This article was published on the EdTechTeam Blog here:
Wouldn’t it be great to create a flexible, collaborative and free Curriculum Mapping solution for unit planning and horizontal and vertical articulations using G Suite? It’s now possible! Richard Anderson and I have been working on this project for about 2 years now and have created a Google+ Community to share tutorials on how to integrate various G Suite Apps, Add-ons and Scripts to make this possible. In this community, we share all the steps through a Google Drawing Infographic with YouTube Video tutorials and interact regularly with a diverse community of over 700 members.
Wait a minute! What’s the point of developing your own platform with G Suite? If you already use G Suite in your school, this makes a lot of sense! Here are some of the advantages.
It’s economical: First of all, it’s free and open-source. No need to buy an expensive product!
It’s integrated: This system will integrate perfectly with G Suite. Therefore, there is no need to login to another platform. It’s also easy for teachers who are already familiar with Google and promotes a vision of flexibility (you can customize your system) and collaboration, the main features that google users want to keep. It even pushes the G Suite apps further by using third party add-ons and a few simple scripts that power up your curriculum.
It models best pedagogical practices: Our system encourages a culture of trust and transparency where teachers share their curriculum and collaborate with one another. It fosters a positive atmosphere where teachers publish their work online (in a private, semi-private or public way) and become authors, where they welcome constructive feedback by everyone and collaborate in real time with peers. Teachers can also take more ownership because they have more control over their work and see its value to others.
It’s also advantageous to have auto saves and full version histories. This is a simple yet important feature, especially for teachers who are not tech-savvy and have had traumatic experiences with curriculum mapping.
Building your curriculum on our platform enables both horizontal and vertical articulation and allows the integration of timelines to visualise which units are taking place in time and how to better collaborate with various subject groups.
Also think about a clear navigation from Google Site and from your Google Drive.
Searching is easy and elaborate with awesome tables
It embodies a “tinkering mindset”: Creating your own curriculum follow the DIY culture. It creates a stronger sense of ownership, a satisfying feeling of creativity, making and tinkering. It makes you model what you preach in the 21st century classroom: a culture that promotes the 4 Cs and the Design Cycle. Moreover, you are welcome to share your iterations in the Google+ Community of Curriculum Mappers and help others improve their own system.
It’s easy for the end-user and the administrator(s): As we said before, the teachers who are already using G Suite finds this system very handy and straightforward, can work from anywhere and do not worry about loosing their work. It’s also important to know that for the administrator (or teacher) who is in charge of maintaining the platform, there is a very low admin maintenance because teachers have more ownership and because of the G Suite integration.
So, what are you waiting for? We will soon develop a MOOC to further support our members. Join us in revolutionising curriculum mapping with G Suite!
About my collaborator:
Richard Anderson | @techatwis is the Director of Information Services at Washington International School in Washington DC. For nearly two years, he has been implementing this curriculum mapping in the Middle and Upper Schools using Google Apps which reinvigorated conversations about pedagogy, teaching for understanding and spawned self-driven learning groups around curriculum mapping.
Both of us have been collaborating online and offline for a year to extend the powers of the G Suite for Education and solve challenges associated with Curriculum Mapping.