A Rant: Podcasts, Education, Free Content
I spent a good hour last night before recording the SOS Podcast for the week surfing the iTunes Podcast area. If you are a teacher in ANY subject area and haven’t at least considered using podcasts to augment your curriculum and teaching then you’re missing a huge opportunity. The wealth of knowledge there is amazing.
Did you know – Previews can be downloaded
As a beatsuite.com member you can download the preview
files for all Royalty
Free Music tracks at the touch of a button. Whether you want
to try it in your project, share it with a colleague or pitch it
to a client. Download the preview before you purchase absolutely
Now here is a web site that is understanding the market of the Internet. I was listening to a track today that caught my attention and it cost $60. But once I buy it I own it and the best part is I don’t have to buy it before I try it out in my project.
What they understand is that if you want to rip them off you’ll do it anyway. It’s easy to record sound as it comes through your sound card. Kids at our school do it all the time. Quality isn’t great but hey, we’re use to DVDs where a person gets up and walks out of the theater in the middle of the show to refill their popcorn…what do you expect for $1 on a street corner.:)
What we need to understand is that society is changing and their is money to be had in giving away information if you do it right. Look at Nine Inch Nails who’s record is still tops at Amazon.com (You do buy from Amazon.com…I mean if you buy at all, right? They offer DRM free downloads that can be played on ANY device!) and has made the artist over a million dollars…and they gave it away free to start with.
Here’s what we need to understand. That our society today expects content to be free. Which shouldn’t be anything new to most teachers.
We like our content free We expect our content to be free right? How many of you have copied something out of a book…or made copies of a whole book for that matter instead of paying for 30 copies for your class.
Education has been setting the example that we expect our content to be free. We all claim “It falls under fair use for education!” but really we want content and we don’t want to pay for it.
How many of you have done this: Made copies of something and then went to the paper cutter and cut the top or bottom copyright and page numbers off? (I’ll admit it….guilty!)
We either didn’t have the funds to pay for it, or we didn’t want to wait for that purchase order to come through..we want our content free and we want it now!
So where is this taking us? How is this going to effect education? What happens when our students figure out that the content they pay for in schools (and they do pay for it…maybe not in money but in time, energy and wasted hours of their life) can be found free on the Internet. That they can learn when they want, where they want.
Can education sustain a model where the content is free? I think about everything I’ve learned in the past three years from the Internet. At one time I was thinking of going back and getting my PhD…but not for the learning that would happen but for the piece of paper. Is that the right reason? Do kids go to school not to learn but for that piece of paper?
Could education sustain a model like beatsuite.com. Where you have to give away some to get people to pay for more? What does that look like in education? What if organizations that accredit schools instead accredited teachers? What if you could be an accredited teacher in your subject area and students from around the world chose to learn from you…via podcast or pay per lecture or second life.
How many of our students go to school because they have to, not because they want to?
How many of our students could learn what they learn at school from home?
How many of our teachers could teach via the web?
How many of our teachers could or know how to engage students in their learning landscape?
More questions then answers, more thought then fact….be kind in the comments.