December 10, 2007

Joint committee works to develop
teacher resource web site

Sacramento State is working on a project to give California elementary, junior high and high school teachers easy access to information which can help them in their classrooms.

The project, called Brokers of Expertise, is a portal that allows teachers to access materials that can be used to supplement their instructions. Teachers will be able go online to download lesson plans, software, simulations and exercises that meet state educational standards, according to Barbara O’Connor, Sacramento State communication studies professor and project director.

“There are a lot of sites where teachers post what they are doing in the classroom, but the materials are not always geared for the state’s standards, and teachers don’t have time to continually search for materials that do,” says O’Connor. “This project uses digital technology to create a one-stop shopping site for teachers.”

The BOE program is a joint project between Sacramento State, the California State University and the California Department of Education.

“People have asked why we are involved,” O’Connor says. “CSU produces 80 percent of the teachers in the state. Having this is a good thing since we credential so many teachers.”

The project began in 2007, after organizers received a $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to research and assess the viability of the site. BOE recently received a $50,000 grant from the Stewart Foundation, a $15,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation and a $10,000 grant from Verizon Communications Inc., to begin building the site. Additional funds will be needed to complete the site, which is expected to be ready by the end of 2008 in a beta form, O’Connor says.

For more information on BOE, contact O’Connor at (916) 278-6415. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.