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Activate Instruction Adds Shareable Playlists to Free Curriculum

An online platform that lets students and educators access free open curriculum to personalize learning has been enhanced to allow teachers to collaborate with each other more easily. Activate Instruction, introduced last August, now includes almost 2,000 educational "playlists" created by schools and teachers. It is those playlists that can be pulled together by groups of teachers no matter where they're located. Users can now also "follow" specific schools to be alerted when those schools have uploaded new materials.

Activate is an online community where users can browse, search, rate, add, share and organize standards-aligned educational content. Teachers can add and share their favorites with other teachers or compile them into a playlist for students. Students can use playlists or seek out resources by their own criteria.

  Activate Instruction allows users to create and share educational playlists.
Activate Instruction allows users to create and share educational playlists.

The system currently has curriculum for grades preK-12. Resources include worksheets, lesson plans, images, videos, Web sites, PowerPoint slides and assessments.

The service is funded and managed by Girard Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that's focused entirely on the Activate project.

"Teachers are working hard to prepare their students for Common Core, with limited access to updated resources," said Michele Hansen, president and CEO of the foundation. "Activate Instruction facilitates teacher collaboration and makes it easy for teachers to access quality content from high-performing schools for free."

The foundation said that 4,000 teachers are currently using Activate materials, much of which has been contributed by "high-performing" schools, including High Tech High in San Diego, Summit Public Schools in the Bay Area and Da Vinci Schools and KIPP LA Schools in Los Angeles.

The service was a collaborative effort. Illuminate Education, which develops student data tools, wrote the software. Summit Public Schools piloted it. And the Alvo Institute, which consults to schools, provided implementation help.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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