Tuesday, 10 January 2012


When I first started teaching over 25 years ago everything was recorded, though in different forms.

In most public schools there was, and in some cases is, a person responsible for printing and copying all material. Whether it was a fordigraph - remember the purple paper- or photocopy, it was that person's responsibility. Items that needed to be copied had to be handed in at the office by a given time and then they were delivered to the classroom or pigeon hole. The person recorded all things that had been copied in a special book. If there was a copyright issue you were informed.

In those days there was really no high level of printing as there were textbooks  at schools. Usually there was an input session and then: Please turn to page ... and complete activities..... A lot of what was printed had to do with teacher materials.

Gradually as there were more photocopiers within schools the teachers were able to do their own photocopies. There was a book near the photocopier where you had to record your name, the name of the author,book name, publisher, page number(s), the number of copies,the starting number on the photocopier and the the final number.

Later , you just had to record your name,the name of the book, number of copies , and the photocopier numbers. Over time these books disappeared in many schools. Some schools now do not even have pin numbers. It is difficult to tell what was copied and by whom.

Then teachers were given pin numbers and sometimes limited number of total copies. It was at the discretion of the principal. It was on the onus of the teacher to keep a record of work photocopied.

In most schools nowadays there is a big sign above or near all photocopiers about COPYRIGHT. The TL and the IT person at my former schools continually reminded us about copyright.

Some teachers are conscientious about this and about the copy of materials that they had created.

However, many are still very laid back towards this. I am certain that Copyright is broken every day, especially from the net.

Teachers and children take an image from the net, paste it on their computer and then it is viewed on the interactive whiteboard (IWB) or used in a presentation.Very rarely is reference or acknowledgement made to the origin of the image.

I know teachers who have paid a low price for a 'CD' at a fete or a DVD. The cover looks suspicious. One teacher said that it does not matter that it is not the original. If it is watched a number of times or is lost it would not have cost her much. What about the rights of the artists to get their fair share of the proceedings?

At times it is not easy to keep copyright. It can be annoying and time consuming. I know that some journals that I have accessed have a warning label. I mostly read them on-line. However, spending too much time in front of the computer can affect eyesight and posture, especially if the article is long. I try to skim and get to the main points.

Many articles are free to download for educational purposes. These are the optimal ones.

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