Ever find yourself asking questions like these:
- Can I play “The Telltale Head” episode of The Simpsons in class as part of my unit on Poe?
- Is it okay to include a clip from The News Hour with Jim Lehrer in my ReadWriteThink lesson plan?
- I want to show a screen capture from a video game in my conference presentation. Is that okay?
- Can a student use the chorus from Dire Straits "Romeo and Juliet" in a PowerPoint presentation on the play?
- The class made a video adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book. Can we post it online?
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (HTML PDF) provides guidance that can help answer all these questions. Released today and endorsed by NCTE, this document provides an overview of copyright and fair use practices and includes five principles that address specific situations teachers encounter when using copyrighted text in the classroom.
In addition to the code, be sure to visit the Media Education Lab website, where youll find key resources and curriculum materials. The site includes links to My Pop Studio, which focuses on media literacy for girls 914, and Assignment Media Literacy resources for elementary, middle, and high school students. Youll find songs and video clips that you can use with students or in your professional development workshops. The Teaching about Copyright and Fair Use section of the site includes case studies and lesson plans.
In addition to understanding copyright and fair use, you should know something about Creative Commons. For a great overview, check out “The Beauty of Some Rights Reserved: Introducing Creative Commons to Librarians, Faculty, and Students” from the November issue of the Association of College and Research Libraries publication C&RL News. The Learn More section of the Creative Commons website offers movies, comics, and FAQs.