I re-published what I blogged about in Part II on the Dogme message board, and fiotf was kind enough to give me some excellent “thoughts on [my] thoughts” in turn today, I posted my responsive thoughts, which are re-published below. Her writing is in quotes.
“But the kids don’t belong to the institution, they belong to the kids, so maybe the teachers should credit their students in their materials”
Never thought of that before. Agreed. I have started doing it, see the Acknowledgments section of this lesson plan:
I would like to thank all the 7th grade classes at Anqing Foreign Language School who had this lesson for their participation and feedback. I would also like to thank the Anqing Foreign Language School for allowing me to teach.”
“Who decides if what these teachers publish online is any good? Effective? Accurate?”
The people who use them decide. Even if something published online is only useful to one other person and the world and everyone else thinks its crap, its worth publishing. Unlinke print media, publishing online doesn’t waste space, nor prevent others from being seen.
“Hilary Mantel once wrote “how do you know your thoughts have never been thought by anyone else before?”"
I really like Ms. Mantel’s quote. I’d say most thoughts people have, have been thought before. That’s why it’s a good idea to publish online, so instead of re-inventing the wheel you can build on the thought someone else already had.
“Who checks that what people upload and sell as their stuff really is? They could so easily be selling other people’s ideas? Have you ever toothcombed the web to see if any of YOUR ideas are there, uncredited and for sale?”
I would say it is very likely many people sell ideas that are not theirs. This is an acceptable risk for me, and does not prevent me from publishing online, nor donating my materials to the Public Domain. Even if some people take advantadge, I think more people are helped, than are hurt.
“It all boils down to what your driving force in life is…”
agreed. and, for those whose driving force is improving education in all its forms, i say keep sharing.
Corrections & Amplifications
- 29 November 2009 – Found a few more links to this debate, via the EFL Classroom 2.0.
- May the Best Teacher Win, from Public School Insights, which is a bit of an overview and skeptical peek into the crystal ball.
- Putting money where our education is, from Fordham’s Gadfly team, which supports the idea of teachers selling their wares. Actually, the best part about this though, is Karl Wheatley’s comment.