EdTechTalk Policies & Standards

Overview and Mission

Edtechtalk is a community of people interested in the use of technology to improve teaching and learning at all levels of education throughout the world. As a Worldbridges community, it embraces the values of collaboration and inclusiveness.

The community fosters the development of networks of educators who come together to collaborate, debate policies and practices, and support one another in their professional and personal use of educational technology.

The primary activity of the community is the production of a number of live, interactive webcasts. These programs cover a wide range of topics relating to educational technology. Shows are typically streamed live, and listeners can interact with one another and the show hosts through a text chat. Recordings of the shows are released as podcasts.

Participation and Membership

As an inclusive community, EdTechTalk does not discourage participation on the basis of age, race, gender, political views, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or nationality. Participation in the community for people with disabilities is encouraged and facilitated to the extent practical.

A "member" of Edtechtalk is a person who contributes to the community in some way. This could include active participation in show chats, contribution to forums on the EdTechTalk web site, or participation in webcasts or other activities. A "show host" is a person who participates in the planning, production, delivery, and promotion of one or more recurring EdTechTalk shows. A "show producer" is the person responsible for the oversight of a recurring show. In most cases, the producer is also a show host. There is one show producer for each show.

Participation in the community is encouraged for anyone who has an interest in educational technology. Students who are under the age of majority in their respective countries should participate under the supervision and direction of their teachers or parents. Participation may take many forms, from simply listening to shows produced by the community to more actively working to produce and distribute content for the network. 

Community Participation Standards

To maintain the positive, collaborative, inclusive culture of the community, members are expected to follow certain community standards, which govern their participation:

  • Contributions to the community should be made in ways that will benefit the group or its members.
  • As an inclusive, global community, EdTechTalk's members represent a number of different cultures. An understanding of - and tolerance for - differing cultural standards is necessary for everyone involved.
  • Participation should be fundamentally centered around the mission of the community.
  • Members should refrain from referencing politics and religion in divisive ways.
  • The EdTechTalk community shall not be used by its members for personal financial gain. In the event that members receive any kind of compensation for the promotion of commercial goods or services, such relationships shall be fully disclosed.
  • Personal attacks, insults, harassment, or threats against any individual will not be tolerated
  • In situations where profanity, sexual content, or descriptions of graphic violence are used, those uses should be clearly noted at the beginning of the archived media, and parents should be advised to use discretion when exposing minors to such content. In cases where such content is frequently used on a particular show, the show's introduction should note this fact.
  • Content on the community network shall not promote any illegal activity, including but not limited to the use of illegal substances and the violation of copyright law.
  • By participating in the community, EdTechTalk members acknowledge that their contributions may be recorded and distributed by the community. This includes the member's textual contributions to chats and forums, voice converstations or other audio, video, shared images or screen captures, and content in any other media supplied by the participant. No remuneration for these contributions shall be provided by EdTechTalk.
  • EdTechTalk members are responsible for the content of their own contributions to the community and its shows. Any expressed opinions, viewpoints, endorsements, or recommendations are solely those of the contributor. EdTechTalk does not assume any liability for content produced by its members.

Use of Shared Resources

Community members are encouraged to make use of community resources for activities that further the mission of the community. Show producers and hosts are eligible to use the web site, streaming tools, and chat room during the scheduled times for their shows.

The use of "push" technologies, such as the newsletter/mailing list, Twitter account, and other technologies that send out information to subscribers should be used only to promote EdTechTalk events. The use of these technologies to promote personal events is inappropriate, even if those events may be of interest to the EdTechTalk community.

EdTechTalk Shows

While they're all part of the same network, each EdTechTalk show is independently produced. Show producers, in collaboration with show hosts, are responsible for planning the shows, identifying and inviting guests, determining the topics to be addressed, conducting interviews and discussions, streaming the show and managing the chat room, and posting the archived audio along with any related resources.

The producer of the show is ultimately responsible for the production of the show. Unless otherwise agreed, this person holds the rights to the show name and format. The responsibility for the content of each show resides with that show's producer and hosts.

Some EdTechTalk shows are tied so closely to the EdTechTalk community, either in name or inidentity, that they should not be controlled by a single contentproducer. Rather, they are owned by the community and overseen by the producer, in conjunction with the show hosts. These arrangements are made between the EdTechTalk Governing Board and the producer.

New Shows

People interested in starting new shows must have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of live interactive webcasting. They are strongly encouraged to participate in the Webcast Academy, either as participants or session leaders. They must also be willing to fully participate in the community by helping others and "paying it forward" when appropriate.

