While Amanda was familiar with CLA and has been keen to promote copyright and the CLA Licence to teachers, she only came across the Education Platform at the beginning of the first lockdown in Spring 2020. In response to the pandemic restrictions, publishers had agreed to temporarily relax the amount that could be copied under the licence, and so 30% of a book could be copied via the Education Platform. Interest piqued, Amanda investigated.

It transpired to be a saviour. Allowed back on site later in 2020, Amanda and the team got prepared for the worst and unlocked the core textbooks that their teachers relied on. As the nation once more went home in January 2021, the first year Maths students who would usually have received the course textbook from the college were looking like they’d have no access to their core learning material. Amanda’s foresight and the Education Platform proved instrumental in getting the stranded students their access – a copy of essential pages was made and put straight on Teams, helping the 180 students keep their learning going.

Now that life is looking a little more normal, processes around the EP are evolving. The LRC Team is trained on the EP and primed to unlock content, and indeed new purchases get put through the platform automatically. Amanda is keen for teachers to use the platform autonomously, and has written two articles for the College circular ‘In the Loop’ in order to promote the Platform and its benefits, as well as the titles that have been unlocked. She knows that if the popular textbooks are unlocked and ready to go, the teacher experience will be more seamless.

Back in Autumn 2021, Amanda’s initial impression of the Education Platform still stood up even though the circumstances were different. Here’s a way to make compliant copies quickly, and to store those copies in a ‘digital filing’ cabinet ready for next year. The security the EP offers appeals to Amanda, and means that adherence to the CLA Licence becomes seamless, intuitive and discreet for staff members.

As an Admin User, Amanda finds the admin interface helpful. Here recent copies are easily to hand and the search functionality makes pinpointing subject resources easy. Viewing the table of contents before creating copies has also been a huge help. Amanda would appreciate usage reports, and also alerts if staff have abandoned copying attempts so she can offer LRC support. Amanda also notes that the student experience could be enhanced by the ability to interact with the copy – to make notes and annotate in the same way that staff members can when they make the copy. CLA welcomes this feedback, and all suggestions are piped into our roadmap planning.

Amanda understands the demands on teachers’ time, and that copyright can be another thing at the end of a long list of considerations. She’s keen to improve teacher understanding that not everything is necessarily fair game for copying, and so provides regular updates and posters by the copiers, letting the osmotic effect remind teachers about copyright at the point of copying. She was pleased to have time with new staff for the first time this year, giving an LRC induction that included reference to copyright and the key dos and don’ts. And thanks to our chat, CLA also looks forward to supporting a session at an upcoming CPD day.

With the Covid situation still uncertain, whatever happens, Amanda is relieved that the Education Platform is live for her institution, with many titles unlocked and ready to access.

If you enjoyed this blog and would like to find out more about how you can use the Education Platform in a lockdown or other distance learning scenarios, have a read of Education Platform: Free Tool to Support Remote Teaching