Over the past few months, I have seen prominent names such as Oprah, Obama, and Bill Gates immersed in education chatter. Even Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has grabbed attention with his $100 million dollar donation to Newark schools. On television, shows like School Pride is borrowing the Extreme Makeover concept of remodeling, but with entire school campuses. NBC made a strong push to make education on the top of their issues with Education Nation. Even names like Rhee, Weingarten, and Canada have become household names in political education chatter. And of course, nothing has stirred more discussion than the documentary Waiting for Superman. I am calling this Attention “Education”, because this is one of the rare moments I have seen education as a major topic of discussion. This post is not intended to analyze anyone’s or any organization’s ultimate motivation for education reform (#edreform), but highlighting the fact that education has become the new trend. I have even heard in many contexts that education is the next big industry. However way you spin it, either from business, non-profit, philanthropic or private motivations, I am enthusiastic about the energy and attention finally put on education. How it plays out in the next few years will be certainly intriguing? I am certainly not going to sit around to watch; instead I am diving right into the big blue ocean called Attention “Education”.
Back in March, I wrote an entry about developing a Standards Management System for teachers to share and access resources related to California State Standards. The California Department of Education has answered my needs by finally launching a social networking site for teachers that will house resources related to CA standards. The website is called Brokers of Expertise.
When I first signed up for an account I was skeptical because it felt like another social networking site trying to get teachers to collaborate. While it was fine that the site has discussion boards and groups, I was more intrigued in the standards section. It was in that part of the website that answered my need for a standards management system. The site breaks down the standards by subject, grade level, content standard, and sub-standard. And within those standards, it has a link to resources (ppt, links, lessons) related to that particular standard. Moreover, it also has crowd-sourcing capabilities for teachers to vote on favorites to start filtering out all the resources. It also shows how many people have viewed the resource. Keep in mind that a only a few hundred teachers are on the site. Can you imagine if tens and thousands of California educators began sharing their resources and started to crowdsource the information to some level of sanity. Teachers now have a viable standards management system to help tackle the CST’s. I certainly hope more people start using Brokers of Expertise.