Collaboration Tools Aim to Improve Teacher Performance

Educators wanting to learn from the best can do so with Lesson Lab's database of the world's best teaching practices. The case studies are culled from hours of videotaped classroom instruction that first started out as a U.S. Department of Education-funded research project called "The Third International Mathematics and Science Study," also known as TIMSS-R Video.

Based on the findings of the TIMSS project, Dr. James Stigler, UCLA professor and director of the project, started LessonLab Inc. with the goal of facilitating teacher collaboration in schools across the United States. To do this, LessonLab videotapes actual classes, digitizes the tape along with supplementary teaching aids, such as overhead projections and Web links, and presents this information online along with transcripts of teacher-student dialogue.

Ultimately, LessonLab seeks to provide educators with a digital library that archives various teaching methods from around the world. This research not only captures the best work from the best teachers and saves it for posterity, it also provides less experienced teachers with mentoring tools from actual classroom experience. LessonLab Inc., Santa Monica, CA, (310) 581-2300,

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.