Next-Generation, Deeply-Digital, TEKS-Aligned, OER Curricula: Engaging and Effective!

The COVID-19 disruption, where at times students learned at their desks in school, or at their kitchen tables at home – and sometimes both, caused schools to realize that digital curricula could make learning continuous, seamless, regardless of place. And, while returning to the classroom is the plan for 2021-2022, will classrooms return to paper-based curricula? The consensus is: “Digital Curricula is Here to Stay!”  Yes, digital curricula are available commercially. But, high-quality, OER (Open Education Resources), deeply-digital curricula for K-5, for ELAR, math, science and social studies – all aligned to the Texas TEKS  – can be had from TCET – the Texas Center for Educational Technology – from this website!

In what follows, we present an overview of the deeply-digital, TEKS-aligned curricula that are available for use in Texas K-5 schools. On this page and via the Deeply Digital Curriculum tab above, we provide links to the specific deeply-digital curricula, organized by grade level. Questions? Please contact the TCET's director, Dr. Lin.

Deeply-digital, K-5 curricular materials for ELAR, math, science and social studies, developed by the Center for Digital Curricula, College of Engineering, University of Michigan (UMich.CDC), and in daily use by Michigan K-5 teachers and students, will be distributed in Texas by the Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET). Modified where needed, those curricula have been aligned with the Texas TEKS.

What are deeply-digital curricula?

Unlike 1-dimensional, text-based digitized curricula – curricula that started life on paper and were converted to digital – the UMich.CDC deeply-digital curricula take advantage of all the affordances of digital technology. For example, lessons are 2D and graphical, and highly-interactive – like the video game world inhabited daily by our Alpha Generation! Lessons enable students to express themselves in multiple media (e.g., pictures, animations, video, text). And, the deeply-digital lessons support synchronous, student-student collaboration – sharing screens and talking through the computer – whether the students are in the classroom, at their homes, or some of both. And, a 2D, graphical lesson aggregates all the learning activities in one place, making it easy for students - and their parents - to understand what's been done and what's coming next. Still further, as teachers’ time is paramount, the open lessons are quick and straightforward to differentiate for struggling or accelerated learners, or to localize to feature local factors (e.g., geographical, historical).

The 2D, graphical lessons – called Roadmaps – are supported by the Collabrify Roadmap Platform, a device-independent, browser-based, learning environment, developed by the UMich.CDC. “Collabrify” is LMS-friendly, enables teachers to manage their Roadmaps and monitor their students Roadmap-work in real-time, and accepts Google and Microsoft logins.

In the 2020-2021 school year, 5,000+ K-5 students have been using the Center's deeply-digital curricula daily! A recent survey of the participating teachers found that 94% report that their students “are engaged.” Most importantly, the high NWEA scores in reading and math from classrooms where teachers use the UMich.CDC deeply-digital curricula, are a testament to the effectiveness of the resources.

 

Representative NWEA Scores from Classrooms (3rd and 5th Grade) Using UMich.CDC Deeply-Digital Curricula During 2020-21 – For each pair, the left chart are the scores for math and the right chart are the scores for reading. The “Student Average” are the scores for the specific classroom; the “District Average” are the average scores for that grade from a high-scoring district in the U.S. and the “Norm Average” are the average scores for that grade from all the districts in the U.S.