Tag Archives: teacher collaboration

Teachers, Do You Feel Alone in the Classroom?

Teaching can be lonely

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki janetpinto

Have you ever wished you had a group of peers with whom you could regularly exchange new ideas or ask how they’re using a particular technology in the classroom?

Surprisingly, compared to educators around the world, U.S. teachers work largely in isolation, and engage less often in collaborative efforts, according to TALIS, a 34-country survey of 100,000 teachers and principals conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2013.

The relationships you build with teachers in the classroom next door, or at a school across the country, allow you to exchange ideas with educators from diverse backgrounds, draw on best practices, and benefit from a source of fresh, new ideas.

Meet Me at Curriki: A Place for Global Collaboration

With Curriki, it’s easy to improve teacher collaboration around curriculum, instruction and professional development with hundreds of like-minded educators around the world.

Curriki Groups web page

Curriki provides an easy and intuitive collaborative platform that includes personal profiles, blogs, discussions, and resource sharing. Communities (groups) can be created and linked for closer collaboration. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Teachers and administrators can share best practices, information on what’s working, and support each other across schools, districts, states, the country, and even around the world.
  • Schools and districts can create professional learning communities and practice groups, improve teacher and principal quality and technology skills, and provide mentoring and support.
  • Colleges can use edWeb.net to support their teacher education programs and to stay connected to cohorts of new teachers as they move on to their teaching positions and begin their careers. Faculty in any department can use edWeb.net to connect with peers anywhere in the world.

In a recent interview with Educator Ilna Colemere, who helps familiarize student teachers with technology applications they can use in the classroom, her recommendation to her student teachers is to join Curriki Groups as a place where they can collaborate on specific topics, get new ideas and share best practices. For example, one group she always recommends they join is the STEM Group.

Other Curriki groups include Teach for America Teachers, Indian Educators, Spanish for Grades 6-8, and so many more. We encourage you to check them out!

Join Curriki today (it’s easy and it’s free) and connect with teachers around the world to enrich your students’ learning experience.


8 Ways OneNote Makes Lesson-Planning a Breeze

By Guest Blogger Minnia Feng, Microsoft minnia feng

OneNote, which you can download for free, is a teacher’s best friend. Find out how OneNote can help make digital lesson-planning easier, faster, and more effective!

  1. Use any type of content – text, pictures, audio, video, ink, embedded files, printed digital paper.

blog1There’s no limit to the mediums you can use to plan your lesson as OneNote supports learning and planning across multiple modalities, allowing you to add a fun, interactive multimedia dimension and create a more dynamic, effective lesson.

  1. Arrange any content type on the page any way you want, just like paper

blog2Drag and drop with ease—no more formatting hassles. OneNote is a digital version of paper, except it saves everything in one place, allows for more types of content, and no pencils or erasers required!

  1. Use Tags to highlight important points, questions, or create your own custom tag

blog3Instead of rifling through pages, whether paper or digital, find exactly what you need right away and remember what needs to be followed up on with tags.

  1. Collaborate with other teachers in a shared notebook as you build your lesson plans.

blog4Collaboration is a key priority nowadays and the sharing of ideas and experiences results in even better lesson plans– work with other teachers to improve and innovate easily!

  1. Use OneNote to record and embed audio to guide the lesson.

blog5Students learn in different ways — the option of adding audio can help increase focus and add an important personal element to the lesson so students have access to your audio instruction at any time.

  1. Use OneNote drawing tools to add visual elements to your lesson plan.

blog6Draw with touch or pen in OneNote to add your own sketches and diagrams — very helpful for science and math teachers who need to make annotations that may go beyond typing.

  1. Use digital ink to enhance, annotate and be creative with your lesson plans.

blog7Effortlessly make important aspects of your lesson plans stand out with digital ink, giving you the flexibility to write/draw anywhere on your notes or pictures.

  1. Change the digital paper type of OneNote to college-ruled, graph, or a custom page template background.

blog8Different subjects require different backdrops—we’ve got you covered so you can switch easily between and even customize the color and width of the lines/grids.

Want to see OneNote in action for more inspiration? Here are some awesome examples of lesson plans utilizing these tips from our Microsoft Innovative Educators:

  • Food For Life, by Ruby Huang (New Zealand), Science Teacher, Howick College
  • Count of Monte Cristo Mock Trial, by Kelli Etheredge (USA), Director of Teaching & Learning Resources, St. Paul’s Episcopal School
  • Walk in My Shoes, by Lynette Barker (Australia), Teacher Librarian, St. Therese’s Primary School

And for more in-depth interactive guides on how to make the most of OneNote in the classroom, be sure to check out http://www.onenoteforteachers.com.

The Benefits of Teacher Collaboration

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Do you regularly collaborate with teachers in your own school – or beyond your district – to brainstorm new ideas or exchange best practices?

Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, once said, “innovation happens elsewhere.” The idea is that no matter how smart you are, there are always smarter people elsewhere. Today, communities like Curriki allow millions of people around the world to collaborate on a network whose strength is in its diversity of intellectual backgrounds.

Increased teacher collaboration has the potential to improve school climate and teacher career satisfaction, according to the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success (2010). Two-thirds of teachers who responded to the annual survey believe that increased collaboration among teachers and school leaders would greatly improve student achievement.

Joseph Estephan

“I find it helpful to build relationships with other teachers and collaborate and share ideas, whether it be face-to-face or through technology – sharing best practices is critical when it comes to being a life-long learner.” –Joseph Estephan, Math Consultant and Curriki member


I am principal of a primary division at an international school in India. Curriki is a most wonderful tool to help teachers who don’t have access to professional development, who have been trained with provincial resources, to open their world, and the world of their students. Sarah C., a teacher working in India

Are you a collaborative educator or learner? There are more than 650 groups you can join on Curriki, ranging from New Teachers and Indian Educators, to STEM and Technology IntegrationJoin a Curriki group today.

Student-Safe, Collaborative Online Workspace

Curriki is partnering with ePals, a social network optimized for K-12 learning, to empower educators and students around the world. Over half a million classrooms in 200 countries and territories have joined the ePals Global Community, where you can collaborate with more than 800,000 classrooms around the world. Join here.