Reading Books to Students Online: Experts Address Concerns about Permission

Blog Post
Photo shared by Kristen Neverman-Foote (Cleveland Metro School District)
March 27, 2020

UPDATE: 4/2 at 4:15 pm ET: For more on this issue, see the March 30th article in EdSurge, "Can Teachers Read Books Out Loud Online? Actually, Yes."

Two weeks ago, a number of social media posts were being shared by authors and publishers on whether or not educators had permission to read books aloud with the sudden change to online learning during the Coronavirus crisis. Teachers and authors across the country were looking for ways to continue to hold storytime or invite students to participate in shared readings; questions were swirling about whether they would be allowed to live-stream a video showing them, say, reading an illustrated children’s book or holding up a textbook and zooming in on a graphic about a science or math concept. As the social media questions mounted, they raised further questions about the application of fair use of copyrighted works when the purpose is education.

So we at New America joined the experts at American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and Creative Commons USA to write a brief entitled: Reading Aloud: Fair Use Enables Translating Classroom Practices to Online Learning. The brief offers reassurance: it explains that, as teachers adapt to new educational environments, copyright concerns about reading aloud need not be among the challenges they face.

An accompanying webinar will be hosted this coming Tuesday, March 31, 1:00-2:30pm ET.
For registration and more information, please visit this link.

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Digital Media and Learning