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Copyright for the Digital Age

As I learned from my story about open content licensing, there's a lot of confusion on the part of both teachers and students about copyright law. The Internet in particular has made copyright even more difficult to figure out, since it's so easy to copy information, pictures, music, and other forms of multimedia, whether it's legal or not.

That's why I was particularly excited to get the announcement from the American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy and the American Association of School Libraries (AASL), in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English, about new copyright lesson plans for middle schoolers. The lessons have been updated and modified to include connections to the AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

There are a total of five lessons, all of which are available on the ReadWriteThink Web site, or you can go to each individual lesson by clicking on the links below:
Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing
Students as Creators: Exploring Copyright
Students as Creators: Exploring Multimedia
Copyright Law: From Digital Reprints to Downloads
Technology and Copyright Law: A "Futurespective"

Each lesson includes an overview, objectives, further reading, activities, and Web resources, and they're written to be taught collaboratively by the teacher and the students' library media specialist. Before educators can tap into the open resources that are available on the Internet or share the resources and materials that they create, it's really important for them—and their students—to understand what copyright actually means and how it works.

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