Website review by James Denby, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2021

Education Blueprint

PLN for teachers has a compelling pitch, needs to grow

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Pros: Great potential with a nice set of tools to curate and discuss all kinds of resources.

Cons: Limited content and community. Broken links/features.

Bottom Line: While this site has a good design with great potential, its impact is limited due to a small resource library and few participating educators.

Teachers can use Education Blueprint to rate, curate, share, and discuss resources with other teachers. This can range from tools for the classroom to research materials to professional development (PD) opportunities to lesson plans. While the site is meant to facilitate a virtual network of teachers, it might currently be best used with other teachers you know in your school or district. For instance, a teacher team or department could curate resources and offer feedback on how they worked.

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Education Blueprint is a social network for educators that allows educators to rate, curate, and share classroom resources. Though members seem particularly interested in sharing edtech, the site allows users to also share educational research, resources (e.g., lesson plans), books, professional development opportunities, and "grids." Grids are elements of a competency-based pedagogical system called the Grid Method from the Teach Better Team, which is affiliated with Education Blueprint. 

Members can add resources, exchange ideas about those resources, follow each other, and build a professional learning network (PLN) around specific subjects or topics (like world language teaching/learning) or around specific teaching tools. Like most social networks, members can message other members and follow each other. Members can also add reviews and build collections of tools they find useful.

The idea behind Education Blueprint is great: a community of educators sharing resources and tips to build a professional, personalized learning network. It features a unique mixture of resources including edtech, research, PD, and lesson plans. This is a compelling mix since previous sites that have attempted this web-based PLN model have often focused on just one of those categories. There are, however, a few problems with the site. First is its size. Currently, Education Blueprint doesn't seem to have a critical mass of content or active users, so there isn't enough content to make it a viable alternative to other places where teachers already connect with resources, such as Facebook or Twitter.

The quality of reviews is also an issue. Some reviews go into depth about resources, but most don't really give enough information to allow teachers to make informed choices about learning resources. It's great that you can search for tools by subject or even standard, but if you can't get a good sense of how that tool can be used, deciding to use an app, for example, is a bit of a leap of faith.

Finally, while it's well designed and easy to navigate, there are broken links and features. During the course of this review, we ran into errors when trying to register as well as when clicking on the Messages feature (which we were never able to access). That said, Education Blueprint could be more useful for teachers using the Grid Method, since the site offers grids or plans that teachers can follow that might be tough to locate otherwise. In short, this is a site to watch if it continues to grow and develop.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Social networks rely on high levels of participation to be engaging. Right now, the site's not there. The design is clean but has bugs.

Pedagogy

It's got a great blend of possible resources. The ability to connect with teachers and comment on resources could deepen learning. The reviewing system is limited.

Support

It's pretty intuitive to use, but they could improve onboarding to encourage thoughtful usage.


Common Sense reviewer
James Denby Educator/Curriculum Developer

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