Elsevier is controversial, after acquiring a number of platforms that distributed academic material for free. Profit-driven Elsevier’s legal threats against other sites that openly host millions of scientific papers have forced them to go into the digital underground, and distribute their material with the protection of the Tor anonymity network. Some universities have boycotted Elsevier.
Flipped classrooms seem to be growing exponentially
Robert Talbert, a professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University and author of the book Flipped Learning. Talbert recently tabulated how many scholarly articles are published each year about “flipping” instruction, meaning that traditional lecture-style material is delivered before class (often using videos) so that classroom time can be used for discussion and other more active learning.
More professors are looking to experts to help them teach. (Though some resist.)
By 2016, there were an estimated 13,000 instructional designers on U.S. campuses, according to a report by Intentional Futures. And that number seems to be growing.
There’s also a growing acceptance of the scholarly discipline known as “learning sciences,” a body of research across disciplines of cognitive science, computer science, psychology, anthropology and other fields trying to unlock secrets of how people learn and how to best teach.
And what does it mean to teach an age of information overload and polarization?
Perhaps the toughest questions of all about teaching in the 21st century is what exactly is the professor’s role in the Internet age. Once upon a time the goal was to be the ‘sage on the stage,’ when lecturing was king. Today many people argue that the college instructor should be more of a ‘guide on the side.’ But as one popular teaching expert notes, even that may not quite fit.
Why has it taken almost 100 years for these copyrights to expire? In 1999, Congress passed the Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended protections for rights holders for 20 years. That created a two-decade gap between the works of 1922—which passed into the public domain in 1998, before the law was passed—and those of 1923.
Of course, even before books, movies, and musical compositions passed into the public domain, teachers looking to reprint and distribute them in part could have claimed fair use—an exception to copyright law that allows excerpts of protected material to be used for criticism, research, journalism, or teaching without permission or payment. But what counts as fair use is decided in court, and educators could still have faced legal challenges—especially if they distributed or sold their work to other teachers.