Thursday 05 October 2006 (09:49AM)
By creating the curriculum that we teach we choose the sort of society that we want.
This is true in three ways:
- In creating the content of a curriculum we are capturing our society's culture, values, knowledge and traditions so that they can be passed on to others.
- The means of sharing a curriculum reflects how our society engages with its citizens.
- The process by which we choose to define a curriculum is itself a reflection of our society's values.
TeacherTool.org is a means of collaborating in the creation and sharing of an open and evolving curriculum.
This is how it works:
- The content and curriculum found on TeacherTool.org is created and edited entirely by its registered users.
- Anyone can become a registered user. It is free and takes only two minutes. The only requirement is a valid email address. Registration is required so everyone can see who has contributed to TeacherTool.org. TeacherTool.org only uses email addresses to confirm user registration and to provide administrative information (such as password reminders).
- Everybody (including non-registered users) is free to download and use the curriculum contained within TeacherTool.org.
- All the content found within TeacherTool.org is made available under a creative commons licence.
- TeacherTool.org's curriculum consists of units that contain lessons, assessments and resources.
- Units encompass a particular aspect of the curriculum and contain a brief description with aims and objectives, the prerequisites for embarking on the unit and an indication of the target audience.
- Lessons describe the various learning interactions / activities involved in the unit.
- Assessments define how to measure students' progress against the unit's aims and objectives.
- Resources are either multimedia (audio, video or images), electronic versions of printed material (such as PDF or Word documents) or links to a resource elsewhere on the Internet (such as software to download, an article on another website or even a link to a book on a site such as Amazon, music file on iTunes or video on YouTube).
- Creating, editing and accessing the curriculum is done entirely through the TeacherTool.org website (www.teachertool.org).
- So that users can find what they need, the curriculum is organised by its users with a simple yet powerful tagging system.
- TeacherTool.org includes commenting, feedback, request-for-help and friends-list tools to engage individual users with the wider TeacherTool.org community.
- Users can "clone" existing units and modify them to create a bespoke unit just for themselves.
The source code for TeacherTool.org is freely available under an open-source licence and includes instructions for modifying the code and running a collaborative curriculum planning site of your own.