Updating & Upgrading Our School’s Media & Publishing Release

I remember when I placed in the top three of an international writing contest for students in German schools abroad. My essay “What is typical German” was published in a magazine. I was  proud as I could be to have my work “published” for the first (and only) time as a student.

Times have changed…

We are pushing teachers and students to blog , wiki, podcast, and video conference. We are upgrading our teacher toolbox to include web based tools to engage, motivate and connect our students locally and globally. We are asking them to create, produce, share and collaborate online. Publishing students’ work can be as easy as hitting a button.

But…

…we can’t forget to update our policies at school to reflect these changes.

As the 21st century learning team was looking at the current Media Release of our school, we realized that it did not address any of the media creation and publishing concerns associated with these new tools nor the philosophy behind sharing, authentic audiences, collaboration and anytime/anywhere accessiblity. It “only” addressed permission to have:

  • images of students used as marketing and promotional purposes
  • photos of students published in a school newsletter  or bulletins (paper version)
  • video by the local news media
  • images published on the school website

The media release clearly did not address the school’s move towards cloud based storage and digital creations to be shared with an authentic global audience.

I started to research other schools’ media and publishing releases.  There was clearly a trend that most of them were outdated and  addressed Internet access, images and videos published for traditional media outlets and  possibly for a school website. Very few addressed the use of digital portfolios, blogs, wikis, video conferences or other web based tools with content created and published  in the cloud.

See some examples I came across below.

Internet, “media coverage”, images and videos published on Internet

Published in print, media, broadcast or video

Traditional media and website

Traditional Media & Internet Resrtrictions

Mentions website and podcast

In order to be transparent and to comply with what we ask our parents to sign, it was time to craft a new Media & Publishing Release for our school.

I sent a request on Twitter to share the releases others had put together to address the shift towards publishing students’ work.

Richard Byrne pointed me to an Internet and Media Publishing Consent and Waiver Form by  Tim Landeck, Director, Technology Services from the Pajaro Valley Unified School District

These templates can be downloaded, modified, and printed to obtain parental consent for students who publish their work and/or photos and videos online. A signed consent form allows the school or district to also publish photographs and videos of students.

The above template was the one, that addressed the most points we wanted to cover in an updated media release. Take a look, download if you want to, edit and in the end share back by publishing and making it accessible to others. You can leave a comment with a link to your media release on this post. Media & Publishing Release