Washington D.C., August 3, 2016 – The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), a nonprofit alliance working to help youths thrive in their digital communities, announced today the launch of a new high school curriculum, Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens. This release marks the final installment — making a complete K-12 series of lessons designed to teach students essential digital literacy and citizenship concepts. The new online materials (grades 10-12) build upon the middle school curriculum released last year, and are part of iKeepSafe’s BEaPRO™ initiative, which aims to help educators prepare students to be responsible and resilient digital citizens who know how to interact legally and ethically with all the creative work that surrounds them.
Jerry Berman, founder of Center for Democracy and Technology and president of the Internet Education Foundation remarked: “We are all both consumers and creators of content on the Internet. Therefore, it is critical that we understand the rules that govern the intersection of technology and free expression. This curriculum walks you through what copyright protects, and what it doesn’t protect. It also takes a balanced approach to teaching fair use and the other limitations of copyright, so students understand their rights as digital citizens.”
The new curriculum, designed for grades 10-12, includes short lessons with online student-directed learning videos. Lessons focus on students’ roles as creators and consumers online and the importance of copyright (including fair use) as they interact with creative work. Lessons also provide practical tips for how to acquire and share media, legally and ethically, and how students may re-use others’ work in their own creations through fair use, permissions, or Creative Commons.
“We developed this curriculum in response to many conversations with educators who requested reliable, balanced materials to help them meet new education standards that require students to know their rights and responsibilities regarding creative work,” said iKeepSafe CEO, Marsali Hancock. “These life skills are mandatory for job readiness and as students are increasingly consumers and creators in their social media worlds. Educators are in the best position to give them this essential preparation.”
Annemarie Bridy, Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, added: “I was encouraged to see that you gave fair use its proper role in the copyright analysis, and you did that in a holistic way. I appreciate the pedagogical challenge of having to present such difficult material in a practical, comprehensible way to kids. This curriculum rises to that challenge.”
“These lessons and videos are rich and thorough,” said Kami Cottrell, educator in the Encinitas Union School District. “Now that technology is as common as paper and pencil, students have the tools at their fingertips to be creators of content, rather than just consumers. Students need an understanding of copyright and fair use that will allow them to make informed and ethical choices for their creations. Knowing how to acquire and use creative work, legally and ethically, is one of the essential literacies of our time. The iKeepSafe curriculum gives me high quality, well-vetted, and easy-to-use lessons that are ready to go and ensures that teachers everywhere have the tools to start this critical conversation with their students.”
In addition, David Sohn, copyright expert and principal legal contributor to the middle and high school curricula said: “The digital environment is creating so many new possibilities for enjoying, sharing, and producing creative work. However, students need to be aware of the ground rules. The iKeepSafe curriculum aims to provide both a practical sense of how copyright affects students as consumers and creators and an understanding of the rationale behind it — the reasons why it may make sense for society to protect creative work in this way.”
The K-12 lessons and videos were developed with input from respected leaders from education organizations, such as Dana Greenspan, Educational Technology Specialist of Ventura County Office of Education and Glen Warren of the California School Library Association. Internet and technology law experts contributed as well, including Annemarie Bridy, Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society; David Sohn, former General Counsel of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Jerry Berman, founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Internet Education Foundation; and members of the Center for Copyright Information (CCI.org).
The K-12 curriculum is free and available for all educators to download and use in their classroom. The curriculum was developed by iKeepSafe and made possible through funding from nonprofits, including the Center for Copyright Information.
The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), established in 2005, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit international alliance of more than 100 policy leaders, educators, law enforcement members, technology experts, public health experts and advocates. Through this network of support, iKeepSafe tracks global trends and issues surrounding digitally connected products and their effect on children. This research drives the continuous creation of positive resources for parents, educators and policymakers who teach youths how to use new media devices and platforms in safe and healthy ways.