Copyright and education – the necessity, the vital import of the free, unrestricted flow of information through the realm of education, has been a big concern and obsession of mine. See this post for some views, see my copyright tags, see my own “Captive Mind” series.
It is so important to not “possess” or appropriate ideas. However, our whole system is founded on the principle that some know and “own” this knowledge. The “neck up” types who’ve got to the sacred realm of the university towers. They alone have ideas and all the rest of us just borrow them from these esteemed gentlemen.
Poppycock! It’s all about power. All a dice game. Read many of my posts, I won’t get into it here. What I do want to mention is a big peeve of my own. I really get upset by how so many blogs, networks, communities ban/delete/prohibit/(choose your word) anyone who posts links.
You know that scene. You read a nice blog post. You want to post something you wrote or a link to something you are involved in. However, you hesitate, you know you’ll be blocked, banned or brushed up. How dare you try to help others by leaving a link!
This is the culture on so many sites/blogs. So proprietary. I’ve been deleted often, on many blogs in ELT that preport to be “open”. All in the name of “keeping things on their own blog” and in essence, restricting the flow of information. It stinks, I’m calling all this out. It is as if they don’t think we are adults and can judge where information comes from and assess information in and of our own right. I say, “we don’t need any gatekeepers”.
On my own site, EFL Classroom, I’m always astounded by the emails I get from people asking to post a link, some information. I’m always flabberghasted – they are actually asking permission to post something informative on a social networking site? Go figure – that’s how much of a “walking on glass” mentality we’ve created with so much coveting and possessiveness in the realm.
I was recently interviewed by a student doing her Master’s. She was researching ELT blogs. She was so surprised when I mentioned that many ELT blogs were not open and were insular and all about their name and protecting their own – not really about open discourse and sharing – they don’t pass the litmus test of allowing members to post links in their comments. She laughed when I related some stories about some ELT blogs – she said everyone else had told her we were one big happy family! I’m sorry but I got to call it as it is – there are too many protecting their own and not about information and sharing worthy things but all about building their name and presence. I say they have it backwards.
So to end this diatribe — please, please, please, post a link to your own blog, a link to any other information on the web – when you comment. As long as you aren’t spamming and copy/pasting on many blogs. It’s okay. We’ll all live. The world won’t stop……