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Face Off: Should Teachers Pay Teachers Or Share Freely?

Face Off: Should Teachers Pay Teachers Or Share Freely?

Summer is the time that innovative educators reflect on their practice and begin putting in place plans to make their upcoming year better than ever. The big debate at #ISTE2016 this year is which materials they'll use to do that.

Sparking this debate is @AmazonEdu's Inspire (click here for early access). Amazon announced yesterday that they would use their familiar marketplace look and feel with a search bar, ratings, and reviews to offer teachers a platform where they can access tens of thousands of lesson plans, worksheets, and other instructional materials just in time for the back to school season this August.

But what does this mean for the more than 2 million teachers who are already paying other teachers for this type of content on the popular Teachers Pay Teachers website where teachers earn money for the materials they've created for the classroom?

If you are Tom Whitby or Steve Anderson, authors of The Relevant Educator Amazon Inspire is on the right track. In their recent talk at #ISTE2016 they shared that they believe relevant educators don't pay each other; they share with each other freely.

On the other side of the debate are educators like Angela Maiers and Vicki Davis. They believe that when teachers are compensated, they are motivated to create materials that surpass the quality of anything processed by the textbook industry muddle machine. Angela and Vicki explain that when teachers enter the freelance marketplace they work on their own time to transform what they use for the classroom into quality materials with instructions that can be used in the world.

So, what do you think? Should educators pay each other or share their genius freely?

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.