The iKeepSafe Copyright Curriculum Project K12: Setting the Record Straight
The California School Library Association (CSLA) represents teacher librarians and library technicians. Our California Teacher Librarians actively teach K-12 children about Information and digital literacy, and provide support for both teachers and parents.
CSLA was asked to be one of the volunteer participants in an iKeepSafe project, sponsored by the Center for Copyright Information to offer teacher-librarian perspectives on iKeepSafe’s curriculum on copyright and fair use for grades K-12. We were included in a group of project participants that include not only ISPs and content industry but also the Future of Privacy Forum, Center for Democracy and Technology, Internet Education Foundation, and Public Knowledge.
Although CSLA did not create the draft curriculum for this project, we did want to provide our perspective and advocate that this “new” copyright curriculum include four key items: 1. align to the Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools, 2. advance the value of teacher librarians, who have special expertise as information literacy and digital literacy teachers, 3. encourage divergent stakeholder groups to work together for the benefit of children, and 4. encourage students to be creative without using fear-based education techniques.
The draft materials, created by iKeepSafe, were released to the press before CSLA or the others referenced above had the opportunity to review them. The current draft requires important edits to adequately promote the creativity of children and include important principles about fair use at the elementary grade levels.
Teacher librarians in California are already teaching about copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons. Indeed, the Creative Commons concept of limited copyright directly aligns to the Model School Library Standards and is specifically referenced in these standards. An excellent source of materials already available for use can be found on the Creative Commons website: https://creativecommons.org/tag/copyright-curriculum.
We applaud iKeepSafe’s efforts to gather multiple and divergent points of view and to ensure that the information shared with students is credible. We appreciate that iKeepSafe values the role of teacher-librarians and their commitment to teaching children information and digital literacy. We also believe that children need to be instructed about the principles of fair use in elementary and secondary grades. Teacher librarians welcome conversations of dissent and discussions based on evidence to support diverse opinions. We support students as they move beyond accepting singular perspectives and towards thinking critically and creatively. We want to equip students to form their own perspectives while respecting other points of view.
The California School Library Association will continue to advocate for information and digital literacy education and welcomes opportunities to enhance the teaching of copyright and fair use.