September 13, 2022

Teachers are the greatest consumers of educational content. Not just in recent years with the explosion of digital solutions for the classroom, but for decades, they’ve been masters at sharing, searching, finding, vetting, customizing and implementing resources in their classroom. It’s why every great teacher has their own treasure chest of trusted materials they’ve accumulated over time.

But what else do great teachers know about content that educational publishers often forget? Content is not curriculum, but curriculum needs content

As a former educator and instructionaI designer, I have been a servant to great curriculum for many years. As Co-Founder of Evotext, I work extensively with publishers looking to “get into the digital classroom”. I work to help them understand what that it truly means to design online experiences for teachers and students and turn great content into great curriculum.

The Rhode Island Department of Education defines curriculum as a “standards-based sequence of planned experiences where students practice and achieve proficiency in content and applied learning skills. Curriculum must include the necessary goals, methods, materials and assessments to effectively support instruction and learning.”¹

So, ultimately, curriculum needs to include four components: standards, instruction, assessment and reporting.

Educational publishers tend to focus on instructional materials, often leaving critical parts of the curriculum behind. They’ve created repositories of amazing content without a course of study. A course of study, a curriculum, must address key questions – “what am I learning?”, “am I learning?”, and “what do I learn next?” Without a curriculum to provide a framework, even great content lacks a ‘why’. The same piece of content can be used to teach a multitude of skills but without the goals, methods, and assessment, the lens for viewing the content is either missing or unclear.

Is it fair or right to leave this “content to curriculum” transformation completely up to teachers? Isn’t the point that we “solve” rather than create more work for them? For educational publishers: don’t let the digital development, management and delivery of the four components – standards, instruction, assessment and reporting – get in the way.

 

-Dr. Johanna Wetmore

 

PDF Version: Blog_ContentvCurriculum

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Dr. Johanna Wetmore is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of EvoText, an award-winning educational software development house. Dr. Wetmore is a former classroom teacher, curriculum developer, correlations specialist, K-12 product editor, and print and digital product developer for Pearson and Curriculum Associates (i-Ready).
Johanna holds a Doctorate in Education from Vanderbilt University, an Ed.M. from Boston University and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She was named CEO of the Year – Startup, by the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) and EdTech Digest Leader Setting a Trend.