Friday, 16 November 2012

Teaching Copyright/Creative Commons

I've had great success with teaching children about copyright on internet images, and through practise using different web 2.0 tools,  those children have put their new knowledge into action until using creative commons has become second nature for them.  This has been over two terms but it's really exciting to see children become responsible digital citizens.  I adapted the lessons accordingly dependent on the age level.

I wanted to share the process and tools I used with you.

To start with I felt children needed a real hook when teaching creative commons, so  I created a file in PowerPoint, copied a 'non-copyright' photo and turned it into a 'reveal photo' by drawing four rectangles that covered the photo and then used the animation menu and set an exit animation on each rectangle so when the PowerPoint presentation was played, one rectangle was removed at a time, revealing bits of the photo underneath.

Children had to guess what the photo was going to be after each 'reveal'.  This had the children hooked and they knew this was going to be their task.

Then we started looking at creative commons, because they couldn't just go grab any old photo like they were used to doing.

These are links to a couple of great clips I  showed the children.

Then we looked at various search sites other than google such as 

I modelled searching for a photo and how to check license information and how to copy and attribute a photo.

I then set the children the task of finding a non-copyright photo and I recommended they use attribution regardless of whether it was required or not.

The children set about the task enthusiastically and created their reveal photos in PowerPoint.  They loved it so much that they all went home and created them and teachers carried this through into their teaching in the classroom to reinforce the learning.

After a period of time, (6 weeks) I introduced the next tool which was 'Glogster'.  An online interactive poster.

Classes used this tool to present their inquiry, but this tool can be used in so many different ways.

Tip: When signing up to Glogster, use the educational version and children don't need an email address.  Teachers need to sign up and get a code which the children use on sign up.

We went over the terms and conditions and talked about how they were agreeing to not using copyright  photos.  So we went back over  how to search for creative commons photos etc, reinforcing their prior learning.

Teachers in the classroom backed this up by using Glogster across the curriculum.

Teachers were commenting how children were starting to use creative commons more instinctively and there was talk about whether images were 'copyright' or not.

Then after a period of time (6 weeks) I introduced another web 2.0 tool called which allows you to create an interactive photo.  Children do need an email address on sign up and once again we talked about the terms and conditions and how they couldn't use copyright photos, reinforcing creative commons.

By this stage I found that children had really taken the searching for creative commons  photos on board and it was becoming second nature.  Teachers fed back how children were 'talking' in the classroom when looking at photos online, asking each other, is that a copyright photo? Have you used attribution?

Children do need to be exposed to 'finding' non copyright photos in a meaningful and purposeful way. 

I hope this gives you some ideas to use in your classroom.  Of course the easiest photos to use are actually  the ones the children have taken themselves!

Feel free to contact me if you need any further explanation.  @HelenofTroy01

Please share any successes you have had teaching about copyright images by adding a comment below.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Pic Collage with Reflection

Today I was working with a class trying out a newly downloaded free iPad app called Pic Collage. Pic Collage enables you to add a mix of pictures, text, backgrounds, stickers/effects and save as a photo.  I can see how this app could be used across the curriculum.

I think it is imperative in today's world for children to be encouraged to develop their thinking and creative skills by giving them the time to explore and find things out for themselves, so today I gave the iPads out (1:3) and told the children (8 yr olds) to find the app called PicCollage and explore how it worked.

Children explored with great enthusiasm collaborating with each other.  After about 15 minutes they shared their findings. The next step was setting an authentic task which was to use Pic Collage to  present their recently created animal artwork in a creative way to put on the class blog.

The results were outstanding with each Pic Collage looking quite different.  However what impressed me the most was when a group of children had not only added their artwork creatively, but instinctively added reflections next to their artwork.  Such a great WOW moment for me.

Here's their Pic Collage.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Use wonderopolis to build a culture of curiousity in the classroom and to plant seeds for passion projects or genious hour.  Have fun.  Children and teachers alike, love it.