Meeting the Challenge of Reopening Schools – Fall 2020
Deeply-Digital Curricula Provided by the
UMich Center for Digital Curricula Enables Seamless Learning
COVID-19 has taught K-12 that “learning at school and learning at home” must be seamless. Using digital curricula can make learning continuous and seamless, regardless of location. Providing** just such deeply-digital curricula to K-12 is the University of Michigan Center for Digital Curricula’s mission. To that end, then, on these web pages you will find high-quality, deeply-digital, standards-aligned curricula that supports a range of instructional strategies, e.g., from inquiry to teacher-led, from solo work to collaborative work. (See pictures of classrooms where those – and other – strategies are being employed.)
The UMich.CDC creates its deeply-digital curricula – Roadmaps – using the Collabrify Roadmap Platform. (Click here for a table of the curricula we currently offer.) As Collabrify is browser- based, Roadmaps are device-independent (e.g., Roadmaps run on iPads, Chromebooks, Fire tablets, laptops, etc.). Roadmaps are graphical lessons containing sequenced (links) learning activities (nodes). It’s easy for students to know where they start, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. Each student has a Roadmap lesson on her/his computing device. Students can easily work together, synchronously, on a Roadmap; students can also talk, through the computer, to their classmates and/or the teacher.
**Updated 9/24/20: Effectively immediately, the Center needs to adopt a new policy. The Center for Digital Curricula can provide the Roadmaps for the K-5 curricula at no charge. However, there is a small cost for using the Roadmaps that we are asking schools to cover. Let us explain: Roadmaps use the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for storage and for computation. Google charges the Center for the use of the GCP’s resources. We are estimating that it will cost $1/month/student to cover the costs of using the GCP’s resources.
I sincerely apologize to my education colleagues. I fully intended that the Center provide all the resources free of charge. I should have investigated the GCP issues fully before I used the word “free.” To make the situation right, I will work with districts and teachers to try to make sure that your use of Roadmaps will not be interrupted. – Elliot Soloway
An Example of a Roadmaps Science Lesson
The UMich.CDC is making whole-year, deeply-digital curricula available under a Create Commons license: “CC BY-NC-SA, Credit must be given to the creator, only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted, adaptations must be shared under the same terms.” Indeed, we encourage teachers use Collabrify to easily localize, individualize, personalize the curricular Roadmaps to better meet the needs of their students.
For those new to Collabrify and Roadmaps, we suggest you visit the Getting Started tab in the drop-down menu under the Curricula tab. For more assistance, the UMich.CDC offers webinars to help K-12 educators use its deeply-digital curricula effectively. Please check out the Events and Professional Development tabs for more details on those webinars.
Check out how children are using Roadmaps in the classroom!