Debates Round 3 – Resource Sharing

This week we only had one debate to focus on, but it was packed with a lot of great discussions as we focused on the statement:

Educators should share lessons, resources, and other materials that they have created openly online.

Here are the notes that I collected from both sides.

(Kara) Agree:

  • Creators have given us access and permission to use/ adapdt their content. (Fair use)
  • Sharing & Collaboration (OER , open educational resources)
  • Equity (students given best possible access to education)
  • Online resources are updated much quicker
  • Cost – OERs are free. Less money on resources. More money for other things
  • Empower students and teachers. Access to meaningful teaching

(Brandon) Disagree:

  • Teachers not paid as well as they should be. Why is it wrong to make extra money selling their lessons that they spent time making?
  • THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
  • The time it saves you is worth the few extra dollars. Convenience
  • People are paying for it, so obviously there is a market.
  • It should be give take, but not everyone makes their resources available.

The discussion was mainly directed around websites such as Teachers Pay Teachers where you can sell lessons or units you make to other teachers.

A few of the other big topics raised were that teachers have a genuine care to help others, and we should be looking to help teachers provide the best possible education to students by sharing their resources openly. Like Kara’s article also points out, if we have access to open resources, they provide a better education than traditional textbooks do. As well in the TED talk she shares, it makes a great point about how technology is meant to share resources and make things more accessible. He gives the example of books, and how if a book gets checked out, you have to wait for it to come back before you can access it. With technology though, you could instead access it online for anyone at any time.

On the other side of this argument, while caring for others is a great thing it is also something that gets taken advantage of as teachers and they should not feel forced to share the resources they took the time and energy to make. Like Brandon’s article points out “Do doctors who work with children give their medical advice away for free?” of course not, so why should teachers be expected to give away their resources for free?

I still sit on the fence of this argument. While I do wish we could live in a perfect world where every shares their resources openly, I also see the argument that teachers should have the opportunity to be compensated for their time, effort, and work. A teacher could have a side business where they make and sell t-shirts, so why can’t they make and sell lessons online the same way?

Let me know your thoughts about this topic in the comments!

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