This a post I wrote for June’s #UKEdchat magazine-I’ve since added a few more resources.

This Meme was posted on Twitter a while ago-

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I kind of agreed with it but knew of loads of great ways that I have used Google Earth, Maps and StreetView in my classroom. Maybe people only used it to look at their houses because they weren’t aware of all the great resources out there. In this article I’ll showcase some brilliant resources that will definitely stimulate learning and especially writing in your class.

I teach in the top 2% most deprived areas in Europe, the students have a paucity of imagination because of their lack of experience, missed opportunities to visit places and having very little background of wider reading. They don’t tend to watch the Discovery Channel either!

So it’s with little surprise that they fail to be ignited when the teacher stands in front of them and tells them that they have just climbed the largest mountain in the world (Did we drive up?) and  are now standing at the tallest point on earth (I’ve been to the top of Blackpool tower). Could they now describe what they are looking at? (No) Could they write about they’re amazing journey? (Not really) and could they write a detailed description of the top? (No chance).

Why do we as educators make the same mistakes, are we trying to test how badly they could write about something? It’s not the students fault, when the nearest they’ve ever travelled is to the City Centre, they just haven’t the experience or the knowledge, to formulate an accurate picture for their imagination to work. It’s not just those poorer students who suffer from this, for most pupils the top of Mount Everest might as well be an alien planet hundreds of light years away.

That’s the beauty of today’s internet, the World Wide Web should be renamed Wherever, Whatever, Whoever because with the web you can visit places on this earth (and beyond) that most of us will never have a chance to visit in the flesh in our lifetimes.

Who needs imagination when you can actually go there!

After mapping the world (well the places that will let them!) with their StreetView car, Google have now turned their attention to places that their car can’t get to. They called this Google Treks and use a backpack 360 camera to capture these places.

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They’ve included some fascinating places-The Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands Trek gives the viewer the opportunity to venture underwater and really explore aquatic life.

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For the Great Barrier Reef, you actually enter the sea from a beach in Google StreetView!

Imagine using this a stimulus for writing about an underwater kingdom or using Finding Nemo as a complimentary learning topic-complete engagement of pupils.

Wanting your students to write factfiles of some of the worlds great wonders-Google has that covered too! Explore The Eifel Tower, The Taj Mahal, the canals of Venice and even the tallest Building on the planet, the Burj Kalifa

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Google also have a wonderful ‘World Wonders’ website where you can explore Stonehenge and the banks of the river Seine in Paris, amongst many others.

Google have used Treks to map some of natures great places.

Want to travel up Japan’s Mount Fuji, explore the Grand Canyon in America, walk along the Colorado River or the Amazon Basin-You can!

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Want to see the nature in Churchill (Canada’s capital of Polar Bears) or see the Arctic at Iqalut-you can!

Talking of nature and especially animals, there are a number of animal tracking websites that will allow students to look at the movement of animals in real time. Fascinating when teaching about migration or nocturnal animals. You can imagine the students faces when they see just how far an animal travels around when seeing it on a map.

You can see Polar Bears with BearTracker-

 

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You can view the movement of Jaguars and many other species with the WWF wildlife tracker. These animals even have names and I have used this resource to ask the students to write about the day in the life of Naipi the Jaguar.

 

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There are also quite a few Shark trackers and one of the best is Ocearch, where you can see the migration of sharks and it gives plenty of details of each tagged animal.

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Google Maps views is a place where people upload their 360 photographs (photos that are scrollable through 360 degrees, giving the viewer a more in depth feel to the place photographed)

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You can click on any place pin to access these and there are even a view surprises.

Click on the pin in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and you get a panoramic view of the International Space Station-complete with photo of that astronaut with a moustache!

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Panorama photos are great for taking pupils to places that they would never be able to visit. Using the Screencast-O-matic screen recorder website you can create a pretty realistic walk on the moon. Especially when on Panorama.dk they have loads of photos (together with actual sounds from the landings) of every Apollo flight to the moon.

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Actually there is a little known trick in Google Earth-by selecting the right hand menu you can change Earth to Moon

or Mars.

You can explore them just like Earth and Google Mars even has real time updates of the Rovers mapping the planet out.

