Originally created 07/24/02

Georgia Web site gives teachers fresh ideas



Lounelle Beecher could have only dreamed of such a resource when she was teaching at Butler High School 30 years ago.

The former social studies teacher, now Richmond County schools' foreign language and social studies coordinator, said she loves to log on to Georgia Learning Connections and have thousands of lesson plans at her fingertips.

The site, a partnership among the Georgia Department of Education and several other organizations, provides a one-stop Web-based curriculum and instructional resource that's designed to enhance and support teaching and learning.

"It's a wonderful resource with great lesson plans and new ideas to teach the curriculum," Mrs. Beecher said.

Visitors to the site can find the state's quality core-curriculum standards, a lesson-plan builder, sequenced lesson plans and a teacher resource center.

When the site premiered in October 1999, only 600 lesson plans and 18,000 Web links were available. Now Georgia's teachers can choose from more than 11,000 plans with the click of a mouse.

Kathleen Gooding, the program manager for Georgia Learning Connections, said the site recently has undergone some renovations, giving it a new look and making navigation easier.

"It's a little bit more intuitive and user-friendly," she said.

The new look has lured Georgia's teachers in astounding numbers.

"We had over 50,000 hits the first day," Ms. Gooding said.

Marie Palmer, a fifth-grade teacher at Glenn Hills Elementary School, has used the site to find new ways to teach the same old subjects.

"It's a great way to keep up with new trends and fresh ideas," she said. "It's a fabulous tool."

The site is particularly useful for first-year teachers and even for veteran educators who are teaching outside their field, Mrs. Beecher said.

"It's also a great way for parents to find out what their children are learning," she said.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552, or ashlee.griggs@augustachronicle.com.