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Culture, sharing and content production

October 11th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

I ma in Vilnius for a meeting of the Fe-ConF project – Framework for elearning Contents Evalauation.

Despite the name it is a good project – a lot of thoughtful contributions.

I particularly liked the contribution from Minna Lakkala from the University of Helsinki who talked about the pedagogical design of technology enhanced collective e-learning. She referred to the sociolodical and epistomological infratstructures necessary for content sharing.

And – by serendipity – whilst listening to Minna a couple of emails arrived on the Becta list talking about cultures of sharing.

The first was from John Potter who said: “In a strand recently about web 2.0 it became apparent that in a culture where league tables are no longer published there are greater opportunities for sharing and innovation. Ewan McIntosh and the experience in Scotland seems to bear this out. Having schools in competition publicly in this way seems to inhibit all sorts of potentially useful collaboration and innovation. Tricia’s story seems to bear this out. Perhaps this and other pressures on teachers within the system really do make it difficult to share and to innovate and to examine what it means to be a teacher or a learner in 2007. ”

Nick Morgan suggested the additional factors regarding a willingness of share learning materials in Scotland:

“Professional shyness – many teachers arent confident enough of the quality of the resources they produce, and are happy to use their produce but reluctant to share it publically and thereby invite critical comment.

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Earning – A minority of teachers are at the other end of the spectrum, so confident about their own product that they won’t share it without payment being involved.

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Copyright – uncertainty about who owns the rights on the resources, or an instruction from their authority employers not to distribute. A common view: If a resource is produced on local authority equipment and in employers time, ‘it’ belongs to the authority and some authorities don’t see why they should let anyone else use those resources for free.”

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