Intentional Act: Give Credit

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I have been a dedicated listener to “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd for years. One of his many rants (when he is not loving up Lebron, or busting on QB’s for wearing their hat backwards…or many fun Russell Westbrook rants) is that we have to work to GET IT RIGHT, not rush to just “be right”.  Monday @SylviaEllison posed a question on the #HackLearning daily chat asking

“Q1 What is your NEW intentional act for this week? If possible, share results or pictures.”  

I quickly thought about a conversation I had with @SimplySuzy while talking about our co-writing project for @times10books (wow, now I am channeling the real Herd – dropping shameless plugs!) about authenticity in photos and images.  

My answer to the question Monday was

“A1: I plan to be intentional with all content posted to ensure copyright and to give credit. Today I changed my Twitter banner – I do not know where I found the photo that was there, so I used one I took from @BostonCollege and made a new banner.”

In my drive to be authentic, I wanted to share that I took advice from a professional I trust (Suzy) and then started to self-evaluate my own work. Then in her drive to always push leaders/learners, Sylvia asked if I was going to write more about it.   I naturally jumped in.

I was motivated because I realized an often overlooked point when talking about digital citizenship is to cite  or give credit. Technology is all around us, and in schools it is used for research, writing, and many other tasks.  This ease of access is important for educators incorporating technology into their lessons and student projects because it has become very easy to post work, thoughts, ideas without acknowledging the original creator. Sometimes we forget the fact that if you post someone’s content and do not give them credit, you are essentially stealing their work.

We can all avoid this issue by giving credit to the creator, or by  posting our own content. For example, I read a lot over the last two days to frame my thinking, including ISTE blogs, eSchool News, Tech & Learning Leader Blog, K-12 Ed Leader, and a study by Career Ambassador: Juliana Conklin, Junior in Business Administration-Marketing at North Carolina State in 2017. Combining my thoughts and experiences with this collective content helped me frame my thinking for this post.

I did this pre-work because when someone plagiarizes, it also calls into question academic integrity and intellectual property. This point was driven in to all of us writing our dissertation at Boston College. I had over 14 pages of references to support my thinking and I learned so much from other thinkers.  After all of my research and writing in the realm of academia, it makes sense that I would carry that practice into my social media presence and presentations. However, this week I realized due to my enthusiasm to share and collaborate and network, I might have overlooked the lessons I already knew deep down.  So, as a result of all of my thinking, reading and conversations…. I made these commitments to get back on track:

The best site I revisited  was: Common Sense Media Student Library: Click to visit site

Common Sense Media has videos to embed into lesson plans, or use them to jump start a conversation with your students or your children. This site also has Digital Citizenship Classroom Posters. Click here to download these from Common Sense Media. These posters could be the perfect addition to any classroom. Additionally, this site also has a Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence tool to find the lessons that are just right for your classroom. Click here to view. These cross-curricular units incorporate digital literacy and citizenship topics are presented in an age-appropriate way and are being used by thousands of school districts across the country..

A great site I found about Copyright information is Copyright Kids.  This site is age appropriate and gets to the point about intellectual property.  Click here to view and share with students.

I found a short You tube video detailing the ins and outs of copyright law and how to be respectful of others’ intellectual property. Click here to watch.

Some students will search Google Images and copy anything they see, assuming they have the rights. Sometimes they’ll even cite “Google Images” as the source. Our role (see #2 above) is to teach them that Google Images compiles content from many sources and Mr. Google does not “make” all the images. Students can go to the source to see the photo’s original owner or website. This will also let them determine if they have permission to use the graphic, and then cite the source correctly.

Students need experience sharing and connecting online with others in a variety of environments. In allowing them to do so, we have to ensure they understand the safeguards and ethical rights of intellectual property.

So, my intentional act is to learn more, model, and share how to be the best digital citizen so I can GET IT RIGHT. I am writing this article on my flight to Georgia EdTech Conference (GAETC), which has reminded me to change some of my slides/resources to be mindful of digital content. Thank you Suzy and Sylvia, and I will share this tomorrow with all the participants in my two sessions. Also thank you to Suzy for reading, giving feedback, editing, and supporting. I wanted to be intentional to give her credit for editing this post. #Team #LeadForward 

cross posted at

Dr. Matthew X. Joseph (@MatthewXJoseph) is currently Director of Digital Learning and Innovation for Milford Public School, Milford, Ma. Before Tech and Learning Boston 2018, he had the opportunity to present at #TLTechLive in Boston and New Jersey in 2017 and other state opportunities focused on Ed Tech Leadership and empowering teachers. Before Milford, he was a building principal for 11 years in Massachusetts. Other professional roles include: classroom teacher, PD specialist, and other district roles supporting technology instruction. Dr. Joseph holds licenses in general education, school administration, and MA superintendent. His master's degree is in SPED and he holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Boston College.

Dr. Matthew X. Joseph (@ MatthewXJoseph) is Director of Evaluation and Supervision in Brockton, MA.