Friday, February 15, 2008

Teacher's Guide to Intellectual Property Rights

Mircosoft is sponsoring an initiative to teach intellectual property rights to middle and high school students. Information Week has an article about it which notes:
Microsoft's survey found that about half of the teenagers surveyed (49%) said they are not familiar with the rules and guidelines for downloading content from the Internet. Only 11% understood the rules well, and of those, 82% said downloading content illegally merits punishment. Among those unfamiliar with the law, only 57% supported punishment for intellectual property violations.

To address this issue they have set up The Teacher's Guide to Intellectual Property Rights. have a set up a website with curriculum aimed at 8th-10th grade students, but which is modifiable for upper grades. This curriculum includes:
Four thematic units comprise the IPR Education Curriculum. Within each unit are stand-alone yet complementary lesson plans (activities) that focus on and play off of an IPR-related scenario presented through a Case Study.

Guiding Questions help set the expectation for what students will learn in each unit, and Baseline and Post-Unit Assessments serve to gauge changes in student knowledge and perceptions about IP. Each unit consists of 4-6 lesson plans (activities), including a Culminating Activity that serves as a project-based unit assessment.

To support this initiative, Microsoft has launched MyBytes, a web site where students can create custom ringtones, share content, and learn more about intellectual property rights.

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