TeachShareBritish Columbia's New Curriculum Platform
TeachShare is a mobile application to establish a curated centralized repository of educational resources that specifically address the pedagogical requirements of the new K-12 curriculum in BC, Canada.
TeachShare helps providing the tools to easily create content that is relevant, and that can be easily adapted and reused. It also offer socially driven mechanisms for evaluation, feedback provisioning, and ranking for shared resources.
- Web design
- UI / UX
- Website development
- Mobile App development
- Brand identity
Within the last five years, the province of British Columbia has rolled out a new and enhanced curriculum for the Kindergarten-Grade 12 public education system. The new K-12 curriculum in BC is more than a minor revamp of past curricula. The traditional highly prescriptive focus on content and lower order skills has been replaced with a more open-ended approach, centered around higher order skills reflected by three core competencies (Communication, Thinking, Personal / Social).
A series of informal interviews with Kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers was conducted. The most common answers revolved around a high demand on the teacher’s time. Between tracking performance and grading student work, attending school meetings with administrators and peers, holding parent conferences, and participating in professional development workshops, the time for actual lesson planning is limited.
Teachers are not required to cover all content items listed in the curriculum but prioritize the imperative topics based on students’ interests and to the unique context of each class. When it comes to assessing how to structure the learning and what activities to incorporate into the lesson, teachers rely on online resources. Websites like YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter, where teachers often follow other educators who share their resources. Free content is essential to teachers so they can contain personal spending costs.
Upon accessing the appropriate resources, teachers must then filter through the content to find activities that inspire creative problem solving, open-ended exploration, collaboration, introspection, and inter-disciplinary connections. However, given the new curricular demands, teachers are having difficulty coming up with effective activities and evaluation strategies. A considerable amount of time gets wasted in trying to identify the correct resources for the teacher’s needs.
Lastly, the lesson planning gets further complicated by the integration of educational technology. Although unlimited amounts of education technology solutions exist, these solutions remain scattered in the form of educational apps, each with their own limitations, affordances, and unique uses. This also adds to the list of things teachers must keep up to date with.
- Establish a curated centralized repository of educational resources that specifically address the pedagogical requirements of the new K-12 curriculum in BC (addresses Challenges 1 and 3)
- Provide the tools to easily create content that is relevant, and that can be easily adapted and reused (addresses Challenges 1 and 2)
- Streamline resources using pre-defined templates with predictable structure and effective visual design, to move away from text-heavy content that is hard to understand, adapt, and implement (addresses Challenge 3)
- Organize resources using effective taxonomies and create a robust search system that makes resources easy to retrieve and integrate in custom lesson plans (addresses Challenge 3)
- Offer socially driven mechanisms for evaluation, feedback provisioning, and ranking for shared resources (addresses Challenges 3 and 4)
- Provide means for private and public resource sharing and collaboration (addresses Challenge 4)
Next-generation learning-sharing platform
The application will help solve the main problems teachers are currently experiencing, which is the integration of the new curriculum requirements into their individual lesson plans.
The value that “teachShare” hopes to bring is simply a convenience to teachers and providing them with more time in their personal schedules. By doing this we will have developed an application that bridges the gap between teachers and high quality, appropriate educational content, and connections.
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