Sharing Material Moral Dilemma

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ebeli, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    Hello Everyone,

    I am having a dilemma and I am not sure how to feel about it. I would like to go towards the more positive route but a part of me is very pist off.

    I started off teaching college level classes and when I started I was never given material to teach, only a textbook. My classes consist of lecture + Lab so I had to get VERY creative, a lot of it was trial and error. I also spent sleepless nights on my first year making sure all my material was ready and set to go for the next day. My second year went smoother of course.

    Forward two years later, I get another teaching position teaching High School and it is the SAME THING! I have to build my material from the ground up, this time not even a text book! I then articulated my class with a college level class and was able to provide a better outline for my material but the college instructor did not want to share a lot of his material because he built it.

    Forward another year! I leave my original teaching position from one college to another (same class so I will be reusing my material) and all of my material I've worked so hard for is in Google Drive. The new instructor contacts me asking me to share my material with him. I didn't, I asked him to look at the textbooks website where he can find powerpoint presentations and the final exam guide.
    and today I found out that MY MATERIAL is being shared with him! IT gave him access to my material for the next 30 days! he's had access for 9 days for MY MATERIAL! without MY CONSENT! I'm not sure what the legal rules are for Google Drive Education, I'm pretty damn sure as soon as you use it with the school you sign your life away and it becomes "their" material, which is bullshit of course. The only way around this is to rebel and use your own google account.

    But anyway, I am very upset, I feel that something was taken from me without my consent. Of course I was tempted to send an email asking him NOT to use my material but I am not going to do that because I'm sure hes a very nice person and as soon as I meet him I will want to share my material or wont mind. Also, I'm hoping to be rehired in the future for a full time position.

    I would appreciate some feedback, am I wrong? has this happened to you? how would you feel?
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's NOT cool that they took it without your consent. Also yes, if you use Google for Education, basically the school owns everything you put on there, which is why I keep copies of everything on my OWN Google Drive, because I learned that things can disappear if the Google Domain that hosts your drive goes down due to closure, not paying the bills, etc. I don't know if you can do anything legally, especially if you don't want to make waves, but it's very rude of them to do that.

    My own personal philosophy is that everything I create can be freely shared if it's for educational purposes, because I'm unlikely to ever make a profit off of it, but I can understand if you want to keep things to yourself.
     
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  4. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    Peregrin5 - Yes, I definitely feel violated and definitely do not want to make waves as it would damage my reputation, especially not legally.

    I think that if the college wanted to share material it should definitely be something that they provide, I feel exploited. My first year teaching I would go to bed at 2 or 3am and go back to work at 7am, I would spend 3 days working on my material. I denied my material to him because it was material that I created through trial and error and creativity. I've used other instructors materials but I always ask, and if they tell me no, I respect their wishes. I see it as common courtesy.

    This is how I see it, You write a book and put it in Google Drive for Education and you use this book that you wrote as your class material and when you leave this books gets trasnferred over to the new teacher to use. A book that you wrote, It's the same thing, I've created all of my material from scratch.
     
  5. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    I never modified anything, I created every single piece of material from scratch. New File ---> Save as....

    A part of me wants to do the right thing but I feel very strongly about this material being mine, which is why I will probably transfer it over to a personal google drive and share it with my educational email.

    I've already deleted all the material and permanently deleted the material from the trash. Even if he did save it in those 9 days, I am not ok with him using my material.

    I gave him very good pointers, there are powerpoint for him to use, he's not completely in dead water, by the way, I was in dead water my first day! I wasn't given the textbook until the second week. I left the position early so they can hire someone on time to give him enough time to prepare. I planned ahead, I was hired last minute and did not get any powerpoints from the textbook until the second week. But by then I was already creating my own material and have done so because I felt my material was better and easier for me to use and follow.
    All of the labs were created from my creativity, through trial and error.

    and who knows maybe if I would have met him I would've shared my material with him.

    I am going to take this as a learning lesson and protect my material from now on.
     
