Since our class discussion this past Tuesday, I have spent a lot of time thinking about Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) and the debate around free/open resource sharing. Janelle had similar thoughts to mine and is planning on looking into some of the STF policy.
Personally, I have purchased a few items from TpT. When the site first became popular, my first thought was that teachers should work together and openly share resources, I thought paying for these resources defeated that. But over the years, when I found myself needing a good resource and didn’t have time to create one myself, I would purchase things on TpT. But until our class discussion I never considered the fact that not only is the site is really a barrier to openly sharing resources, but there is some question on who actually owns the content being created. Is it the teacher or the school division they work for?
While doing some research I found some interesting articles of success stories from teachers who have made significant amounts of money from TpT. Deanna Jump is a Kindergarten teacher who has made headlines because she is now a millionaire from selling her products on the site.
But is this idea of paying for resources taking away from creating a network where teachers can openly share resources and materials? An article Selling Out With Teachers Pay Teachers states,
“This introduces a dangerous incentive for teachers, dangling the possibility of huge profits in return for abandoning a free and open exchange of ideas to help students succeed.”
I can see both sides of the debate, if teachers are going to purchase resource materials it is better for that money to go to real teachers who create them rather than big publishing companies. And teachers know how much time and effort can go into creating some of these resources. But if everyone wants money for their resources and ideas-that is not creating a collaborative network where everyone could benefit.
What are your thoughts on this debate? Do you purchase or sell resources on Teachers Pay Teachers? Would you rather see teachers getting paid for their resources or sharing them freely with other educators?