It also has lots of handy information and even a virtual robot assistant!

 

 

 

 

Any guesses where this photo is from?

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Yes-it’s from the highest point above sea level on earth, the top of Mount Everest!

You can have a brilliant explore around using the panorama website and when you link it with Google Treks streetview of Everest base camp it makes writing about the Epic journey of Edmund Hilary all the more realistic!

I going to end this article with a few gems. These websites I have used to fill a little time and to stimulate art in class.

Firstly there’s Geogessr, a genius site where it randomly shows you a Google Streetview image and you have to pinpoint where it is in the world. You get points for getting close to real location and is great fun!

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Next is Red Bull Google Street Art view. Red Bull had the genius idea of tagging all the places in the world that you can see Street Art on Google Street View.

Get glimpses of Banksy classics in the proper environments!

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Google now have their own Street Art section on their Cultural site.

Then there’s Tate Britain’s Google Maps Mash-up ArtMaps, on these maps you select a location it shows you any artwork that the Tate has in it’s posession that’s linked to that location. Brilliant when researching local history.

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Let’s go back to the beginning, sometimes it’s really useful to use Google StreetView to explore where your house is. Especially when there’s two fabulous StreetView image manipulating websites that allows the user to create amazing images.

Streetview StereoScopic turns your house (or Eifel Tower or Stonehenge) into a mini-planet.

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Especially useful when asking children to make up alien planets and to describe them.

Or using the Top Trumps Generator at the BigHugeLabs website to write planet factfiles.

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There’s Roschmap that mirrors the Streetview image to produce stunning art works.

Finally I’ll share a fabulous resource from Google (only downside being you need to sign in with a Google/Gmail account) called Tour Builder.

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Using Google Earth you can add points of interest around the globe, add written descriptions, videos and photographs.The children in my class used it to write written descriptions of their journeys from Home to School, with screenshots from StreetView of interesting landmarks or location stories.

After you have finished it produces a brilliant video stitching all these aspects together-here’s the video I made to support Nelson School in New Zealand and support their effort to connect globally. (#gigatownnsn)

 

 

I hope I’ve shared enough for you to see that Google Maps are more than just looking at your own house and that you can see how much potential they have to stimulate and engage writers in the classroom.

All the resources (and more!) are available by typing this into the web address bar idsfac.me/urthere and I have loads of stimulating resources on my website ideasfactory.me .

Please tweet me at @ideas_factory if you want to ask me anything.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

On the 23rd of January 2014 it was my 5 year anniversary on Twitter. It all started with this Tweet.

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Nothing too visionary, groundbreaking or related to education. It took me nearly 10 months to start using Twitter as my Personal Learning Network (PLN), although now I prefer my Global Learning Network (GLN) as my twitter feed comes from so many inspiring educators from all around the world. This delay was because I didn’t know anything about GLN’s or teachers using Twitter for learning. Nobody in my school was using Twitter for education, in fact nobody in any of the primary schools in the City of Sheffield was either!(although I didn’t know it at the time the excellent Lois Linderman (@morethanMaths) a Sheffield Secondary Teacher started in 2007)  I had no trailblazers to follow, no innovators to inspire or any leaders to guide me.

Or so I thought.

What I didn’t understand at the time was how Twitter worked. My very first tweet was read by nobody! In fact my first months worth of tweets weren’t seen by anyone! I didn’t have a single follower for 3 months-yet I kept on tweeting because I didn’t understand Twitter.

Then in November 2009 some 10 months since my first tweet, I attended the Guardian Innovation in Education conference in London. They had a Twitter back channel and were displaying their tweets! I started tweeting my views about the conference and went to my first tweet-up.(There were 6 of us out of an attendance in the 500’s!)

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At that first tweet-up I met up with Zoe Elder (@fullonlearning) and James Cross (@jamesrCross) who I still follow today, it was at this meeting where the group discussed the conference and we continued to tweet each other after the lunch meet-up had finished. It was this point I started to realise the potential of twitter for educators, I started following more educators from around the globe whose tweets interested me. I started joining in conversations.

At last I could see a purpose for using Twitter as an Educator, for sharing great practise, for discussing education topics and for learning from educators from around the globe.

