Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

We Should Take Heed of the True Value of Freebies

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

We Should Take Heed of the True Value of Freebies

Article excerpt

With budgets stretched, it's no wonder that teachers are always on the lookout for free resources, but some technology is worth shelling out for

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a teacher in possession of a meagre classroom budget must be in want of free stuff.

Maybe it's having to deal with budgets that are never quite big enough, year after year, that leads a lot of teachers (myself included) to be the way we are. I think that something happens to you when you become a teacher. Your inhibitions when it comes to asking for favours and discounts from the general public - if you had any in the first place - seem to dwindle. You develop nerve you didn't know you had.

I've pulled in favours from magazine editors, who gave up their time to do online interviews with children, bagged donations to be used as prizes from local shops and businesses for children organising a charity raffle and had visitors, from scientists to MPs, give their time freely.

That's the thing, isn't it? The "don't ask don't get" attitude tends to work out quite well, because, generally, people are really helpful when it comes to donating things and time to schools. We seem to be a good cause and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

I do wonder, though, if this experience of getting stuff for free is spilling over into our expectations of gathering new resources, particularly online. The way people view online content in general probably doesn't help. I think there is an attitude among a significant number of people from all walks of life that things online should just be free; that they're not "real" and somehow appeared from nowhere. …

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