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ICYMI: Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay.

ICYMI: Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay.

In the last weekend of January, educators and proponents of digital curriculum gathered to discuss its impact on schools. The day was filled with courses on how to make the most of digital curriculum. There were also sessions to help attendees research options for their classrooms. 

Our new curriculum partners, Fishtank Learning and Kendall Hunt, joined us to talk about their curricula offerings. This forum gave them a chance to explore how a digital option would extend their reach to students. Concurrently, real educators using Kiddom showed the audience how to do amazing things, like collaborate with teachers on curriculum planning, contextualize curriculum for personalized learning, and use data to provide targeted support to every learner. 

In case you missed it, check out the top five takeaways and the presentations with the links below.

Morning Talk Show: Why Digital, Why Now?

Top 5 Takeaways from 'Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay.

  1. There’s a new stomping ground in teaching and learning—where both autonomy AND structure can reside.

In a session led by instructional coach Elizabeth Anderson, attendees of ‘Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay’ found out how teachers in Rutherford County, TN were using Kiddom to collaborate on curriculum planning. Anderson showed the audience how curriculum planning used to look: a siloed Excel spreadsheet that pointed to an arsenal of paper artifacts that teachers would have to juggle. This was a Herculean feat during ‘normal’ learning circumstances, and a huge inconvenience for nimble distance learning.

With the curriculum built out in Kiddom, teachers at Rutherford County, TN can now easily assign homework and assessments to students from the same tool they use to keep an eye on the pace of curriculum and instruction. Interventionists can view the standards attached to each lesson and unit, and explore the assignments that assess each standard. And with the ‘Edit’ curriculum button in Kiddom, teachers can make tweaks to suit the needs of their learners without affecting the master copy of curriculum that was distributed to their team. Digital curriculum provides teachers with the structure of a paper-bound collection of teaching materials, with the ability to edit on the go. 

How to Collaborate with Teachers in Kiddom

2. Digital curriculum allows teachers to meet every learner at their level. 

For years, buzzwords in the education industry like ‘differentiation’ and ‘personalized instruction’ have worn out teachers who weren’t looking for another way to say ‘good teaching.’ This year was no different, as the shift to distance learning further illuminated the ways in which our learners differ from one another, by allowing students to move at their own pace. 

But when standards-aligned digital curriculum is housed in the same place as data and assessment, these buzzwords gain depth. Not only does differentiated instruction become possible with the click of a button, you can also see where intervention took place with a timeline of data that measures the growth of each student in every standard. 

Kiddom provides in-depth standards mastery data as well as an overview of which assignments were tied to each standard. Teachers can easily find out which standards students are struggling with and, with the help of the Kiddom Content Library, assign targeted support before reaching the end-of-unit assessments. Differentiated instruction takes on a new meaning when teachers and students are backed by a capable platform that is attuned to the needs of every learner. 

 

How to Leverage Data to Personalize Instruction

3. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Most digital curricula are considered open educational resources (OER), meaning that they are either in the public domain or openly licensed. This allows educators to engage in the 5R activities with OER curriculum: retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing, which spells out more flexibility in the classroom. 

When teachers can modify and adapt OER curriculum, it opens up opportunities to personalize learning and increase cultural relevance for students. The ability to edit also makes for a smoother transition to hybrid and remote instructional models, as teachers can edit questions that call for students to discuss something in groups, says OER researcher Jennifer Wolfe. 

In the Kiddom platform, these modifications are possible but not always necessary. With the group chat feature, students can discuss a topic in groups where the teacher has visibility over all communication within the group. That leads to our next point:

 

 

 

4. Online learning can create more connection points with students, not less. 

How to Edit Curriculum in Kiddom

One of the most prominent grievances against distance learning is that it removes the face-to-face interactions between students and teachers and among students alone. But when leveraged to its full potential, a digital tool like Kiddom can create more opportunities for students to interact with the material and explain how they interpret it. 

Kiddom allows teachers to set different response types for a question: multiple choice, open-ended, short answer, as well as video and audio responses. Using these last two options, teachers can challenge students to explain their thought process on a math question, or allow them to answer a discussion question without an audience. Not only does this create more entry points for students to engage with instructional materials, it also strengthens digital literacy skills while allowing students to move at their own pace.  

 

5. There are positive stories about students going digital—we need to hear more of them. 

The overnight shift to online instruction was far from ideal, as it left teachers feeling unsupported, administrators under pressure, and families feeling overwhelmed. If you were to go based off of the news alone, it would seem that the bright teachers and students of our nation never got beyond that initial shock. 

