As you have probably already heard EduBloggerCon had some controversy this year in relation to how Pearson brought in cameras and mics and recorded much of the conversation happening in one room. There was much fallout associated with it and people have come down on different sides of the fray. One of the people involved from Pearson has started a blog and voiced that after some retrospection she has seen the point from those that felt intruded upon and that were peeved that some of their thoughts and opinions and ideas might end up making Pearson money. Someone Twittered tonight about the post by Elaine Roberts on her blog.
She identifies herself as an employee of Pearson and makes a bit of a mea culpa including:
“I understand the concern of grassroots leaders that somehow a corporation will try to create a product out of a movement, but I really didn’t get it until I walked through the Exhibit Hall at NECC and heard vendors talking, for example, about enabling students to be “socially networking.”Â Â
“I thought about this as I walked around the exhibits (I was not at NECC as an exhibitor) and realized how easy it is for vendors to co-opt certain language and make it sound as if a product or service accomplishes something it might or might not.”
Several comments had already been left thanking Elaine for her transparency and honesty. I agree … however, I guess I’ve just been burned too many times and I wanted to be sure that more of my concerns were addressed, so I left the following comment:
“Please note that teachers have a very shaky relationship with publishing companies. 1) Teachers are VERY used to their districts adopting a program, being promised training and support and receiving little of either. 2) Publishers take ideas and lessons from teachers, and give little in return for what could and often should be distributed for free while making lots of money along the way. By charging large sums they actually cut access to many students by drying up funds that could be spent on materials, field trips, guest speakers, art programs and I could continue. We are NOT OK WITH THAT! 3) I’m not as forgiving as Vicki … I am VERY suspicious of a company wanting to “learn these tools” … free tools by the way, without planning on making money from them, sucking money from schools. 4) Unfortunately most states require schools to buy programs from publishing companies. The programs are very overpriced and again suck money from schools as well as handcuff teachers from doing what they have been trained to do since the money to support lessons teachers design themselves have been spent on “programs” that come from publishing companies. 5) I have no problem with companies making money, but companies better get a clue how they have soured their relationship with education … deserved or not, publishing companies are perceived OFTEN as blood suckers that are a HUGE part of the problem in US education … WAY too much about making money and not NEARLY enough about REALLY helping teachers and students do well.”
Learning is messy!