Who is to Blame for Wrongful Attributions for Educational Blogs and How do we Fix it?

I was frustrated yesterday as I was reading an article from one of the educational sites that I enjoy called Edudemic. I usually read what they’ve posted once a day and I almost always read articles involving ideas of how to create PLNs or guides for social media and educators no matter what the source. Yesterday I got to the bottom of the article and saw a graphic by  Silvia Tolisano that I have shared many times and itself is based on an original graphic by Alex Couros as Silvia points out on her Flickr page.

The graphic is attributed to  Teachers Using Tech and when clicked on takes the viewer to the blogger’s article on PLNs and again incorrectly attributes the graphic to another good writer Lisa Nielson.  The link is to an article on creating a PLN but the graphic isn’t on this page.

Why did I take the time to trace back this series of wrongly attributed graphic? I’m bothered when I see information wrongly attributed to someone else rather than members of my PLN who worked hard to share and create interpretations and representations of what it means to be a teacher to put it simply. Maybe I’m the only one bothered by this?

I’m bothered that I still see teachers around me using Google image and having their students do so without thinking about or sharing the source. Can’t we as educators do better than this? Ultimately I hope that some day the image files themselves will have the attribution embedded within the file.

In this particular instance we have an educator who works hard as a consultant creating an image and also licensed the graphic so it could used and shared by other educators.

Sylvia did her part, creating, sharing, and licensing so others could use it without worry. If Edudemic is considered a commercial business than they need to be more careful. Can’t those others that repurpose this content do their part?  How do we make sure this doesn’t happen?


3 thoughts on “Who is to Blame for Wrongful Attributions for Educational Blogs and How do we Fix it?

  1. I too don’t like it when I see things that are attributed to one person when I know someone else made it. Because the author of the piece may not know where it comes from, they did cite where they got the source. It is virtually impossible in today’s world to actually find who posted something first. The race is always to be the first one to do it. I think that it is also partially the graphic’s creator’s fault as well. Because of the way people are nowadays, content creators need to ensure they are cited directly on the work now.

    I think the best example of this is in the Padagogy Wheel (link: http://www.unity.net.au/padwheel/padwheelposterV3.pdf) In this example, they have it labeled “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. They then have an entire paragraph explaining where it came from. Notice in the bottom right corner all of the CC information is clearly labeled directly on the graphic.

    While attribution doesn’t have to be that big on one’s graphic, I think the creator needs to do something similar on anything they create. This not only shows the viewer exactly who made it, but also helps people writing about it know exactly who to attribute the image to.

  2. You make some good points about the difficulties of authenticating the source. I think for many educators that blog it is difficult to take the time to do so; however Endemic is not an individual blogger and does charge for some of their content. I also agree that your point of creators adding the CC information directly on the graphic may be the best solution for now.

  3. Pingback: No! You Can’t Just Take It! | Langwitches Blog

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