Anyway enough with the nostalgia!The two reasons for this post (apart from celebrating 5 years of twitter and averaging 16 tweets a day since I joined!) are-

  • When I first started on Twitter I didn’t know who to follow, I had no idea who were the best sharers of resources and I had to go on a twitter journey following people as I had conversations. The more conversions and links I made on twitter, the more people I followed and who followed me. It took me at least 10 months to truly start my GLN and to follow enough people to make Twitter worthwhile.
  • Recently I have seen companies charging educators to establish a GLN on twitter for them! Cheekily asking hard-working educators for their money to do something that is extremely simple and cost-free!

So I decided to establish a twitter list (how to do this here) of 250 educators who are worth following, that will kickstart an educators GLN and lead you to opening up the brilliant world of twitter as CPD. This is FREE and most of the educators will follow you back (as long as you have a twitter bio that states that you are an educator) . There is no monetary gain for me-only the satisfaction that if you use this list, that I have helped you on an incredible journey that I started 5 years ago.

So open this link https://twitter.com/Ideas_Factory/lists/follow-these-edufolk-1st  to my list of global educators (admittedly heavily UK centric) and follow these instructions.

Click on members   image and follow!

A few more things-

Try @batttuk (Bring a Teacher to Twitter) brilliant website as a first port of call if you are new to Twitter.

If you want to know when you first started on twitter-try the excellent Twopcharts How long on Twitter website.

If you’d like to see how you can download and access all your tweets-this fantastic ‘how to’ guide by Aaron Lee shows you how.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

(NB From Julian-This post is By Jonathan Ovenden and part of my visit to BETT. I agreed to cross-post this blog post because I am a primary teacher who works with white working class children, at a school who uses technology and I can see that it does make a difference.)

Last summer, 63 per cent of our student population who took GCSEs walked away with five or more C+ grades including English and maths. While the debate raged around whether this performance was good enough, I was struck by another figure.

That figure was for FSM white working class boys. In this group, only 26 per cent achieve five or more GCSEs, including English and maths meaning they are the lowest attaining group of all children. Somewhat surprisingly, their underachievement is also lower than many other ethnic groups who may have additional language barriers to contend with.

Closing the gap

Although the problem is not new, the increasing focus from the government on closing the attainment gap between certain learners means schools need to direct more resources towards this and other potentially vulnerable groups to ensure all children progress.

According to David Godfrey, a principal of two schools in Northumberland – Central First School and Hirst Park Middle School, technology can help with this process and re-engage hard-to-reach learners: “Technology is a fantastic enabler. It pushes many of the buttons that motivate boys and develops many of the skills we need to encourage in lower ability learners.”

David is well placed to advise on the issue of using technology to motivate white working class boys. Both of his schools have over 50 per cent of children on FSM, and the area is predominantly white working class.

Having supplied the coal pits with miners years ago, the region now has little industry and many families are third generation unemployed. David shares his views on how technology can be used in the classroom and beyond to help teachers make progress with this group.

Encourage independence

According to David, technology has been useful in his school, because it encourages independent learning skills. “One of the issues you can find with lower ability learners is that they are often spoon fed learning and so are unable to apply what they have learnt in one subject to other learning.”

Technology can be used to encourage children to discover things for themselves and progress. Tablet use is widespread in David’s schools as it helps children find facts out for themselves, not from a teacher.

Personalise learning
If the right tools are chosen, it can also help tailor learning to the individual. “Personalised learning is an expectation of schools but in reality, is difficult to achieve,” explains David. “The right e-learning technology, however, can help teachers diagnose issues and then present learning materials that are relevant to that child’s exact needs.”

Reward success
It helps ensure progress is rewarded frequently. “Boys are motivated by competition so anything that feeds on that works well. But we also have to appreciate that there is another side to their nature. When boys do not win, they can feel like failures.”

In primary school, by the time you get to Year Five or Six in your hard-to-reach groups, this sense of failure can seem normal and so it helps to break that cycle. Online learning programmes that give frequent feedback encourage boys by showing that they can succeed and this encourages further success.

