Yesterday's Metro Section of the NY Times featured a story about public teacher entrepreneurs selling their lesson plans online. Some use the money to support a classroom purchase, much like a bake sale would...others admit that the money is going to mortgage payments and vacations.
It's a challenge to districts because...who owns the plans? Are they made during school time on employee time? At home time? Are they about content that is standards based and the realm of public education? Who monitors the quality of these plans? Lots of issues to resolve here. But I think it goes in the beyond the direction of Branding in schools to Marketing...sales...so isn't it interesting that teachers are sellng their intellectual property...or the school's everyday...online. It's MARKETING folks,pure and simple. And it's in your school.
So my response is to say, that's the new world of education. As my Branding thesis suggests and the song from the Tony award winning show CURTAINS says," It's a Business!" And MADmen principals know that schools are turning into business and turning a profit even without their knowledge.
Again, I want to define that the brand of a district, is its reputation. Is the brand supported by teachers who sell lesson plans online so they can take a trip in the summer? Is it supported as a bold entrepreneurial step?...something that is part of the school bradnd IF all proceeds go back to the kids' classrooms...a brand buzz around "WE make KIDS our BUSINESS "would fit!
Historically schools and businesses haven't shared common ground;at least not so overtly...YET now with the internet, social media and 24/7 access, times have changed. The MADman principal who grasps the need for BRANDING and even MARKETING in a district is on the right track to developing and yes...selling a credible reputation to a niche market..the community.