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Healthy Competition

June 22, 2012

On Tuesday, the NYTimes announced the launch of sharemylesson.com, a joint venture by the American Federation of Teachers and TSL Education, a British Publishing Company. Their $10M entry into this space is a nice validation of the massive problem at hand and equally massive market opportunity (although they have been shy about details).

While we are both pursuing a similar mission, we are taking very different approaches:

BetterLesson is a curriculum-sharing platform — we strive to capture and share what makes an excellent teacher excellent, allowing educators to connect and share complete lessons, units, and courses. We’ve built a curriculum organization and sharing tool that captures a teacher’s entire curriculum in the sequence that it’s taught throughout the academic year. ShareMyLesson is a “resource exchange” where teachers can upload and download individual files — worksheets, lesson plans, etc.

To underscore the difference, we’ll quote an age-old adage: Give a man a random resource, he teaches for a class period. Give him inspiring examples of complete units on poetry, narrative writing, and sentence structure, his next few months of instruction are transformed.

Great teaching is theater. And teachers shouldn’t be writing every script on their own. We welcome all kindred spirits tackling this problem. And we look forward to some healthy competition.

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