EPAAs gear up for first ever virtual event
August 18, 2020
We’re counting down to the presentation of the 2020 Educational Publishing Awards Australia (EPAAs) on Thursday 3 September! Copyright Agency is proud to be a major sponsor of the free digital event, which is organised by our colleagues at the Australian Publishers Association (APA).
The EPAAs recognise excellence in educational publishing and showcase the best new resources for primary, secondary and tertiary students and educators. This year’s shortlistees share a passion for innovation, with resources reflecting the myriad of learning options available today.
“Educational resources were once traditional paper textbooks, readers and teacher resources, but now they cover print books, games, cards, audio, TV series, films, digital and other online products,” says Colin Ho, the APA’s Campaign and Digital Content Producer.
“With the most recent changes to online classrooms during the pandemic, digital and online product creation is likely an area that will continue to be innovated. It’s this dedication to serving the needs of teachers and students that makes Australian educational resources so well-regarded across the globe.”
The EPAAs are judged by a panel of peers, many of whom are practising teachers. Due to the ongoing public health crisis, this year marked the first time that judging was done completely remotely, with a “thorough and robust” online discussion determining the shortlist (and winners) across twenty categories.
The pandemic also necessitated a shift from the traditional annual gala to a virtual event, in the style of the ABIAs and Miles Franklin Literary Award earlier this year. This is not without its challenges, but a virtual event is also more accessible and lends itself to new modes of audience engagement.
“The kinds of storytelling and collaborations that have come from the format change have been very exciting,” Colin notes. “It’s still early days, but we’re seeing these events turn into broadcasts complemented by crowd-sourced footage, social media activity and Zoom parties. People could potentially tune in from all over the world.”
In a year that has pushed many to adapt and overcome, the EPAAs provide an invaluable platform for resources that support an education system in flux.
“Educational publishers have been at the leading edge of learning technologies, curriculum requirements and educational research,” Colin explains. “And with their longstanding relationships with teachers and schools – plus access to quality, educated authors and publishing staff – there is no doubt about how vital they are.
“Their light-footedness, as demonstrated in the early phases of the pandemic, has shown that their role in the education system is crucial for facing challenges, now and into the future.”