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Educating students on the importance of copyright

The importance of protecting copyrighted works should be part of any lesson plan that engages the students’ knowledge and prepares them for professional life after school. Educators have a role to play in shaping students to be a responsible digital citizen as well as a future creator. It is crucial to teach students about copyright, respect the creator’s work, and encourage them to use content responsibly.

Building good role models

When it comes to introducing copyright, it is best to start with the basics. Students often understand the importance of copyright when it is led by example and through real-life scenarios. Educators should take the lead by advocating on copyright compliance and respecting the creator’s work. This can include sharing the ethical ways of copying publications as well as how licenses can facilitate the use of copyrighted materials in the classrooms. Students should be taught the concept of fair use, especially accessing copyrighted works for the purpose of research or study.

Instilling responsibility

Students can be given assignments and activities to help them be mindful and well-informed when using copyrighted works. The assignment ideas can include identifying images on the internet that are not copyrighted and encourage them to find legal alternatives. Games are a great way to teach students about copyright and fair use. A great game example – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? using copyright knowledge instead of general knowledge trivia questions. Outside of schools, students should take on the responsibility and accountability by abiding by copyright laws, such as not downloading videos or images illegally. These examples not only help them to be resourceful but educate them on the importance of respecting copyright.

Empowering students to be creators

Students should be encouraged to take on the creator’s hat and learn how copyright protection applies to their work. They should learn the risk of copying another creator’s idea expression which can contribute to copyright infringement. Another good idea is to encourage students to participate in school-oriented competitions such as CLASS’s Copyright School Challenge. The competition is a perfect outlet for students to be creative and The practical approach is to encourage them to be responsible creators and writers by producing original work which deserves recognition, respect, and protection.


It can be daunting at first to have students  learn about the rules and regulations surrounding copyrighted material, but it can be easy for students to follow them. Understanding copyright helps students see the value in appreciating others’ work as well as empowering them to be responsible creators and copyright users.


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