Building a Common Position on Copyright in Support of Open and Distance Learning- An Educator’s Perspective

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF3 // The use of the Internet and digital resources is an increasingly important component of instruction both in the Elementary/Secondary sector and in the Post Secondary sector. Schools and learners in rural and remote areas of all jurisdictions are integrating the use of digital technologies as a means to provide equitable access to a full range of courses and instructional supports. Everyday learners and teachers download material, share projects and resources, store information on their computers and networks. Many of the day-to-day activities of instruction in a constructivist environment are in violation of current copyright law across the Commonwealth. Many uses of digital technologies in instruction are in violation of current copyright law in Commonwealth countries. The education sector across the Commonwealth must examine both its current practices and desired pedagogical reform and determine how copyright reform can best serve the needs of learners across the Commonwealth. // Education is key to economic development and to the improvement of quality of life for individuals in both developed and developing countries. The use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning is especially critical in environment where traditional resources are lacking and learners are dispersed across large geographic areas. If copyright law limits or precludes the use of the Internet or other digital technologies, the hope of education providing the means for Commonwealth countries to improve the lot of their citizens will be greatly diminished. // It is critical that participants at Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning Three engage in a discussion and debate of these important issues. The result of these discussions needs to be a draft position on digital copyright for Commonwealth countries.

Caribbean and Americas