ClassConnect makes sharing resources and collaborating easy

By some estimates there are approximately 4 million teachers in the US. On any given night, weekend, holiday, teachers are thinking about what to do in their classrooms. Some are developing worksheets, others are designing projects, maybe they are searching around for something previously made. The problem is that millions of hours a week are wasted recreating these materials. Educators are professionals and they are also human beings. I believe we have better things to do with our work and personal time than start from scratch every day and with every new teacher.

Now many of us share resources already, whether it is with your colleagues at work or online but how easy is that and what happens over time? This process doesn't scale, it only helps some. There are repositories of lesson plans all over the web. But how do you separate the good from not so good?

ClassConnect is driven by a passion to solve this problem. The developer behind this has put every resource he has into making this awesome, and it is awesome. My colleague Audrey at Hack Education has already done a great job of giving an overview and showing how ClassConnect is the Git Hub for Education (a code sharing platform for programmers). What I want to focus on is how easy it is to get started right away. Did I mention it's free!

We were each taught how to create lessons in our credential programs. We take pride in creating them and making them great. However, each time we create a new lesson we are running an experiment and the results of that experiment (good or not so good) cannot be refined and reapplied for an entire year until you use that lesson/project again. What makes matters worse, is we are independently running that experiment thousands of times each year! The boon of the web is to allow researchers to share their findings and to crowd source experiments to solve problems more quickly. There is no reason why we can't do the same, in fact we must.

ClassConnect makes it easy for you to find and vote up the best stuff so it rises to the top. You can also search by topic, subject, standard, file type, and even type of lesson.

However, this platform is only as good as the resources we share. For every colleague you add, you get additional storage for your files. But get this, for every file you share publicly, it doesn't count against your quota! A great way to store your files in the cloud and an even better incentive to share. I shared this resource on Google+ and within a day I had more storage than my Dropbox. Plus I was now able to share it with you and have you benefit as well! You can even add a class online so you can share the entire curriculum or resources (I used it with my robotics team to maintain shared resources).

You can add anything: a link to your favorite YouTube video, a file, Google Doc, or an entire folder.  Click the share button to the right of the file and check the box that says Public, you just saved another educator valuable time!

Don't forget to add tags and a description to make sure we can easily find it.

Now you have access to some of the best projects and assignments I have found or made over time. Some of it was mentioned on this blog, but having it all in one place and searchable makes it much more convenient. Did I mention that you can claim a url?, head on over and claim yours to easily share. I'll add more as time goes on them, but the important thing is to share the best so over time we can refine and remix it for our own needs and continue to iterate.

By doing this, over time we can develop a large community developed collection of best resources. Imagine back to when you started teaching, wouldn't it have been wonderful to be able to use others resources (perhaps you were lucky enough to have a great mentor) and focus on your pedagogy and finding your feet? Then as time goes on you make the curriculum your own, refine and share like others shared with you. I would imagine we could crowdsource a lot of our resources and have great lessons, projects, puzzles/problems, etc. ClassConnect is inspiring a movement called United We Teach, I've joined the movement to help my fellow educators and our students, will you?

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