Attention all teachers—veteran teachers especially. You have much of value to offer your students. You probably also have much of value to offer the teachers at your school. But what if you’re one of those teachers who also have much of value to offer the world of education at large? For example:
- A description of your best teaching lessons
- Copies of your lesson plans
- Your reflections on teaching, learning, and/or assessment
- Examples of your students’ work
If you’re one of those teachers and are willing to share freely, in the digital age you can do so in many different ways. Why would any teacher share for free? There are many reasons, but the best one is this: Sharing, because it promotes reflection and learning, makes you a better teacher.
1. Create a TED-Ed Lesson
One of the best ways for teachers to share a lesson is to create a TED-Ed lesson. These three- to five-minute animated videos focus on topics ranging from chemistry to Shakespeare to origami. Each animation is created by a classroom teacher in collaboration with a TED-Ed scriptwriter, professional animator, and voice-over actor.
To give you a sense of the range of lessons teachers have already created, here are a few examples:
- Under the Hood: The Chemistry of Cars
- What Makes a Poem … a Poem?
- What’s the Difference Between Accuracy and Precision?
- How Do U.S. Supreme Court Justices Get Appointed?
If you’re a teacher and wish to work with the folks at TED-Ed to create a video, apply here.
2. Post a Video to the Teaching Channel
Teachers willing to post to the internet a high-quality video of themselves engaged in the act of teaching can do so via Teaching Channel. Launched in 2011, this nonprofit aims to “revolutionize the profession by providing free lesson sharing.” As an example of the kinds of material you can find here, one of the more popular teachers on Teaching Channel is high school English teacher Sarah Brown Wessling.
To be considered for filming, teachers simply email a lesson idea, a lesson plan, and a few photos of their class to email@example.com. The organization is especially looking for “effective, replicable, and inspiring teaching.”
3. Upload a Lesson Plan to the Internet
If you’re a teacher with a great lesson plan and are willing to share it freely, consider uploading it to Share My Lesson, the Yelp of teacher lesson plans. Here, teachers can find lesson plans produced by other teachers and also also leave feedback. If you have questions about uploading lesson plans and becoming a contributor, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Start a Blog—or Contribute to Someone Else’s
Over the years, I’ve read many teacher-produced blogs—one of my favorites is produced by middle school English teacher Laura Bradley. I’m also a big fan of the blogs that appear in “The 2017 Honor Roll: EdTech’s Must-Read K–12 IT Blogs.”
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I suggest you read “Start Your Teaching Blog: Resources, Advice, and Examples.”
Teachers who don’t wish to invest the time needed to create a blog can often share their lessons, reflections, and students’ work on the blogs of others. Edutopia, KQED’s In the Classroom, and PBS’s Teachers’ Lounge are the ones that I usually blog for. If you’d like to blog for Edutopia, click here. To blog for Teachers Lounge or In the Classroom, contact the sponsoring television stations.
5. Host a Podcast—or Contribute to Someone Else’s
Here are some of the more popular teacher-produced podcasts:
Click here to learn how to start your own podcast.
6. Host a Webinar—or Contribute to Someone Else’s
A webinar—short for Web-based seminar—is a presentation, sometimes interactive, that’s available over the internet. Subscribers have the opportunity to join from their home but still ask questions and engage with the presenter; you can also watch a non-interactive archived version of a webinar after it’s over.
If you’re seeking to host your own webinar, I suggest reading “10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar.”
7. Post to Twitter
Twitter is an excellent place for teachers to consume and learn. Therefore, if you’re a teacher and have something to share with other teachers, I suggest you tweet. I especially suggest that teachers use Twitter to showcase their students’ work. Doing so will increase student engagement, as described in an article I wrote recently for KQED’s In the Classroom.
8. Serve Remotely on a Teacher Advisory Committee
It seems everybody today wants input from a teacher. If you’re a teacher and have something of value to offer the world of education, consider serving remotely on a teacher advisory committee. The process is usually as simple as finding a committee that you’d like to serve on and emailing one or more committee members to express interest. It usually doesn’t take more than that, though in some cases a formal application is required.
I know dozens of teachers who serve remotely on one or more of the following: The PBS Teacher Advisory Group, the iCivics Educator Network, California’s Better Together Teacher Advisory Committee, the Flipped Learning Teacher Advisory Committee, the Scholastic Teacher Advisory Committee, and the Teacher Advisory Group for the National Council on Teacher Quality.