is Cut and Paste a threat to educational ethics?
I cut and pasted this…
from an interview related to Harvard’s Digital Natives project.
Q: Does being exposed to many and varying media, including multiple sources on the Internet, make students think more critically about the information they consume? Or are digital natives increasingly used to trusting what they see online, so much so that a “cut-and-paste” culture is becoming a threat to educational ethics?
With regard to the “cut-and-paste” question: We can indeed observe an increased level of interactivity between digital natives and content when compared to older generations. Recipients are no longer passive receivers of information, but increasingly active users. The level of interactivity — of what kids do with content — ranges from simple cut-and-paste on the one end of the spectrum to much more creative uses on the other end — including the making of mash-ups, where for instance video footage is combined with a song from a different source. While only a small percentage of digital natives use digital technologies in the most creative ways, we believe that the Internet has an enormous potential for creative expression that should be embraced and can lead to a participatory culture. To be sure, many of those forms of “doing things with content” have legal and/or ethical implications. It’s therefore important to educate children about the basic dos and don’ts when they use online content for their own purposes. Educators and parents have to work together to engage our children in a conversation about information ethics and teach them about the principles of copyright law. It’s important, however, that we teach our kids not only what they are not allowed to do, but also to show them what can be done with content in ethically sound and lawful ways. At the Berkman Center, we’re currently developing such a balanced educational tool for children and teachers.