Make the content relevant to boys
The type of content is crucial in motivating boys as they can be switched off quickly by what they see as bland or ‘girly’ activities. An example at David’s school demonstrates the success of this approach, “We needed boys to be more engaged in written elements of the curriculum and switching the activities to focus on pirates and adventures achieved the desired effect. The girls adapted to the new materials without a problem too.”

Involve parents
“Parents hold the key to a child’s achievement so anything that offers the ability to share results or activities with parents is ideal,” says David. Sharing the learning at home allows parents to motivate their children to try harder and even learn alongside their child. With so many online or cloud-based resources available, this is far easier than it ever has been.

By choosing resources that are suited to this hard-to-reach group, you can have an impact on their achievement that will reap rewards beyond improved results. Happier pupils, more engaged parents and even more empowered teaching staff to name but a few.

imageJonathan Ovendenis a director at vision2learn who will be at BETT 2014 (stand F346) if any readers want to discuss these issues with him further.

Further reading: Centre for Social Justice report

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

For the fifth #BlappSnapp we’re off to Sunny Sheffield in the United Kingdom with the amazing Shaun Hopper (@shaunh0pper)

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

He’s blogged about the fantastic app Socrative on his great website, Fabtasticteachingideas

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Intrigued?Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp.

Next weeks #blappsnapp is from  @thisisliamM and his blog http://www.primary-ideas.blogspot.co.uk

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

For the forth #BlappSnapp we’re off to Lancashire with the brilliant Sarah Bedwell (@FlyMyGeekFlag)

 

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

 

She’s blogged about the fantastic app Stage on her great website, Fly My Geek Flag.

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Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp.

Next week it’s Yorkshire’s turn with Shaun Hopper (@shaunh0pper) for his #blappsnapp next week on his Fab Teaching Ideas blog.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

For the third #BlappSnapp it’s on to Canada and the Math educator Chris Webb (@crippit) from Montreal.

He’s blogged about the fantastic app Videoscribe on his great website, My Math adventures.

 

Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have spare spots after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Next week it’s Sarah Bedwell’s (@Flymygeekflag)  turn-look out for her #BlappSnapp on her website Fly My Geek Flag!

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

 

BlappSnapp Logo 300x225 If a picture paints a thousand words! #BlappSnapp

For the second Blapp Snapp it’s over to @MrWilBaker with his post about using Thinglink.

A brilliant post-Cheers Wil.

Please read this explanation of  #BlappSnapp

If you’d like to join the global educators who are writing a #BlappSnapp we still have places for after Christmas.

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Next weeks #BlappSnapp  is Chris Webb (@crippit) a Math Teacher from Montreal, Canada.

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

I love discovering new iPhone/Pad apps-especially ones where the application works well in the classroom. I love to share the newest apps and that’s why I started #BlappSnapp (Blogging about an App that has great edu potential) and this is the start of a series of #BlappSnapps by educators around the world.

Sometimes Apps work well on their own but occasionally I can see potential for blending 2 apps together. A number of educators have been calling this App Smashing.

This is the case for Sketchify and PhotoLayers.

These 2 apps are both photo or image manipulation apps. They both have rather unique features that when combined offer something of real potential to educators.

PhotoLayers gives the user the option  to cut out any image from a photograph and mix it with a background of your choice-similar to the online Clipping Magic.

Sketchify is an app that gives you lots of different filters for your photographs and the ‘Morfo Booth’ or ‘Crazy Talk’ ability of animating still images and making them talk.

Here’s how I used Sketchify to animate a photo of me as a 14 year old,

and here’s how I used Sketchify to produce a topic starter for my class’ new topic ‘We are Inventors’ (After I showed them a clip of Back to the Future-so they knew who Doc Brown was!!)Pretty impressive considering the app only costs 69p!

So for a topic of Recycling, I had this great idea that the Wombles of Wimbledon had relatives that lived in Sheffield and they came out at night and recycled all the Rubbish that the School community had thrown away. Only trouble was-how could I convince the pupils that the Wombles lived in Sheffield!This is where PhotoLayers came in very handy.

