11 Comments

  1. Mike

    Thanks for raising this issue! I think we are going to be hearing a lot about it in the near future. I completely agree with the your points above. Having done a little research on this recently it appears that if a district does not have a policy hat explicitly spells out ownership, that anything created is considered scholarly work and is up the educator to decide. In my opinion the simplest policy would be that districts simply require teachers to do a Creative Commons liscence for digital work they create. I believe if they choose share alike, it’s a win win.

  2. Here’s how we’ve approached this question:

    1) Content gets a creative commons license.
    2) Software gets a GPL 3 license

    Both points are approved by our Board of Education (to make everything above board).

    If you, or the employer, wants to make money off of your intellectual property in both areas, then you need to think of creative solutions for generating revenue.

    The point is you can create revenue on Creative Commons / GNU-3. It’s just a different model. BUT you can also take into effect that such content/applications are created with PUBLIC tax dollars and consequently have some public responsibilities.

    It can be done

  3. Jerri Kemble

    This is a very current topic that really does need clarification. We have Couriculum Facilitators employed in our district. Part of their job is to curate and create course shells for teachers in the district to pull content from. A buffet of materials, if you will, I wonder how it differs if a teacher has been employed to create content for the district as part of their contract? Glad you brought this subject to the forefront.

  4. Yes! to the Creative Commons comments and I think the creator (the educator and not the district) should be the “owner” of such a license. My reasoning for this caveat is that many (most?) educators are creating content outside of the contract day. Should districts own educators’ work when it’s done on their personal time? I think not.

    • That’s why Creative Commons is so good. Financially, it really doesn’t matter (depending on the CC license) who owns the content. Sure, it’s nice to have the street cred for creating something – but I’d argue you can have that on district time or off district time (again, assuming your Board gives permission for the CC license).

      • Zach, I don’t think of the “ownership” of a CC license as “street cred.” Giving credit to creators whether they are students, educators, or others is the ethical thing to do. It’s a great model for kids! (Thank you for keeping the conversation going.)

  5. Indira

    It is an interesting point to be addressed. For the amount of time spent in creating resources- morally the teacher should be the owner though the school/institution facilitated- the reason for being employed by them, that we bring our special skills. These I guess express, how innovative and creative the teacher is. In a digital world , one can have access and ability to create more or to linger on the old posessions which may or may no have much value in future. Even as teacher we tend to change our lessons and activities around it to be creative and relevant to the modern learning.To be honest I have been upholding all physical / digital data of my past school resources that I have created and proud of and have never revisited them. I believe they served their part and its done. In the modern digital era with access to a myriad of resources, there is no point holding on to something which is sure susceptible to change. Well, change has been so rampant and if someone who wants to use the resource and is willing to generate revenue, teachers efforts might be well rewarded. Even if it is a miniscule amount, which might not be worth the wait, as they were tailored to your students needs at that time – may or maynot suit everyone.

  6. Most universities have negotiated IP concerns with faculty and now have policies delineating instructional exceptions to ‘work for hire.’ Most universities give faculty sole ownership of their instructional IP or, perhaps, share it jointly.

    Many (most?) school districts, on the other hand, haven’t put this potential concern into their policy handbooks yet. But it seems to me that policies very similar to those in universities probably should be in place…

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