I’ve had a special relationship with the TES, becoming a online member on 11th December 2006. I’ve been reading their tabloid since I can remember, as well as using their website for job-searching purposes. I have a great deal to thank them for. As for @TESResources; well, like many others, I’ve been using the resources section more recently to find information; to search for ideas and also share my own thoughts for free…
It was of course, where I myself, decided to share The 5 Minute Lesson Plan with the world(!) 2 or 3 years ago. By using the TES Resources website, they have allowed me to express myself and engage with the teaching community worldwide. I cannot thank them enough for this. Sharing ideas has been a staggering journey for me; but, with the explosion of blogging and social media being used more and more for educational purposes, times have changed for The TES and all of us.
We can all now share resources alone… without the need for corporation proprietary.
… Have a little think about this. As of today, I have 250,000 views for one resource. 138,000 downloads and in 140 countries. This must be great news for The TES and their website. But read this carefully, as stated in the Terms and Conditions page:
Rights in posted content
“With respect to all Content you post on the Websites, you grant TSL Education a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. With respect to all Content you post to the Websites, you hereby waive any moral rights you have in the Content. You agree to perform all further acts necessary to perfect any of the above rights granted by you to TSL Education, including the execution of deeds and documents, at our request.
You will… immediately remove and notify us of any Content that does not does not comply with these Terms and Conditions or may infringe the rights of third parties. You agree to … Terms and Conditions.”
The TES nuts:
In a nutshell, I lose most of my rights once I upload a resource to their website!
As time has moved on over the past 18 months, I have shared a total of 33 resources on the TES; all of them generating over 450,000 views across the globe and hopefully making an impact on hundreds of teachers and thousands and thousands of students in schools. Great!
These statistics in itself, are powerful.
Using the potential of social-media and blogging, I and a few others, have come to discover the ‘power of the people’, for making your own resources available to thousands and thousands of other teachers, for free. But what other business sectors would accept this? And also doing this for free?
As a teaching profession, we can be exploited by others. Maybe exploitation is a harsh term to use and I refer to the following examples for some typical school purchases:
- On-site training at your school. I can give you examples of £2,000-5,000 for 1 days consultancy.
- Management Information System support and site-licences. For a large secondary school, this can exceed £50,000!
- External one-day training events. Anything from £150 to £700!
- Teacher resources. A simple CD-ROM and annual licence can top £1,500!
- Student support material. As above, depending on the number of students.
We are happy to share freely amongst ourselves; helping the schools we work in and local networks. However, this is gradually changing speed with the introduction of Teaching Schools. Schools are funded to be leading providers for a ‘hub’ area and in return, either use these sums of cash to design and sustain CPD courses, yet quote other schools in return for a service level agreement (fee). For example, in the last 2 months, I have been quoted between £500 – £1500 for ‘support services’ from 3 separate schools, for resources we can deliver ourselves in-house. This was for simple teaching and learning services between schools that would be common practice in a local authority. (n.b. schools still pay for LEA services).
This had made me think about the potential of some of the teaching and learning programmes we have generated in our own school. We are left with the dichotomy of supporting each other, yet having to make a small profit in return for services offered.
Is privatisation of schools starting to filter through at ground level?
Budget holders in schools make decisions on how best to spend public money, to pay for consultancy; resources; local authority support services and more. But, beyond accountability and fair expenditure, we are now having to think about other ways our schools can start to generate an income beyond typical money sourced through admissions; sponsors; great results and so forth.
Change of heart:
So, back to The TES and why the change of heart? And what’s different for me? And why have I taken the time to write about going it alone?
This email below, was the catalyst for this change of heart:
I replied in a small state of shock, and here is their reply below:
… I then spent a small amount of time searching for resources and discovered that I was not alone.
Blah, blah, blah:
… and so it goes on.
- stop sharing any further resources with the TES.
- remove the link on my website that promotes the purchasing of my book.
- or, continue to upload resources to TES Resources, but do not include any links that re-direct the viewer back to my website.
- start uploading resources to my own website for my audience to download. No login required. No terms and conditions violated!
- move my resources to another forum, such as Teachers Pay Teachers in the USA?
- or, keep sharing and consider offering resources for free and some larger and popular resources and files via a pay-per-download resource page on my own website.
- There are all sorts of options to consider…
Conflict of interests:
- Any savvy user can find all my TES resources and see that each of them have my @TeacherToolkit handle attributed to each resource in the title. They could then look me up on Twitter and see the link to my blog (selling my book) via my Twitter profile. A no-brainer really, but @TESRsources haven’t thought about that one.
- The TES’s recent move to TESPro is evidence of a money-making corporation. In the words of a good friend, (they are) “happy to make a profit off your resources, but less happy for the contributors themselves to do so!” You can ignore that fact that it is a simple website that has time-saving tools such as reminders and a calendar. Everything you can find elsewhere for free! I thought this was a backwards step by The TES, but no doubt has generated a large income for them. They have already reduced the subscriptions fees from £30 to £19.99 per year.
My reasons for moving (or at least for now, to refrain from uploading any more) resources from the TES are now for all to see. I do know that I have my supporters and critics, and I am fully prepared for that now that I have published my intentions here.
You can continue to download all my resources, for FREE – from my own website – as I will no longer be uploading resources elsewhere. This will ensure I can only breach my own Terms and Conditions and mine alone. This will make my life far less complicated.
You will need to watch closely for developments…
Having caused a small furore on Twitter, as an outcome, I discovered the same dismay by @Ideas_Factory (Julian Wood) here. Thank you @LGolton; plus support from @HeadGuruTeacher over here. and some interesting evidence from Julia Taylor below.
- #Vamoose! I’m off… to a meeting with TES Resources (teachertoolkit.me)
- #Vamoose (sleramblings.wordpress.com)