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.