Incorporating Digital Images & Teaching Ethical Use

As a classroom teacher, you will definitely be tested by students using information not belonging to them. The most common will be unethical use of digital images. In the classroom setting we educators have to be vigilant in helping students understand what is acceptable at a young age to respect the property of others. When in preschool, we learn to respect physical items. We learn that if our classmate has a set of crayons in his desk or anywhere in the classroom and the crayons are the classmate’s property, we cannot use them as if they are our own. We must ask permission. This knowledge is also a component of digital property. Yes, a Google Search will give us multiple resources of information. That is the purpose of the Google Search engine, to help us find resources. However, finding does not mean keeping or using. You may find a book in a library, but you don’t necessarily get to take it without going through the proper activity of checking it out in your name and promising to return it. This same understanding holds true for digital property. Unfortunately, this understanding still needs to be stressed at all times nowadays with students and yes, adults too.

Here is a technique I use when checking student work for plagiarism. When a student submits work that I suspect is not his property, I:

  1. Copy the digital information
  2. Paste it into Google Search
  3. Check the results. If there is a direct hit on text, it will be bolded.
  4. This works for images as well if they are pasted into the Google Search for images. Images can be dragged into Google Search (> Images) and Search will show any direct matches.

I show students how I would use this technique by demonstrating it to them. Just by doing this activity for them, they realized I could, and would, be checking their work if I suspected it was not theirs. It helped immensely in preventing plagiarism the remainder of the school year.

Images are important to learning – but we must teach students how to use them ethically.

Why Images Are Important, Proper Usage, and Where To Use – although this article is about using images as a business marketing tool, you should consider that images help teachers to market a concept. Read the bullet points at the top and you’ll better understand why using images is important.

Pics4Learning is a terrific jumping board for students to cooperatively share within a community and learn about correct image citation format.

Bell Ringer How would you use images in your classroom to support concepts? In our culture of tremendous digital use by students, how could your students use images?


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