Pearson, Pearson, Pearson


Well, lots of talk about the presence of Pearson at EduBloggerCon (and elsewhere around Bloggers’ Cafe and the unconference). I don’t think I can get to it all, but here is a smattering:

Brian Crosby: Which I’ll summarize as, “just cause you’re the world’s largest education publisher, does not mean I have to love you for coming to my unconference” Brian clearly outlines the context of why teacher don’t trust education publishers.

Christian Long: Which was about the transparency of the relationship between Pearson, and Steve Hargadon, EduBloggerCon’s indefatigable organizer. This post’s subject was echoed by many but has been addressed, so you either like what you heard in response from Steve and Pearson, or you didn’t.

A lot of the questions that came up seemed to swirl around intellectual property issues. Should Pearson mine our brains/conference for ideas they will then sell in the market place. Since there is the understanding of a Creative Commons license at these events, Pearson has argued they have a right to be there, etc. And this is the bind of an unconference. We say the material is for “non-commercial” reuse, but really, when you have people there who will take what they learn, and use that material in presentations they are paid money for, is that non-commercial? I will grant you that those people also give much to the community and begrudging them that is churlish, and that is what commons, and the whole ed unconference thing is based one. We get something in return for what we put out there. What are we getting from Pearson would be my question. In that sense, they are breaking with the spirit of the unconference.

Next, I attended at small soiree Sunday evening that Pearson held, where we chatted and some of us agreed to video interviews (I had been interviewed earlier at EduBloggerCon). I asked The Pearson Representative the intellectual property question from a different point of view. What kind of license will the material they are filming of us have? Will the purchasers be able to remix, re-edit, and post our interviews? She didn’t answer my question directly, but talked about considerations such as copyrighted music that they pay a license for, etc.

This is an argument that has come up with commons licensing at EdTechTalk, where they are moving towards eliminating NC (non-commercial) provisions in the licensing, because it’s hard to judge what is NC, and they just want the information out there, rather than purity tests. There is a wisdom in that approach.

Here is my take on this after reflecting. First, whatever “policy” is worked out should fit all comers: corporations, EduBlogging consultants, and classroom teachers. I think we need to avoid special rules for special groups.

Next, I think Brian has a good point about the context, what is Pearson going to do for our community? They need to give not just cheese and wine, or even money for EdubloggerCons, but content, and more importantly support in return for our sharing our ideas.

Last, I think we need an explicit Commons license with Share, and Share-alike provisions on the conference licensing. That way, if they use footage from the unconference, it will have to also be available for remix. I would suggest if there are concerns about audio copyright, they leave it out of those sections, or go for CC licensed sound like we have to. They could slap a NC on it I suppose, but really if they are that good, they need to think about not just offering content, but that what they are offering is support and relationships. That will make the content issues less thorny.

Anyway, that is my two cents, what do you think?

2 Comments to

“Pearson, Pearson, Pearson”

  1. July 6th, 2008 at 12:08 pm      Reply mrsdurff Says:

    I think you make a good point about NC and just getting the info disseminated. I agree. I am sad at the manner in which several participants handled the situation. I did not realise some people were that way. Not being there, but virtual, I think I didn’t get the big picture which is now coming into focus so clearly.
    Steve Hargadon did a wonderful job of organising the event and is to be commended.

  2. July 6th, 2008 at 6:04 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

    Thank you Lisa, you were sorely missed at NECC. I had many people ask after you, and were sad to hear that you wouldn’t be there in person. I look forward to your reports from next year at NECC in Washington, D.C.

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