About the Project
This project is one of the 2009 WISE Awards winners.
Curriki is an independent non-profit organization that, since 2006, has been seeking to harness the power of technology and the global educator community to eliminate the educational divide. Free to all educators, parents, and students, Curriki is not only a collaborative social network for educators and an exchange of free learning resources, but also a resource for educators, parents, and students. Anyone with access to the Internet can contribute to and use the quality and media-rich curriculum available on Curriki. Its strong community focus encourages collaboration, bringing diverse experiences from around the world to develop “best of breed” learning resources, peer-reviewed and classroom-tested, and to create a culture of continuous improvement. Curriki offers:
a. A repository of over 54,000 free educational resources.
b. Curation that focuses on high-need topics: STEM, Computer Science, and English Language Arts.
c. An online collaboration forum for educators to create and develop high-quality educational materials.
d. New curated collections of resources around high-need topics such as algebra and geometry as full courses.
Context and Issue
The global community needs to ensure that each and every girl and boy has what they need to learn and grow into positive, productive global citizens. To do this, educators need access to high-quality educational content in all areas, especially science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Not only will STEM education result in more engineers, programmers and scientists, but it will make for a stronger, smarter, more productive society. Skills learned via the STEM curriculum are crucial for workforce success, as a growing number of jobs will be located in these fields or require a minimum of STEM skills. It is important to adapt learning to different learning styles, which is effectively accomplished with low to no-cost digital content.
The Solution and Impact
The Curriki platform and service is designed to enable local education agencies, schools, and teams to share materials in a topical domain collectively, and then organize, extend and improve that content over time. The intention is to train teachers in OER best practices and curriculum development strategies as well as the integration of open curriculum in the classroom.
There are three vetting processes in the Curriki system:
1. User rating and reviews
2. Group peer review
3. The Curriki Review System
The success of the model itself also relies on three keys elements:
1. Support for Independent Learning: students have access to high-quality material that may be more engaging and in-sync with their own interests, which fosters deeper learning.
2. Quality: Curriki encourages collaboration by educators from around the world to develop “best of breed” learning resources (peer-reviewed and classroom tested) and to create a culture of continuous improvement.
3. Cost Savings and Efficiency: By sharing and reusing OERs, the costs for content development can be cut dramatically and allow educators and schools to make better use of available resources.
When classroom educators from every country in the world take part in a global community of sharing curriculum and best practices, they are empowered to create extraordinary learning experiences for their students. Barriers to equal access to education are lifted and geography and politics become immaterial.
Everyone benefits when students are given the opportunity to learn. It is only through an educated global society that every person and every community can thrive. Educators constantly seek out new ways to reach their students, to engage them in the learning process, and help them achieve their very best. Through the generosity of educators and content partners who contribute high-quality learning materials to the Curriki community, all citizens, parents, students, and educators, benefit. So far, it is estimated that over 12 million students have been reached.
In the next five years, Curriki intends to extend the full benefit of its repository of learning materials and community of educators to parts of the world that still do not have access due to lack of electricity, technology, computers, or Internet access. This will partly be achieved by enhancing the functionality of the Curriki Groups to include discussion boards, which will further facilitate collaboration among educators.
Curriki will also continue building a full K-12 STEM and English Language curriculum based on the US Common Core State Standards. To make these materials immediately usable in classrooms and homes throughout the world, the plan is to develop self-paced courses and customizable project-based learning courses, such as the Curriki Geometry curriculum available today.
Lastly, Curriki plans to enhance its website in ways that will make the website more robust and accessible. In order to achieve these goals, Curriki is seeking new partnerships and channels to bring the full benefit of its learning materials library and community of educators to parts of the world that still do not have access. Curriki is pursuing grants and donations to build new K-12 STEM and English Language online courses and to undertake the technology development necessary to mobilize the Curriki website so that it is fully accessible by educators, students, and parents who have only a mobile phone or tablet.