"Athena is the best experience I have had in terms of connecting with other teachers online." -- HS English Teacher
"Athena is putting into action what I've been seeking as a teacher for years - a place to share and find resources, questions, and best practices" -- HS Religion/Philosophy Teacher
"[Athena] has teachers in mind in all regards. It's a clean platform without bright colors, distracting ads or too much information on the page… a much simpler and easier tool than any other tool out there for teachers." -- HS History Teacher
No whistles and bells. No badges. Just a place for teachers to find, share, and improve the questions, activities, and assignments we use every day.
Made by currently practicing teachers, Athena aims to support our professional development by providing an environment for sharing and editing the activities, questions, and assignments we use in class every day.
Every class has a plan, whether learning is digitally mediated or in person, and Athena provides a more open and collaborative way to develop and share those plans. It is a place for sharing discussion questions, lessons plans, and more, whether built around digital tools or the discussion table.
While some software focuses on digital instruction or managing student work, Athena's core purpose is in planning and archiving, enabling collaborative development of lessons and activities. It is a venue for sharing, getting feedback on, and revising the moves we make in the classroom, regardless of whether our classrooms are tech-fueled or discussion-based.
To do our best work, we want to tap into the professional experience of teachers both within our schools and beyond, surveying other people's work and getting feedback from colleagues. Athena is designed for this express purpose, for teachers to talk with teachers about teaching.
Athena began with the recognition that the field of education has no professional memory. Doctors have a shared knowledge base. Lawyers have hundreds of years precedent to refer to. Teachers reinvent the wheel every day. In the digital age, we should have an effective social network for teachers that also functions as a place to store and share our work: the questions, activities, and assignments that we create and revise every day.
Development of prototypes has been supported by the Robertson Foundation and the E. E. Ford Foundation, with support to match the latter grant coming from Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, the Lawrenceville School and Phillips Academy. Continued development is underway, and the current prototype is being used by teachers at secondary schools, graduate schools of education, and conferences.
The summer of 2017 marked the first Athena Summer Fellowship, which brought together teachers from around the country in an online, asynchronous professional development experience. Keep an eye open for information about the next Athena Summer Fellowship.
Now, Athena is poised for a next round of development and scaling. We're currently looking for partners in this work. For more information about this, click here.
And of course, if you are a teacher interested in collaborating with others online by finding, sharing, offering feedback on, and revising teaching materials, please tell us more about yourself at the link below. Or, learn more about how you can connect with other teachers by clicking here.