As an online teacher, it is essential that I understand Fair Use when attempting to gather resources for my class to use for educational purposes (the purpose does make a difference!). I have to know the difference between what I can legally use for instructional purposes if I like my freedom. Copyright infringement is a real and punishable crime!
Now, the TEACH Act is an expansion of Fair Use to help online educators and their ability to display resources for online instruction. It allows many digital technologies that were not originally included with Fair Use. TEACH's basic purpose is to help teachers as long as they follow specific guidelines and the materials are used for educational and instructional purposes. To make sure that the online instructor stays within their rights, the following checklist provided by the University of Texas will help a teacher decide if they are within their rights:
I am finding that the TEACH Act actually opens up what I thought to be fairly strict laws of Fair Use for teachers specifically. I will use the checklist above when deciding if in my online class I can legally use any type of material and ensure that it is linked only to educational purposes. My approach to finding reliable content has not been changed, but I do believe that the laws are less stringent as what I believed previously. Just to be sure, I will save the checklist above and use it each time I am looking for new material to employ!