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Digital Law

Digital Law


In this lesson, you will learn about the 9 elements of digital citizenship. Specifically, the Digital Law
element of digital citizenship, why Digital Law matters, and what Digital Law looks like.

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Digital Citizenship

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Source: Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Pixabay,; Umbrella, Pixabay,; Music Note, Clker,; Pallet, Clker,; Camera, Clker,; Photos, Clker,; People, Pixabay,; Book, Clker,; Classroom, Clker,; Microphone, Clker,

Video Transcription

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Hello everyone and welcome to today's lesson. The topic we'll be exploring is an interesting one, it's called digital law. So let's get started. Digital citizenship refers to the acceptable, appropriate, and responsible use of technology, and it includes nine elements.

Digital access, digital commerce, digital literacy, digital etiquette, today's topic of digital law, digital rights, digital responsibilities, digital health, and finally, digital security. My brush with digital law happened back in the early 2000s.

A practice I routinely employed in my first grade classroom was recording students as they read trade books. This was a great way for them to listen to themselves and measure the growth over time. When I built my first class website, I thought it would be a terrific idea to post some of them online so that children could share the audio with family members from around the country.

Then, I received an email from a book publisher who wasn't too happy. They asked me to immediately remove the audio of one of the books that had been read. Until then, I had no idea I was doing anything wrong. Digital law is the responsibility people have to act lawfully online and to adhere to the rules set forth by schools for access and use of digital resources and information.

Now laws are always changing, so it's really important to stay informed on this topic. It behooves students to understand the concept of intellectual property. Just because content is out there and available doesn't mean it can be used without permission. This includes speech, art, videos, texts, photographs, and music. This is property that may be legally protected by copyright, and the owner retains exclusive rights.

That means it's not OK to use, reproduce, or distribute it without permission from the creator. This is called piracy. Copyright infringement is serious and can result in legal penalties. Furthermore, violations of these laws in the school setting can result in academic penalties as well. The good news is that not all intellectual property is off limits.

Many people choose to share their work sometimes with restrictions, and sometimes without. As stated earlier, the laws have and continue to change. One example is the Creative Commons license, which was a happy medium between wide open access and copyright laws. This allowed people permission to use content they found online with certain limits.

For example, one may be able to show content but not reproduce or distribute it. If the resource doesn't have a Creative Commons license, you should always refer to the fair use laws. This simply means that the content will be used in a manner that will not take advantage of the creator. A prime example is using the material for teaching purposes.

Next, I would like to clarify copyright versus plagiarism. Copyright is material that is used without permission from the developer. Plagiarism is the use of someone else's work without giving credit or trying to pass it off as one's own. Now these two violations have one thing in common, they're both wrong.

Let's go ahead and summarize today's lesson. We reviewed the nine elements of digital citizenship, we focused and defined digital law, we discussed intellect property, the consequences of violating digital law, we compared Creative Commons and fair use laws, as well as copyright and plagiarism.

Here's today's food for thought. Take inventory of the content you've created. What measures do you have in place to protect your intellectual property?

For more information on how to apply what you learned in the video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this presentation. The additional resources sections include hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including brief descriptions of each resource. Thanks again for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Digital Law"

(00:00-00:10) Intro

(00:11-00:37) Digital Citizenship Overview

(00:38-01:17) Law Story

(01:18-01:35) Definition of Digital Law

(01:36-02:10) Intellectual Property

(02:11-02:32) Consequences

(02:33-03:12) Creative Commons/Fair Use

(03:13-03:36) Copyright vs. Plagiarism

(03:37-04:04) Summary

(04:05-04:35) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Understanding Digital Law

Digiteen Wiki from Flat Classroom Project -this site is created by students who were involved in a virtual collaboration project, the Flat Classroom Project. The wiki outlines what teens need to know about digital law in teen friendly language. Using this site with your students will help you build an entry level understanding of digital law. You may consider having students explore Flat World Project opportunities as an additional application of this resource.

Teaching Copyright

This is a creative commons website offering teachers a complete curriculum to teach digital copyright. Teachers are provides with five lessons and the associated resources necessary to teach their students about digital law and copyright. Important to this curriculum is the necessary dialog between teachers and students as teachers facilitate the lessons.