Revolution Lullabye

May 25, 2009

Reyman, Copyright, Distance Education, and the TEACH Act

Reyman, Jessica. “Copyright, Distance Education, and the TEACH Act: Implications for Teaching Writing.” CCC 58.1 (Sept 2006): 30-45.

Reyman argues that the TEACH Act (2002) limits the pedagogical possbilities of digital distance education by restricting access to copyrighted materials in a way that mimics the needs of a face-to-face, lecture-style, module-oriented, teacher-directed classroom. Writing teachers use digital spaces differently than content-driven lecture courses and need more flexibility in how they can allow their students to share and access copyrighted material for educational purposes. Also, since the TEACH Act places the responsibility for following copyright restrictions on the institution (not the individual teacher), the writing teacher loses some of her autonomy and academic freedom. Compositionists, Reyman argues, need to advocate for the rights of distance education students to a quality education, an education, due to the technological constraints, might look differently than the traditional classroom. Instead of fearing the openness of digital technology, educational copyright restrictions need to embrace the possibilities inherent in that technology for enriching education.

Notable Notes

TEACH Act is not designed to restrict fair use, but it doesn’t open it up to the realities of the digital learning environment

distance education is online courses and courses that use digital tools like Blackboard

restrictions like taking down copyrighted material so students can’t access it later, restricting access to the site to students, making sure the teacher moderates the use of the copyrighted material, material for class activities (not individuals) only

Technolgy, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002

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