Here is a list of the features I want/need in whatever curriculum sharing tool with use:
- Web-based utilizing standards-compliant, semantic markup
- Extensive use of RSS to allow teachers to subscribe to various grade levels or subjects
- Ability to link to state and national standards as well as whatever local standards we’d like to include
- Comments enabled on lesson so teachers can leave additional information about how the materials worked for them or suggestions for improvements
- Hooks to plug into whatever intranet portal technology we choose
Is that so much to ask?
This tool has to get used. Creating yet another Web site that goes unvisited is unacceptable. To that end I think it’s crucial that the system support not only browsing and searching for materials, but notifications too. We know our curriculum, we know when it’s taught, and we know who teaches it. Wouldn’t it be cool if the system could send an email like this:
Dear Tim, You must be thinking about your upcoming unit on the water cycle right about now. Perhaps you'd be interested in one of the following lesson plans that have been posted since the last time you taught this unit.
At the end of the message would be a list of hyperlinks to complete lessons available in the system including rubrics, printable instruction sheets, and whatever else is necessary to teach the lesson. I think a system like this would get used a lot.