Yahoo’s new tool for teacher sharing
September 7th, 2007

Hummm . . . another tool for sharing that the San Francisco Chronicle headlined last week in these words: Yahoo enables teachers to share lesson plans, ideas and more. Who can say that is not a bad idea? Yet years ago one of the first ideas in online education was lesson plan sharing, but no gorilla sharing center has emerged. Maybe Yahoo’s new one will work, but my guess is that schools will have to more fully embrace online resources before the much needed sharing among teachers will take hold. Open educational resources such as textbooks and curricula will pave the way for networking among teachers. Hopefully, Yahoo! Teachers will help open things up. Here is some of the Chronicle’s description:

Yahoo Inc. is developing a free online service designed to make it easier for educators to create, find and share lesson plans, worksheets and ideas.

The product, Yahoo for Teachers, is a sort of social network that allows teachers to collaborate on course work and store information that they find online and want to showcase in class.

The service, which has been quietly tested by teachers for several months, is expected to premiere in autumn.

For Yahoo, focusing on teachers is a departure from its usual mass-market business strategy and may signal a new willingness to cater to more-specialized users. Doing so may be intended to make the company’s services more indispensable, particularly in social networking, a rapidly growing business dominated by Facebook and MySpace.

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