Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lesson Planet Search Engine for Teachers

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A subscription service for teachers, Lesson Planet wants to be a one stop resource for your lesson plan needs.  You simply type in the subject you're interested in, click for lesson plans or worksheets, and wait for the results.  The links bring you to various sites where educators and others have provided lesson plans.  Many of these include objectives and are written in standard "teacher speak". 

My first time on the site, I was rather pleased.  I was looking for ideas for a gaming elective for my fourteen year old.  He is already working with programming using GameMaker Pro and I plan to encourage him in writing adventures for RPG style games as well. I was excited to find lessons on topics such as race and gender roles in video games and using gaming as an educational tool.  My second time on the site, I was not so pleased.  When searching for more general items, I discovered many broken links and left feeling frustrated. 

More recently, I have been researching for a unit on The Chronicles of Narnia.  When I typed in Narnia, I had 14 results but only 3 were actually related to The Chronicles of Narnia.  This surprised me because when I did my own search, I came up with oodles of lesson plans and educational resources on this series. 

I am left with mixed feelings about Lesson Planet.  Without this search engine, I may not have found the wonderful New York Times lesson plans on gaming.  And yet, when searching on other topics I was left frustrated and found more on my own.  I want to like this, especially for the high school level.  It was invaluable in creating an elective study.  But for me, I'm not sure this would be worth the expense. 

Membership in Lesson Planet is available for $39.95 a year.  There is a free 10 day trial that I would recommend trying first to see if this is something that would be helpful to you in homeschooling.

*Disclosure: I received a 3 month free subscription for review purposes.  
To check out more reviews on this product, head over to the TOS Crew site.*

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