April 15, 2013

AFT's online lesson plan site Share My Lesson is taking off

Author: Sylvia Saunders
Source: RA 2013
david sherman share my lesson

It started out like a desktop faculty room, an online place where educators can share great ideas and create a community. In just nine months, the American Federation of Teachers' Share My Lesson free digital platform already has 210,000 members, including 20,000 New Yorkers, said David Sherman, an assistant to AFT President Randi Weingarten. "We have members in more than 100 countries and every state."

Sherman, a former United Federation of Teachers leader, urged delegates to spread the word about Share My Lesson to colleagues back home.

"It's a free digital platform for teachers and everyone else who works with students, from pre-K to college and yes, even parents," Sherman said. "This week we surpassed 2 million downloads."

The site, which was launched over the summer by the AFT and Britain's TES Connect, so far has more than 260,000 resources, including many linked to Common Core Learning Standards, Sherman said. NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said the union's polling on Common Core implementation showed educators found the most valuable information and resources came from other teachers.

Joseph Karb, a social studies teacher at Springville Middle School, told delegates the site offers "peers helping peers, not materials from on high" or corporations.

"I use Share My Lesson because it makes my life easier," Karb said. "In the past, I'd Google a topic and get hundreds of websites - most of them mediocre. Now in just three mouse clicks, I can find ready-to-go lessons, simulations and hands-on materials that are vetted by teachers."

To learn more about Share My Lesson and sign up, go to www.sharemylesson.com.