Understanding of digital copyright issues among business career and technical educators in Mississippi
McDavid, Jean Alice Walke
This study investigated the understanding of digital copyright issues among business career and technical educators in Mississippi. The areas considered were knowledge; perceptions of knowledge; areas of copyright knowledge including computers and software, the Internet, video, and multimedia; and demographics of teaching level, gender, participation in professional development activities, and teaching experience. Participants included 75 Mississippi business career and technical educators at both the secondary and postsecondary levels. The knowledge level of participants was judged to be low; only four participants reached the established competency level of 70%. Their self-rated perception level was higher than their knowledge level, with the largest number of participants indicating that they had an average level of knowledge concerning digital copyright issues on a scale of ratings from no knowledge to excellent knowledge. A Spearman‘s correlation indicated that there was no significant correlation between the participants‘ knowledge and their perceptions of their knowledge (Spearman‘s rho = .162). Pearson‘s correlations were performed to investigate any significant correlations among computers and software, the Internet, video, and multimedia. A significant correlation was found to exist between the computers and software area and the video area, r = .327. Analyses of any significant correlations between knowledge and the demographic variables of teaching level, gender, participation in professional development activities, and teaching experience were made by performing Spearman‘s rho correlations. There were no significant correlations. However, the professional development variable had a negative correlation with the knowledge scores, teaching level, and teaching experience. Conclusions based on the findings indicated that Mississippi business career and technical educators should be provided with training on specific digital copyright areas. These educators will then be better equipped to determine appropriate use of copyrighted materials and model this use to their students.