III. Education

Effective education of the public about intellectual property rights is crucial to the successful development of the NII. There seems to be an attitude by some on the Internet, for instance, that you check your copyrights at the door when you enter that domain. There is a general lack of awareness by the public about intellectual property rights in their own works, as well as in the works of others. The task of education, however, is not without difficulty.

Perhaps the best places to start will be the schools, where millions of children will be connected to the NII. There is, however, no "national curriculum" to which a special section on NII-related intellectual property rights could be added. However, a development and distribution process for wide-spread intellectual property education can be established, by working with, among others, those responsible for defining the role the advanced information infrastructure will play in schools, as well as the state and national educational organizations involved in setting the educational principles and standards utilized in the curricula of more than 17,000 school districts throughout the United States.

A brief review of the major organizations involved in education technology for schools is set forth below. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Efforts to effectively distribute an intellectual property education program will involve national, state and local organizations.

In addition to local school district officials, there are numerous educational organizations actively involved in devising plans and recommendations on how services available via the NII should be delivered and used by schools. The school audience to be reached includes students of all ages, as well as administrators, teachers and professors. Both public and private school systems must be involved.

The kindergarten to twelfth-grade (K-12) school audience to be educated about intellectual property and the NII can be broadly classified into three segments: learners, pre-service, and in-service or professional development. The "learners" segment consists of children who are in the school system. The "pre-service" segment includes students currently in the school system who will go on to become teachers. The "in-service" or "professional development" segment consists of those professionals who are currently teachers or education administrators. Each group must be reached. The teachers who are educated about intellectual property rights today will be replaced in the future by the children moving through the school systems now. A similar approach can be taken in defining the audience to be reached on the university and graduate school level.

An intellectual property education program could be developed by individual state school officials, or distributed to them for their consideration. The Council of the Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) could be helpful in that regard.

Other educational organizations could also be useful in the promotion of intellectual property education. These organizations include the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Association of Teachers Colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges, the National School Board Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Independent Schools , the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Science Teachers Association. Contact with the National Parent Teachers Association may also prove useful in reaching the parents of school-age children.

Intellectual property education can also be incorporated into the plans and recommendations that are currently being developed by educational organizations on how educators can best utilize the NII. The National Education Goals Panel and the recently created National Educational Standards and Improvement Council ("NESIC") are both involved in the mission of promoting national education goals, including educational standards. As part of this effort, for example, the National Education Goals Panel is working on a set of principles for technology and how technology can be used in promoting education. Intellectual property education materials could be included as part of the Panel's principles under development in the area of staff and child development. Educational technology specialists in the Department of Education and other educational organizations, who share the objective of bringing the NII to schools, are also great resources.

The public library is another ideal place for intellectual property education. National library organizations, such as the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries and the Special Libraries Association, could provide invaluable assistance. The nationwide network of 78 Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries could also be instrumental in the dissemination of intellectual property information to the public. Many of these depository libraries are affiliated with universities and colleges throughout the country.

Additional means of education, particularly those that use the NII itself, will also be explored and developed.

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URL: http://cool.conservation-us.org/bytopic/intprop/ipwg/educ.html
Timestamp: Monday, 24-Nov-2008 16:07:10 PST
Retrieved: Thursday, 19-Oct-2017 01:59:15 GMT