Solutions to the curricula changes caused Common Core alignment have seen a rise of lesson-sharing websites. While in theory these are great tools that allow for instantaneous collaboration from colleagues, and a way to find millions of instructional ideas; some sites come with a catch.
Many websites that host user content and media, such as Facebook and Twitter, have express consents built-into their user-agreements. These lesson-plan sharing platforms are no exception. Some sites grant the company that run them authorization to use, disseminate, modify or sell the lesson plans, at will. This can create for a conflict between the teacher and their district. Under a strict interpretation of copyright law, all teacher’s work products are property of their school district; therefore, teachers technically don’t have the right to sell lesson plans or authorize a third party to do so.
While all of this may never amount to any legal action, It’s best to avoid the muddiness all-together. It’s undeniable that lesson plan sharing platforms offer distinct advantages. Not all sites demand express ownership of content uploaded. It is of our firmest suggestion to simply read the fine-print.