This week’s focus of study was U.S. copyright laws and how as teachers, we need to be aware of how original works can or cannot be used in our classrooms. I think the main lesson gleaned from this week’s readings and videos is that credit needs to be given where credit is due and we need to model good behavior in regards to copyrighted works for our students as well. Fair use is an interesting and useful way to use materials for educational purposes, but there are still rules that need to be followed. Fair use involves using pieces of copyrighted material without permission for “transformative purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work” (Week 3 lecture, 2017). For instance, for educational purposes, clips of a video can be used in a classroom as a way to prompt discussion. However, an entire video cannot be shown to a classroom if it is only for entertainment purposes without permission from the copyright owner.

There are also instances where fair use doesn’t apply: such as copying pages from a workbook and distributing them to students. This is an infringement of copyright because the author of the workbook will lose out on earnings that the workbook would have made if students had been instructed to purchase the workbook instead. Sometimes works fall into public domain, and in that situation, they can be used freely without permission. This pertains to very old works (copyrights are valid from publish-life plus 70 years) and a few other situations.

The best practice when a teacher or student isn’t sure about whether something qualifies for fair use or if something is public domain is to simply ask the author for permission to use their work. They might charge a fee to use it, but it won’t cost as much as a lawsuit and it’s the right thing to do!



Week 3 Lecture. (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Digital Footprints

This week, I learned more about how to keep a positive public online presence. Everything we do online is permanent, whether it is a search, a post, or a purchase. Anyone can find information about you fairly easily if you don’t take precautions to keep private what you want to remain private.

In addition to keeping certain aspects of your life safeguarded, it is also important to work towards building a positive online presence. Post only the things you would want an employer or even your grandma to see. By keeping posts professional and positive, you can cultivate a good impression of yourself- and serve as a good role model for others!

The way we describe our digital patterns is called a digital footprint. Everything we do online leaves a footprint behind that can be traced back to us. When I did a Google search of my name, a lot of information came up. All my social media platforms, pictures, and WordPress articles were revealed. I was happy to see that everything about me online looked positive and professional. If you frequently search yourself online, you can ensure that everything is staying positive and is a good reflection of your character; you can monitor the internet for any negativity posted about you and keep your online presence a positive one.

Digital Citizenship

Anyone who uses the internet on a regular basis is considered a digital citizen. It’s an interesting concept because a digital citizen has no physical boundaries on a map; it is a global community. The concepts of being a good digital citizen parallel the same ideals of a traditional citizen. The main difference is that the responsibilities of a digital citizen are associated with technology use.

Hands on a globe — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

According to the Josephson Institute (2016), citizenship is one of the six pillars of character, along with trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and caring. It is an essential component of having a good moral character; it is something that should be cultivated and constantly developed.

Being a good citizen requires a balance of duties and rights. Ohler (2010) referred to eight basic tenets of citizenship:

  1. Citizenship requires individual “virtuous” behavior.
  2. Citizenship requires balancing personal empowerment and community well-being.
  3. Citizenship requires education.
  4. Citizenship requires our participation.
  5. Citizenship is constantly evolving, and thus requires our ongoing debate.
  6. Citizenship must be inclusive.
  7. Citizenship is a result of media evolution.
  8. Citizenship is tied to community.

In the past few decades, the traditional idea of citizenship has expanded. It used to involve a physical community such as a town, city, or nation. Now that the internet has connected people from all over the globe, we have a new type of community that has no physical boundaries: it is a digital community. In a digital community, it is important to remember that others in that community are still human beings and are worthy of respect. Citizenship in the digital world is very similar to traditional citizenship. It should mirror Ohler’s tenets of citizenship, but reflect the differences that need to be addressed in a digital world.

Ribble (2015) categorized digital citizenship into nine areas:

  1. Digital access – Citizens have different levels of access. Full access should be a goal of citizenship.
  2. Digital commerce – Buying and selling online is increasing exponentially, and consumers need to be aware of what to purchase and the legality of their purchases.
  3. Digital communication – There are numerous ways to communicate online, and citizens need to make wise decisions in what and how they communicate.
  4. Digital literacy – Technological literacy requires citizens keep up with digital changes.
  5. Digital etiquette – Citizenship comes with a responsibility to follow etiquette when communicating with others.
  6. Digital law – Citizens have a responsibility to behave ethically and be aware of laws governing them.
  7. Digital rights and responsibilities – The rights of users are shared equally. These rights come with responsibilities.
  8. Digital health and wellness – Physical and psychological issues can occur when ergonomics and other problems are not addressed.
  9. Digital security – Citizens must take action to protect their information online.

Traditional citizenship and digital citizenship uphold the same ideals, tailored for slightly different settings. Digital citizenship defines the moral behavior of a responsible, caring individual who is part of a digital community. It is important to understand that ethical behavior is just as important online as it is when another citizen of your community is standing right in front of you.




Josephson Institute. (2016). The Six Pillars of Character. Retrieved from


Ohler, J. (2010). Digital community: Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.


Ribble, M. (2015). Digital citizenship in schools: Nine elements all students should know (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education