Teachers in Washington state have created an online communications network, through which they share insights about how to work with students in the classroom. The program, called The Learning Space, helps teachers overcome the sense of isolation they experience because their interaction with other professionals is limited by the demands of students during the working day.

From a starting point of 70 “master teachers,” the program now has more than 2,000 participating educators at all levels of K-12 education. They share information by eMail on a daily basis, and many teachers report that queries they post are answered within minutes.

The program has expanded to encompass a conference, called Tomorrow’s Classroom. Approximately 10,000 Washington educators and school administrators attended the first conference, held in 1999.

Initial funding for the program came from U.S. West, a telecommunications firm.