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Project Share – Coming Soon to Your District

March 23, 2010

Reposted from TCEA, Joel Adkins, Kerrville ISD

Professional development and e-learning will take a giant leap forward with the Texas Education Agency’s initiative entitled Project Share, which will establish a single online portal for teachers to start accessing this summer. Project Share is a collaboration between TEA, Epsilen LLC, and The New York Times Company to help teachers work in collaborative environments, develop ePortfolios, and share in professional learning communities.

Groups of teachers across Texas and the world will be able to meet together online, establish a central repository for professional learning materials, and use Web 2.0 collaboration tools such as wikis, blogs, drop boxes, and chat rooms. The system provides online lesson plan tools, class email and calendars, peer review tools, sharable rubrics, and online assessment and gradebook. Teachers will be able to easilydigital content into every lesson plan.

The New York Times Knowledge Network will also be included, offering access to all of the Times articles since 1851. This will include not only the articles, but also access to commentary, analysis, videos, blogs, and multimedia resources.

Starting spring 2010, districts, working with their Education Service Centers, will be provided the opportunity to create teacher accounts by batch upload of teacher email addresses. The program will initially begin with teacher access, but will add students to the system as early as the 2011-2012 school year. Students will then be able to develop their own ePortfolios and engage in online learning.

In the summer, teachers from Science, Math, English Language Arts, ELPs, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) will begin using the Project Share system as part of their state-initiated trainings to further learning and professional development throughout the rest of the school year.

Project Share offers levels of administrative rights to the system to provide districts the control they need to ensure that teachers and students use the system properly. On initial login, teachers will have the ability to update their profiles and join groups they are invited into. District account managers can then choose to give rights to teachers who would need to form groups, develop online training materials, and to share resources with the global community. The system will allow teachers to develop online courses and will work in conjunction with the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN).

Project Share extends beyond public school teachers and students. It will be available for all local education entities, including charter and private schools. There will be some participation from local colleges and universities as well.

A short demonstration video on Project Share can be found here.

Ten districts from Region VI will be in the initial rollout of project share and we have been told that the rest of our districts will come on very quickly after that. As soon as we get word on our 10 districts and the rollout dates we will share that information with you. Please keep the implications of Project Share in your district in mind as you develop your short and long range plans for technology. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Cathy Moak, 936-435-8338,  cmoak@esc6.net

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