Taking advantage of current social media technology, Teachers Network—with funding from the Ford Foundation—has introduced a new online forum for collaboration on issues affecting educators. The web site aims to bring together educators and policy makers to share ideas, suggestions, and best practices for improving teacher effectiveness and retention. Though primarily aimed at the U.S., the site includes findings from a recent survey conducted by Teachers Network, called “What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom,” suggesting that effective teaching is largely the result of continued professional development, support for teacher collaboration, and opportunities for leadership.
Elluminate Inc. has expanded its role as a provider of online learning platforms and meeting spaces by launching a new social learning network for educators, called Learncentral. A free and open resource for professionals in the global education community, LearnCentral provides social networking and collaboration tools for members to find and connect with others, share content and best practices, create and maintain a portfolio of learning content, meet in real-time virtual rooms, and hold and attend virtual events. Upon joining LearnCentral, each member receives a free Elluminate vRoom, a virtual meeting room for up to three participants or locations. The network is moderated by Elluminate’s social learning consultant, Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0 and director of the Consortium for School Networking’s K12 Open Technologies Initiative. Incidentally Elluminate are the behind the Elluminati group which resides on Learncentral.