Since last March, we have been inundated with negative press about distance learning. But where digital curriculum is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury, we need to elevate the stories of students thriving on digital platforms rather than highlighting the initial missteps in connectivity and video chat. 

To ignore the progress and discoveries made by students and teachers on virtual learning would be like writing off the past year entirely. But there are spaces, such as the Kiddom event ‘Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay,’ that welcome these stories of success. “By far and large, I would actually say that the students hit a home run with virtual this year. I was pleased, they were pleased—they knew what was expected of them,” says Dr. Amy Whitener, a 5th grade ELA teacher in Chattanooga, TN. Digital learning has opened a new arena for students to impress (and even surpass) their teachers.

EL Education K-8 Language Arts <> Kiddom

Fishtank Learning <> Kiddom

IM-Certified Digital Curriculum through Kendall Hunt

Closing Remarks

These times have demanded a lot out of teachers and school leaders. All in all, the event program made one thing clear: there is no time like the present to consider a high quality, digital curriculum. We know that our ability to adapt to the crises of today will impact the leaders of tomorrow. So what better way to prepare students for the world being left to them than by encouraging autonomy and strengthening digital skills? All that, and more, is possible with Kiddom.

We hope you enjoy this free professional learning content. Should any questions arise as you are viewing this playlist, feel free to reach out to us using the button below. 

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, while teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading...

ICYMI: Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay.

Sign Up Now: Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay.

Last winter, we surveyed nearly 450 educators on their transition to digital curriculum. Shortly after the results came in, digital curriculum became more of a necessity than an option: the COVID-19 outbreak caused schools across the country to shut down. 

Since then, schools everywhere have had to pivot from traditional learning to distanced scenarios. In order to remain effective and mobile, administrators have had to decide which artifacts of traditional instruction they should keep, which they should update, and which they should throw away. 

Traditionally, curriculum has lived in paper files or cloud drives, making it accessible to future teachers and learners, but not adaptable. At its best, a digital curriculum allows you to edit and contextualize instruction based on student performance, cultural relevance, or personal teaching and learning styles. And with the ability to plan and distribute curriculum alongside assessment data, going digital opens up a world of possibilities not previously thought possible with print curricula.

If or when school goes back to “normal,” will digital curriculum become a mainstay? We think yes. That’s why we’re excited to announce a forthcoming online event from Kiddom: Digital Curriculum is Here to Stay

On Saturday, January 30th, join us for a virtual summit on digital curriculum. As part of this free event, you will be able to connect with educators that have already made the transition to digital curriculum, and learn from digital curriculum thought leaders. You will also be able to preview curricula for different subjects and hear from educators that are using them in the classroom. 

We’ll kick off the morning with a talk show session between two digital curriculum educators and our very own CAO. Then, we’ll have a meet and greet session for all attendees to get to know one another, and discuss trends in digital curriculum across the nation. 

For sessions 3-5, you can choose either the Curriculum Track, which introduces you to different digital curriculum providers available in Kiddom, or the Platform Track, which is full of tutorials for making the most of Kiddom. Lastly, at 2pm ET, we’ll come back together for a brief word from a digital curriculum thought leader. You don’t want to miss it!

At a typical Kiddom school, hands are in the air, there’s a buzz in the room, and teachers and students are energized. Kiddom was designed to help improve teacher retention and increase student performance and graduation rates.

For the first time, the most important parts of teaching and learning are connected and simplified in Kiddom. Curriculum lives in one place and is easily measured and refined, instruction is personalized to meet the needs of each student, and data serves as a powerful system of support for every member of the learning community to keep students on track.

What People Are Saying

“Kiddom is great for assessing data and then assigning appropriate work based on individual student performance. I love that it's very easy to attach standards and rubric to every assignment.”

Jackie Curts, Middle School Teacher

“Using Kiddom has made me stop and ask, ‘Am I just letting this student repeat what they already know, or am I really challenging them?’”

Ann Leghorn, High School Literacy Specialist

“I can see where my class and any student is at any moment in their educational journey. This way, I can take action to assist them to work towards mastery.”

Mr. Albrecht, High School Teacher

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Announcing Kiddom Classroom Weekly Orientation!

Announcing Kiddom Classroom Weekly Orientation!

At Kiddom, we strive to make products that will connect teachers and learners, and help deliver as many aha! moments as possible. The result? Kiddom has so much to offer that it’s hard to keep track of it all. 

With free curricular resources, instructional tools, assessment data, and a communication suite, our free Classroom app for teachers has what it takes to improve and streamline the process of learning—but only if teachers know how to use it.

