Are Teachers Taught About Creative Commons?

Earlier this week, I worked with my fellow OSAPAC member (and chair) Mark Carbone to share some thinking around Creative Commons Licensing with educators at #CATC15

The title of this post, “Are Teachers Taught About Creative Commons”, was one of the questions from the group of educators we were learning with.  This brings up another issue about who owns the learning when it comes to teacher education, but that question is for another day.  For now, it is important to understand why being fluent in using Creative Commons is very important to the maker culture in the classroom.

There are many resources for educators to learn about how to use Creative Commons.  We wanted to focus more on the “why“.

Last week, George Couros shared his work on the innovator’s mindset.  He suggested that innovative practice requires both networking and remix.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 10.58.52 PM

How do we encourage “remix” with our students and educators?

Stages of Becoming a Maker
Image created and shared by Dr. Jackie Gerstein

If we are going to encourage copying and remixing, it is essential that teachers understand proper use of licensing.

Teachers need to help students license their work in a way that will encourage properly attributed use, and encourage further creativity.

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Shared under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license by Darren Kuropatwa

Modelling the use of Creative Commons Licensing of work provides a structure for thinking in a positive way about creativity, sharing, and remixing.

Where can you find more help in understanding Creative Commons Licensing?  Bill Ferriter has provided an excellent page of resources here.  In Ontario, Rodd Lucier is one of our best experts and he has written profusely on the topic.

How do you find Creative Commons Licensed work?  A number of search engines can be found here:


Compfight – choose CC licensed images (HTML embed code for attribution provided for bloggers and online teachers)

OSSEMOOC – Photo Sharing with Flickr

This amazing resource from Gail Desler: Can I Use That? A Guide To Creative Commons

9 thoughts on “Are Teachers Taught About Creative Commons?

  1. Donna, This is a timely topic – not only should teachers know about using Creative Commons licensed materials and where to find them, knowing about copyright and fair use in education is also important. I’ve developed a page for teacher candidates to explore more about this topic here:–fair-use.html. It’s a current collection of videos, links, documents for teachers to reference on these topics.

    Teachers need to know that they should also actively designate their own work (images, audio, video productions) with a Creative Commons license using a variety of options when sharing their work online. They can create their own licensing image easily at

    Hope these additional resources are helpful in informing teachers and leaders about Creative Commons. Great resources are waiting ‘out there’.

    1. Thank you so much for continuing to provide excellent resources for learning more about creating, learning and sharing together in an ethical and responsible way.

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