For me, the internet is as much, or more, about creating and sharing as accessing the work of others. However, creating in a vacuum isn't how creating is done, and great ideas can be built upon the input and ideas of others. Doing this legally in 2011 is not always easy. Copyright laws can make it a minefield for teachers and students. These laws seem contrary to not only present day technology, but also when compared to what existed in the past, as Larry Lessig (a bit of a hero of mine) powerfully suggests in this TED talk...
So when the rubber hits the road, you want your kids being aware of copyright, and using stuff they have permissions to use. Just understanding that you need permission is a bit of a revelation for kids (and adults!), as they seem to think that if it's on the internet, it's carte blanche. It can be done, however, as this video created by one of our past Grade 6 students has shown, who has used her own images and used Creative Commons Licence to create this funked-up version of an exposition:
A problem with finding music and sound for kids to use is that internet providers often block anything that has to do with 'mp3'. Also, you run the risk of encountering dodgy advertising, music with inappropriate language, and my personal peeve, "sign/pay up to download more that 3 music loops". Grrr.
Slowly, I've been collecting music samples, sound effects, and whole albums that can be used by students as they are published under certain Creative Commons licenses, or have no copyright associated with them. I have now released this collection onto a site for all in education to use, http://thenorthschool.com/ccmusic . All the music has been checked for inappropriate language, and can be played before it is downloaded. I have tried to collate a wide range of genres (I should warn you that 'Spintronic' seems to be of particular appeal to pre-teen boys, and it is exceptionally annoying. Of particular interest might be the collection of Sound effects and Music Loops, which can be downloaded as zipped folders.
I hope someone out there can make use of this. I plan to add to it from time to time, and welcome any feedback.
(This week's blog title comes from the first track of AS Pontirot 's album, which can be freely downloaded at Jamendo.com and at our CC music site.)