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Hello one and all academics. I'm Sam and I work at Stack Exchange Overflow. I come here before you because I'm not sure where else on the network to go! There isn't a Stack Exchange site for K-12 teachers, and I think they could benefit massively from one.

I think this because I live with a teacher and I see day and night how tirelessly she works. I see how little support from colleagues she receives. Unlike a lot of jobs (like mine), when she's in the heat of battle, she can't ask for reinforcements. Her job is so. damn. hard.

To make her job a little easier she's begun to implement Google Classroom at her school. After a couple weeks, it's showing promising returns. She's making fewer trips to the photocopier. Grading is easier. Students are engaging more.

But a lack of teacher-focused documentation almost led her not to adopt it. Outdated how-to's made implementation more difficult than it ever should have been.

This is a problem I think maybe we can solve, and that's why I created a site proposal:

Classroom Tech

I don't know if the site is scoped right. I don't know if it will work. A couple weeks ago I tweeted at a prominent Google Classroom advocate asking for her opinion. She said:

most T's don't use stacks.

I think maybe that's true because we don't have one yet. Curious what you think.

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    I think this would be better titled "Ed Tech" - that's a much more common term for this kind of thing. – ff524 Sep 25 '15 at 0:48
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    You should also ask on Meta Math Educators. – Wrzlprmft Sep 25 '15 at 6:35
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    Honestly, this proposal seems too narrow to me. – xLeitix Sep 25 '15 at 13:07
  • @Wrzlprmft good idea. Done. – samthebrand Sep 28 '15 at 16:22
  • @ff524 You're probably right, though I wonder if that term carries with it connotations that are intimidating to teachers who aren't tech savvy. – samthebrand Sep 28 '15 at 16:25
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    FWIW There exists a whole field called "Instructional Technology" that might be a better name. Teachers would make more mental links to that name than "Educational Technology", IMO. – TylerH Oct 6 '15 at 14:24
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My qualifications to answer this consist of two kids who just finished their second week of elementary school. So don't take me too seriously.

As StrongBad writes, we have had quite a few K-12 focused site proposals, none of which got off the ground. (If my kids' teachers are representative, I understand that. None of them are tech-affine.) So I'm very skeptical that a site that doesn't even focus on K-12 education as such, but a sub-aspect of K-12 education (namely, technology) would be viable.

I'd rather have a working K-12 education SE site which explicitly includes technology in its on-topic list.

  • Interesting. I wasn't familiar with the history of k-12 proposals in Area 51. Perhaps you're right about the too narrow scope. I really have no idea. – samthebrand Sep 28 '15 at 16:46
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I think it could work. There is definitely a need for it. There is definitely enough teachers in the world. I think the issue is bringing in teachers t the network. There have been a couple of proposals over the years for both K-12 teaching, undergraduate education, and e-learning sites. They have all failed in the early stages of area 51.

I think a motivated individual who is willing to promote the proposal and knows how the system works, stands a chance of getting one off the ground.

  • +1 for "promote the proposal". Teachers aren't here, so they can't commit in area51, hence failure. This would require a lot of marketing, but it's a very good market to target; being cash-strapped, as educational institutions always are, they rely on internet a LOT these days. This could really be a big new market. Is there anyone in the SO Community Affairs team that would be willing to take this on? – eykanal Sep 25 '15 at 17:40
  • @eykanal They can commit, just they are unaware of the system, so getting into it is more complicated for them. – yo' Sep 27 '15 at 18:00
  • @yo' I do not think eykanal mentioned it in a technical way, I think he mentioned exactly what you said. Part of this is the "commitment" phase is the second phase of an area 51 proposal. – StrongBad Sep 27 '15 at 23:51
  • Thanks for the input. Agreed 100% that this could use an evangelist. And to @eykanal's point, no, there isn't really anyone on the team whose roll currently fits this description. The lack of teachers on SE is definitely an interesting chicken & egg conundrum. – samthebrand Sep 28 '15 at 16:18
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If we consider Moodle, Google Classrooms, or any other Learning Management System, I find it quite restrictive to target the site only for K-12 teachers, as these tools are also used in higher education by teachers that may not be tech-savvy.

On another aspect, if the objective of the proposal is to only provide help on how to use, implement or adapt said LMS, I feel like the questions better be directly asked to the support teams whose job is to actually answer these kinds of questions.

The problem you have identified is a very classical one in the field of technology-enhanced learning: teachers' acceptance of technologies. Just put this sentence in Google Scholar's search box and you will find plenty of studies. What some of these studies tell is that, basically, teachers will continue to use technologies that they perceive useful and easy to use. Since LMS are designed for educational purposes, I can only hope teachers find them useful. Improving the user experience is another issue though, and I am afraid we cannot do much about it on a website like StackExchange.

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I think it would be far easier to have a teacher's mailing list. These probably accomplish 90% of what educators need, with half the technical challenges, and 10% of the work it takes to administer a complex site like SE.

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