  6. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    You're making me sound like a monster, and I see where you are coming from but he was not granted permission to use my material. If he would've met up with me, sat down I would've gladly went over everything I did and how I ran the class. It's not rocket science, were not reinventing the wheel here, all of the information I teach are FACTS.

    Obviously you've had it easy! Good for you, but that material was shared with you, and you should appreciate it, and say THANK YOU.

    I do not mind collaborating and sharing ideas, but not MY WHOLE class material especially not the way it was done in my case.
     
  7. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    Also,

    let's not forget that there is a website called TeachersPayTeachers where teachers DO profit from their created material and sell licenses to use and share the material.

    and many textbooks were written by college professors, Textbooks aren't free, why should my material be?

    I don't mind collaborating but I was not ready to share my material and it was taken without my consent, I did not even receive a notification. The only reason I know is because I checked my Google Drive to grab my material for my new course and share it with myself and saw that the new instructor was on it. Of course I felt invaded! a person gets added to your folders without letting you know? what if your taxes are there? social security information?

    so yes, I am upset.
     
  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Not sure I agree with your sentiments. Alot of teachers are making money selling their products on teachers pay teachers, writing books, presenting...etc. I think this person has the right to be upset. With that said, I think you should take it as lesson learned, keep your files on your own devices.
     
  9. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Did you tell him that though? Because just based on this post, it doesn't sound like you presented yourself as very willing to sit down and have a conversation.

    Do you and this teacher teach at the same school? I don't think I followed that part of your story. I think it's totally wrong of the school to share your materials without your permission - that would make me very cranky - but I have to admit, if someone had asked for materials that I was no longer using at that school, I would have happily handed them over. If you're at the same school, that would make me a little more hesitant although if we weren't teaching the same students, I probably still would have shared any materials I had. No two teachers are going to use/present materials in the same way anyway. Teaching is hard and I'm always happy to help lighten the burden for someone else.
     
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  10. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    He asked to meet with me so I told him when I would be at the campus to meet with him but he stopped communicating with me and did not show up the day I showed up. His communication stopped 9 days ago as well. I think that upset me the most that once he had my material he didn't bother showing up to meet me or communicating with me.

    I was also there for other stuff and he never confirmed whether that was a good time for him or not.
     
  11. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I can definitely see how that would be frustrating. He might feel a little guilty about having gotten your materials without your consent, but in his shoes I would have at least communicated that the school provided him with access, that they looked great, thank you, etc. (And while I personally would have been happy to just pass them along when he asked, if someone obviously didn't want me using their materials, I wouldn't use them even if the school passed them along, I don't think.)
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If you don't want to share, don't leave it somewhere where anyone else has access. Period. Is it copyrighted? If so, you might be able to point that out and make him refrain from using it exactly as written, but it doesn't mean he can't cite it as a reference, IMO.

    In the HS I worked in a teacher created an extensive unit, wanted to sell it on TPT, and the school said no, they owned the intellectual rights, since she created it as a teacher for a class which they were paying her for. She checked her contract and with a lawyer. They were right. If it had been made before or after she was hired, and copyrighted, different answer said the lawyer she consulted with. Valuable lesson learned. Sorry - not the answer you wanted, I know.
     
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  13. TheGr8Catsby

    TheGr8Catsby Rookie

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    I don't know if this applies to post-secondary land, but at least in K-12 in the US everything you create for your position is owned by the school district, and they have all rights to it. This would be something to look into.
     
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  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If he never officially confirmed the time, date, and location you really didn't have an agreed upon meeting. Presenting it as if he blew off the meeting is wrong. There was never a meeting.

    So, did he ask to meet before or after you told him you wouldn't be providing the materials? That really makes a difference. If he asked to meet as part of asking for the materials, which you declined, it makes no sense to meet with you. I can see him also not following up because the reason for meeting no longer exists.

    Now, I would have followed up with a "thanks, but no thanks" to your offer to meet to tell me about all the wonderful stuff you do that you won't be providing, but he may have been so turned off by your offer that he just didn't bother following up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Lack of sharing is rampant in teaching and other professions. The idea of paying your dues is widespread. Few want to break the cycle because that means they may have had to work harder than someone else and that is not fair. The thing is, if we ever want to break that cycle either people much change their mindsets for the benefit of the job or we need the people running the show to force that change.

