Intermediate School Curriculum Online, Available to All
Online curriculum management tools are the way of the future for the Wall school district.
With everything in modern times seemingly setting up shop in the online world, it is perhaps no surprise that schools across the country have begun to store teacher lesson plans, activities, test tools and curriculum maps online, as well. Wall Township is no exception.
A presentation given at the district Board of Education on Tuesday, Nov. 20 explained to the public what curriculum mapping is, and more importantly, how Wall Township is using it to create a better teaching and learning environment for its public schools.
"It allows for collaborating— teachers to author, edit and review together curriculum maps," said Humanities Curriculum Assistant Roxann Bryant, who also said that Wall teachers can work with colleagues in other districts, as well. "The old way of housing curriculum was a stack of binders, maybe in the central office where no one really took the time to go over and look through them."
Curriculum mapping, which was first brought to the district three years ago, is the relatively new concept of reviewing curricula plans as they are entered into an electronic database at a school. Feedback on curriculum is therefore faster, and teachers and administrators can make sure that the same standards are being covered in different classrooms.
In contrast to the traditional curriculum and lesson plans that are created and submitted well before being actually taught in classrooms, this method has teachers enter what is actually taught in real-time during the school year. Their entries are displayed through an online program — in Wall's case, Rubicon Atlas — where school personnel and even parents can view it.
When curriculum mapping works as it should, everyone knows what is happening when it is happening as opposed to just knowing what is supposed to happen.
Although curriculum mapping began three years ago at the high school, the Rubicon Atlas program was not used until two years ago. This is the first year that the intermediate school has used the program, and teachers began uploading lesson plans at the end of the summer. No password or login is needed to access the uploaded curricula, which is meant to make it easier for parents to see what their children are learning.
According to district Curriculum Director MaryJane Garibay, the plan is to eventually bring it to rest of the district's schools, as well.
"Curriculum mapping never stops," said Garibay. "All curriculum is a work in progress, and as we look to evaluate resources every five years, teachers in this district are talking about construction. They're talking about materials. They're talking about assessments, and [Rubicon Atlas] is definitely playing a large part in that."