In this post I will write about the communication pattern of sharing on the Internet. Sharing is when individual users share data in collective channels (Hoem and Schwebs 2010). The content may then be shared further with other people. Typical examples are the shared content on Flickr, YouTube, Google maps, Facebook and Twitter. I will write about sharing as a communication pattern, intellectual property, copyright and file sharing.
One of the characteristics of Web 2.0 is sharing data. A large part of the data in some of the most popular websites (some of them are mentioned above) are created by the users. Many children share a lot of data on the Internet without being fully aware of the problems with sharing. In school we have to learn children about the possible consequences of sharing. They need to know that they will lose some control over what they have shared, and that they should be critical of what and to whom they share. They also need to be aware of where they share their data (the websites may have different rules and practices).
Intellectual property is another problem with sharing data on the Internet. “Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind, for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized - and the corresponding fields of law” (Wikipedia). The laws of intellectual property mean that you own what you produce, and that you don’t have to register your product for owning it. Examples may be be texts, pictures, music and videos that you upload on the Internet. Copyright, patent and trademark are important concepts of the laws of intellectual property.
I have chosen to write mainly about copyrights, which I feel is an important concept of intellectual property for children to learn.
Copyright “is a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work” (Wikipedia). In today’s society it is easier to share and collect data. The data may reach a broader audience, but may also be used without permission of the author. You have to own the copyright of the data to fully use it, but rights may be given away by the author. Examples of this is Creative Commons licenced products. These products may be used with “some rights reserved” (Creative Commons).
Copyright is mentioned in eight goals in Kunnskapsløftet (Otnes 2009). One goal in Norwegian before the eight grade is that pupils should be able to explain about the rules of copyright when using texts from the Internet (Saabye 2008). Since I work as a teacher for the fifth to seventh grade, I have chosen to look at some things that may be important for children to learn about copyright in these grades.
As long as pupils are in the classroom or on the LMS (which is an extension of the classroom), they may use most of the data on the Internet, according to Kopinoravtalen. When creating a PowerPoint presentation to use in class for example, children are free to use most of the data they can find on the Internet. According to the agreement you may not copy sound, videos, software and original works of pictures, photography's etc. on the LMS. Pupils should learn to know about the different rules for using data on the different areas. They should learn to refer who have created the data, or where they found it. The rules of copyright are different on the Internet, where they really should know the rules of copyright. When you write something on the Internet it is published in another arena than the classroom or the LMS. You may not publish other people’s data unless they have given you the permission. My pupils in school use Glogster for school and home assignments. Glogster gives the pupils an opportunity to create digital posters. It is common to use data like pictures, texts and music in these posters, but according to copyright laws the pupils may only use data they have permission to. They may use data they have produced themselves, or free data from websites like Creative Commons or Wikipedia. File sharing is also a big problem for the music business, and when users share files that they don’t have the rights to, it is illegal. Children also need to learn about legal and illegal file sharing. Including among others the consequences of illegal file sharing for the music business, as many children seem to think that it is ok to download and share music despite that it is illegal.
I`m ending this post with a YouTube video about copyright on the Internet:
Bjarnø, Vibeke et al. DidIKTikk. 1. utgave. Oslo: Fagbokforlaget, 2008
Harboe, Leif. Norskboka.no. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2010
Hoem, Jon og Ture Schwebs. Tekst2null, Nettsamtalenes spillerom. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2010
Otnes, Hildegunn. “Å være digital.” Å være digital i alle fag. Red. Hildegunn Otnes. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2009
Saabye, Malin, red. Kunnskapsløftet, Fag og læreplaner i grunnskolen. Oslo: Pedlex Norsk Skoleinformasjon, 2008
Salvesen, Torstein. IKT-boka 1.0 - for lærere og skoleledere i grunnskolen. Oslo: Kolofon Forlag AS, 2009