Prospective show producers should submit a proposal to the Governing Board which addresses the "Big Six Questions":

  1. What is your show concept?
  2. Who is the producer of the show? Who else will be a host? Tell us about the people involved in producing the show.
  3. How often do you plan to broadcast?
  4. Why do you want your show to be an EdTechTalk show, rather than hosting it on your own or using a different network?
  5. How does your show fit in to the EdTechTalk community? What will it contribute? What do you hope to gain from participation in the community?
  6. What kind of support would you need to get started?

The Governing Board will make a final determination on whether to accept the proposal. This decision will be based on a number of factors, including the viability of the proposal, the degree to which it helps to further EdTechTalk's mission, the likelihood that the hosts will fit in with the community, and the ability of the community to support the show. The governance board may solicit input from others in the community before making a decision. When approving a new show, the governance board may add conditions to the approval as deemed necessary by the board. The Worldbridges Governing Board shall have veto power on any new show proposal.

Show Changes

Sometimes, shows on EdTechTalk lose their viability. The hosts may move on to pursue other interests. There may be disagreements among show hosts that lead to host changes. The show may not be groundbreaking enough to sustain an audience. There are many reasons why changes may take place in EdTechTalk shows.

In the event that there are multiple hosts on a show, and one or more of those hosts leaves the show, the rights to the show name and format are retained by the designated show producer.

If all of the hosts of a show decide to disband and discontinue producing the show, the producer of the show may offer its name and format to the EdTechTalk community. If the community finds volunteers who are willing to continue the show, a new producer shall be designated, and the show will continue with the new hosts. In the event that no one is willing to continue the show, the rights to the show remain with the original producer.

In the event that a show goes one year without a new episode, it will be considered to be "faded" by the community. The governance board may choose to remove the show from the lineup of EdTechTalk shows, and/or make the show name and format available to others in the community. Reasonable attempts will be made to contact the last known producers of the show after nine months of inactivity to determine whether they plan to continue the show. Ideally, shows will not fade, but will instead be terminated when they can no longer be produced by their hosts. The rights to faded shows remain with EdTechTalk, and may be assigned to different hosts if community members are interested in restarting the show.

Content Use and Copyright

In the spirit of collaboration and openness, all content produced by the EdTechTalk community should be freely available. Individual content creators may wish to reserve some rights to their work, but at the very least, all content should be released with at a Creative Commons attribution, non-commerical, share-alike license. Content producers are strongly encouraged to allow commercial use, because such use may allow some institutions to benefit from the resources who would otherwise be prohibited from using it.

This includes, but is not limited to, chat transcripts, web site content, discussion forums, online comments, and audio and video programs. Participants in the community agree to the EdTechTalk community's non-exclusive use of their contributed content in this way in perpetuity, for which no remuneration shall be provided.

Violation of Terms

EdTechTalk community members are expected to abide by the standards developed and instituted by the community. The Governing Board shall be responsible for enforcement of these standards. Problems with community members' actions or behavior on the network should be referred to the Governing Board, which will take any neccessary action.

These actions may include warnings to the offenders, a suggested "cooling-off period" in which the offender is asked not to participate in the community for a set amount of time, or technological measures to prevent participation in the community and access to its resources. Community members are strongly encouraged to work out their differences long before this point is reached.


As a member of a webcasting team, what interests me more is the section on ETT Shows and Changes. I do agree that there needs to be a producer and a process for termination of a show. I find that offering our content under a generic creative commons 3.0 is the best option. Another important part of the policy is how we deal with inappropriate use of our site and when there is conflict between members of the community. Looking forward to the development of these policies and opportunities for my participation in this process. Jose Rodriguez, It's Elementary Webcast

One of the Community Participation Standards states: EdTechTalk is a family-friendly community. It is inappropriate to use profanity, sexual content, or descriptions of graphic violence. I am in FULL support of this. I think we would lose members, listeners, & shows if we were anything but. This is not legislation, this is a standard, a guideline.

The family-friendly clause has sparked much more discussion than intended. One one hand, we are independent media. In the interest of free speech, we should not be making edicts regarding the content of our shows. Show hosts should be free to make their own rules about the types of content that are appropriate for their shows.

On the other hand, the content generated by this community has generally been suitable for all audiences. I have never felt a reservation about playing one of the shows in the car with the kids in the back seat. I have never had a concern with linking to a show, or to recommending it to teachers or other colleagues. One could make a compelling argument that there's no need to use profanity on our shows. It doesn't add anything to the discussion; the arguments and emotion effected by its use can be conveyed equally well in other ways.

There is some mild external pressure here. Many listeners, for example, use iTunes to listen to our shows. While we don't take advantage of the iTunes "clean" tag currently, it would be possible for us to do so with our current content. It is also more likely that profanity would lead to censorship in some schools (especially in the US), depending on how their filters and filtering policies are configured. In the interest of inclusiveness and reaching the widest possible audience, we should think carefully about whether the profanity is worth the cost.

