Sunday, February 25, 2007

School 2.0 - "inherently self-contradictory"

From a post here, Stephen says:
"Given that the shift in focus from authority (such as schools) to empowerment (such as for students) is at the very core of the whole concept of '2.0' the idea of 'school 2.0' is inherently self-contradictory. It stands for the very *opposite* of what its public posture presents."
Stephen is right.

And here is a manifestation of that contradiction. The smoking gun is "Teachers earn a share of advertising revenue". Paying teachers through advertising revenue is unwise pedagogy. The site says that "tteach is essentially School 2.0". Apparently, School 2.0 is really about placing profit over students. As Stephen says, the "very *opposite* of what its public posture presents."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Miguel said...

Yeah, but I wasn't referring to the School 2.0 nonsense. I was referring to Mark Glazer's talk of the profound change and shift coming about because of the Internet.

Stop setting up straw men, or are you buying into the conspiracy theory that edubloggers are trying to make money off stuff?

Miguel

05:41  
Blogger Gnuosphere said...

Miguel says:

"Yeah, but I [...]"

I was connecting only to Stephen's point. If you felt I was personally implying something toward you, I feel bad. I had no intention of doing so.

"Stop setting up straw men, or are you buying into the conspiracy theory that edubloggers are trying to make money off stuff?"

You have lost me here. Could you please explain where this came from? Or maybe I don't want to know?"

But more directly, what do you know about "Tteach?" Is there more information on the people who are building it? Perhaps there is in the Flash on their website? (I can't see it with my system).

The only clue I've found is in a comment over here by someone named "Zee". Zee doesn't say much:

"Hello Everyone,

This is Zee from tteach.com.

Just a quick message to let you all know that we’re listening to every word - and are really really REALLY going to every extent to make tteach your “Killer EdApp”.

We’ll be releasing the feature list in two weeks time, which I am certain (once you see) you will be very excited about. The public beta will be released shortly after.

However, once we’ve launched - we need your thoughts on where we’re going wrong & where we’re going right and any other ideas you may have to improve the site. What I can promise you is that as long as you keep telling us, we’ll listen & find a way to make it happen.

I can’t tell you how excited we are... Here’s to the future of online education.

Cheers.
"

As far as I'm concerned, so long as the people running Tteach don't hide and are truly open to changing their business model, I couldn't care less if it was run by "edubloggers" or not. So "Zee", if you're listening, drop the whole idea of paying teachers for advertising revenue. As well, use and develop only FLOSS tools. Do these two things and we'll be looking a lot better.

Honestly, I am not fully aware of every suite of tools being developed but something like "OpenAcademic" looks like a much more valuable place to go for software and support. But, I can't really recommend any toolset until a GPL3-compatible toolset is functional. I don't know what OpenAcademic's plan is and won't even bother asking until GPL3-like licenses are officially adoptable. I encourage all (but especially technology teachers/coordinators) to read the draft and see if you agree with its consequences.

I couldn't find any information on the licensing of the software Tteach was developing. This whole "wait-and-see" what "we" have approach is discomfiting, no? I get the impression they want to sell a web-based suite of services to schools. That's fine, but they should both sell the services and FLOSS with support for schools who want to decide how their own cyber-environment should behave and interact with other groups who may use different but compatible tools.

What do you think?

22:31  
Anonymous Zee from tteach! said...

Hi there Guys,

This is Zee from tteach, and just to let everyone know - myself & everyone else on board are definitely trying our best to keep up with comments & critiques about the tteach site.
Firstly, regarding Floss - I can't go into too many details just yet, but I can assure you that parts of the site will include tools which will (maybe not immediately but soon after launch) allow users to adapt the facilities to their needs as long as they are for educational purposes & they willing to share them with others.

Regarding the share of revenue idea, there really isn't anything too dark about the whole concept. The revenue sharing is simply a way we considered to encourage teachers (anyone with knowledge of a particular subject) to actually teach.
As much as we hope people will teach simply to help others to learn...the fact is, we are a for-profit organisation and therefore felt it was the right thing to do to ensure that no one feels that we're trying to just make a fast buck from other people's knowledge & skills which they have spent years acquiring. Also, the revenue sharing is integral as it is also there to ensure that the standard of teaching is kept to par - as the better the quality of their 'class'...the more hits to that page...and therefore the more revenue the teacher (& yes, us) can earn.

Hope that helps a lil.

Cheers, Zee from tteach.com

16:23  

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