San Jose Unified School District, San Jose, California“Curriki groups are great for collaboratively building learning resources,” Webb reported. “Our goal is to eventually have our entire district repository of teaching and learning resources in our Curriki group.” –Felicia Webb, an instructional technology resource teacher, San Jose Unified School District
T H E C H A L L E N G E
It seems appropriate that the San Jose Unified School District, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, would have a thorough technology plan in place. District officials work proactively to ensure that their teachers have access to the latest 21st century tools—the teachers ensure that the use of technology enhances student achievement.
The school district has high expectations for their students, holding them to the state’s rigorous graduation requirements and preparing them for college by making certain that all graduating seniors have met the A-G college entrance requirements. At the same time, the district had to adhere to a budget that did not allow for expensive instructional materials.
T H E S O L U T I O N
In 2009, Joshua Marks, Curriki’s Chief Technology Officer, approached Bill Erlendson, the district’s Assistant Superintendent, with the possibility of implementing a pilot program between Curriki and a small group of educators. These teachers would receive hands-on training for all of Curriki’s online tools and access to all of the site’s free resources.
Felicia Webb, an instructional technology resource teacher, was looking for ways to make the most of their technology resources and to provide outstanding instructional technology professional development opportunities for their teachers. Webb learned about Curriki from Erlendson and was interested the pilot. “I thought Curriki would be a meaningful collaboration tool and online environment for the development and sharing of teaching resources and materials across our district.”
T H E R E S U L T S
The district’s pilot with Curriki was conducted with forty-six Technology Leadership teachers from nineteen sites in the San Jose Unified School District. The teachers were introduced to the website and provided with in-person training on the Curriki tools, ultimately creating the San Jose Unified Technology Leadership Forum group. The teachers worked in the group for three months. Their main tasks were uploading their own content and then reviewing the material added by their fellow group members. At the end of three months, the teachers completed a survey about their experiences.
Based on the teachers’ experiences, Webb recommended for the district continue working with Curriki, expanding the number of teachers involved. “Curriki groups are great for collaboratively building learning resources,” Webb reported. “Our goal is to eventually have our entire district repository of teaching and learning resources in our Curriki group.”
Work between Curriki and San Jose Unified School District is ongoing; San Jose teachers have worked together on free, open online textbooks and accessed district-wide curriculum through Curriki groups. The district is currently using Curriki to share teacher best practices for their student analytics initiative.