A Complete How-To for Creating Curriculum Sites and Student Portfolios using Google's Tools!Note: at this time Google is currently switching from Google Docs to Google Drive. We will update this site as soon as the switch is complete.
A methodology for creating and organizing online student portfolios and curriculum sharing sites throughout an entire school. No need to spend money as Google provides everything schools need to undertake such a project and move your school into a truly 21st Century teaching model. Use the resources on this site and learn how to do this yourself!
The initial introduction to Web 2.0 technologies has passed and it has become part of our culture. Up-to-date educators have leveraged this technology incorporating it into classrooms. Cutting edge teachers have students blogging, podcasting, tweeting and utilizing these tools in growing numbers. Such teachers already exist at your school. The next challenge is to expand this 21st Century teaching and learning beyond the single classroom in order to build a school-wide culture that embraces and incorporates various technologies in a systemic and dynamic manner. How might such widespread technology integration be rolled out in an organized, engaging and all-encompassing manner? The Skyline model presents a straightforward, accessible, easy-to-replicate possible answer.
Additionally, the new paradigm for technology is that it is not relevant unless it seamlessly integrates with many other forms of technology; Calendars need to automatically sync with computers, phones, websites; Televisions need to work with the Internet, Blue Ray players, Netflix, iTunes, AppleTV, Roku, and computers; Cameras need to automatically upload pictures to Flickr, Facebook, Picassa. Hardware and/or software isn’t deemed useful anymore unless it can seamlessly intertwine with and compliment technologies that are already in place. The days of technology equating to stand alone devices is over... The same is true about education.
The curriculum we write needs to be shared with other teachers in the same discipline, integrate into other disciplines, be relevant to the students and not stop at the end of a unit. The efficacy of the teaching and learning in the classroom must be analyzed and continually refined to ensure all students are mastering the content, understanding the big ideas and synthesizing the main components... effective curriculum carries beyond the classroom door and technology can assist us with organizing a potentially overwhelming undertaking.
To do so, Skyline High School utilizes a variety of the Google Tool set to plow the landscape and plant the necessary seeds for a garden bed of technology integration school-wide. Skyline’s process focuses on utilizing Google Docs and Sites as the initial seeds in a garden with limitless possibilities. Every Skyline student (current enrollment 1200+) has an online portfolio of work, and each core curricular area is building online shared curricular websites. Each of these projects began as seedlings and grew into school-wide standard practices. They have created a hot bed of technology integration, accessible to every teacher and student, that continues to grow, expand and improve teaching and learning. Numerous school-wide practices have been influenced and improved using these simple tools and have become systemic.
Familiarize yourself with linking Google Docs with Google Sites and sharing the site with others. Refer to the How To (Tutorials) section of this website. The very general overview is using Google Sites as an annotated table of contents to your Google Docs and other projects.
The next step consists of two parts that we recommend implementing both parts, however, part A or part B work just fine as stand alone units.
Part A: Convince one core-curriculum Department Head to integrate online portfolios into every course in the department. The best way to roll this out is to begin with a required 9th grade course so in 4 years, every student in the school will be able to demonstrate mastery in using online resources to share and collaborate on information.
Part B: Convince one core-curriculum Department Head to make the transition to online shared curriculum sites with one course. This model works especially well for developing new courses, but is so useful that the value in transitioning the curriculum from an existing course is quickly apparent. This system becomes exponentially more valuable if your school uses a common curriculum.
The next step involves rolling these systems out to the staff and students. Research shows that new methods of technology integration work best when the staff models, in their own professional life, the same processes the students are to use. Which is one of the reasons we recommend integrating both the Portfolio & Curriculum Site Integration at the same time. This process will ensure that every student in the school will have a transferable set of 21st Century skills that can be exploited in every curriculum area.
The handouts and how-to videos on this website will help facilitate your implementation of this project. Visit the Help Forum with any questions. Best of luck!