As Victor Rivero notes in his Tools for Learning feature in this issue, textbooks are ceding the way to digital content, and the Common Core State Standards are rippling outward, now across more than 45 states. This means an ever-increasing importance is being placed on curriculum alignment, and in particular, on technology’s role in that process. The stakes for education are high, the need is great, and the potential—already being realized—is also great. We’ve got the subject covered here in our May/June 2012 issue.
In our cover story, Why Technology Is Essential in Curriculum and Content Alignment (page 8), author Ann Henson posits a number of trends in education in which technology-abetted curriculum alignment will be key. These include, she says, increasingly high expectations for alignment of educational assets, a focus on how a topic is covered rather than just whether it is covered, a rise in levels of accountability and progress monitoring, and a huge increase in the number of available digital resources. And she describes the move toward predictive analytics, a path that “ultimately leads to a truly personalized learning experience for our children.” Read her feature to get a sense of how educators can cope successfully!
Then, read Tools for Learning: Totally Aligned (page 12), where Victor Rivero focuses on a range of companies that really understand curriculum alignment and just what they can do for you. If there’s a common thread in these companies’ products and services, it’s the provision of tech tools to leverage the rich educational content they provide. Read on to learn about who can help you to deliver standards-aligned content (think Common Core Standards), ever-more-effective assessment, even aligned professional development, and more.
And as usual, this issue’s in-depth reviews include companies that map to the issue theme of alignment. School Improvement Network’s Common Core 360 (page 29) is a professional development program to help you align curriculum to, you guessed it, the Common Core Standards, while eInstruction’s Insight 360 (page 28) includes both hardware and software for delivering formative ongoing assessments to track student progress.
Introducing Carolyn Foote and Idea Watch!
This issue also marks the debut of our newest columnist, “techno” librarian Carolyn Foote. In Idea Watch (page 26), Carolyn promises to explore substantive “big ideas” in education that have caught her attention, how they are being brought into our schools, and, as with alignment, how technology figures prominently in the process. We know you’ll enjoy and learn from her thoughts.
David Hoffman , editor