January 25, 2010
By MATTHEW HAAG
The Dallas Morning News
Ken Norman used to give away to other teachers lesson plans that he had spent hours and hours creating for high school government and economics classes.
But times have changed.
Online auction sites and marketplaces can make anyone an entrepreneur, and Norman has joined the thousands of teachers buying and selling lesson plans online. A nine-week Texas history course with a syllabus, quizzes and tests can retail for $10. Colorful diagrams to help kindergartners learn to count using coins go for $3.
On these Web sites, teachers can browse and buy lesson plans for students in pre-K through 12th grade in every imaginable subject. . .
Lesson plans, quizzes and tests have gained value in recent years as teachers across the country move to more standardized curriculum, said David Chard, dean of Southern Methodist University's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
Students are increasingly learning from similar materials and reading the same books and textbooks.
And the Web allows teachers from California to Maine to buy or sell guides to algebra or syllabi for teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
"Prior to the Internet, the only way teachers had a way to share ideas of teaching was at professional conferences or in teacher workrooms," Chard said. "It was relatively limited. So you were left to be creative on your own and work through problems on your own."
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