One of the nicest aspects of working with other teachers is collaboration. Teachers are happy to share their ideas and lesson materials with their colleagues, because that is how schools work. The Professional Day is the best example of this sharing between colleagues in similar disciplines. It is inspiring and invigorating to discuss our work with others (especially since our spouses are rarely that interested in hearing all about our days!) But as we move from worksheet to website, I wonder how far the sharing will go. Just as file sharing has moved into the music and film world, I wonder how much of the work that teachers create will become accessible online. As far as I know, most teachers have secure websites or use other forms of social media that have restricted access to their students. I suppose that if someone really wanted to find my unit plans though, it would be possible. That’s fine with me- sharing my lessons will not cause me any loss of income. But the camera (via cellphone) has entered my classroom. Students freely copy notes from the board because it’s convenient and quick. That too is fine. But what if that camera, or my website contains student work. What if my students create the most brilliant works of literature and art – Who owns that art? Can a student photograph another student’s work and use it? What if they sell it? Does the school own the rights to anything created in the school? I ask these questions because they are things to consider when you’re teaching, and I suppose the need to discuss plagiarism will be ongoing, but as far as I’m concerned, anyone is welcome to my teaching ideas. I’m not likely to use them again- my lessons evolve out of materials, but I doubt they’ll ever be the same twice. Lessons and unit plans are not commodities. Our inspiration for teaching is not something that can be copied. I don’t think we need to fear the movement of schools to an online world any more than musicians need to fear the loss of the recording industry. There have been significant changes there, but broadcasting a song does not take away its value. The classroom is growing, and teachers are not being replaced by online reference materials. The school of the 21st century is still a place for sharing.