WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the school year comes to an end, the education online platform Share My Lesson has surpassed 250,000 registered teacher members, making it one of the largest online communities for U.S. educators to collaborate and share teaching user-generated resources. Share My Lesson, developed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in response to teachers' needs, places a significant emphasis on lesson plans and tools aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
More than 260,000 resources are available to teachers and paraprofessionals for free, and Share My Lesson has seen approximately 2.4 million downloads as of May. The AFT partnered with TES Connect, the largest network of teachers in the world, to launch Share My Lesson last summer in time for the back-to-school period. The site is especially relevant as educators face significant barriers to professional development, and dwindling state budgets result in fewer resources for developing curriculum and supporting classroom innovation.
"Share My Lesson has quickly become teachers' go-to online community to collaborate, share resources, and download content for their classrooms. Teachers are hungry for high-quality tools and resources and Share My Lesson has helped fulfill this need in a time when teachers are being asked to do more with less support," said AFT President Randi Weingarten.
Louise Rogers, CEO of TES Connect's parent company, TSL Education, said, "We know firsthand the power of teachers coming together to share best practice and resources around the world. Share My Lesson accelerates that movement forward in the U.S. during this crucial time so that teaching professionals have access to free high quality Common Core aligned materials."
Educators from around the country are using Share My Lesson to accommodate their own needs, whether they are uploading, downloading or just there to browse for ideas that may fit into an existing lesson plan. For example, Joe Karb is a middle school social studies teacher from Springville, New York — just miles from the Canadian border. Wanda Longoria is a secondary school teacher from San Antonio, Texas, whose focus is English Language Arts. Ordinarily, their paths would never cross.
"The greatest resource we have as teachers is each other," said Karb, who has used the site since it launched. "Everything is usually within two mouse clicks. I put in my search terms, and for every teaching unit this year I've been able to find a resource that lines up with that subject."
Longoria, a 30-year veteran teacher, said, "As a young teacher, I spent hours upon hours every week trying to figure out how best to teach the subject matter. Today, I go onto the website and get three to four times as much planning in one session than I got in one week back in the day."
Share My Lesson allows any educator anywhere to share ideas, lesson plans, handouts or teaching videos. All content is categorized for an easy search, and made available to receive peer reviews and ratings. User-generated content is supplemented by tens of thousands of resources from hundreds of content partners, including Teaching Channel, Sesame Street, NASA Education and Folger Shakespeare Library — all provided at no cost.
Share My Lesson prominently features an information center to help teachers, paraprofessionals and even parents prepare for the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, and the District of Columbia and will lead to new assessment tests for students by the 2014-15 school year.
The user-generated content and variety of resources also serve as valuable tools for paraprofessionals, who play a critical role in ensuring a safe environment and climate for student success. From managing student behavior to addressing bullying to working with students with special needs, Share My Lesson offers paraprofessionals helpful materials for the many issues they often navigate alone.
As educators start thinking about how they can improve student outcomes and school climate in the next academic year, Share My Lesson offers the essential resources they need, but often times lack, for development. Through the establishment of an online professional community as well as the sharing of critical lesson plans and teaching resources, Share My Lesson – with the backing of the AFT and TES Connect – aims to continue this unprecedented growth into the 2013-2014 academic year.
About Share My Lesson
Share My Lesson was developed by the American Federation of Teachers and TSL Education, creators of TES Connect, the largest network of teachers in the world. Share My Lesson is a place where educators can come together to share their very best teaching resources and collaborate on practice. Developed by teachers for teachers, this free platform gives access to high-quality teaching resources and provides an online community where educators can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other. Share My Lesson has a significant resource bank for Common Core State Standards, covering all aspects of the standards, from advice and guides to help with dedicated resources that support the standards. www.sharemylesson.com
About the AFT
The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.5 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide. Five divisions within the AFT represent the broad spectrum of the AFT's membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retiree members. www.aft.org
About TSL Education
TSL Education exists to drive up standards of education by putting the right teachers in the right jobs and giving them the tools to be the very best that they can be. "We believe that teachers around the world are the single most important influence on a child's education and that they need to access the very best content and resources to inspire their students. By pooling the vast knowledge, experience and creativity of teachers, and by giving them the ability to review and share the very best lesson content, we believe that the education system can be transformed for the better," said Louise Rogers, CEO, TSL Education. TSL has proven that pooling knowledge leads to radically better lessons, while saving teachers valuable prep time. www.tsleducation.com
SOURCE Share My Lesson