California Educator

October / November 2017

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Article: Network News - Page 60 Network News Collaboration in Common lets educators connect online and share with ease By Dina Martin Ask any teacher to name the most important aspect of professional development, and you're likely to hear it is collaboration, hands down. Yet with everything teachers must do, collaborating with one another is often the last thing they can do. That's where Collaboration in Common (CiC) just might make a difference. The new online resource exchange promises to connect educators across the state to the best resource available to them: other educators. Early reviews from educators indicate it may be exactly what is needed. Kathleen Pickens, a fifth-grade teacher and a teacher-leader in CTA's Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC), had the opportunity to beta test the platform in the spring and plans to continue using it in the future. Collaboration in Common has enabled her to join different groups online, collaborate with other teachers in Region II by subject matter, post resources, find lesson plans, discuss problems, organize documents, and even highlight and annotate articles. "The interface is really friendly and a lot easier to use than other online platforms," says Pickens, Fresno Teachers Association. "I've enjoyed a lot of the articles that members post, and I'm also using the site to access important documents and information that I need with regard to the work of the ILC. is platform is the only way we communicate, since we are scattered all through-out the state." Maybe that's because teachers themselves contributed to the creation of Collaboration in Common. One of those teachers was Pickens' colleague, Adam Ebrahim, a longtime high school teacher. As a former vice president of FTA, Ebrahim recognized the role CTA plays in helping its members become better educators. He has since left his teaching position to become director of implementation for CiC. "One of my hopes is that local associations will use it to help their members connect on instructional issues," he says. "CTA has always connected with its members to improve working conditions and wages, but it is

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