I'm also concerned with the "legislation" versus "community standard" debate. While we're a very inclusive, tolerant, accepting community, the fact that we're even talking about community standards implies that we see some need for all of us to be on the same page regarding some of these things. By saying, "hey, some of us think this is a good idea, but you can do whatever you want," we may be defeating the whole point of putting these together in the first place.

As a member of this community, I expect to be held to the standards put forward by the community. If the community decides that we're just going to report on news and resources on ETW without providing commentary, I'll do that. If the community decides that we shouldn't be consuming alcohol during webcasts, I'll abide by that. To say that these are just suggestions needlessly dilutes the standards.

I'm hoping we can reach some consensus on all of this....

Gotta confess that I have a problem with the term "family friendly" -- I can swear like a sailor and be a huge fan of families.

Can we use a movie-like rating--G, PG, whatever it may be....

Also remain concerned about implications re "duty of care" and "due diligence" re "the rules" when and as they come into effect. Specifically how does the management board address individual transgressions, and what are the potential liabilities to individuals, ETT and WB? Now and into the future...

Since we don't have a delay on live 'casts, and a bell can't be un-rung, there has to be recognition of the fact that we are a community of individuals and that each is accountable/responsible for their contributions, and expected to be respectful and constructive when participating and corresponding within the community.

Furthermore, since we don't have a delay mechanism, nor an executive producer reviewing content prior to posting, we'd be well advised to include a disclaimer to the effect that "...the views expressed are those of individual participants, and don't necessarily reflect the views of ETT/WB/Board of Governors and/or individual members thereof..." or some such.

Interesting discussion and thanks to all for contributions to this point. I too hope that we can come to a consensus on how to best bring "peace, order, and good govern[ance]" to ETT.

I with you on this one DS. Being "live" has it's benefits and pitfalls. I see a lot more good and potential bad. Nevertheless, protecting/allowing for free expression is important. I like the idea of the disclaimer and/or show rating system. I am willing to work on the details. Let me know. Jose Rodriguez; It's Elementary

Not sure I agree that having Edtech in your show name makes it a Core Show. For Example ETBS - is Doug's Show.... The Original Edtechtalk is Jeff's and Dave's Show.... Edtechweekly obviously belongs to the clan: John, Jen, Jeff and Dave.. And Finally, Edtechtalk k12 is a show that never really got off the ground but nevertheless belongs to the original creators; Jeff and Anne. To make a long story shorter.. I'd say we can delete this whole paragraph. It doesn't hold a good argument in my opinion. Jose Rodriguez; It's Elementary

The "EdTech" name may need copyrighted or patented or something. I'm listening now to a podcast featuring Will Richardson by the "Ed Tech Crew" and I know in our own country there is "EdTech" stuff that is not associated with us. This is surely confusing to the newbie. What does the community think?

I wonder if "EdTech" is such a broad term like "Web 2.0" that it cannot be branded. I do know that JL has "edtechtalk" as a domain name. I ran across a similar issue when looking for a name for my Spanish webcast. "Voz y Cultura". I did find several websites with similar name but, none of them offered a podcast or webcast. It would be interesting to look into copyright and registering the name, edtechtalk and not necessarily ed tech. Jose Rodriguez; It's Elementary

"EdTech" is definitely too broad a term. It would be impossible for us to trademark that term, and I think we'd create a lot of resentment among the EdTech community by trying. It was inserted to cover shows like the brainstorm in the list of "core" shows, a concept that will definitely see some changes in the coming days. EdTechTalk, on the other hand, is our name. To my knowledge, no one else is using this name, and we would definitely be able to demonstrate prior art if someone else tried to trademark it. Trademarking, though, could be an expensive and complicated process. Considering all of the legal jurisdictions that we cover, it would certainly take more resources than we have to get it trademarked. And that would be just the beginning, because we'd have to defend/enforce it too.

I have revised the text of the standards to incorporate many of the issues and suggestions raised in the June 23 community forum and the comments on this article. Please feel free to submit any additional comments through this thread.

I do realize there is more work to do with the Governing Board, including the composition, election, transition to, and operation of this group. At this point, we've acknowledged that we need such a body. The next step, after completing these guidelines, will be to flesh out the details for the board.

Another discussion of these proposed guidelines is scheduled for Monday, July 7, 2008 at 8:00 PM EDT. That's 5:00 PM Pacific, and midnight GMT.

So if it's scheduled should it be on the calendar? I am doing the Jeff thing and just putting it on the calendar myself. Hope you don't mind. -) / DONE. Jose Rodriguez; It's Elementary