Using Creative Commons Practically and cutting the HASSLE!
I created this post as a reply to Sandra Hodges question. But then I thought it was such an important topic - especially when we are being asked to create stuff (which can be potentially 'published' - think flipped classrooms and whatnot) that I would start a thread where I hope we can discuss using materials we source on the web legally and practically and WITHOUT HASSLE! And maybe even share some of these resources.
Using images / video / sound whatever is a key element of teaching practice and (in my experience anyway) so many see 'just copying something off the web' as the way to go. Most of us know this is basically wrong but when you try to engage with the 'doing it properly' the overheads can be overwhelming - and as busy people well...
But I also have a view that if we as teachers engage in these 'just copy' practices we are doing a disservice to our students. As they see it as ok too - inside and outside of the classroom. Now I do not want to get into the debate about if this is right or wrong. Or if all resources should be free for all. I am not a lawyer or a politician (and I have no intention of being one). But I do think we need some common sense here and CC gives us a real option. But there is a problem...
My role is working in a University. My department provides academic recognition and academic development courses - so in effect our students are teachers. I was recently asked to create a course showing where we - as educational professionals - could use third party resources (keeping us legal) and demonstrate good practice within the wider context of our courses.
First. I have found this video to be extremely useful: http://creativecommons.org/videos/creative-commons-kiwi. With the exception of the middle 'combinations bit' which I think - although a great reference - gets a bit overwhelming (and the point I see my audience blipping out) the rest is clear and meaningful. For example showing how a s student can use a CC image on a tee shirt for friends or a class team or something but making the point the image needs accreditation and cannot be sold. Wonderful!
I then get my group to imagine they are a musician or artist or photographer (in ideal situations I ask them to bring something special they have created) and then turn the tables asking them to create a CC licence under which they would be happy for that item to be used. Working in a Uni many colleagues are happy to share resources non commercially but would feel pretty miffed if something they created was used by someone else in a way out of the spirit in which they shared. To make a sack of money for example. The CC 'choose a license' tool webpage is great. Tick the boxes and there is your licence. You get something techie to embed and - even better - some plain old ordinary text you can add to a document. Now you can share whilst being legally protected. I find this exercise really helps people see and understand CC. So far so good!
But now comes the problem. Everyone leaves fired up and start looking for stuff the can use legally and in good spirit and then hit a wall. Its easy enough to find CC resources but how do you do the right thing re the attribution? Flickr for example. Brilliant images. Brilliant resource! But here is a challenge. Check out this CC Licensed picture. But how the heck do you credit this if you want to use it on a PowerPoint or a handout document? If you dig around you will find 'share'. Under that code snippets for websites and blogs and things but nothing that gives you a simple and legal 'copy and paste' text. For my colleagues I created a 'how to'. This ended up being a real faff and nearly half a page of steps to do. Now check out this page. In my view these guys have got it right. This is a music site with CC licensing. Great resource for my Premiere Pro students who need soundtracks. You find a tune. You can download and - click that MORE button and there is the attribution text. Ready to copy paste and go.
So my comment here is - until we make this stuff copy and paste - things like CC are a great idea. But add hassle and it becomes something we don't use as second nature. My request to Flickr - and the CC sites out there. Don't just use CC as a vehicle to drive users through your site. Give us something we can copy and paste and use on offline stuff too!
Also. Would be pretty cool if we could collect together a list of useable CC sites / resources. I know. I know! You may be reading this thinking 'haven't you heard of this that or the other resource that does exactly that'? Well - my answer - probably not! And if I don't know about this fab resource then it is probably true for others reading here too! - so please share!
And again thank you Sandra Hodges for raising such an (in my opinion) important topic.
Ian.PS. I added all the Adobe Products as this does effect all in one form or another. Then I removed them as it looked a bit silly! :-)