Since March, Dixon Deutsch and his students have been quietly experimenting with a little website that could one day rock the foundation of how schools do business.
A K-2 teacher at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., Deutsch, 28, has been using Free-Reading.net, a reading instruction program that allows him to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues.
He can visit the website and comment on what works and what doesn’t. He can modify lessons to suit his students’ needs and post the modifications online: Think of a cross between a first-grade reading workbook and Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia written and edited by users.
Delivering the first major company presentation at TechCrunch 40, Scott Moore and Bill Scott from Yahoo presented Yahoo Teachers, a new research focused service aimed at making life easier for teachers. Yahoo Teachers is a clip to database style service; users utilize the “gobbler” that is an online clipping service with a desktop interface client where they can drag research and reading materials when formulating lessons. Where it becomes an even more appealing service for teachers is with the sharing capabilities: think Wikipedia but written by school teachers with a focus on delivery to children.
School of Everything, designed to connect anyone who can teach with anyone who wants to learn, has quietly launched an early public alpha version of its site.
The site is set up to serve the thousands of people in the UK who now work as independent, self-employed teachers. (Thanks Rick)
Tech Crunch: School of Everything quietly launches alpha site
In 2004 I visited Japan for a month and had an excellent time. This year my mums Primary School did a project on Japan and she asked that I email her my photos. Just being asked to do this demonstrated the power of some of the new web 2.0 applications as a teaching resource. I sent her the following
- Flickr: With this she could find 3 million photos on Japan
- Wikipedia: Offered a lot of great information on Japan
- Wikipedia: On the history of Japan
- Wikipedia: On Barefoot Gen an educational comic
- Google Earth: Makes it possible to see Japans geography
- Google video: Video resources on Japan
- Del.icio.us: For a social search on Japan
- Del.icio.us: Links on learning Japanese
Checking these sites was second nature for me but for my mum this was a completly new idea. How many projects could benefit from these links? Are Primary School projects nationwide? Perhaps there should be a delicious application on the Scottish Schools Intranet (Glow) so teachers can pull good and safe resources they find for projects (also with a delicious system you would see which resources were most popular).