April 22, 2014
'Share My Lesson' Now Has a Half-Million Users and Counting
WASHINGTON—In less than two years, 500,000 teachers, parents and others have used Share My Lesson, posting, downloading and rating classroom lessons and other teaching materials—making it the most sought-after, free online collection of lesson plans and other instructional resources, the American Federation of Teachers announced today.
"Share My Lesson is an amazing treasure trove that taps into teachers' passion for teaching and their hunger to share their best lessons with fellow colleagues to benefit students across the United States," said AFT President Randi Weingarten.
Currently, Share My Lesson—which is free—has 500,000 registered users; 5.5 million downloads, with an average of 10,000 each day; and 300,500 total resources, of which 31,000 are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Resources are categorized by grade, subject, topic and event, and include lesson plans, classroom activities, videos, handouts, quizzes and an online community for peers to exchange advice and guidance.
"Teaching is a hard job, made more so by the fact that so many are demonized and by the fact that our public schools don't get the resources they need because of pleas of austerity, even though more than half of our children live in poverty. Teachers will do just about anything to make a difference in the lives of their students, and Share My Lesson is just one example of their investment of time to find and adopt well-crafted lessons to help their students," Weingarten says.
"Share My Lesson fills a void left by school districts that are not providing nearly enough support and resources teachers need to create high-quality lessons, especially in states using the Common Core State Standards," she said.
In addition to teachers providing content, Share My Lesson has more than 200 content partners, including PBS NewsHour Extra, which helps with Share My Lesson's regular feature, "Today's News, Tomorrow's Lesson"; iCivics, founded by Sandra Day O'Connor; Sesame Workshop; UNICEF; the National Science Foundation; and other nonprofit organizations.
As summer approaches, parents can tap into Share My Lesson's collection of parent resources to help keep children academically engaged during the break.
Share My Lesson was launched in July 2012 after Weingarten attended an education conference of business executives and challenged anyone in the audience to team up with the AFT to develop a digital source of teaching resources for U.S. educators and others. Louise Rogers, CEO of TSL Education, which operates TES Connect, based in the United Kingdom, was the only one to accept the challenge. Together, they created Share My Lesson.
"Share My Lesson allows teachers to own their profession through collaborative efforts and to give their students tried-and-true, high-quality instruction," Rogers said.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.