Friday, July 07, 2006

NECC06 - Teachers Authoring Curriculum

This will be my final formal blog entry for NECC06 as I want to spend at least a little time in the Exhibits - I still have 3 more punches to get on my card to enter the G5 give-away. Perhaps before getting on the plane tonight, I can reflect on this experience without the pressure. Next year, will find the crowd in Atlanta at the end of June and I am already planning.

11:30 am Friday
Empowering Teachers: Open Source Portal for Authoring Curriculum and Standards
Sue Brown, Andy Alm, Devon Brown, Judy Gilliam, Cobb County SD (GA)
submitted by: Sharon Betts, Educational Technology Coordinator Maine School Adminstrative District 52

Curriculum warehouses seem to be hard to come by. It is a topic that bubbles to the top in many school committee meetings, but never seems go any further. We need our curriculum units and resources online to aid teachers in common assessments and easing new teachers into our district. Cobb County may have the solution -- their case study is being presented here.

This project has been 4 years in development - Picasso - the team of independent consultant, assistant superintendent for curriculum and 5th grade teacher brought their work to others.

The Power Point was informative, but the practical demonstration by the 5th grade teacher was most informative. It is a very nice format to help an audience to really understand how this is being used in the field. Each standard is linked to a resource for teachers to use to teach to it. The extended program contains a template for teachers to develop units directed at specific standards. I am not certain if these templates are downloadable or are completed online. Another portion have all the common assessments and unit outlines online. Posted student work, can help teachers across districts look at student work on the same assignments. Picasso is very proscriptive and may not be as usable in all states. However, being open source, it should be able to be altered to meet other needs.

Some questions and answers:
Is the template downloadable or interactive? it is online/interactive and submitted for a juried process

Is it available to others? Yes, programmed in php and uses PostNuke and Moodle.

Do parents and students have access? Yes, they do. There are resources posted for both these areas.

Overall, the Cobb County staff has done alot of research and work to bring teachers together. And they have not stopped development, they are expanding Picasso to include teacher blogs and more.

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Janine Kahn said...

Hi Sharon,

We talk about the conference in today's column at the LA Times' School Me! blog. Thought it might be of interest to you.

All the best,
Janine, School Me! staff

Sharon said...

Terrific, I am off to read it now.