The Wikibook teaching scholars about Copyright and Creative Commons.

In the final weeks of 2020, Wiki in Africa published a French Wikibook Ressources pédagogiques relatives au droit d’auteur. The Wikibook contains teaching materials and assignment models to support teachers in the introduction to authors’ rights, Creative Commons licenses, and licensing attribution. The target audience is aimed at students (10-15-years-old) in French-speaking Africa. The project was selected as one of the 6 projects supported by the Creative Commons Open Education Platform Activities Fund.

The Wikibook offers a curated set of resources to support teachers in their lessons on and introductions to the concepts of intellectual and artistic works, copyright, Creative Commons licenses, and the best attribution practices to use when reusing works produced by others. The resources and lesson plans are presented in the form of 3 modules, of increasing difficulty. The first module is intended for 9-13-year old children, while the subsequent modules are intended for classes of 11-to-14-year-old children.

A video that is an introduction to creative works.

The training materials include:

  • information resources on copyright for teachers,
  • materials to use in class with the students, and
  • suggestions and instructions for activities to be carried out with the students.

The training content and resources provided are accessible to all French speakers, but it has been designed specifically for African students with poor access to the internet. This explains some deliberate design choices:

A poster on how to attribute works correctly.
  1. The Wikibook is made available on the internet on the site fr.wikibooks.org, but it is also made available for use in an offline situation (for example as a downloadable file that can be added to tablets, servers, or local computers.);
  2. Most of the French-language copyright-related resources found on the Internet have been designed with either French law or Canadian law in mind. As far as possible, the documents proposed do without these specificities, or failing that, do not adopt the point of view of any given country;
  3. Most of the French-speaking resources found on the Internet make heavy reference to digital uses, in particular associated with the use of the Internet (which is quite logical since it is the multiple possibilities offered by the Internet that pushes the need to quickly train young people in Copyright). These resources (such as application exercises for searching for information on the Internet) are suitable when addressing young people who have access to a personal computer at home, have a personal smartphone, and have an unlimited 4G / wifi connection. However, they are not suitable for young people who have little to no internet use. The material offered in this Wikibook provides a gentle way that helps young people to discover the concepts of copyright and to provide them with the skills required as future digital citizens. On the other hand, the Wikibook does not offer exercises that require internet access. All lessons can be conducted in a disconnected or offline situation.

The issue of access to open educational resources is very important in the French-speaking countries of the South. But it is also important that young people quickly learn the basics of copyright, both as users and as creators of content. Regardless of the connectivity situation, the content offered approaches copyright from a fun, positive, and creative angle rather than a repressive one.

Finally, it should be noted that all the content offered is published under a free license. Coming from different authors, they are published under a CC BY or CC BY SA or CC0 license. This means (among other things) that all its content can be reworked, translated, and adapted to the situation of the country, the school or according to the age of the pupils.

A storybook explaining an author’s rights

The Wikibook and its resources have been conceptualized and created by Anthere and Islahaddow from Wiki in Africa. The project was supported by Creative Commons as one of the 6 projects funded through the CC Open Education Platform Activities Fund.

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