ISTE Standard 5.1 – Digital Citizenship

ISTE STANDARD 5.1 says that students will:

  1. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

The digital citizenship question that has nagged me for awhile is what sort of tips and guidelines can I provide to my grade 9-12 World Language students so that they will know how to responsibly use/cite online content (audio, images, video, text) in their submitted coursework? 

Given the beginning level of most of my language students, the writing and presentational tasks they are responsible for remain fairly simple. In general they do not have a lot of sources to cite outside of translation websites and their textbooks. On occasion, however, I do assign them mini essays where they use the target language to describe their families or the location of items in a picture of a room. These types of assignments are much more productive when there is a photo and in both cases students could presumably use a photo from their own digital photo libraries. However it is not always easy to transfer a photo from a personal phone to the computer at school for reuse in a homework assignment. In addition I occasionally also I ask for them to find images of items specific to the target language country or in the target language (famous sights, signs, menus, maps). As a result many students tend to snag random images on the Internet without reference to copyright or licensing. In general images from wikipedia tend to carry a Creative Commons license, but not all. As a teacher I’d like to be able to give them clear guidance as to which images are permissible to use and how to provide correct attribution. The truth is that I find citing photo sources to be equally challenging in my own materials creation. Websites such as http://www.rock.k12.nc.us/domain/1103 give a brief and comprehensible description of the guidelines for fair use, but no easy formula for citation of online images.

During a recent live class meeting for EDTC 6431 – Learning with Technology a resource was mentioned that may simplify this task greatly. Photosforclass.com allows for one to download photos and the proper attribution is included in the file so that when you insert the image into another document, it will automatically include a notation of the source. A few initial trials demonstrated to me that it would allow for searches in a foreign language (in this case Russian). What I’d like to see (and what I intend to test in this blog post) is if that attribution will also work if the search was conducted in Russian instead of English. So here are two searches for pictures of Moscow:

KremlinAttributed
Figure 1. A search in English for “Moscow” turned up this image.
Historical Museum Attributed.png
Figure 2. A search in Russian for “Москва” turned up this image.

It would appear that the original language of the search makes no difference and that the attribution displays fairly well when inserted into a blog post. In short, it works!

My conclusion is that the ease of this website could make it easier to require students to use proper attribution when using online digital images, and also to enforce that requirement. Rubrics created to go with projects requiring some sort of image could include a criteria of good digital citizenship, and this website would give students an easy way to comply. A World Language class may not about digital literacy per se, but insofar as the use of digital resources plays a large part in student learning these days, the practicing of good habits should (and can easily) be an element of the overall class expectations and design.

References:

  • Photos For Class – The quick and safe way to find and cite images for class! (n.d.). Retrieved August 14, 2016, from http://photosforclass.com/
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