Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Piracy in Our Classrooms by Matt Schafer- HS Media Specialist

October and November inevitably brings an onslaught of students to my desk as they struggle to ensure their extended essays use proper citation formats and such to safeguard their papers.  They know “outsiders” will soon scrutinize their hard work and need assurance the ideas, language, and research of others are used in an ethical, moral, legal, and respectful manner.  These values are exactly what we want in our students:  integrity, responsibility, respect…best for the world. 

It goes without saying Jakarta brings a unique set of challenges in this domain, both personally and professionally. We all have experienced moments of frustration when we hear of /remember a great piece of video or audio that would enhance a unit, but soon find it will take some time to get it to Jakarta.  Still we must remember to hold true to the same values we expect for our students when it comes to using other people’s words, art, ideas, and expressions.  That being said, what message does it send when we use digital files from torre├čnt sites, pirated books from photocopy shops, and DVDs from stalls in nearby malls? Is essentially stealing other people’s work acceptable under certain circumstances?  Are we not all responsible to teach students about copyright and intellectual property?

The good news is that in almost every instance, there are solutions that can ensure legal materials are delivered to campus in a hurry.  These include digital stores such as iTunes, online book sellers, various eBook vendors, downloadable film outlets, and many others.  With a few days of advance notice, the librarian at each of our campuses may have a solution that allows an amazing lesson to flourish without compromising copyright law or supporting organized crime syndicates.  If one is already using pirated resources in a lesson, please let a librarian know so he/she can replace it with a legitimate DVD, licensed digital file, or book.  Finally, if unsure about some aspect of copyright, there are a number of online resources for educators.  Here are just a few:

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