TeacherStudio Brings Web 2.0 Tools to Professional Development
Content production company IDEAS and educational solutions provider eSchool Solutions have teamed to launch TeacherStudio, a new collaborative community for content-sharing, networking, and professional development.
By providing extensive online tools such as user-generated video, "templated" planning documents, and other Web 2.0 and collaborative tools, TeacherStudio aims to give educators an extensive, searchable content repository, as well as an exclusive collection of multimedia content based on Joseph Wise's book The Power of Teaching. In addition, the site will be an online meetinghouse to discuss such topics instructional methods and strategies, classroom management, lesson plans, student behavioral issues, education technology, and virtually anything else that impacts teaching, all in an effort to improve both student achievement and the overall educational environment.
"The project has been in development for over three years, and it started with our own feelings of isolation when we were classroom teachers," explained Kelly Pounds, vice president of IDEAS Learning.
The companies have announced that districts in Florida, Indiana, and North Carolina have each already adopted TeacherStudio as their professional development community. A spokesperson for eSchool Solutions said the company has made the site an integral component of its product portfolio for enhancing teacher performance and plans to promote it nationwide as a valuable professional development resource.
The tools the site offers include:
- Administrative management of training, mentoring, and induction;
- Private, customizable wiki for each user district;
- Robust content search engine;
- Online mentoring from experienced professionals;
- Instant messaging features for both open and private chats;
- User-friendly tools for content uploading and collaboration; and
- Secure, password-protected environment.
"TeacherStudio allows us to develop a common vision for teaching and learning in the 21st century," said Diane Lewis, director of instructional technology for Seminole County Public Schools in Sanford, FL. "The ability for teachers to learn from others, for collaboration, mentoring, learning from best practices,... these are all powerful ways to really move teaching and learning forward."
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.