Practice What You Preach

Fountain pen writing in cursive on paper.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When I was in the classroom, plagiarism was a big topic. I would always encourage my students to cite their sources. One brave student challenged me and asked where my citations were on my work that I shared. This caught me off guard. I had never thought it about like that. It changed the way that I taught and I started to share my sources. I started to focus on using Creative Commons and other materials that I was permitted to use.

I know a number of teachers have strong stances on plagiarism in their classrooms. Most of the time, it focuses on how technology empowers students to cheat (likely not true – lots of students cheated before 1-1 programs existed). Most of the time, it forces the student to take a zero on a assignment (that is a punishment for a behavior, not knowledge level – something for a different day). I wonder how those teachers would stand up if they had a brave student question their sources? In order to help, I wanted to share some of my favorite resources for materials that we are licensed to use.

When looking for photos to use or remix, I love to check Unsplash and Pexels. Other great sources to check is the U.S. Library of Congress and the British Library on Flickr. When looking for looking for videos, I love Pexels again. I also will check Pixabay and the public domain options on Pond5. If I need to search for music, I start with the Free Music Archive. By using these resources, I ensure that I am setting a great example for my students.

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