We only had one debate this week, but it sure was a good one. I feel like this was one of the best debates thus far, as the class seemed quite torn. At first, I felt that I was very confident in my opinion on this topic. Afterwards though, I wasn’t so quite so sure.
Topic: Educators should share lessons, resources, and other materials that they have created openly online.
Prior to the debate, I was on the ‘disagree’ side. Teachers spend so much time after school marking & lesson planning, spend their own money on classroom supplies, and volunteer their time to help with extracurricular activities. I feel like teachers already work for free enough, and if they want to sell the lesson plans they put hours of work & research into, then they should have every right to do so. The argument that teachers should be willing to give out their lessons ‘for the kids’ is completely unfair, as society does not expect people in other professions, such as pediatricians, to work for free. On the other hand, Open Educational Resources (OER) encourage equity, as not everyone has extra money to spend on resources. People also argued that teachers have to create lesson plans anyway, so they might as well just share them to help out their fellow educators. In addition, it was mentioned that teaching is not a profession a person chooses for the paycheck. Good teachers have a strong passion for helping others, so shouldn’t they be willing to share their resources in order to help teachers and students beyond just their school community? I was incredibly torn in this debate, as I very strongly agree with the arguments from both sides. At the end of the day though, I accepted defeat and switched my stance. I can definitely see myself sharing my favourite materials, resources, and lesson plans openly online in the future.