Tushnet on IP Teaching Props
Rebecca Tushnet has posted Sight, Sound and Meaning: Teaching Intellectual Property with Audiovisual Materials, an article on the use of teaching props for intellectual property courses. Of course Rebecca also manages the Georgetown Intellectual Property Teaching Resources database, a fantastic resource that helps our entire community easily find appropriate audiovisual teaching props. Many kudos to Rebecca for undertaking that selfless task.
The article gives some great examples of how she uses props in her class. I wish we had a better way of sharing these kinds of tips with each other. I have probably come up with some interesting props, and I often learn about other interesting ideas when the topic comes up. Maybe we can have an AALS session on teaching props at some point.
This short article addresses my experience using audiovisual materials from the Georgetown Intellectual Property Teaching Resources database. I use audiovisual materials extensively in class to allow students to see the subject matter of the cases rather than just reading verbal descriptions and enable them to apply the principles they read about to new, concrete examples. Many students in IP courses have special interests in music, film, or the visual arts, and the database allows me – and other teachers – to present materials that engage them. I have found that students are more willing to speak up in class when they can see or hear for themselves and can point to specific aspects of the underlying materials. I also briefly address the copyright question: should teachers worry about using digital materials in class? Fortunately, the available statutory exceptions are supportive of in-class teaching. Using images and sounds to illustrate litigated cases and hypotheticals is pedagogically valuable and legally justified.