Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

Using Creative Commons licensed materials

There are so many wonderful materials available today with a Creative Commons license that it is easy to find photos and podcasts  and  texts that are completely  free for us to use.   I make a point of teaching my students how to  find these resources, and I use them myself.

One  such resource that I used last year and will use again this fall is Cory Doctorow’s short story A Place So Foreign.   My students enjoyed the story,  in part a young man’s  adaptation to life back home after living for some time in another “place”.    This year, I am going to use the audio version of the story,  created  by Dunesteef.  It is available in 2  segments here and here.  The  audio is going to be useful to my ESL students  – especially to get them oriented to the story.

I  have plans to use Doctorow’s  Little Brother in the future.  I have the class totally planned out  but decided not to use it  last year.  It is available  for free download, too.  I own a  hardbound  copy  of the book, and I expect my students will buy the book, too.  But the fact that  it is  available with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license makes a lot of difference to me.   The license  allows you to

share it, remix it, and share your remixes, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis.

So if I want my students to create a multimedia project with portions of the book,  I can.   They can then post them online and not have to worry about copyright infringement.

I think it is important to teach students to be responsible online.  Respecting  copyright is part of that.  The wealth of materials available with Creative Commons licenses makes this task pretty easy.

For more information about the use of Creative Commons in education, check out the Creative Commons  website.


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2 thoughts on “Using Creative Commons licensed materials

  1. Thank you for the information about the short story. This looks like fun. I like having an audio option with books. I am seriously considering using WHODUNIT at http://www.abax.net/catalogue/fiction-in-action-whodunit-creative-commons-edition.html for my low intermediate class. It looks promising and will take them out of the textbook which I think is a good thing.

  2. Thanks for your comment, John! I downloaded WHODUNIT and liked what I saw. I would be interested to know how it goes it you try it.

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