Using Tech for Curriculum Planning and Collaboration in 2023
Posted by MAXCases Admin on Jan 4, 2023

As we put 2022 and the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us, it’s a good time to look forward. It’s tradition to make new year’s resolutions, promising ourselves that we will find ways to do better in the future. Many teachers and administrators have the added opportunity to start a fresh semester along with the new year. Whatever your traditions, the start of a new year is a great time to take advantage of new tools, technology and ideas to plan activities, improve peer collaboration, and clean up the way we store our information.

Using technology to plan curriculum

Although we’ve all been using technology in our classrooms for years to engage students, we may not be using technology to its fullest in helping us plan our curricula or activities simply due to the fact that new apps and tools are constantly in development.

Today, many tools can help teachers develop creative eLearning content and interactive lessons, leverage the love of games to boost student engagement, and explore course management to improve organization and collaboration. Here are a few popular digital tools you may want to explore:

Common Curriculum. This tool helps you plan your lessons in one place and organize both assignments and background information. In addition, it promotes collaboration between teachers to expand ideas and share resources as well as helps you meet district standards effortlessly.z
LessonUp. This lesson-creation tool offers an intuitive toolkit and online lesson library that promises to make your lessons more engaging and effective.
Read Write Think. This site pulls together a wealth of resources so that you can access everything from primary sources to poetry lessons in one place.
Additio. This learning management system offers a powerful and flexible assessment tool that allows you to focus on your students while the technology helps you incorporate and manage competencies.

Connecting with peers

The beauty of technology is that it broadens the landscape of education. Not only can we bring our students much more information than ever before, but we can also connect with other teachers within our school, throughout districts, and around the world.

Within our own schools, we can use technology beyond email to foster cross-departmental collaboration as well as video conferencing to boost communication. Hundreds of websites and tools are now available that allow teachers to share creative resources, strategies, and tools with one another. Targeted social media groups can pull together educators of the same caliber and subject-matter area to dive deeper into shared challenges and opportunities.

Finally, technology provides the foundation to give teachers the tools they need to advance their skills, work on professional development goals, and network with other educators around the country and throughout the world. According to Pew Research, “69 percent say the internet has a ‘major impact’ on their ability to share ideas with other teachers.” This may include peer review of lesson plans, sharing classroom activity ideas, or passing along extraordinary resources.

Transforming data into information

One of the biggest challenges that every industry has faced with the rapid acceleration of technology is the effective management of data. Having bits and bytes of student information, grades, curriculum, performance measures, and so forth does not mean you have good information. Schools need to be able to collect, store and transform this vast amount of data into actionable information.

The biggest change must come from the district level. Developing a comprehensive data strategy is the first critical step. Administrators need to determine what data they want to collect, how they can store it securely, and when they will share it with teachers, parents, or others. These policies and decisions as well as the actual infrastructure and technology to be adopted must be the foundation.

Once these decisions are made, the standardization of collection and storage is the next step. Finding the right data model will help ensure that your system will meet the overarching goals of your school or district.

Finally, the appropriate data must be accessible to administrators, teachers, parents, and students in an easy-to-use, intuitive manner. Having the right data at the right time to make decisions in the moment is key.

WestEd, a national educational research and development organization, cited an example from one rural school district where teachers were looking for the root cause of poor behavior and performance in one group of students. Test scores and performance measures didn’t reveal much, but the answer was found in transportation data; the struggling students spent the most time on the school bus. The school worked to modify schedules to shorten students’ commutes and installed Wi-Fi on buses to allow students to complete schoolwork during their commute.

Getting a great start

By exploring the newest or most popular technology that facilitates organization, collaboration and storage, both administrators and teachers can set high yet reasonable goals for 2023. As teachers and administrators, we strive daily to encourage the love of learning in our students. Technology will continue to play a significant role in this overarching mission, not only helping our students learn more and fulfill their potential but also stretching us as teachers and administrators to reach ours.

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