1. I took a photo of Skye Edge (The title of Richard Hawley’s excellent album ‘Standing On the Skye’s Edge’) 2. I then sourced a picture of a cuddly toy Womble from the internet. 3. Then I used PhotoLayers to cut out the white background of the Womble cuddly toy image and add the Skye Edge photo as a background.

 

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I still wasn’t convinced that this would convince my students that the Wombles lived in Sheffield. I then realised how I could use Sketchify to make the photo come alive!

 

I thought it was a pretty impressive effect. By App smashing Sketchify and PhotoLayers it completely convinced my pupils to enter into the imaginary world that I had created and they thoroughly enjoyed the Recycling topic.

That’s the first Blapp Snapp-over to Wil Baker (@MrWilBaker) who will am sure Blapp Snapp my effort!

Be great to get more people to sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) #BlappSnapp

Blapp Snapp

 

 

 

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

Blapp Snapp

There are so many fantastic recommendations for apps and the application in the classroom that I’d thought I’d start something new.

Blapp Snapp! #blappsnapp

Basically it stands for Blogging about Apps and Snapping someone else’s App recommendation. What I’d like to happen is that people will sign up on this Google form to Blog about an App (Android or IOS) they’d recommend it and how they use (or think it could be used) in the classroom. Every week they’d be a different Blapp Snapp blog from someone who would try and better the last blog post. I would also put all posts on my site here (for easy reference) and hopefully it will start a movement to share all the amazing Apps that most people haven’t heard of.

Please sign up for a week or spread the word. I’ll put up the dates till April and if we get more people who want to sign up-I’ll extend it.

Just a couple of provisos-Blogs must be up either on the Sunday or Monday of the week you signed for. Also please only sign-up for 1 week. Also you have to link to last Blapp Snapp in your post-so we can establish a chain.

Please don’t worry if you haven’t got a blog-you can write it up and I will put it on here. Even if you can’t think of an educational value to an app but find it entertaining-you can still recommend it.

Well here’s hoping I get enough people signed up to get Blapp Snapp started.

Thanks again

Julian

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"

This is written as a partner post to @teachertoolkit blog.

For those of you who have been hiding from Michael Gove for the past 3 weeks, you may have missed @teachertoolkit #Vamoose I’m off! story, regarding teacher content uploading to The TES Resources website.

Although for those of you that read my website, it would have come as no surprise as you would have already read my post ‘Do you own your ideas? Part 1’ last year!!

When I posted my effort last October I had 3k followers and although I had an ‘off the record’ email chat with the then Head of resources but now editor of TES Ann Mroz there was no talk of a review by Lord Knight or any post on the TES website about their Terms and Conditions and certainly no meeting at TES Towers!

My post was swept under the carpet.

My valid points were ignored.

The incident was never reviewed.

No reassurances were ever made.

No public back-peddling ever happened.

Funnily enough though, it did create a little wave, the post has been read by 2789 people and the majority have said that they will never post their resources on TES again.

I haven’t and I’ve deleted all my resources off their site.

Fast forward 11 months and It’s amazing what an extra 20k followers on twitter will do to make a multinational company, owned by a hedge fund, sit up and finally take notice!

@teachertoolkit has some similar problems with TES, posts #Vamoose I’m off! on his blog and Whammo! The TES spring into action! Here’s an email sent by TES resources team in response to Ross’ article.

TES response on 9.9.13

I would like to highlight the statement ‘…content uploaded by a user remains the property of that user’.

Does this include asking the owner whether someone can upload their resource to TES sister sites? Does this include selling the resource for profit? Does this include adapting the resource?

There was a part of the ‘backstory’ of my TES experience that I didn’t mention in my original post, which I feel will further muddy the waters. The reason why my resources were on TES in the first place was because I was asked to be part of a TES teacher ‘expert group’ for ICT. It was a non-paid role, that I felt held a certain amount of kudos and would look good on my CV. I was constantly asked to upload my resources onto the TES site and eventually gave up being part of the expert panel, because I felt that there was nothing in it for me-the only benefit was for TES-free publicity from my blog,my twitter account and my network. Then months later came the ‘Sharemylesson’ Do you own your ideas? debacle.

