Update: Bill Fitzgerald and Dan Meyer are now on a similar quest.
Yahoo has started a new web 2.0 site for helping teachers create, manage, and share “projects.” I’ve dreamed of a site where teachers collaborate (as well as beg, borrow, and steal) online in a massive community. Yeah, bloggers read and comment, but that’s not what I dream of. I want a huge archive and discussions on projects.
This could be that, if we’re speaking with all the idealism and naivety of a ten year old. But for a site like this to work, people have to use it. Without having played with it, my initial spidey sense is telling me that instead of the website being adaptable to us, instead we’re going to have to adapt to it. Constrained by what the website constitutes a “project,” teachers are likely to think this site isn’t as natural as it could be. Instead of technology adapting to our needs, we might reconfigure our needs to adapt to this technology. And I’d like to have some… not promise… but strong indicator that it’s worth it before heading off into the technological blue.
It’s unclear to me how useful this is going to be (if at all), but I’m going to keep an open mind. One thing I’ve often noted is how hard it is to find smartboard presentations online. I create mine from scratch, but I also imagine that others would find them useful, as I would find looking at (and stealing parts of) their presentation of the same material useful. I secretly have a hope that one day I will be the facilitator to this giant city wide project which will get teachers who actually make lessons (smartboard, handwritten, typed, group projects, etc.) to upload them to some site to share.
In any case, the website is still in beta form: http://beta.teachers.yahoo.com/
I signed up for an invite forever ago, and just got invited to join today, but maybe anyone can get one now that they’ve opened it up for testing.