to mind.  I've been trying to instill the need for students to respect people's work by doing image searches that filter for those allowed for reuse.  I go as far as to do an image search on their blog posts about their Passion Project for the images they use to make sure they show up under such a label and mark them down when they don't.  

Since I've started to make such an effort not to use anything that isn't labeled for reuse, I know how hard it is to ignore some excellent images because they haven't been labeled as such.  It's a process that is going to take time.  Especially since when you do an image search for "labeled for reused" and then filter for such, you get a group of photos like these.

I do notice that a lot of the people I admire in the EdTech world, particularly those that blog, do their best to follow copyright laws and adhere to creative commons practices.  I always do my best to give credit, where credit is due.  This applies in particular in the education world where we want to share and build off of other's great ideas.

Then this made me think of those who don't want to share for whatever reason they may have: insecurity over their ideas or competitive need to be the best.  In class, we've been talking a lot about PLCs and PLNs (Professional Learning Communities and Professional/Personal Learning Networks for the acronym-impaired).  We talked, in particular, this week about trust in both and what both PLCs and PLNs need to work well.  

I think some PLCs don't work very well because sometimes schools, districts, the teachers within it themselves create an atmosphere of competition.  The point of participating in a PLC is for the benefit of all the students, not just one set of students.  So, trust is broken when educators hold back things that worked for them because they want their students to do better than the other teachers.

What I personally need from both and PLC and PLN is reciprocity.  I can't continually give and not get anything in return (and this itself could lead some teachers to stop sharing).  I think, from experience, that when educators are just starting to build and explore PLNs, they are going to, more naturally, take than give.  Now that I'm getting more comfortable communicating and sharing in the social media world of education, I've been making the effort to share more instead of just take.  

It's okay to capture up great ideas for awhile; but at some point, you should start to give back.  Sometimes, being reciprocal isn't always about sharing your work and ideas, but giving feedback to those that do.  It doesn't need to be tit-for-tat.  

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