Saturday, July 2, 2011

More Summer Learning with Curriculum 21
Like many teachers, I read more during the summer than during the school year, when on a good night I get through a chapter before falling asleep! In addition to reading some mindless "chic lit" selections on my Kindle, I've started Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, edited by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Although I've only read a chapter and a half so far, I've already been inspired to share some new ideas for updating your curriculum.

Hayes feel that we should stop talking about "integrating" technology and begin "replacing" outdated curriculum with technology-rich lessons that address real world skills and applications.

Upgrade Assessments
Hayes identifies three basic elements of curriculum:  content, skills, and assessment.  To update the curriculum to better address the 21st Century needs of our students, she suggests starting with assessments. She advocates gradually upgrading dated assessment types with modern ones using this process:
  • Brainstorm and research the products and performances used by professionals in your subject area(s). (For example: documentaries, films, web sites, email exchanges, blogs, etc.)
  • Identify the software, hardware, Internet resources, and other technology tools already available in your school for teacher and student use. Commit to learning and using at least one new tool per semester or school year.
  • Replace at least one dated assessment per semester with a modern one.
  • Share these changes with colleagues and update curriculum maps.
I think this is a fairly simple and painless process that we can begin to implement together. What are your thoughts? Does this procedure complement or conflict with PDE's SAS framework?

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