The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Nassau County, NY“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.” Felicia Webb, an instructional technology resource teacher, San Jose Unified School District
The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) is an agency developed by the state of New York as a way to better advocate for students and teachers. The BOCES for Nassau County, on the western end of New York’s Long Island, contains 56 school districts, with 300 schools serving a quarter of a million students.
Given the large number of teachers and the wide geographic region covered, Nassau BOCES officials needed a way to connect teachers throughout the schools in all of the districts in the county. Fred Podolski, Executive Director of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, made it clear that their prior approach was inefficient: “Teachers had to drive to my office to copy curricula collections out of binders.” The agency also wanted to leverage a million-dollar, three-year grant they’d been awarded for training American History teachers.”
The Nassau BOCES paid teachers over the summer to write several U.S. History curricula units aligned to state standards. The teachers used Curriki to organize that content and make it accessible and searchable for other county educators. Teachers could work together, regardless of whether they were in different school buildings or districts, to create new content. Instead of material being housed in a central office, it was accessible online for everyone. Once posted, the content could be aligned through Curriki’s correlation engine to New York State’s standards and performance indicators.
Curriki trained teachers in Nassau County to use the website and the content repository tools, and helped to create a Curriki group there educators could meet virtually. The social studies teachers used Curriki to create and organize their instructional materials, and to share teaching best practices. A second cohort of teachers created a Curriki group to discuss advances in educational technology. Podloski explains, “Our technology directors are planning to use Curriki to build content and ‘collegial circles’ (i.e. professional learning communities) in the STEM content areas.”
When the Nassau BOCES educators started working with Curriki, they were pleased to discover that they also had access to materials created by educators around the world! They could find new resources to use in their classrooms, and to inform their own curricula.
Podloski saw the impact of his teachers’ effort spread far beyond Long Island. “What I really love about Curriki is that by contributing content to the site, teachers are both creating good for their classrooms, as well as for the rest of the world. This concept of sharing learning locally and globally is very powerful.”