Two great quotes about education technology

I heard one very quotable thing today, and read another very quotable thing. The first was to do with copyright, the second to do with embracing technology in education. See what you think:


Tom Kent, of the Associated Press, was speaking at a Westminster Forum conference on the theme of the future of news. He said let’s suppose you use someone else’s photograph on your website without seeking their permission, and then insert a caption saying “Photograph courtesy of <your name>” because you think that will cover any potential legal issues. He viewed that as like stealing a suit from Harrods and thinking everything will be fine as long as you stitch a label on the back reading “Suit courtesy of Harrods”.

I think that’s a great way of bringing home to people the reality that using other people’s stuff without their permission (unless it already comes with permission, like a Creative Commons licence) is theft. (Even if it comes with permission, I always send the person an email to let them know I’ve used it, and where, and to thank them; I think that’s the courteous thing to do.)

This is not a new thing, of course. Unfortunately, I have sometimes had to say to people, if you wouldn’t dream of walking into a stationery shop and stealing a load of pens and paper, why do you think it’s OK to make pirate copies of software, use other people’s photos or rip off their worksheets?

The impact of technology in education

I read an article submitted to me by Nigel Willetts, for Computers in Classrooms. It’s a very thought-provoking article, which Nigel (wrongly in my opinion) describes as a rant. I disagree with some of what Nigel wrote, but I love this sentence:

When faced with a steam-rolling technology, you either become part of the technology or part of the road!

I’m currently working on the next edition of the newsletter, and Nigel’s is one of the articles that will be included. (Others include one by Steve Moss, of Partnership for Schools, and one by Susan Bannister, of Uniservity. More about those in a separate post.)

So, two very nice quotes I think, to mull over, and to discuss with colleagues and pupils. Any thoughts?


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