Journal 3: Copyright Law

     Last week, EDLD 5316 covered digital footprints/tattoos.  This week, the course jumped to copyright law. Both of these topics are important, but the technicalities and vagaries of the law require much more attention to detail than the discussion on digital footprints. In both cases, the course missed the mark on being up-to-date and current.  The digital footprint discussion failed to mention cookies, tracking, GPS or location services, and privacy policies that affect our digital footprint. The newer, and sometimes invisible, elements of digital literacy have been completely forgotten here. I feel like the same issue is happening here in the copyright module of the course, as well.

    From the course videos to the quiz to the assignments, I feel like this course needs a major revision. The quiz focused more on historical details rather than the current application or definitions relating to the law. One of the videos was shockingly poor design, having been created by what looked like an early animation tool.  There certainly are better videos available, so I am left to wonder what the purpose of providing such poor quality resources would be. There is an overabundance of resources, but so many of them are such poor quality that I have had to go outside of the coursework to locate information that I need.

    The concept of Fair Use is very important and is a topic I wish I saw more of in school district professional development offerings. As an English teacher, I must be familiar with these laws in order to navigate my curriculum and coursework. I am being asked to provide numerous mentor texts to my students, which means that I need to find and provide bits of published text that includes good examples of the skill that I am teaching.  I also need to be able to provide a wide variety of choices when we read material in class. If I am to follow the instructions given to me by the district on the specifics I am supposed to provide, I will certainly go over the allowable amount of Fair Use items. I feel like there is a much easier way to present this information in manageable chunks to teachers. I need to know what I can use, what I can copy, and how much I can borrow from published works.  It seems like a simple infographic could be made that teachers would be able to access and easily make sense of what they can do in the classroom.

  A few things not included in this course includes the question of rights and ownership related to public image and social media, faculty rights pertaining to lesson creation and design, digital media, and digital piracy.  Since I am part of the DLL program, I wish we spent significantly more time discussing what we can share and post online for class purposes. I read a bit about the TEACH Act, but now I will have to go explore that more on my own.

    In summary, I know more now that I did before about copyright and Fair Use, but I wish the course was more useful and updated.