Lisa Douthit
PLTW & Mutlimedia Educator

Image and Video Resources & Responsible Use for students

In today's environment of rapid information at our finger tips, google images & media, social media sharing, memes, gifs and so forth, it can be a challenge for students to realize the importance of responsible use. I am also a firm believer that Digital Citizenship and Responsibility must be taught in context rather than as a separate subject in order to connect and have a lasting impact with students.

How are educators integrating responsible use of digital content into "real world" creative ideation, multimedia creation and sharing while maintaining student voice, choice and quality production and outcomes. What are industry professionals take on responsible media use for their future workforce?

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Comments (12)

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Brett Aggersberg

Posted on 5/20/18 7:52:07 PM Permalink

This is a really interesting thread. At my University we have been working on teaching art and film students the importance of responsible research (the quality of the source and how to find the original author) and push students to use their own material even to the point of capturing their own original surface textures for projects rather than googling them. Many students appears to need to be trained to understand the given and take and the respect required when working with images. Sometimes it can even be a matter of training students that referencing and including the work of others is OK, instead of shying away from their usage. We are also keen to work with media archives to help develop a greater understanding of the value of working within the restrictions and benefits of pre-existing material.

Judith Kay Wilson

Posted on 4/12/18 4:45:11 AM Permalink

I just used a photo for one of my spark pages by choosing from the free photos and to my surprise when I went to update the page in the copyrights section- photo credit was given to someone other than me. Free photos aren't as free as I thought they were. I am not saying I care about this- just surprised by it. If I use stock/free photos, paid or unpaid, I always look in the Meta Data (Adobe Bridge) for copyright information and photo credit before I proceed.​ The lay person probably doesn't know how to check and yes many instructors do just state somewhere on their samples or say that their material is to be used for educational purposes only. And yes, I am guilty of letting students in the university grab a photo by googling and using it for a classroom exercise, but I do not encourage them to use them for assignments unless they are sure it is copyright and credit free. Besides, I teach photography and graphics and they usually just take their own pictures- and most of the time I expect them to use their own pictures.

Dan Ross

Posted on 2/6/18 12:44:57 AM Permalink

One thing I try to teach is to always give back when you can. For example, if you have a great picture, you can post it on and list it with a CC0 license (free for commercial and personal use). I offered this picture up to the community and in 2 weeks, it's been viewed almost 30,000 times and downloaded over 100x.

It feels great to contribute when you can!​

Kenneth Morgan

Posted on 1/29/18 5:02:16 AM Permalink

Learning is a lifelong process. It's our job as educators to share information with others, without judgment​, knowing that students (at all levels) come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Have patience, realizing not everyone has the same experience and information as you – perhaps a staff meeting is in order to get everyone "on the same page"?

Here's a link to Filmmaker IQ's recent video: ​The History and Philosophy of Copyright. I hope this helps in extending the discussion :)

Lisa Douthit

Posted on 1/24/18 1:56:36 PM Permalink

​I love the responses here! Thank you. So confirming to my thoughts. Let's keep the conversation going.

Maris Herr

Posted on 1/24/18 12:22:39 PM Permalink

​Unfortunately I feel like we have been having this discussion forever!!!

I sat in a staffroom some time ago and listen to another teacher wine about the fact that the images she wanted to use in a class presentation had 'nasty grey writing through them', (the marks were from a well know image seeling site). When I explained that these were water-marks, designed to stop people using the images without permission she had absolutely no concept of what I was talking about. The reply was that 'the images are on-line so they must be available'.

How can I teach digital responsibility to my students, when in the next lesson they are presented with material that has been (and there is no polite way of saying this) stolen?

As someone that earns a living not only from teaching but also from my photography and digital publishing I do have a vested interest in keeping my images and text safe and getting paid for the time I put into producing the work. However I have not the faintest idea how you get the idea across to fellow staff members, let alone students, that just 'because it is on the internet' it is NOT free, and that the copyright holder deserves to be paid for the work they produce.

Stephen Horvath

Posted on 1/24/18 12:31:11 PM Permalink

I get that question from students and staff all of the time. They seem to be under the impression that educational fair use provides some sort of blanket immunity to people. My answer is always that it depends on the feelings of the judge the day the issue goes to court. Fair use is a grey area and I advise people to simply avoid it and use royalty-free media. And if you're going to ignore the last statement, at least give the artist credit!​

Maris Herr

Posted on 1/24/18 12:44:30 PM Permalink

Well said!

Lisa Douthit

Posted on 1/24/18 1:55:22 PM Permalink

I totally agree. I both teach and at times have done graphic work for others! I have encountered on both school and clients, who do not understand stock materials, images, fonts and music. ​This is one of the reasons, I believe as a teched, multimedia and STEAM teacher, that digital "skills" MUST be integrated and not taught in isolation.

Susan Hall

Posted on 1/23/18 8:59:17 PM Permalink

It's almost staggering how many people think the internet is an abundant resource for any image one likes. Google Images is one example that is treated with a 'help yourself'​ mentality. I saw where some woman stole, by downloading, every item another lady had in her DeviantArt gallery. Then, the thief set up a shop, by the same name, and opened for business on Etsy. When the original owner of the images confronted the thief, she merely stated that 'they (the images) were there' - on the internet.

Then, there's the guy who was sued for using a photographer's image without consent. He paid up, then, took to the internet to accuse photographers of posting images - just so they could sue people who take them!

I started out online by being mesmerized by all the wonderful images! Over time, and with understanding, I feel the internet is akin to walking past people's shops, deciding which one's to enter and what to 'take' away from there when leaving. You wouldn't do that unless invited and you wouldn't take a thing without paying for it!

Thank you.

Mary Ann Cole

Posted on 1/23/18 6:12:22 PM Permalink

How timely that I'm teaching a lesson on plagiarism​. I try to make sure that my students understand that "plagiarism" is NOT limited to copying written sources, but that it involves the copying or stealing of any form of intellectual property. Thought it particularly timely that our local newspaper published a story about China's displeasure with the U.S. for not being "objective" in our understanding of China's industries that create "knock-off's" and fakes. The same day that article appeared in the paper, we caught a re-run of Law & Order SVU wherein a college professor allowed a student to publish under the student's name a book that the professor had written. Student saw no problem with that until she was hauled in for (among other issues) plagiarizing her professor's book! Can you believe!!?? Grateful for laws that protect intellectual property!

Stephen Horvath

Posted on 1/23/18 5:50:57 PM Permalink

We do not allow our students use use any copyrighted material in our high school publications. My co-adviser and ​I feel that we are setting them up with unrealistic expectations if we let them pirate material from other sources. That being said, I let students use royalty-free materials for some class projects and videos. While we can ask students to shoot their own photos or video, we don't have the capability of creating our own music in most cases.