On 11 November, IPA Secretary General José Borghino moderated an international panel discussion around the impact of EdTech platforms on educational publishers during the COVID pandemic and beyond.
The panel was part of the ‘HP Publishing 2020 Vision’ series of webinars and included experts from Kenya, Singapore, the UK and the USA. Kiarie Kumau is the CEO of East African Educational Publishers, a leading publisher in East and Central Africa, as well as being a member of the IPA’s Copyright Policy Working Group.
He spoke about the Kenyan government’s moves to digitize education in his country. Fei Chen Lee is currently the Senior Advisor to Times Publishing Group in Singapore and the author of the chapter entitled ‘What is Education for in the 21st Century’ in the IPA’s report Licensing Practices in a Global Digital Market, available on the IPA website at https://www.internationalpublishers.org/state-of-publishing-reports/licensing-practices-in-a-global-digital-market.
Caroline Wright is Director General at the British Educational Suppliers Association or BESA, the UK's trade body for educational suppliers and publishers. And Erin Kinard, who is Vice President of Product Management & Strategy for Core Solutions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) in the US, spoke about how COVID has accelerated a shift toward digital learning environments in elementary, middle and high schools across the US. She described how HMH has shifted from thinking of itself as an educational publishing company to now considering itself instead as a ‘learning technology company’.
José set out the three key principals of the IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum: choice; local solutions; collaboration. He condemned the attempts by activists to ‘normalize’ the response to the COVID pandemic, whereby publishers and authors generously and selflessly modified their licensing terms to give teachers and students maximum flexibility. You can view the panel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFMeaN_9PCo