When you sign up for Kiddom, you may notice a series of emails welcoming you to the product. In this sequence, over the course of a few months, you’ll learn how to do everything from assigning work to sharing reports and data. But what if you want to get off the ground a little quicker? After all, we’re in the middle of the school year.

Introducing: Kiddom Classroom Orientation!

We’re excited to announce that, starting next month, we’ll be offering a free webinar walkthrough of Kiddom Classroom every week. Each Wednesday, members of our School Partnerships and Customer Success teams will host a session that covers the basics of how to use our free platform for teachers and students. Learn directly from experts on Kiddom Classroom, and bring them your questions on the ins and outs of our app. 

These sessions will begin on Wednesday, January 13 and alternate between 4pm Eastern and 4pm Pacific time. Click here to register! Bring your questions and concerns, and prepare for many aha! Moments, which you can then bring back to your students. Hope to see you there!

Vivi Hyacinthe

Vivi Hyacinthe

Marketing Specialist

A lifelong learner, primarily through storytelling. 

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How can administrators support teachers operating in a hybrid or distance learning environment? This webinar uncovers ways to use Kiddom data to inform remediation and enrichment. Check out our previous webinar recaps below:

Without classroom visits and in-person interactions with teachers and students, administrators have struggled to gain visibility in the classroom. At Kiddom, we want to help you work smarter, not harder, with in-depth data views at the school, classroom, and student levels. 

This webinar functions as a part 2 from the week prior on using Kiddom data as an instructional coach. This time around, you will hear from Kiddom Chief Academic Officer Abbas Manjee and Opportunity Academy Principal Geoff Schmidt on a tiered approach to intervention for students and teachers. Then, you will learn how to use Kiddom data as a school leader to support a response-to-intervention (RTI) framework. Let’s begin!

Response to Intervention: What’s at Stake?

To start off, Abbas asked Geoff to summarize the struggle that administrators are facing in this unprecedented era of distance learning. Geoff returned to a metaphor that you may have heard or read about in last week’s webinar: “you’re the pilot, and you have these levers that you need to pull for different purposes to keep the plane steady.” Traditionally, administrators knew what levers they were working with: classroom observations, feedback, team collaboration, and traditional coaching sessions. This year, not many of those tools are still possible.

As a school leader, Geoff has to now rely on having the right data system in place. “Kiddom has certainly become that for us.” 

Find out how he has reimagined tiered intervention in the clip below.

Next, Abbas gave a quick overview of Kiddom’s mission: “we fundamentally believe that curriculum, instruction, and assessment needs to be embedded all in one place in order for educators and administrators to make sense of the data and make meaningful strides toward intervention for students.” 

Abbas and Geoff then kicked off a conversation on the benefits of having curriculum, instruction, assessment—and now, communication—all in one place. Listen in below:

The 3 Tiers of Intervention

Next, Abbas and Geoff launched a discussion of the 3 tiers in the response-to intervention framework:

Tier 1 is the “balcony view” across schools or classrooms. In this phase, you’re looking at the data to pull out big trends in assessment, instruction, or curriculum— “what’s working, and is it working for all my students?” Tier 1 interventions are leadership-driven, not yet involving teachers. 

Tier 2 contains small group, targeted interventions: “this is a place where your resource bank comes in handy.” If you notice a trend in a specific standard, you can find aligned resources that will help. Ideally, teachers are identifying small groups of students that need support, but not every school has this data in place.

Tier 3 interventions are where you’re “getting granular.” In this phase, school leaders are identifying opportunities for collaboration between teachers, or between a teacher and a specialist, in order to benefit a specific student. Said student may be on an individualized education plan (IEP).

Learn about the 3 tiers in more detail in the clip below:

Kiddom Academy Data Views

Finally, it’s time to look into the Kiddom platform and see how our data views bring these 3 tiers to life! 

Starting with the School Overview dashboard, Geoff talked through his thought process and what he looks for during a tier 1 intervention. “You’re looking for trends that are a tell to what the big picture challenges are in a school.”

In this balcony view of the whole school, you can quickly see how many assignments have been assigned, how many have been scored, and how many students are at a mastery level. 

View the clip below to learn more about what Geoff looks for as a leader of a “mastery-based school that prides itself on delivering feedback.”

From the School Overview, Geoff clicked on a teacher to access the individual Teacher Dashboard. From here, you can see how students are doing in each of the teacher’s classes, as well as how many assignments have been scored by said teacher. 

