Over the past five years, the movement to provide high quality educational resources for free over the Internet has burgeoned. The list of projects is long, impressive, and growing rapidly. In its report, for example, the OECD identified more than 3,000 open courseware courses available from over 300 universities worldwide (Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), 2007). The open education movement, however, has been primarily situated in higher education. Curriki, an online community for creating and sharing open source curricula, aims to provide high quality K-12 curriculum for free worldwide.
Free, Libre, Open Source Software (FLOSS) refers to any software distributed under a licence that allows users to change or share the software source code. The three most important characteristics of FLOSS are that: it allows free (unrestricted) redistribution; the source code is available at minimal cost; derived works may be redistributed under similar non-restrictive terms.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Apple present a white paper on literacy and learning in a new media age. Authored by Jeanne Wellings and Michael H. Levine, this paper describes how investment in technology tools, network access, professional development, and new personalized curricula can help schools address each of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) four reform goals and simultaneously modernize to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Innovative examples and related resources are offered on how technology can be used to promote literacy and to engage struggling learner.
Curriki is a wiki-based website that enables users to create, remix, and share open educational resources. This case study seeks to understand the behaviors of Curriki users, and to identify ways to facilitate and support sustained user engagement. Through interviews with the Curriki management team, analysis of internal documents, observations of internal user data collection practices, and a survey and interviews with Curriki users, the Curriki case study explores use patterns and user perceptions of the site, its resources and tools. The study found that many users visit Curriki to develop new ideas for lessons, but that most do not create, remix or share content through the Curriki site. The study identified a need to support users that might lack the knowledge or supports to create and remix content. Furthermore, the study describes how understanding the social and institutional context of OER use can inform the design of OER communities that support a wide range of users
This research synthesis examines how teacher effectiveness is measured. A comprehensive definition of the components and indicators that characterize effective teachers is provided, extending this definition beyond teachers' contribution to student achievement gains to include how teachers impact classrooms, schools, and their colleagues as well as how they contribute to other important outcomes for students.
A central goal of most professional development in Earth science is to help teachers prepare their students to develop a deep understanding of subject matter. In this article, we describe an approach that accomplishes this goal by preparing teachers to use a principled approach to adapting high-quality curriculum materials for middle-school Earth science units. This approach integrates training in how to use AGI’s Investigating Earth Systems curriculum with TERC’s Earth Science by Design program to help teachers become better designers of curriculum. Evidence from a randomized controlled trial indicates the approach is effective in improving the quality of teachers’ assignments and in improving student achievement. From district staff’s point of view, the program is effective because it prepares teachers to become critical consumers of curriculum materials.