Only fair

I just finished a Kindle book called Layering for Learning. The book concerns opportunities educators have to layer (add) questions, annotations, comments on online content (video, web pages) to create instructional content. My expectation is that this layering would be most commonly applied to content not originally created by the teacher – e.g., a YouTube video that fits with the teacher’s curriculum.

The image above is MoocNote and one of the services I describe. MoocNote is a service you can use to add comments, questions and similar annotations to online video. If you look carefully at the image, you will note my arrow pointing to an ad (oddly as these things go to an ad for an ad blocker). One of the boundary conditions I established for myself in writing this book was that the services I describe used a system that accepted the content to be annotated from the content creator’s server. What this means to me is that in layering content to improve a learning opportunity, the original material and the way it is delivered is not altered. This commitment to the original includes the display of ads.

I understand that ads can be annoying and are kind of off limits to learners under the age of 13. Still, I consider the use of techniques to avoid ads and still display the ad-supported content as a copyright violation (or at least unethical). I assume that when you accept content provided at no cost to you the intentions of the individual creating that content should be honored. If you do not want to view ads, look for another content source. It is only fair.

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