Types of Collaborators

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What is the point to us at all?

In the article What's Wrong with canned courses? Just one thing, Lisa Lane tells us that what's wrong with using and depending on too many or all of a publisher's prepared content for our courses is that we are modeling the wrong thing. We are modeling a lack of creativity, an absence of critical thinking and a lack of respect for our own profession.

I'd say the problem goes even further: we just aren't doing our job when we adopt these materials without "disassembling, reinventing, repurposing or recreating" them.

When we allow ourselves to be so removed from the actual function of our jobs, what is the point to us at all?

Pearson (Education) is being granted the right to offer degrees in England, and now they are clearly playing a game of openwashing with their new OpenClass LMS. These publishing companies realize that the paper-based textbook market is on its deathbed. It will be all e-book, digital and interactive. Their days of "pushing" paper are numbered.

Knowledge is out there, available and free.

To survive, the publishers and large LMS providers have to change their business model. Part of that change seems to be to position themselves as "open." I'd say they are about as open as BP is green with their BP logo all green and sunny. The other change to survive seems to be one where they encroach on what we as educators do. When we adopt their materials in a big big way, we turn ourselves into clerical workers who simply put up grades and shuffle virtual paper. Gosh, I hope the future of teaching is not as an assembly worker.

I'm not saying that using some of the publishers materials is all bad as long as there is a healthy dose of us in the mix, us as the curators, remixers and creators.

I think it is time to reread our job description. I don't know about yours, but in mine curriculum development is way up there.

When we give that task to Pearson or McGraw-Hill or Blackboard or someone else, are we doing our jobs? Will we have a job in the future?

Will we need colleges and universities?