Followup: Teach-N-Share in 2015

R.I.P. Teach-N-Share. It’s dead. Nobody used it.

R.I.P. T.N.S.

Ever since 2011, I had been working on Teach-N-Share off and on as a side project. Most of the teachers at my school did not care for it, although there were a few that always gave me hope. (Thanks, Mrs. Parkins, Mr. Heckler, and Mr. Acton!) Most of the people who walked by my makeshift booth at the eTech 2015 Conference didn’t care much for it. Most of the schools around my area, who were interested at one point, lost interest pretty quickly due to mandatory state testing. Thanks, Ohio.

As of today: Teach-N-Share is officially dead. The server that the forum software was running on kept crashing and freezing up. With every crash came more database corruptions. Some were fixable and some made the website run on its bare bones. After looking through the database, there’s too much corruption to attempt any sort of fix at this point.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. Teach-N-Share, just like any other project I’ve ever really worked on, needed to die. It seems to be a waste of my time at this point. I strongly believed this would be the year it would take off. Eh. Oh well.

Maybe it’ll return in the future if I hand the project off to one of my friends. Maybe I’ll get funding to actually deploy it to the state of Ohio. Maybe the world will never see it again. If I’ve learned anything over the last few months, it is to expect nothing. Things happen and change so quickly in my life.

The Teach-N-Share domain will eventually be used as a proof-of-concept website to show that free, easy-to-use teacher collaboration tools are needed in the education sector. For now it’ll be redirecting to Jordohio.net.

Until next time.

Teach-N-Share in 2015

Teach-N-Share Logo

Logo created by Dean Harvey

In late 2011, one of my prior teachers stopped me in the hallway and said, “I have an idea. Talk to me when you can.” I was so curious that I stopped him right there and we talked. For about ten minutes, my teacher had been discussing about a way for teachers to share ideas with one another – online. He wanted a way to upload his PowerPoint document so that another teacher from another school could view it, download it, suggest edits to it, and use it in his class.

“I call it… Teach And Share. What do you think?”

— Mr. Adam Heckler, 2011

I liked it.

I liked it so much that I’ve actually been working to try and get this “online sharing system” up and running since early 2012. I almost abandoned Teach-N-Share in late 2012/early 2013 because it seemed like people just weren’t interested. I let the domain just redirect to Jordohio.net for months. But then, at the start of the 2013/2014 school year, my tech coordinator approached me saying that someone had stolen my idea! They were trying to create their own version of Teach-N-Share to roll out to all of the school districts.

Nope, not today. This is my baby.

For the last year I’ve been tinkering with different forum software and Linux distros to figure out what works best. After a few hiccups (and one really big hiccup – more on that later), we’ve settled in with Simple Machines Forum 2.x running on Debian 7. I started deploying this out at the start of my 2014/2015 school year and we had a functioning server…for the most part. There were issues with pages not loading and, if you tried uploading a file, the web server crashed. (Fun Fact: Do NOT use Apache!)

Teach-N-Share Screenshot

Screenshot of Teach-N-Share

But then the fun really happened: The NWOET Conference. I had stayed up the night before preparing the website and a mailing list for people to stay updated. When I had arrived at school, the website didn’t load. The website, hosted in that same building, was not loading. Nothing worked. Long story short, it was an outside issue with our Internet Provider. The unfortunate part is that I made people think I didn’t know what I was doing. Everyone said, “It’s a good idea!” but nobody showed interest in it. Except one person. A very important person: My Superintendent.

To kind of sum everything up, she began showing this to other districts and they all loved the idea. They actually want it. So I rebuilt it from the ground up and am ready to deploy it to schools. Teach-N-Share is back, and we’re about to set the rockets on full throttle. I haven’t been this happy in a long time. Thank you to everyone who pushed me to finally create this, I owe you one.

Until next time.