What’s interesting is that TES are keeping up this ‘poaching talent’ approach to uploading resources to their site. A representative from TES India recently emailed me and said that I had a great blog (he didn’t look very much into-otherwise he’d have read the TES blog post!) and whether I’d put my resources onto TES India! I politely said that I was too busy at work to do this (which I am!). He said that if I emailed him the resources he would upload them for me. NO mention of the ‘sweat-shop’ Terms and Conditions or that once he’d uploaded them they were no longer my property. (I’ll not accept a line from an email thank you-change the T&Cs).

I’m expecting an email from the representative of TES Australia soon…

You will be aware that we were invited to attend a meeting with Lord Knight at TES HQ on Saturday 5th October 2013.

The teachers representing this article are:

  1. @IanMcDaid
  2. @Ideas_Factory
  3. @LeadingLearner
  4. @LGolton
  5. @MrLockyer
  6. and @TeacherToolkit

Points for discussion at TES HQ:

  • The underlying principle of “not for profit” sharing.
  • New Terms and Conditions that protect the rights of the author.
  • Payment to authors when resources are ‘sold’.
  • Use of resources on other partner websites must have the authors permission.
  • Links to external content being out of the control of the author, if the host (TES) places advertising out of their control.

So, what happened at TES HQ?

So, in true pop-star fashion; all of the team sent their apologies and I (@TeacherToolkit) turned up alone and late to an empty reception. Inside the meeting room, TSL had clearly gone out of their way to meet with us and discuss the teacher-community concerns.

In attendance were:

  • @JimPKnight (Lord Knight of Weymouth, Shadow Defra Minister in the Lords)
  • @AnnMroz (Editor and Digital Publishing Director, TES, and former editor of Times Higher Education)
  • @MrMichaelShaw (Director of TES Pro and former deputy editor of TES)
  • Ashid ? (tbc – Legal Terms and Conditions advisor.)
  • @TeacherToolkit-Tea and biscuits.

Our questions for TES HQ:

Answers in red.

We will update Terms and Conditions following the meeting (see more details below) for new content henceforth.

  1. Why haven’t TSL adopted a Teachers Pay Teachers model previously? We do not want to differentiate between judging what resources should be free and what should be paid for content.
  2. Is Lord Knight aware that new owners, Texas Pacific Group have met with the owner of Teachable, a UK business almost identical to Teachers Pay Teachers? No, but we have a positive impression of TPG.
  3. The TES Advisory Board that is ‘led’ by Lord Knight. When was it established and what is its remit powers? Who does it report to and is it really independent? We are advisory to TES and that is all. We meet every 2-3 months and have no legal responsibility. We report to TSL’s CEO. You can read who is on the advisory board here and who is TSL’s Executive Team here.
  4. Have other teachers previously raised these issues and why didn’t the management at the TES/TSL act previously if they were aware of this issue? There was no clear answer. It was apparent that my original post and followers had provided us all with the opportunity to gain attention of the board.
  5. Was monetising the resources on TES Connect discussed with potential purchasers during the recent sale process (very likely)? As highlighted by Michael Shaw, TESPro will make it clear on their website and banner adverts, that teacher-produced resources will always be FREE and that the TESPro is not a forum for restricting free content in return for annual subscriptions to the TESPro magazine and so forth.

Recommendations:

From what I could minute, there were 8 clear outcomes.

