Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Copyright the Classroom

Unbeknownst to a teacher, he has been recorded during a class, the video edited to show the teacher in a negative light and posted to YouTube. There is little recourse in getting the video removed. Nightmare scenario for a teacher. Technology has entered the classroom in ways that support student learning, but the potential for abuse is very real.

Education has always focused on respecting the use of copyrighted works. What about protecting teachers and the integrity of the classroom?

Acceptable Use details permissible online behavior, responsibility and consequences, but is this enough? A teacher's words, lesson plan, delivery, materials and image are proprietary. Can a teacher be protected by copyrighting his/her work and image? Could this add another layer of protection and legal recourse against intellectual theft as well as malicious activities?

I recently saw a demonstration of a "smart pen" (Livescribe) that, when used with specialized paper (the binder looks like any other spiral binder, but the paper has embedded microdots) can aid students with note taking. The user takes notes and can, at any time, return to the notes, press the pen down at a specific section, and listen to an audio replay of the class lecture. The pen also records video of the note page that can be used with a computer to review the notes, has ear buds for individual listening, and probably eight other amazing features. Truly a fantastic tool for the student who needs educational support.

In addition to cell phones, this is yet another type of recording device being brought into the classroom. Where are the guarantees that the audio of the teacher's lesson won't be downloaded, edited, and used against the teacher in some way?

Technology has outpaced school policy. Teachers are nervous, with every right. It is time for policy review to protect the teacher.

Photo credit:
Flickr Creative Commons

Now brought to you by copyright by Glynnis Ritchie

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