Copyright and oer

Education is the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next, and with the digital age it has become even easier to share information.

...but how much is too much?

As information and resources are shared it is important to give credit where credit is due as well as obtain permission...and not go overboard

Copyright and Fair Use

As soon as an idea is created, it belongs to that owner and permission must be granted before it can be used.

Copyright Law and Fair Use Guidelines help educators use resources legally understand what can be used and what cannot.

As a general rule of thumb, when copying printed material done use more than two pages or 2,500 words and only take one graphic or image from the work.

If you're gathering images, use a Creative Commons supported website by starting at or a website like that also cites the photo. Some tools like Adobe Spark Page have built in search tools that uses Creative Commons licensed photos.

For incorporating music, it's always a good idea to use music licensed for reuse. is a great tool for finding Creative Commons licensed music. Also, don't be afraid to explore your own creative talents to make music using an app like GarageBand!

Click on the hyperlinked words above as well as these additional resources:

Creative Commons

By now, you’re probably wondering a couple of things:

  • Do I really have to ask permission for everything I use?
  • What is the difference between Creative Commons and Copyright

Creative Commons was developed to allow for people to obtain licenses so that others can use, share, and even remix resources without obtaining permission.

“The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates.” -Creative Commons, About the Licenses

There are six types of Creative Commons Licenses that have different rules about attribution, sharing, remixing, and commercial use.

Creative Commons is a copyright evolution that allows creative ideas and resources to flow around the globe for the benefit of others. It has also been a great way for teachers to more easily bring in engaging content into their lessons.

Check out this resource for more information about Creative Commons Licensing and how it works!

Open Education Resources

By nature, Educators are constantly wanting to learn more and more and the more they learn the more they’s in our DNA!

As a result of this desire to share with our colleagues, Open Education Resource libraries have grown tremendously in size, scope, depth, and rigor.

Open Education Resources are completely free resources created by educators or organizations for the sole purpose of sharing knowledge and information. These resources can be reused, and remixing is encouraged so that all can benefit!

OER are vastly changing the way students and teachers have access to up-to-date, relevant material.

They are also changing the financial landscape of schools as well, as many are opting out of buying expensive textbooks that become outdated the moment they are published.

For more information about the OER Movement, check out these resources:

Access these tools to dig in and start searching free to use and remix OER:

Here is a great blog from KQED Mindshift titled "10 Open Education Resources You May Not Know About (But Should)"

...and of course Twitter has an endless supply of resources, tips, tools, and fellow educators sharing information everyday!

Created by Edward J Simoneau

You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format; Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material.

For more information on terms of use, click here.


Created with images by cogdogblog - "Life is Sharing" • stux - "head carved share" • cogdogblog - "2011/365/49 Learning is Here" • Giuli-O - "Street Creative Commons" • Pexels - "dark light neon"

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