And the other thing also concerned education, which is rapidly becoming the Last Digital Frontier.  I have been told for years that teachers will never become effective users of online resources, that teachers will not create digital lesson plans, that nothing will move until the hyper-conservative US K-12 market moves, that there is no point in going beyond digital textbooks since teachers will not create learning journeys/pathways, or encourage students to do so etc. etc.

Imagine then my surprise at reading an article in the New York Times on 15 November entitled “Selling Lesson Plans Online Raises Cash and Questions“.  There you can discover that has 200,000 teacher users who pay each other for lesson planning, and that site revenues have just topped $600,000.  Further, has a knowledge marketplace which includes lesson plans and online tutoring.  The big question asked by the NYT is whether the teachers own the intellectual property they are selling .

These sites are interesting, and not because of their volume or where they are.  They are really interesting because they demonstrate that even in the tough education space, change comes as professionals begin to see themselves as part of a community of the like-minded, begin to exchange useful things for peer recognition (which is what the cash really represents), and then begin to move forward not as a group of innovators but en masse as a networked society.  Who knows, they may even begin to recognize that their own pupils are moving alongside them (albeit with a superior skills base) and begin to use the network for real learning and real assessment.  For publishers there is a serious message here: find or buy software which will allow you now to build a community environment into courseware which allows teachers to innovate around your courses and use you as the platform upon which resource discovery and course development takes place, or prepare to bow out of networked learning.  And if you do not know where to get good learning journeys software, then ask people like They have been presenting this stuff to the “ it will never happen here” brigade for the past three years.


Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind


1 Comment so far

  1. Jessica on November 20, 2009 02:14

    I just loved this post and bookmarked your blog!