Back in the spring, it was Classroom Connect. Now, the name has been shortened to Claco, but the concept remains the same: Give the teachers a chance to collaborate and learn from each other. Sure, we can do that in a variety of methods, but here is a centralized location where we can all meet and swap ideas. Think of it as the teachers' lounge, but without the fattening pumpkin bread and stale coffee. I'll leave it to other people to expound on the founding of the web site. Instead, I'll focus on my use of it the last few days.
Claco is still in its beta format, but I was fortunate enough to start up this fall. I spent the last couple days sick at home and was finally able to take the time to sit down and look at the genius of this site.
I've never been on Pinterest, but from what I've heard of that crafting idea site, Claco has a similar feel. You post ideas or sites that work for you on your personal page. However, that page is visible to all others on the site. Your online colleagues have the chance to come along and find your posts and "snap" them to their page as well.
So far, I'm using this site as a chance to organize myself. If I find a site I like, I bookmark it and move on. I may or may not come back to it later, but when I try to find a bookmarked site, I have to wade through a ton of stuff to find it. "What was THAT site for?" After an hour or two of work, my bookmarks are now cleared out. I'm using Claco to hold them for me.
Next, I'm going through and posting iPad apps that work for my classroom. This will help me decide which ones are really worthy of sharing with the public. I'm also rooting through my Google Docs finding lessons and activities that I've done.
Obviously, I blog because I want to share what I'm learning with the larger community. Claco is going to help me keep do that in a more organized fashion. If you want to see what I'm doing in math class, you may find it on this blog, but it will take some searching. Claco will make it easier for you to steal... I mean, borrow.. from me.
I'm having fun with this. Since I can create portfolios on any topic I want, I'm not just doing my content areas, but I've also included Common Core, Educational Technology, Social Media, Apps I Use, and plan to add a Bio portfolio. In addition to useful web sites and Google Docs, I can also direct you to people who have influenced me and helped me in my learning journey.
And I haven't even started visiting other people's pages to see what I can learn from them! I envision myself sitting at my desk one Friday trying to come up with a lesson idea, skipping over to Claco and a digital colleague to find the perfect tool to help me teach that hard to learn lesson. And I don't think I need to tell that this is a very good thing.
So, I suggest you visit Claco, sign up for the beta program, subscribe to my portfolio, and start organizing your content and collaborating with us! While you're there, zip me a message and say hi!