A letter from Louise Rogers, CEO, TES Global

Dear TES Resources members

We at TES are busily working on the next version of TES Resources and we want to get it right for you. We are, therefore, looking for a large group of teachers from around the world to work alongside us as we develop and launch the new generation of the website. Please join the beta group – we would love to have you – and help us to shape the future of tomorrow’s classroom content and teaching practice.

Over the past few years, the number of teaching professionals around the globe using and contributing to the TES shared resource platform has grown to more than 5.9 million – covering every subject, age group, country and territory in the world. Earlier this week we reached an amazing milestone when you downloaded more than 1 million resources in a single day. Together, you are now responsible for one of the most vibrant and disruptive sharing platforms in the world.

Just before the summer, we announced that we were hoping to make some significant changes to the website that will make it easier and more efficient to use. We’ve recently released a new search engine, upload process and resource preview page into our beta forum. Search is now better organised across age ranges and subject areas, and you will be able to see thumbnails and resource ratings directly in results. We have simplified and speeded up the upload process, which now culminates in a preview of your resource to show you how it will appear. Being able to preview the contents of a resource before downloading it has been one of the most requested features from our community.

We think that these changes, and all those we are planning to make, will make the site much better for everyone – but we can only make sure of that if you help us to get it right every step of the way.

In addition to improving the search, upload, preview and registration functions, we are also planning to change our terms and conditions to give you more ownership and control of your content. These changes will see the rollout of a Creative Commons licensing model that will let you decide how you want your resources to be shared.

Contributors will also be able to choose whether to charge for their resources or share them for free as they do now. We have heard that some teachers would like to be rewarded for their resources, that they feel they should be compensated for the significant effort they put into crafting great content. And we agree: why shouldn’t a practising teacher be rewarded in the same way as an academic researcher, a professional author or a publishing corporation?

Teachers should have the right to be compensated for their content creation – certainly more than any textbook publisher – so we are going to try to make this happen. But getting it right, both practically and culturally, is important, and again we need your help in figuring out the right way to do it.

To the thousands of you who have shared your resources for free on this platform: thank you – TES will continue to encourage and enable you to do so. All the resources currently available on the site will remain free, and any teacher who wants to upload new free content will still be able to do so.

In effect, the world’s teaching community has taken control of the content agenda within the classroom. Congratulations: you as a profession have achieved something that the whole of Silicon Valley and the incumbent educational publishers have failed to do. This platform allows every child on the planet – so long as they have a teacher to teach them and that teacher has even intermittent access to the internet – to benefit from the best, tried and tested, teacher-reviewed resources in the world. That is regardless of race, gender, religion or economic situation. It is social and teacher empowerment on an unprecedented scale, with 20,000 teachers joining every week.

You may have many, many questions about how these changes will work and what we need to do to make the website better. Our beta forum is the best way for you to influence the new platform we’re building. We do not claim to have all the answers yet, which is why we would like you to help us get it right.

If you are interested, please email us at betagroup@tesglobal.com

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