Call it Facebook for teachers, with a twist.
Jack O’Connell, state superintendent of public instruction, on Thursday unveiled a website designed to encourage teacher collaboration and innovation.
Called Brokers of Expertise, the site is designed to help teachers network with peers and share strategies they hope would improve students achievement.
“I believe it will be transformational,” O’Connell said during a news conference at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.
Both longtime and newly credentialed teachers will be able to take charge of their professional development, he said.
Julian Crocker, county superintendent of schools, called the site an “electronic file cabinet” that gives teachers an opportunity to access resources and material digitally.
So far, about 500 teachers and administrators have signed up for the free service, said Jon Knolle, a resource production coordinator with the Butte County Office of Education.
At least one local teacher has already found the site useful.
Linnae Coiner, a math teacher at continuation school Pacific Beach High in San Luis Obispo, said she often searches for other ways to teach her students the same lessons students learn at traditional high schools.
She was asked to test the new website and found a PowerPoint Jeopardy game to fit her needs.
“I didn’t have to do anything,” she said.
The intent is to expand the site for educators beyond the K-12 levels, but resources currently on the site are geared toward K-12 and primarily deal with core subjects, Knolle said.
The content on the site comes from Edutopia, The Exploratorium, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Education and others.
The site will allow teachers, once signed up, to connect with other educators throughout California, he said.
For example, O’Connell said, a teacher trying to teach algebra to students who are not native English speakers may be able to access and comment on strategies used by teachers throughout the state.
They can also form groups online, collaborate on ways to improve instruction and share instructional practices through links, video, pictures or documents that make it easier for other teachers to replicate lessons.
Brokers of Expertise can be viewed at www.myboe.org.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated on Twitter by following @SouthCountyBeat.