This past week I finally had a chance to mess around with the curriculum sharing platform BetterLesson, and I thought I’d share my thoughts.

The new social networking site is designed to help teachers create, organize and share lesson plans. Unlike traditional curriculum sharing websites, BetterLesson incorporates a unique curriculum organizing and filing system that enables teachers to easily create, store, and share information related to lessons they create.

According to BetterLesson, the product enables teachers to

  1. organize and share their entire curriculum for a particular course,
  2. easily connect and innovate with other educators,
  3. tag and search lessons using state standards,
  4. access files and instructional content from anywhere in the world,
  5. utilize privacy settings to control who can access their curriculum,
  6. easily identify high quality curriculum.

One of the interesting design elements of BetterLesson is its cloud computing infrastructure, which enables teachers to easily transfer information from one location to another. This is an exciting idea for teachers, who know firsthand how difficult it can be to easily store, quickly access, and share lesson plans with colleagues.

Another interesting aspect of BetterLesson is its social networking design. This unique design enables teachers to easily share and find high quality curriculum. The problem with many open source curriculum sharing platforms is they can be overwhelming and, often times, ineffective. Busy teachers don’t have time to search for hours to find a helpful lesson. The social networking design of BetterLesson enables teachers to build their own profiles, join groups and networks, and, most importantly, rank the quality of the lessons or curriculum they view. This means teachers can quickly find experienced teachers who design effective lessons and utilize them.

Although BetterLesson has been in private beta, the organization is currently working directly with schools throughout the United States to build curriculum and improve the effectiveness of the site. By summer 2010, BetterLesson hopes to fully launch the product by providing members with access to a content-rich site with first class teacher support.

Check out BetterLesson for yourself and let us know your thoughts.

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