Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If I were in charge of curriculum or edtech, I would...

by David Andrade,

Monday, Teach Paperless had a blog post asking readers to finish the statement, "If I were an administrator, I would...". 

I replied with "encourage teacher collaboration, support teachers in every way possible, encourage projects and team work, visit classrooms and talk to students, work WITH the faculty, parents and students to make the school the best it could be."

I wanted to expand on this idea and list what I would do if I were in charge of curriculum or educational technology for my district.

1. Implement Project Based Learning throughout the curriculum and in every grade. I would also want it to be interdisciplinary. 

2. Change the curriculum to be more in depth, and less breadth of topics (complaint of colleges). I would still have to make sure students are prepped for standardized testing (unfortunately), but I would look at better ways of having students learn and be able to do well on a test without resorting to teaching to the test.

3. Make sure the curriculum applies what students are learning to the real world. They won't remember a lot of facts and details, but if things apply to real life, it can make them better consumers and better citizens (by being knowledgeable). 

4. The curriculum should emphasize discovery, inquiry, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving, not remembering tons of facts. 

5. Ala Carte Professional Development for teachers - let them pick and decide what they need and want for training and support them throughout the year. 

6. Research, find, implement, and support new technologies that can improve teaching and learning. Find free (or cheaper) resources to replace paid or more expensive resources. (Ex. Google Apps for Education and Open Office instead of Microsoft).

7. Provide year-round support to teachers who are using and implementing technology resources. Make sure that they have both technical support and integration support. Ask teachers what they need or want for resources and help them find it. 

This is my short list of what I would want to do as an administrator. What would you do if you were in charge of curriculum or educational technology for your district? (and if you are in charge, what you do?)


  1. I'd make sure teachers had more freedom in terms of curriculum. In many schools today they are expected to "stay on track" or "keep up" with other teachers who teach the same class.

    Why can't we have teachers "advertise" and teach with lenses for their curriculum? In college I took courses like biology and US history, but rather than trying blanket coverage they instead had focuses (human evolution and women's history). We may interest more students and be able to explore issues more in depth while also allowing teachers to play to their own interests, creating greater connections for our students.

  2. I would definitely immediately implement #5! We waste so much time in "professional development" being directed how to differentiate for our students...but no one differentiates for US!


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