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A New Facebook-Like Network for Teachers

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I wanted to share this press release that just arrived in my inbox from State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell:

New Online Forum for Teachers to Collaborate, Innovate, and Improve Student Achievement Web Tool will Help Teachers Close the Achievement Gap

A new Web 2.0 tool designed to encourage teacher collaboration and innovation called Brokers of Expertise:
“The Brokers of Expertise Web site is like Facebook for teachers,” O’Connell said. “Educators can use this site to innovate and collaborate. Through this virtual social network teachers may share and learn about strategies that improve student achievement. Through the Broker’s Web site, we will create a community of newly credentialed and experienced teachers who are empowered to further their own professional development and growth.

This exciting tool is the latest in our arsenal to narrow the pernicious achievement gap that currently leaves too many students unprepared for success in the hypercompetitive global economy.”
Brokers of Expertise is a dynamic Web site that allows educators to search for,and follow colleagues across the state who have had success in teaching specific strands of California’s content standards, or are working with similar types of students, and thus make their own experience in the classroom more effective.

Teachers can use the site to form customized online groups to share experiences and challenges they face in the classroom and collaborate on ways to improve instruction. Users can share instructional practices through links, video, pictures, or documents that can make it easier for other teachers to replicate innovation in their own classrooms. The Web site also lists where each resource came from and provides a blog where educators may share their thoughts on the resource’s effectiveness.