Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Free Curriculum Resources

At Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, Bob Kremer handed me a flyer about Scott McNealy's Curriki open source k-12 curriculum wiki.

Now this is an idea everyone seems to love. That is eliminating the expensive textbooks and operating off of a common curriculum backbone that teachers can customize to suit their students. Wow. I've been advocating thi skind of thing for a while now and it looks like McNealy may make it happen.

In District Administration Magazine McNealy had this to say;
My point is that we'd be better off giving teachers the electronic building blocks to assemble a curriculum that works for the students in their classrooms. That's what they're good at. That's what we pay them for. In fact, when we move curriculum online, we should take the money we're spending on updating books, and pay the teachers more.

In the technology business, we understand the importance of standards. They give everyone the opportunity to participate equally. We also understand the importance of innovating around those standards. That's how things get better.

So we must give teachers the flexibility to innovate around our educational standards, so education can get better.

That's the idea behind the nonprofit Global Education and Learning Community, or GELC-provide teachers around the world with free, "open source" content that they can add to and localize. What this community is about, basically, is opening up a new way to develop, distribute, and evaluate curriculum (based on achievement) at low or no cost.

Free access to open content will allow teachers to address more styles of learning-visual, auditory, hands on, project based, whatever works best. If you look at material prepared against a standard set by a state, it assumes a linear path of learning as opposed to the zigzag path or dynamic path that most students like to take.

Of course it's more difficult to evaluate nonlinear media, more challenging to assess a model that's designed to be constructed and explored, but that's where the network comes into play. With the global reach of the Internet and a growing online community of teachers sharing content and best practices, we could be approaching a real change in education-a change ensuring that no teacher is held back.

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KM said...

Thanks so much for posting this link! I just published a couple of my literature-based art lessons and found a few good ones to use with my kids. I may even get up the nerve one day to use the blog component they have set up! I found your site when I was researching the train-wreck of a trial and verdict of Julie Amero. You are now officially bookmarked in my favorites bar.
Karen Weinstein
Newtown CT

Frank Krasicki said...


Thank you. I am an avid advocate of having everyone blog. I think it's such a great way to share ideas, to get kids reading and writing in natural ways, and as an educational tool that makes learning a virtual exercise rather than a highly geography/teacher coupled exercise.

I use this blog to provoke, stimulate, infuriate, and evangelize the fact that learning is the coolest thing we can do and every bureacratic stupidity that gets in the way of it needs to be removed.

If you decide to blog let me know and I'll add your blog feed to my sidebars. If there's anything I can do to help let me know.

Frank Krasicki