    This is no different than any other bad practice and bad cycle. Until people decide they want it fixed and are willing to be the last one to have to pay the dues, it will never be fixed.

    OP, I surely hope you will change your attitude for the benefit of students. If not, I surely hope you don't ask anyone for their materials when you end up teaching a new subject. It would be highly hypocritical to ask others for work you are not fully willing to share with others.
     
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  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Really? Can you cite the reference for this? I've never heard of this.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Older NEA article,
    http://www.nea.org/home/37583.htm

    As for the college or university level, many have intellectual property rights as part of the contract dividing institutional works and scholarly works. Scholarly works sometimes include the works created by the teacher and sometimes not.

    In the case of the OP, it really does depend on who hired him/her at the time and what the contract said. If it was K-12, most likely the work done is owned by the school and is the school's to share. Otherwise, it depends on the contract. OP, who were you hired by when you wrote the lessons and what does your contract say either way?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  19. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    In a lot of cases, it seems like there isn't any impetus to change a broken system, and rampant competition fuels it. I think you are right that we should all worry more about the effects on the students, but when people are competing for everything, fair play and the real reason we teach gets buried under the guise of "looking out for #1".
     
  20. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    The legal doctrine at issue is "works for hire".
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    What competition? How does what you do in your classroom get compared to another teacher's classroom? How does that impact you keeping your job? Same question but how is it once tenure is achieved?

    I will admit at the college and university level there is much more competition for jobs.

    The other question is how an administrator would view the following people: 1. The teacher who can create a fantastic lesson but can't deliver it to save their life limiting student learning. 2. The teacher who can't create a lesson but can deliver the heck out of a lesson that was prepared causing student learning.
     
  22. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I would be upset too. It's one thing to share my work with colleagues and people I know. It's another to have it shared to someone I've never met without my consent.
     
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  23. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    In smaller schools, it is pretty rampant. Department chairs and leadership positions are something some teachers I know would kill for.
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Competition IS very much alive in K12 schools. Great for you if it isn't where you live. But it is where I live. Some districts/states give bonuses to teachers whose students score higher on state tests. Leadership positions are awarded based on scores. Even course selections are based on those numbers.

    I like to share, but I have become very choosy about what I share and to whom. I don't presume to think that my lessons are perfect or "the best." They're just the best for me. I assume that other teachers are just as capable of coming up with awesome lessons on their own, just as I do. I have many reasons for not sharing. Mostly because many teachers post everything they get online. I don't want my students having access to my creations before I want them to. I don't want them seeing the keys for worksheets. I don't want them to print out the slides ahead of time and then not take notes during lecture. Heck, some of my colleagues have even posted test keys online after his students have taken the test. But before mine have!
     
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  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I can see your point, 2ndtimearound. My question to you is this: Do you leave all of this intellectual property stored on school computers, or in school owned memory, where anyone the school shares the password with can simply "borrow" the material? I keep all such material at home, on my own Google drive, sending a copy of it to my email address to use. Oh, and by the way, I use my private gmail account, since I can access it from work, but the school doesn't own access to that, either. I don't know if that is enough separation, but short of moving it back and forth on flash drives, I don't know how to keep the school out of my material. That said, I don't believe that I would refuse to share it, but I guess I simply want some semblance of control. In truth, if the material is on the shared Google Drive, it has probably already been "borrowed" in whole or in part by anyone else with access, and I am not talking about the current teacher. Teachers borrow (steal) from great ideas from other teachers all the time. Student teachers are often encouraged to copy as much material as possible from as many sources as possible before leaving the school. They used to physically copy it on the copy machine, but now it is downloading files.

