Standards-Based Curriculum Development

##AUTHORSPLIT##<--->{\rtf1\ansi\deff0{\fonttbl{\f0\fnil MS Sans Serif;}}\viewkind4\uc1\pard\ri7200\lang1033\f0\fs16 \par \par

\par The No Child Left Behind Act calls for increased accountability and improved performance. At the heart of improved achievement is the curriculum - the road map guaranteeing that every student is given instruction rooted in national standards and based on outcomes. According to Swain and Pearson (2002), "A standards-based curriculum will level the playing field for all students," and technology can facilitate the process. Because technology can bring the world to even the most remote areas of the country, it is important that educators understand how technology can facilitate and broaden the curriculum. The U.S. Education Department's Technology Innovation Challenge Grant (TICG) programs were tasked to evaluate the impact that technology-based interventions have on student performance. This article on standards-based curriculum development will highlight a sample of TICG curriculum project initiatives.

\par \par

\par Project Partnerships

\par \par

\par Several projects have formed to disseminate a variety of standards-based curriculum lessons and resources. Each project provides a unique means of information access to users in a broader community. The Aurora Project, from The Aurora Learning Community Association (ALCA), provides a platform for K-16 online lessons of all disciplines. Through a community of projects, ALCA provides access to lessons that have been aligned with state and national standards, and are field-tested for quality assurance. The ALCA platform links projects and enables data sharing with other distant ALCA communities online at www.alcaweb.org.

\par \par

\par Project Millennium (www.uisd.net/community/community.htm), located in Laredo, Texas, is a TICG project that collaborates with ALCA to provide online lessons that have been developed along Texas standards. It has also incorporated performance-based assessments to ensure student application of technology to real-life situations.

\par \par

\par Project VIEW (www.projectview.org), led by the Schenectady City School District in upstate New York, delivers world-class standards-based curriculum using education technology to make content-rich resources available. The project works with content providers such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Institution and C-SPAN to develop standards-based lessons using interactive videoconferencing and other digital communication.

\par \par

\par The National Institute for Community Innovations (NICI) has developed an unprecedented international Virtual Library cooperative, online at www.vlibrary.org. This innovation has driven down the cost of access to an array of K-16 curricular, instructional, professional development and research content. The nonprofit Virtual Library offers three encyclopedias, two dictionaries, and more than 600,000 articles from 1,400 journals and magazines across the curriculum. It also provides 400,000 Web sites with librarian-validated content, several hundred full-text academic textbooks and other resources.

\par \par

\par In 1996, the Hawaii Education Department began E-School (www.eschool.k12.hi.us) to offer supplemental high school courses to bridge the digital divide and increase learning opportunities for students from neighboring island schools. Small islands represent an underserved population of Hawaii's school-aged students, with 43% percent of the students who participate in E-School coming from these neighboring islands. Over the course of the grant period, more than 70 courses have been developed. The virtual environment makes course offerings more convenient and accessible than in traditional settings.

\par \par \par

\par Teacher Training Projects

\par \par

\par Several projects train teachers and use them in the curriculum-development process. Project TIPS, developed by Jim Carroll and J'e Montecalvo of Syracuse University, has transformed secondary education throughout the Bronx High Schools district. Teachers integrate the Public Policy Analyst to identify a social problem, gather evidence, determine the causes and develop solutions. New lessons and units are aligned with particular content standards through the development of TIP quest sites at www.maxwell.syr.edu/plegal/tips.html.

\par \par

\par Project SEED (http://seed.maine center.org) is a statewide system using peer-to-peer networking to bridge the gap between technology and Maine classrooms. SEED cultivates the great ideas of Maine teachers and shares them with others based on its curriculum framework, "High-Quality Teaching and Learning with Technology," which provides the roots for SEED's work with teachers who develop units of study in all content areas. Teachers report increased awareness and more use of state standards in designing instruction and assessing student performance.

\par \par

\par T4: Transforming Teaching Through Technology is a Chicago-based project that uses a trainer-of-trainers model to provide professional development. Master teachers have developed technology-rich, multidisciplinary, standards-based Web quests that are an invaluable tool for the novice teachers to incorporate technology into their curriculum. These Web quests, which are free and searchable by grade, subject or Illinois standard, can be accessed online at www.ticg.cps.k12.il.us.

\par \par

\par The Maryland Technology Academy (www.mdtechacademy.org; http://cte.jhu.edu/mtc) has trained cadres of teachers (known as fellows) to design instruction aligned with Maryland standards. Academy Fellows, in collaboration with administrators and peers, develop a technology-based instructional school-improvement plan. The focus of the plan is in constructing and assessing student learning activities that incorporate technology to support the Maryland Content Standards, Skills for Success and the state curriculum.

\par \par

\par The West Virginia TurnKey Solution is a TICG program that provides technology and curriculum integration training to teachers. The first phase of training introduces teachers to technology tools and the application of those tools in the classroom. In phase two, technology standards are applied to the curriculum. The Solution Site (www.thesolutionsite.com), created as a result of this initiative, provides tested technology-rich, student-centered lessons.

\par \par

\par Conclusion

\par \par

\par This overview highlights innovative approaches that awardees have used to address the challenge of offering a standards-based curriculum to various student groups. This body of work benefits educators throughout the country who lack the resources to develop such products. It is important to acknowledge that the TICGs have produced many other curriculum projects that were not mentioned in this article. Abstracts of these TICG projects can be found online at www.ed.gov.

\par \par

\par Reference

\par \par

\par Swain, C. and T. Pearson. 2002. "Educators and Technology Standards: Influencing the Digital Divide." Journal of Research on Technology in Education 34 (3).

\par }

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.

comments powered by Disqus

White Papers:

  • Make a Difference. No Compromise. PDF screen shot

    Printing solutions have become complicated. With new options and technology, such as MFP or CLOUD services, it is making short and long term printing decisions much more complicated. Read this whitepaper to learn about available printing solutions that offer low acquisition costs, low energy consumption and speedy print production. Read more...