Are your teachers using Teacher Pay Teachers and does it matter?

There is a good chance they already are using it or something like it.

Teacher Pay Teachers has been in business since 2006 and tout around 4 million users. Before that, teacher blogs offered up lesson plans that colleagues outside their district could access. Now there is a growing swell of using Open Edcuational Resources (OER) with their mantra of: digitized, free, and editable. These online off-the-shelf lesson plans are available and teachers are downloading worksheets all the way to whole unit lesson plans.

But do they improve student outcomes?
A recent research study says it does. (The study focused on middle school math lessons.)

Only providing teachers with online access to the lessons increased students’ math achievement by 0.06 of a standard deviation, but providing teachers with online access to the lessons along with supports to promote their use increased students’ math achievement by 0.09 of a standard deviation.

The researchers felt secure in their findings to even suggest the following:

The intervention is more scalable and cost effective than most policies aimed at improving teacher quality, suggesting a real benefit to making high-quality instructional materials available to teachers on the internet.

  • Are your teachers using online lesson plans?
  • Do you even need textbooks any longer? 
  • Do you have an assessment framework to discern the wheat from the chaff? 
  • Who owns the lesson plans created by your teachers?
  • Do you provide funds for online lessons or do your teachers pay for it? Should they?
Deeper Dive
You can download and read the full study Can Online Off-The-Shelf Lessons Improve Student Outcomes? Evidence from a Field ExperimentGuess what it says about benefits for weaker teachers.
How the Internet is Complicating the Art of Teaching-A bit of an OER pump piece, but does provide some thought provocation about lessons and lectures being made available online.
Before you worry that your teachers will make bank from Teacher Pay Teachers and leave your district check out “Etsy for teacher? TpT becomes hub for education materials.” (With only a few teachers becoming millionaires, the earnings fall on a Pareto distribution.)
Open Education Resources Commons The movement does not want to only be a bank of lesson plans. They want engagement and co-creation.

Published by


Using what I know about learning to help others.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.