In the example data, only 8% of the 40 assignments have been scored, and 93% are missing. “That’s a conversation,” Geoff says. School leaders can use this data to prep their teachers for conversations about delivering feedback at the right time. 

From the Teacher Dashboard, you can click once more to open the teacher’s view of the Kiddom platform. From there, you can see individual student progress and also open up assignments that have been graded. This enables the school administrator to independently get up to speed, without having to email their teachers to ask for student work. Learn more in the clip below:

For Tier 3 interventions, Geoff recommends using the Student Dashboard in Kiddom. “This is where you’ll identify if there are students who need broad interventions, if they're struggling across classrooms.” In the example student data we explored during the webinar, the student was excelling in one class but not developing to mastery in another. But what if the data had been red across the board? “It’s going to be really important to have the right people collaborating,” Geoff says. “This Academy view allows me to start catching those trends a lot earlier.”

From the Academy view, again, you can click to see Kiddom through the student lens. Find out what this means for student feedback in this clip:

Whether you’re looking for school-wide trends, or at an individual student’s assignments, Kiddom has the data views that will help you spark meaningful conversations and informed action plans. Many thanks go out to Principal Geoff Schmidt of Opportunity Academy, Massachusetts for joining us on this webinar and showing us how he makes the most of Kiddom Academy! 
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For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

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In this webinar recap, you will hear from Kiddom Chief Academic Officer Abbas Manjee and Customer Success Manager Eric Guitierrez on the role of instructional coaches today. Then, you will learn how to use Kiddom data to support teachers and improve student outcomes. Let’s dig in!

The Role of Instructional Coaches Today

Who has the visibility to help students when teaching and learning happens at home? “It puts some immediate hurdles in the face of a teacher,” Abbas says. Teachers used to be able to assess where help was needed in the classroom, at a moment’s notice. “That is no longer the case.”

Hear more on the new reality for teachers in this clip from the webinar:

For instructional coaches, the hurdles become brick walls. Whereas they could once drop in on a lesson and observe a teacher, instructional coaches must now reinvent the wheel. “Instructional coaches are similar to pilots flying a plane in the dark,” Abbas says. “ They might not see where they are going, so [instructional coaches] have to rely on the instruments they have at their disposal.”

These instruments are readily available for educators, in swarms. Unfortunately, schools usually have to adopt more than one instructional tool, on top of communication, curriculum, and assessment tools. The problem that instructional coaches face is that these tools don’t speak to one another, putting the burden on teachers to interpret information from a dozen different sources. 

“When we think about the role that technology plays in the classroom, it should really be there to solve those big problems that we’re currently facing,” Eric says. Kiddom for Schools and Districts can help you replace  four or  five tools with one consolidated platform. “It provides you with a clear view of data from the school level, teacher level, and student level. Through those different experiences, within a click you’re able to open a portfolio of learning that’s happening in every single classroom—without having to do an observation.” 

Learn more in the following clip.  

Having data that illustrates how teaching and learning takes place on a classroom level, and on a student level, means professional development no longer has to take a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Abbas recalled his experience with this type of PD during his time as an educator: “It felt, very much, not customized for me, I had to sit through it, and it certainly wasn’t built in a way for me to move ahead or receive the support that I needed.” 

He then posed a question to Eric: as a coach, how did you build 1:1 connections, and what opportunities do you see today now that everything’s digital? View the clip below to hear Eric’s response.

Using Kiddom Data to Inform Instructional Coaching

Next, we dove deeper into the data with the Teachers Dashboard. At one quick glance, you can see top performing classes and student mastery. When you scroll down, you can click on individual teachers to see how many assignments they’ve added, scored, and how many haven’t been completed. 

From the individual teacher view, you can click once more to see student data as they would see it within the Kiddom platform. Imagine how smoothly coaching conversations could be, based on data you can both see!

Next, we toured Eric’s favorite aspect of Kiddom: class standard mastery data. In Kiddom, you can attach skills and standards to assignments and individual questions, giving a robust view of student mastery. 

“If I do have those 15 minutes with a teacher via Zoom, I’m asking targeted questions. I’ve already viewed the data, so we’re not spending time opening it or sending it,” Eric says. “We’re looking at the specific numbers and coming up with concrete action steps that I can now, as a coach, provide ongoing support [with].”

View standards mastery data from Kiddom in this clip:

Instructional coaches can use Kiddom to understand student performance and spotlight work from teachers who are knocking it out of the park – or those who might need additional support. But instructional coaches aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using Kiddom data. Tune in next week to find out how teachers and other admins can use actionable data in Kiddom to support student outcomes. 

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading...