Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Staying on the good side of the Copyright police

Our 1:1 iPad initiative provides students and staff the power to demonstrate and apply knowledge and skills in new and creative ways. But at the same time the potential for violating someone's authorship rights, either willingly or unknowingly, increases dramatically.

We partly address this problem by providing access to two services that provide royalty-free music and images students and staff can then use in their multimedia projects.

Music and Audio Files

Moultonborough School District has been subscribing to Soundzabound Music Library for years. Soundzabound provides royalty free music, audio themes and sound effects for students and teachers to use for their multimedia presentation, projects, and creations. These audio files are provided with different length depending on your preference, and all can be downloaded as mp3 files.

There are several ways to search for the perfect audio file for students' project. Students can search extensive categories, by volume, by artist, by the time needed, or even by title if known.

These audio files can be used for Powerpoint presentations, iMovies, podcasting and broadcasting, web sites, and any other public event provided that it originates in an educational setting.

Images and Clipart

Students also have access to several images and cliparts that are royalty-free and copyright friendly. Instead of searching the web and copying images, we encourage them to use, to which the district subscribes. This site boasts of over 10 million images, fonts, and sounds that students can use for their projects.

These can be searched by media, keywords, filters, category, date added, or publisher. 

Similar to Soundzabound, these images can be downloaded and used in a variety of projects. Both are accessible from school without a password, and from home with the proper login and password. See the librarian if you want the login information from home.

Other Creative Common Sites

There are also plenty of other sites that can assist students in securing copyright-friendly music and images for their projects for free. Several creative common sites are listed here. Our favorite is ccmixter, but others also have large selections accessible by anyone.

With so much material available, there is every reason for students to be copyright-compliant and use information for which they have been granted the rights. It can be a struggle, but having this discussion helps us become better digital citizens.

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