  1. Terms and conditions: TSL wanted to clarify, that no IP is given away. The teacher owns the resource. In essence, the licence is a Creative Commons Licence – but has a waiver of Moral Rights. This appeared to be the real sticking point and one that TSL would not be willing to address as it would be far too complicated to police. For example, (a very crude one) I may agree for you to use my 5 Minute Lesson Plan, but may not agree for you to publish within a Primary School context. The TSL cannot monitor these individual Moral Rights. I stressed that the key T&Cs were written in plain English so that teachers understand clearly what they are agreeing to. If TSL do keep the T&Cs, then it should be emblazoned across the screen before any person uploads anything. Therefore, the uploader takes full responsibility for any copyright violations, links to external websites and that content can be used elsewhere.
  2. Moral Rights: Two issues here that cannot be resolved with the current T&Cs. a) Rights not to be identified and b) Rights to privacy. TSL cannot guarantee this with any content uploaded. There is also a Data Protection issue and how the TES look after the resource. The current TES waiver ensures they cannot be sued. They admitted that Moral Rights is a minefield!
  3. TES profiles: An example is my own TES profile here. I raised the discrepancies and how some profiles advertised blog links; books and products and how others had been identified and asked to remove content. I highlighted that my own page included my Twitter icon as my profile-photo, and that it wouldn’t take a genius, to work out that just three-clicks away, you could reach my own website, where I ‘could be’ advertising my own resources or products for sale. It was agreed, that teachers would be allowed to include their website address in their TES profile page.
  4. Resources: It was agreed that resources uploaded to the TES would remain ‘clean’. That is, no product advertisements, but as no. 3 above, individual teachers could include their own website links from their profile page. I highlighted the idiocy that TES moderators had asked me to removed direct-links on individual resource pages (linking back to my blog for readership clarification and not-for-profit) and copy and paste any references as basic HTML code onto a Word document; then upload these as additional attachments to the resource page itself!
  5. TSL Pledge: The TSL would review their current TSL pledge to include some of the changes listed here on this post. It currently reads here: Our pledge to you: TES Connect pledges that our members can download and share user-generated resources free of charge for ever. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our members’ personal data and promise never to sell or share it with any third party.”
  6. TESPro: would clarify their purpose of what is paid-for content and what is free. Michael Shaw stressed that all teachers resources are free and would remain so. The example tweet from Julia Taylor at the top of the page is an exception and if we encountered any more confusion, to direct the user to the Terms and Conditions which are soon to be updated. I also added the TESPro banner is long overdue for removal.
  7. Complaints: I asked for an easier mechanism to report ‘Complaints’ on the front page of the TES. As it currently stands, their is a ‘Report’ button on each individual resource page, but through the ‘Contact us’ page, their is no clear avenue in which to report any issues. It is currently, neatly tucked away at the bottom of the website.
  8. Lord Knight: The intention is, in light of all our concerns, that Lord Knight will co-author a blogpost with @TeacherToolkit informing the teaching community of the changes TSL have made. The predicted timescale was 2 weeks from today.

All in all, TSL and the team were incredibly hospitable and very open to our suggestions. I’d like to say thank you personally to TSL and the team today; on behalf of everyone in the teaching community who has taken the time to report their concerns. As a group, we can really shift sands. Our next task, is to collectively challenge the Secretary of State for Education! Grassroot teachers can do this, we just need a clear focus which is focused and not personalised …

What next?

TSL will make the necessary changes over the forthcoming weeks and report back. I left the meeting highlighting to The TES, that they have 3 options:

Resource content for partners (for profit).
Resource content for teachers (for free).
Resource content for teachers advertising their products (for profit).
TSL: If I have made any of the above details/answers inaccurate, please let me know and I will readjust.

What next?

TSL will make the necessary changes over the forthcoming weeks and report back. I left the meeting highlighting to The TES, that they have 3 options:

  1. Resource content for partners (for profit).
  2. Resource content for teachers (for free).
  3. Resource content for teachers advertising their products (for profit).

TSL: If I have made any of the above details/answers inaccurate, please let me know and I will readjust.

Further information:

TSL advisory board:

  • Lord Puttnam
  • Lord Adonis
  • Lord Knight
  • Owen Lynch
  • Baroness Morris
  • Click here.

TSL’s Executive Board:

  • Louise Rogers – Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Donoghue – Chief Operating Officer
  • Matthew O’Sullivan – Finance Director
  • Click here.

A few things I noticed-

TES will only apply new Terms and conditions to newly uploaded resources and therefore still able to take financial benefit from the already uploaded resources!

No mention of ‘forced’ sharing on their sisters sites-does this mean that this practice will continue?

I’ll reserve my judgement till we actually see TES make changes-at the moment my stance has not changed.

I will not upload any resources on TES.

Thanks to Ross and his original can be seen here

Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"
About me
UK Primary School Future Learning Technologist.I am into Experience and Fun Based Learning.I use web tools to stimulate writing. I've been Playing and Learning since 1970. Have some fabulous ideas now & again.. Check out my about.me profile!
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