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Is Technology Helping or Hindering Your Curriculum Design?

Is Technology Helping or Hindering Your Curriculum Design?

July 05, 2018

Congratulations if your school has committed to actively designing curriculum for our students, and breaking away from outdated textbooks. It’s a great time in K-12 education. States have settled on their standards and are eager to apply them in the spirit of how they were designed—not only for students to master concepts, but how to apply concepts and skills and be properly assessed on them. Many of those pieces have been missing from the curriculum process until now. And now with the internet providing access to information and a multitude of technology tools, the curriculum process is not only easier and more affordable than previous years but it also produces better lessons and richer learning experiences for our students. Which is always the end goal! Here are some ideas to check on the tech deliverables for your curriculum design process: 

1) Transparency

Hopefully your district has a technology or process that empowers individual teachers, departments, principals and other district admins to achieve transparency. What does that mean? We need technology to see that all the units and lessons consistently are deploying and aligning the standards for all teachers, and across subjects, departments, schools and districts.


You should be able to check for agreement across unit for standards, goals, transfer goals, understandings and knowledge.


Tech should deliver processes and platforms to prevent teachers re-inventing the wheel each time, and instead leverage each other’s work to promote even more great ideas. Ideally, whichever system you’re using (spreadsheets, shared drives, design tools), the ideal goal is for the unit design to be shared in a consistent and transparent manner so that everyone who is designing and reviewing and approving is clear on knowing who’s doing what.

2) Collaboration

Good technology should provide the ability to share curriculum across departments, schools and even outside the district to share good ideas and best practices.

When teachers can see each other’s work, and make suggestions and track changes to that everyone is on the most current version, it creates more interesting and effective units and lessons.

Collaboration will help identify gaps and redundancies. And teachers should easily be able to work together to be more efficient with their time and effort to minimize confusion.

3) Structured workflow platform for consistent results

The reality for schools and districts about curriculum design is that most teachers haven’t had the experience of designing rigorous core curriculum from scratch. Few teaching schools offer it, so while everyone has great ideas and contributions, it’s difficult to accommodate everyone’s wide range of experience. Does your curriculum design process help or hinder the creation of great units and lessons? Hopefully it provides tutorials or online Professional Development sources that provide insight that can be applied to the task at hand.


A structured workflow platform, such as the Eduplanet21 Curriculum Design Platform, is based on Understanding by Design®, a tested approach using Backwards Design that gets students to think critically as they work through the standards. The benefit of a structured workflow is that much of the organizational parts are already built in, and provides guided unit design. 


Teachers of all skill levels should be able to contribute ideas and content instead of wasting time with version control, or seeing the latest updates, or covering standards that someone may already be working on.


This may be especially true with small-to-medium sized districts, where there may not be as much in-building support for curriculum design. Working hard is great, but thoughtful technology choices should ensure you and your team don’t work harder then you need to give your students great experiences.

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