    Is this right?: No, but it is pretty much accepted/expected, since districts want new teachers to get up to speed in the classroom ASAP. I understand the reasons for not sharing, I truly do, but if the material is left in a common storage "facility" owned by the school, the likelihood of unintentional sharing is very high. Even with the way I create, store, and access the material on a private account, I can never be absolutely certain that I am truly the only person who has the only copy. However, my methods do indicate that I am doing my best to limit the amount of sharing that is unintended.

    I think the moral of this thread is that if you don't want to share, for whatever reason, don't store the material on the school drive or on a school computer, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  26. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Why not? Why does it matter? It isn't about us, it's about the students.
     
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  27. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I was under the impression that material I create as part of doing the job my district pays me to do, is the property of the district, not me.
     
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  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    And I can guarantee you that the district feels the same way, which makes their action of sharing what is on their Google Drive perfectly acceptable to them.
     
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  29. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Just a thought... You didn't have a choice here, which is a whole other issue, but if you want to share in the future, it may be helpful to save it as a pdf (which can't be easily edited) and have your name in a few places (created by George Smith). That way, at least others will know it's your work. I agree that it sucks to put in all the leg work, and then not feel adequately appreciated for that. I also think that just because those prior to you left you out on your own does not mean it's right to do it to others. So I'm kind of in the middle on this one. I also spend a lot of time gathering and creating resources, so I do understand what you're going through. Ideally, schools would provide some kind of bonus if a teacher needs to start from scratch and develop a new curriculum.
     
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  30. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    My thought is this: if work I've created will possibly benefit another student, through whatever means, then I'm all for it. I spent tons and tons of time on the math extension menus that I created - all outside of work hours - but want them to be shared and used to help kids push themselves in math. In a sense, it means that I get to make a difference in more kids' lives than just my own class.

    That being said, it would've been nice if they had asked beforehand, but I'd be both proud that it's being used and also glad that it might benefit other students.
     
  31. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    This is a college level class.

    I also teach HS but in this incident it was college level.
     
  32. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    My bad! In reading all of the posts in the thread, it got a bit switched up in my mind. In that case, I guess it might be a bit sketchier, but I don't know the college world (teaching-wise) as well as K-12 so I'd hate to make too much judgment myself.
     
  33. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    I hadn't thought much about how I would feel if I had to share my material with another K-12 teacher.

    College level classes are different the class focuses on one specific topic for example Computers and there are many ways to explain how a computer works and it's in the textbook but a teacher can come up with his or her own explanation, and often times that takes a lot of thinking and research for better understanding to find a way to simplify it. The person taking over me should be an expert in this topic and should be able to teach the material from his or her own personal and background knowledge.
     
  34. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Well, "should be an expert" is not always reality, is it? If the material was stored solely on your home computer/drive, could this have happened? Just curious.
     
  35. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    My point was it is perfectly acceptable to me as well. They paid me to design lessons. I wouldn't have made them otherwise, so they DO own them.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I think many of us were very confused by your explanation. It seemed you were a HS teacher teaching a college level class which would mean that the intellectual property was that of the HS.

    If you were a college adjunct and all materials were created for the college classes you were teaching (not hs classes at college level) you need to look at your original college's contract to see how they view intellectual property.

    Why would you want to go back to a school that just gave away your work (if they didn't have the right to do so)?
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You keep saying college level classes. Are they college classes or HS classes at the college level?

    Who pays your salary?

    I have to ask, if you believe the teacher is the expert and should be able to teach from personal background and knowledge, why all of the resentment of not having materials provided to you in the first place?
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    If all teachers work belongs to the district(which I believe technically is very likely), should or do teachers who sell material on TPT have to pay a portion or all of the money to the district?
     
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  39. ebeli

    ebeli Rookie

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    I have 2 positions, I'm a college instructor teaching a college class and I am also a CTE teacher teaching HS classes which are articulated with college classes, meaning my students take a HS class and get college credit at our local community college where I teach the same course.
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Now this is all making more sense.

    The material taken was material you create for your college instructor position NOT your HS instructor position. Correct?
     
  41. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    K - 12 or college, it doesn't matter. Material you create for a course you've been hired to teach belongs to the hiring institution.
     
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