The Professional Development for Teachers “By Teachers, For Teachers” Website
A joint effort of the American Federation of Teachers and TES Global, Share My Lesson is a place where 800,000 K-12 educators come together to create and share their very best professional development for teachers resources. Developed “by teachers for teachers,” this free platform gives access to high-quality content and provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other.
Scale, Interactivity and Certification Challenges
More than 308,000 teaching resources are available on Share My Lesson, including webinars offering professional development for teachers and information on subjects ranging from implementing the Common Core State Standards into the classroom to helping students understand Romeo and Juliet. A relatively new effort, Share My Lesson began its webcasting program in 2013 with a low-end platform that began to show flaws soon after implementation. Some key issues they faced were around scaling and performance, as well as the lack of interactive features and the inability to offer testing for professional development credits and associated certifications. What’s more, the system couldn’t be effectively branded and required end users to download software to get connected to webinars.
Share My Lesson switched to the ON24 webinar platform because of its reach, scale and reliability, as well as ON24’s interactive features. The ability to offer testing and certification within a given webinar was also a major factor in their switch and helped drive member recruitment. According to Kelly Booz, partner development lead, “Only ON24 verifies professional development credit for on-demand content.”
In addition, Share My Lesson liked the ON24 Video’s Content Gateway for its single sign-on feature for convenient on-demand access of webinars, videos, and data sheets. The ability to brand the webcast console, invitations and registration pages also factored in, along with ON24’s overall ease-of-use and “any-device” access, without any software downloads.
After adopting Webcast Elite, Share My Lesson hosted a three-night online conference that offered professional development for teachers with a choice of 31 different topic tracks and related sessions. These sessions ranged from science and math to social studies and classroom management and featured live webcasts with subject matter experts (SMEs). Hosted in the ON24 Content Gateway, the conference began at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, so that teachers from across the country could attend after school, and included two live webinars running at the same time, each hour on the hour. Polling questions were used to verify attendance and participation for continuing education purposes, as well as to keep the audience more engaged.
Great Professional Development for Teachers
Share My Lesson’s results from its first online conference using the ON24 platform were highly positive, with attendance surpassing expectations. Anecdotal feedback centered on ON24’s ease-of-use and the excellence of the content provided by Share My Lesson. Share My Lesson’s webinar producers leveraged ON24’s branding capabilities across the conference, drove member recruitment, and presenters found the ON24 platform easier to use than the legacy solution.
Share My Lesson noted other positive results, including:
- Production time savings. It took Share My Lesson only 20 minutes to set up the ON24 Video Content Gateway, versus a week for comparable setup with the previous solution.
- The ON24 online conference powered by the ON24 Video Content Gateway was the #1 site campaign in terms of driving traffic.
- In addition, it was a top campaign for new member recruitment.
- The conference attendance data was “substantial,” thanks to ON24 analytics.
- Growing attendance/viewership numbers. With ON24, registration numbers have doubled, and on-demand views have now surpassed live views.
- The organization has a robust series of future webinars planned using ON24. A new professional development for teachers “Summer of Learning” series offers content in four categories, including back-to-school and classroom basics.
According to Booz, the ON24 platform is so user- and producer-friendly that Share My Lesson can offer more and better content as the organization’s professional development for teachers program grows. The ability to provide on-demand resources further extends the value of Share My Lesson’s content and enables the organization to better serve its nationwide community of teachers.