The open education movement allows access to education on the internet. By allowing open access, we are breaking down the four walls of the classroom, allowing the marginalized to access education, and becoming a global community of learners, sharers, and creaters. Over the past few years there has been increasing popularity in creating open-access of academic journals, people participating and contributing to MOOCs, and information activism. By supporting the open education movement, we are breaking down financial barriers and progressing towards equal access for all learners. In order to continue this movement, it is important to teach our students to not only be consumers of digital content, but also creators and sharers.
Often it is assumed that because students are young, they are digital natives; however, they need to explicitly be taught digital citizenship. One of the key components to digital citizenship is understanding that other people have created and own content that is posted online and it is important to attribute their work appropriately. This can be started at a very young age by just writing the author and title of a book and it will grow from there. As well, students should know the difference between copying, remixing, creating, and sharing whilst developing the skills of content curation and how to use creative commons.
Below you will find a lesson to use as a starting point to introducing your students to creating and sharing online using creative commons. The lesson is aligned with the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum.
Knowledge: What will students understand?
- Other people created and own the content that is posted online.
- There are various ways of organizing information and we need to learn skills to find the information we are looking for. o I cannot believe everything that I find online.
Skills: What will students be able to do?
- Search for copyright free images on appropriate websites and name their source.
- Navigate appropriate websites as provided by the teacher.
- Tell an adult if they find content online that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Creating and sharing are important components of transliteracy and digital citizenship as they give learning a purpose, an audience, and allow for connections. Through creating and sharing students should appreciate literature in all media forms. It is important not to get distracted by the “bells and whistles” of things and to remember your purpose. If we work together to achieve open access, we are working towards social justice.