What's in it for me (WIFM)?
(: Thanks to Richard Solomon of University of Maryland for asking me this question - so I could write something up to help others. Randy Fisher 11:20, 4 February 2010 (UTC))
Often, we are asked by individuals and institutions, why they should participate - and who raise their concerns that people will 'steal' their content and contributions. (See Copyright on WikiEducator. We acknowledge this risk, but believe the direct benefits of participation and peer collaboration in an international and digitally-networked community more than outweigh the risks of working alone.
- As we are a community of educators, we know that few educators' texts and materials become 'bestsellers' -- A bestseller usually means the opportunity to extend one's reputation, 2,500-5,000 texts sold (i.e., not a windfall and lots of texts in the basement);
- We stand firmly on the right of our users to make a living (including you!) -- This includes paid and 'value-added services' around their subject matter expertise, and their educational content and materials (i.e., curriculum design and content development, presentations, consulting, mentoring and coaching, etc.) For example, a person who wants to become a better tennis player, usually does so through purchasing expert mentoring and coaching services vs. simply reading a book or using free content;
- Think of WikiEducator as an opportunity to increase and leverage your global reputation;
- Consider WikiEducator as one of your key business development and public relations networks.
Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks
When you develop and share your content openly in WikiEducator, you receive:
- Access to a 24/7/365 technical community of support
- Access to an agile network of thought / action leaders in education, blended (e)learning and digital literacy
- International recognition exposure and profile
- An opportunity to easily collaborate with peers internationally.
- An opportunity to collaborate with national and international partners on the development of joint venture funding proposals (see: Open Education Resources Foundation)
- An opportunity to leverage the international credibility and performance of a top 100,000 website in 115 countries, with more than 10 million hits per month.
- We have evidence that you can accelerate your own content development by 50% or more, through individual and group collaboration, and access to timely and relevant feedback. This translates to a significant competitive advantage.
- The ability to easily revise and update your own learning materials.
- The ability to easily migrate / export your content to any content management system - simple or complex - so that it is NOT locked in, and always useable;
- The ability to achieve higher search engine rankings (i.e.,than you would be able to achieve on your own);
- Access to a cost-effective production environment (that can mirror your existing website)
- An opportunity to develop and enhance your reputation (in open source communities, and within our global network of educators and affiliated projects including Wikipedia, WikiResearcher, Connexions, MITE's Hippocampus and NROC Network, Open Texbooks);
- Your contributions will be 'noticed' by our WikiAmbassadors, who will seek ways to link you with others, and help you achieve your goals;
- Access to a free wiki environment (for institutions, this is estimated at a $14,000 savings per year)
- no maintenance or data storage costs