10/03/2011

Cirriculum mapping

Curriculum mapping is a powerful tool. It is a process of recording everything that is taught and assessed in order to improve instruction in a department. This can take some time, since each person in a given department has his or her own way structuring a class. In biology, for example, one teacher may want to start with chemistry and another prefers evolution. To add to this, there are different ways of scaffolding information and assessing what has been learned.

Google products can make this process more manageable.

In Google docs, all of your assessments from worksheets to tests can be stored and shared securely. By putting these documents online, other teachers can have access to your materials. Students can easily be blocked from seeing them however, making the system both secure and collaborative.

Google calendars increases selective collaboration even more. Here, you can enter the topic you are covering, the standard, performance indicator or essential question the topic covers. You can also attach any document you have in your Google docs account. Here's the really magical part of all this- it is secure!

If you only share your test with faculty members, then students cannot see it. However, any other teachers can take a look at what you're testing and adjust their teaching accordingly.

At the end of the year, when it comes time to map the curriculum, simply search for the standard, performance indicator or essential question. Every date in which the indicator was typed will show up instantly. Click on the date and the details of the entry appear. If you've attached a test or assignment stored in Google docs, you can share the material.

Using this method would not only benefit the department, but individual teachers. They would never have to wonder what they did last October. If they want to know how long they taught osmosis last year,  they just look it up. Which handout went along with that lesson on rain forests? It's attached to the lesson.

Google docs combined with Google calendars is a powerful way to improve education.