During the last few months since lockdown was imposed and schools closed to combat the spread of Covid-19, teachers across the country have had to adapt more than most to new ways of working. Although much of the burden of day-to-day schooling shifted towards parents, teachers have also had to adjust to finding new ways to deliver remote teaching and learning and find resources to support parents’ valiant efforts at home schooling. Many have trawled the internet and educational websites to discover new sources of learning resources. We are delighted to see that our Education Platform has been one of those popular online tools that teachers have been using, with school and college usage exploding since mid-March.
If you are not familiar with it, the Education Platform is free to all schools and colleges covered by the CLA Education Licence and provides teachers/lecturers with free access to digital textbooks that the school or college own. The Education Platform makes it easier to share high quality content with students on VLEs or by sharing links direct with a student’s device via email.

If you are familiar with it you will have discovered that, as part of the regular CLA Licence, it lets you make copies of content taken from textbooks (up to a limit of 5% or 1 chapter) while working remotely, and with minimum hassle. So, where you once might have taken a well-thumbed textbook to the photocopier and printed off 30 copies of a double page spread to circulate in a classroom setting, you can now do that same task from anywhere. This means you can log into the Platform from home, review the book contents and make a copy of the pages you need instead and upload a link to your school’s VLE so students can access them. We hope you will have found this especially useful over these recent months.

What you may or may not have known is that the Education Platform, being essentially a more tangible online version of the CLA Education Licence, works on the same basis in that it covers your school or college for copying over a rolling academic year, which then gets automatically ‘rolled-over’ into a renewed period of cover in August each year.      

Now, with schools and colleges preparing to reopen fully and welcome their students back at the start of the coming academic year, I have written this article to help explain what this means for Education Platform users.

While the Education Platform and its content continues to be available 24/7 to all registered users, the licence period ends on 31 July each year. Under the licence your copying allocation will also technically end on this date until it rolls over into the new copying year on 1 August.

This is because the copies you made for a class are only intended to be used for a single year and using these same copies in a subsequent year is equivalent to making new copies of the same content which would count towards your annual allocation limits.

In normal times, the Education Platform would operate in line with the Licence terms and the copies would expire at the year-end so users can manage their copying limits and decide which copies that want to use each year. This would mean we would disable the sharing function and we would require you to review your copies and ‘re-activate’ them if you wanted to use them again.

Because 2020 has been so exceptional, we want to make the start of the new school year as easy as possible for Education Platform users and therefore we have decided that your existing copies saved in your library on your Education Platform user account will remain active for another year. This means that you will be able to continue sharing links to them with your classes.

That means that if you’re happy to use the same extracts again in the new year – there is nothing for you to do!  

If you would like to replace any of your copies with a different 5% from the same book, for the same class, we can help you do this. Please just let us know by emailing support@educationplatform.zendesk.com.

As mentioned previously, rolling over from year to year is a necessary part of the CLA Education Licence. We are committed to developing the Education Platform to make it easy for staff to use their school’s licence digitally. As the Education Platform is new and still very much in development, you can expect changes to how rollover is handled in the future.

I hope that this has been an informative read and that it has helped your understanding of how the Licence, and therefore the Education Platform works as it is not all straight forward.

We don’t have any plans we can announce for subsequent rollovers right now, but if you have any feedback or suggestions on tools you might like to use for managing copies between years, please do get in touch at support@educationplatform.zendesk.com as we’re always interested in hearing from you.