Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Teacher Me Envies Knitter Me

The new Knitty came out today. Knitty is the online knitting magazine that has been my go-to for patterns, techniques, and inspiration since in high school.  The arrival of a new issue is a drop-everything-and-take-an-hour-to-enjoy event.

First click, the patterns. My ritual takes me through each of then before I savor the columns. I'll imagine the possibilities and move back to the work I was doing before.

Today I noticed a change in my routine. As I'm going through patterns, I am clicking a bookmarklet in my toolbar "Ravel This." 

Ravelry is the social networking site for yarn people. That bookmarklet takes me to the site. If the pattern is already in the system (and everything I've clicked for it is) I'll go to the main page for the pattern. I can save the pattern to my favorites. Add it to my queue. Cast on and put it on my projects page.

I can see other projects from the same designer. See what other people are saying about the project. Find other people who like the project. Read blog posts from people who are making the project. Look at their photos. See their ratings. Easy or Hard? Heart or Ugh? Examine revised versions of the pattern.


When I bought sock yarn over Christmas, I entered it in my stash. I can browse projects others knit with the yarn. Buy extra from someone if I didn't have enough. Ask questions on the discussion boards. Or in one of the groups I'm in. Or by messaging one of my friends.

Where's the equivalent site for teachers? 

There are so many lesson planning libraries. Resourcing sharing sites. Wikis. Nings. TFA has one, but requires I downgrade my Firefox and is exclusive to TFA people. (I'm not comfortable with that.) 

I want the place I default to be THE place where teachers go online. To have access to all the conversations. So that when I add new slides to Dan Meyer's Geometry Curriculum I can upload them, write a quick comment, and know that anyone who looks at that week can see my revised version without changing the original for anyone. Or when I'm looking for a lesson on exponents, I don't end up looking through the variety of folders on my computer: "from Dan Greene," "from Kate, "from Nick," "from Sam," "Dan Greene Algebra 2"... I want to click the tags. Search within them. Browse a few links and be inspired. 

Please tell me where I'm supposed to go.

(Though I feel like if I haven't found my site, it's not THE site yet. Take my ideas and run. Alternatively, I'm still flexible in my plans this summer. If someone is good at web programming, I'm willing to think more about design.)