Multimedia is important in one major respect, instructing students how to navigate the internet by abiding the copyright and fair use laws, and how to identify images and text from the public domain. In addition, we instruct students in how to utilize creative commons. These skills are part of being a good digital citizen. Part of being a decent digital citizen is knowing how to research and how to cite your research because you want to protect yourself, your work, and give credit where credit is due. The copyright and fair use laws are in place to protect the creator of the work and the individual citing the information, image, or video.
Each category can be used correctly in the classroom.
Fair Use Laws
Common Sense Media states four points of fair use:
- use a small amount,
- add new meaning and make it original,
- use for nonprofit purpose,
- and rework and use it in a different way.
It is important to help our students understand “their rights to their own copyrighted work; identify how they can use copyrighted work without permission through public domain and fair use, and understand that piracy and plagiarism are forms of copyright infringement that are unethical and unlawful” (Common Sense Media, n.d. p. 2). Teachers can set a good example by making sure they cite their sources when providing information from any source. This single act establishes good digital citizenship.