I’m really concerned about the chasm that exists in most K-12 districts between the ed tech folks and curriculum & instruction. Of course, this has always been a problem and is probably why technology has never reached its potential in enhancing learning.

Now, the problems are becoming evident to me in a new way as I’m working on a few open ed projects. One in particular involves open textbooks. I’m facilitating a feasibility study into open licensing a K-12 basal textbook series in one or more core subject areas.

A big part of the project will be to work on the demand side — identifying states, districts, and schools who are enthusiastic about using open textbooks. In thinking about this and beginning to talk to folks, I can easily identify many people who are excited about the idea. They are all in ed tech, though, and I fear that having this under the “ed tech” banner might be the kiss of death. Unfortunately, most curriculum & instruction people I know don’t know what “open” is or why it would be useful.

My own interest in open ed came not out of technology, but out of a real classroom need. In differentiating instruction, I have found it essential to be able to remix content to meet different learner needs. However, with traditional copyrighted content, remixing is a) technically difficult (because of format issues) and b) generally involves breaking copyright law.

This should be an easy-to-understand and compelling argument for open content.

Know any  K-12 instructional leadership teams (not ed tech) who would be interested?

Chasm between ed tech and curriculum & instruction

5 thoughts on “Chasm between ed tech and curriculum & instruction

  • September 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Karen, I wish you had delved a bit more deeply into this topic. It is a good one to begin a conversation with, but you ended up just sounding whiny.

    The larger question is: “Why doesn’t curriculum embrace technology as an instructional tool.”

    If you would have gone in that direction, the article would have been so much more meaningful. I will followup on my site however, because you DID inspire me to write a piece for my site.


  • September 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Whiny? Really? I didn’t feel whiny. It just is the way it is.

    Lately, I’ve been talking and working more with c&i groups and have found that to be more beneficial than more “preaching to the choir.”

    Still, the split is so ingrained in most districts.

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  • October 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I am going to follow up on the question mentioned up above on … “Why doesn’t curriculum embrace technology as an instructional tool.”
    I think that technology definitely is an instructional tool and a curriculum SHOULD embrace it due to the fact that different technology is so helpful in everyday use at schools for students and teachers.
    Not only are computers essential for students to learn how to operate and use programs on it but, little things like calculators for math class or instructional videos on a television for a specific class (Science classes in middle school are all about those).
    I just think that if schools didn’t have technology, or their curriculum did not consist of it then students would not know or be learning as much as they could compared to having it. I feel that learning without technology is just, dry, in some aspects. Technology in curriculum makes learning not only more fun for students but it gets their attention a lot easier and gives them good views on the subjects the tech would be based upon.

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