Ongoing support for teachers and students
A year on, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives. The school sector, where many jurisdictions are experiencing further lockdowns are once again having to deviate from face-to-face learning back to behind the computer screen. The Copyright Agency continues to work with the education sector to minimise disruptions and reduce the pressure of snap transitions to home based learning.
During 2020 many schools adapted quickly when lockdowns stopped physical classroom learning and, while we continue to face the same challenges in 2021, the sector has again responded well to the latest transition back to home learning. Many education systems and educators are providing extensive resources and support including uploaded content, activities and interactive experiences at short notice.
FLEX, our online tool for preparing copyright-compliant course reading material, has allowed more than fifty educational institutions across the VET, higher education and ELICOS sectors to access digital original works from major publishers. The savings on time and effort are most welcome in a period of upheaval and uncertainty. As Jane Wholohan, Library Services Manager at ICMS, says: “FLEX helped us with the move to online learning. We were able to fill the gaps in content by using various chapters from a variety of books.”
Our Reading Australia initiative continues to support remote learning, offering 233 freely-available units of work for busy teachers. With engaging activities and strong links to the Australian curriculum and cross-curriculum priorities, these resources are the perfect tools to assist with the teaching of Australian books – even at home.
With the recent return of lockdowns across the country, the Australian Publishers Association (APA), Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and National Copyright Unit (NCU) updated their special arrangement for school storytime agreement. The move to allow teachers to read to their students is still supported by many individual publishers and authors.
The statutory education licence remains a mainstay for online learning and frees up time for educators to focus on the important well-being and educational outcomes for students. Australia’s educators have once again met the challenges of the pandemic and Copyright Agency thanks them for their efforts. We will continue to offer licensing solutions and resources to support their efforts.