Have you benefited from the wealth of free and inexpensive quality resources that other teachers have shared in this increasingly connected world for the 21st century educator?  I challenge you to join in on the activity!  Before 2012 ends, fine-tune and share ONE original lesson, PowerPoint slideshow, project or organizational tool that you have created.  I promise you, it's addictive!  When you get positive feedback and appreciation from other teachers, you'll feel rejuvenated excitement and passion for teaching!

from Clker.com

1. Ontario Education Resource Bank

The OERB (aka Resources eLearning Ontario) is a database of teaching materials that is freely available to all publicly funded schools in Ontario. Contact your resource person if you were unaware of it and need your school's login name and password. Once logged in, there is a captioned video to show you step by step how to upload a resource that is your own original creation, a modification of something else in the database, or that you have permission to share (in a way that can be modified by other educators).

2. TES Connect

This is a teacher resource web site in the UK, which means that it might be easier to borrow ideas from than it is to contribute to, since I'm personally not thoroughly familiar with the curriculum in England. However, I know I have some colleagues with teaching experience there, so who knows... maybe this is the perfect "home" for your test, unit, or novel study! (Updated to note: This site is no longer all free!)

3. Your school district's electronic bulletin board system

Do you even know if your board has one?  Then this is the perfect place to "start small"... just keep in mind that small risks = small returns.  Personally, it was much more satisfying to me knowing that a bigger pool of French teachers
clipart from Clker.com

4. Twitter or email 

Save your materials as a shared Google Doc, for example, and email/tweet out the link to the teaching community.  For a list of teaching related hashtags for Twitter, see my blog post from last spring.

5. Teachers Notebook & Teachers Pay Teachers

You knew that one was coming, I'm sure!  This is my referral link to TpT.  If you sign up as a seller there using this link, I would receive 5% of your sales for 24 months.  This comes out of the web site's portion of your sales, and costs you nothing extra or makes you miss out on any opportunities.  It's entirely a win-win!

There is no such thing as a free seller's account at Teachers Notebook, but that's because they operate on a different business model. This web site is funded by ads, and from a modest setup fee from teachers who wish to open an account there.  If you want to give it a go, I'd suggest trying TpT which has higher traffic.  Once you have a feel for how you might do, paying $20 and moving to TN, then helping them to promote the site may be the way to go for you. (Updated: Teacher's Notebook is now defunct)

6. A Teaching Blog

Start your own teaching-centred blog - Edublogs, Blogger and WordPress are popular free options - or approach another French teacher about contributing a guest post on his or her blog (wink wink, nudge, nudge!)

7. OMLTA message board

It's been eight months since the Ontario Modern Language Teaching Association launched a chat board on their web site, and it's yet to see a lot of traffic.  We all know nothing drives interest amongst a group of teachers like "free stuff" though, right?  Lead the way... start a trend!

8. Contribute to a Teaching Publication

Write an accompanying article about how to use your material, or about a new teaching approach you tried with it, or some other topic to submit to any foreign language publication, again with links to a Google Doc (or other file sharing system).

9. Teachers.Net

This website has been around a while and is highly underused, in my opinion.  I see way more potential in Teachers.Net http://teachers.net/lessons/submit.html than it's currently living up to, but I do have to say that one thing I don't love about it is how publicly searchable discussions on this site appear to be.

And last but not least...

10. Tool-specific/Approach-specific Websites/Wikis

There are lots of more targeted web sites for teachers to share their materials, such as a portion of the ReadWriteThink web site. Bitstrips, Voki, and smartexchange for Smart Board or PrometheanPlanet.com for Promethean board (Select Resources from the Menu bar, and then Submit Resource) are a few more that come to mind.

Just keep in mind that you may want to have a look around for the terms to which you are agreeing when you upload your material to share in a particular location.  I believe that some of these sites require you to sign over ownership of the materials to them, while others allow you to maintain your own copyright.

I'd love it if you'd post a link to something you've shared as a result of my post!