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Creative Commons and Reusing Digital Content

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By Kate Dare Comments (8)

In Term 2, all Cluster schools ran staff professional development around Creative Commons. This was planned by the Cluster co-cordinators and then ran by lead teachers. The main rationale for this PD was:

Users of blog sites and other social media sites frequently copy and paste content from copyright sources without permission in order to illustrate their posts. Before reusing digital content ourselves we need to check copyright restrictions and acknowledge the creator because:

  • We want to be honest and give credit to the work of others.
  • Originals may be subject be copyright or come with some special conditions.
  • We should lead by example and model good practise to our students.
This PD also worked towards the following Cluster success indicators:
  • Students are critically aware of their own cyber safety and their responsibility as digital citizens.
  • Teachers will be developing an understanding of Cyber safety and Digital Citizenship with their students.


  • Tony Greer

    An interesting reflection on the use of creative commons was the initial lack of knowledge/understanding of staff, myself included, around this area. Once staff were made aware of some of the details regarding this area it was reassurring to hear their follow up discussions around how they will now consider this in their planning and in particular with children on blogs and when researching material online. Also, the use of the CC Search website(http://search.creativecommons.org/) proved beneficial as it is easy to navigate and reassuring that any media you obtain from it is safe to use under the appropriate licences.

    This term's PD on digital citizenship was a good chance to revisit this and allow the teachers to further their understanding and the importance of it. A very real context was the Digi Awards where some of our entries involved sourcing media (such as music) that had to be creative commons licenced in order to be reproduced. One teacher had already found the music to be used online but then realised it needed to be appropriately licenced. A tense moment or two when searching for it via the CC search site with a happy result!

    The next step is to re-visit this and ensure that all classes are aware of, modelling and using creative commons effectively and also explicit teaching children the 'why' of this necessity in today's digital age.


  • Jacqui Frost

    Creative Commons PD 

    This was an interesting and timely topic for us as there was a definite lack of knowledge surrounding this area, with most people being unaware of the term ‘creative commons’ but being vaguely aware that there were restrictions around the use of digital content. 

    It is important for staff to be modelling the use of digital content appropriately for all levels.  If they aren’t consciously making those decisions and explicitly teaching these how can we expect our students to be displaying these behaviours? 

    Having PD on the ways content can be used and the different licences there are, was helpful and the PD was straightforward and informative.  

    One of the discussions that arose from this PD was the use of clips from Youtube. In light of our dodgy internet there had been a tendency to download these clips to eliminate connection problems (namely myself) and so there was some learning to do done here also. 

    The impact within the classes is hard to gauge, while you can see there are many opportunities to put into practice the PD it is obvious that this still isn’t always happening.   Unsurprisingly it seems that the more proactive a teacher is in developing their e-learning the more proficient and aware of appropriate creative commons usage they are. The conversations that tend to arise surrounding this topics do show a growing awareness.

    We are still on this journey and will continue for a time yet, but the digital footprint PD undertaken in term 3 was a definitive positive next step. 

  • Tony Greer

    Creative Commons poster for our cluster schools to use as part of the PD and follow up teaching/use

    CreativeCommons Info Poster.pdf

  • Kate Dare

    When I ran the Creative Commons PD with staff there was initially no prior knowledge. However, following the session, Creative Commons has now become part of our staff vocabulary and when we revisited Creative Commons during our recent Digital Citizenship PD, staff were able to easily use the Creative Commons search engine (http://search.creativecommons.org/) and some teachers had linked this to their blog for the children to use, so were able to access the search engine through thier blog. However, one misunderstanding I had to rectify with staff is that they can still use other images (non-creative commons) as long as they are not reusing them digitally.

    Teachers in the Middle School and Senior school have passed this knowledge onto their children when creating entries for the Manawatu Digi Awards, as any images from the internet that children used had to be either in the public domain or Creative Commons. In the mini documentaries created in the Senior school, children had to reference their photos in the credits. In the Junior school, teachers are modelling good practice on their blogs.

    In the Senior school, through discussions with children, it is clear children are becoming critically aware about copyright, Creative Commons and their own and others responsibilities. Parents knowledge on this area, however, needs to be improved as children are creating home learning using copyrighted images which cannot be shared on the class blog.

    Room 3 - Documentary created with Creative Commons images: 

    Room 2 - Blog with Creative Commons Search linked: http://room22012.blogspot.co.nz/

  • Kate Dare

    The Middle School at SJS has also produced documentaries and posters using Creative Commons images. This shows how staff across the school have developed their knowledge of Creative Commons from this PD.

    Room 6 Poster

    Ryan Cox Spinosaurus.jpg Ryan Cox Spinosaurus.jpg


    Room 2 Documentary


    Room 1 Poster 

    Emily Gunn and Karen Pardo Solorzano Pterandon .jpg Emily Gunn and Karen Pardo Solorzano Pterandon .jpg

  • Sophia Douglas


    The professional development about creative commons at TES also highlighted a lack of knowledge in this area. I found it difficult PD to lead as my own understanding about creative commons was still developing. We covered the different types of creative commons and what the protocols are for reusing digital information. This prompted good discussion and an awareness that further information and professional development may be required.

    There has been evidence from students indicating they are becoming more aware of the requirements when re-using digital content. However, it is an area that we improve in, especially when searching for images and then acknowledging the owner. Discussions around use of images during digiawards did however highlight that we are at least thinking about it.

    Recent professional development about digital citizenship was a timely reminder about a greater need to address creative commons and as such we have decided to include an excerpt in the newsletter that will cover creative commons to assist us and our parents and whanau  in becoming more informed and knowledgeable in this area.  Creative commons will be continue to be developed at TES as it is an integral part of our digital citizenship pathway.

  • Jacqui Frost

    Creative Commons Poster in class

    Currently we are aware at Kumeroa Hopelands that there is a greater need to educate both our teachers and students about the use of creative commons and the need to attribute work.  The first step is in putting up the posters to promote an awareness.  We have also displayed our school copy licence in prominent places around the school.  Our school copy licence

  • Tony Greer

    Some evidence of a class beginning to incorporate creative commons concepts when adding to their class blog;