Everyone loves a good video. I’ve learned that video captures students’ attention in a way no other teaching device does. Oh, we can do many tech and non-tech hands-on activities with students, but none of those actually introduce informational material the way video does. In fact, students even prefer narrated slides presented as a video!
Let me first clarify that, while I’ve used video with students for more than 25 years, from science laserdiscs with at-risk high school students to online streaming as a middle school librarian, I’ve never shown a whole movie or TV episode or educational video that ran more than about 15 minutes—even Bill Nye gets old after 15 minutes! A particular Library Lesson of mine uses short videos to great advantage: Academic Honesty. I’m sharing these videos below (either embedded or with a link offsite) so you can see how using short videos or video clips effectively can impart complex concepts in a meaningful way.
Academic Honesty Videos
In an earlier blog post about Academic Honesty I wrote why and how I teach this conceptual understanding to meet CCSS Standards for documentation (bibliographic information, citation, and plagiarism). I present Academic Honesty through 3 legal concepts in an orderly flow that imparts a full understanding to students, yet minimizes the lesson time:
- Intellectual property (creations of the mind that belong to the originator or other designated owner)
Intellectual property is the overriding concept from which copyright, fair use, and plagiarism stem so I show examples of intellectual property and then use a video (2:05 min) about acknowledging the creators when using their creations.
My own “Sight-Site-Cite” video
- Copyright (legal rights given to owners of creative work so it can’t be used or stolen by others)
I transition to copyright with a video (3:15 min) explaining the legal rights conveyed to owners of intellectual property.
- Fair Use (limited legal use of copyrighted material)
It’s important for students to understand why they can use someone’s creations for their schoolwork without getting the creator’s permission, and a video (2:46 min) from Common Sense Media explains “Copyright & Fair Use.”
Along with Fair Use I show examples of works in the Public Domain (works whose intellectual property rights/copyrights are expired, given up, or excluded) ***(see Update at end of article) and then show a video (3:37 min) about the Creative Commons and another video (2:16 min) about using it at school.
Using Creative Commons at School
Only after students have learned the legal concepts of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use, do I introduce Plagiarism (presenting someone else’s words, ideas, or creative expressions as one’s own) stressing that it is actually an ethical (not a legal) issue concerning academic dishonesty or fraud.
If you’ve watched these 5 videos—a total time of only 14 minutes—you have a strong understanding of the power of video to transmit the complex concept of Academic Honesty.
By using short videos to introduce a complex concept, I can later give a short video review of any separate element any time it’s needed during the school year.
UPDATE!! Just 4 days after publishing this, Common Craft issued a new video (2:53 min) called “Public Domain”, the link to which I’m inserting here for you to also view. It would only add ~3 minutes to the total viewing time for all 6 videos.