San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) August 07, 2013
Teachers and students can now access curriculum uploaded by educators in high-performing schools – resources that can be linked with any school system’s assessment data – thanks to a free technology platform called Activate Instruction, the Girard Education Foundation announced today.
Activate Instruction is an open platform where teachers can browse, search, rate, add, share, and organize their favorite Common Core-aligned resources, and put them together in personalized playlists for students. Parents and students can follow sets of resources teachers have prescribed, or search for the ones they like best.
Activate provides access to grade 6-12 curriculum, soon expanding to K-12, in nearly all subject areas, including math, English, and science. The current content has been largely built and published by Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay area and High Tech High in San Diego, high-performing public schools giving their curriculum away at no cost.
This fall, dozens of school systems nationwide plan to use the platform – the only free content aggregation system in existence that enables teachers to personalize instruction, because the technology allows curricular resources to link electronically to any school system’s student achievement data management systems.
“As a former teacher, I am excited to see Activate Instruction – which is essentially a curricular Wikipedia – provide teachers with a new type of professional community, where they can easily find and share high-quality lessons,” said Michele Hansen, president of the Girard Education Foundation, whose philanthropic support will enable teachers and parents to access the platform at no cost. “Activate helps students learn in a fun, personalized and effective way.”
A rapidly growing resource platform that has already been accessed by more than 35,000 educators, Activate now includes more than 10 years of proven curricular materials, including many that have been endorsed by educators through peer review.
Summit’s curriculum helped enable Summit schools to consistently rank amongst the best in California, with Summit’s flagship school ranked amongst the top 100 best high schools in the nation, and 96 percent of Summit graduates accepted to at least one four-year college or university. Similarly, High Tech High’s curriculum contributed to the school’s success in sending 98 percent of graduates to go onto college, even though more than a third is first-generation college students.
“A student’s learning should never be constrained because of lack of access to great resources,” said Diane Tavenner, founder & CEO of Summit Public Schools. “Activate ensures that at all times, all students can connect with high-quality curriculum and learning. We believe that once Activate is in the hands of every teacher and student, our nation’s public schools can make significant gains.”
This fall, the entire Summit Public Schools network, including nearly 100 teachers and 1,600 students, will use Activate Instruction. The Activate Instruction platform was iterated upon after Summit piloted it this past year in two schools and provided student and teacher feedback.
Teachers who are using Activate Instruction report that the platform allows them to quickly and easily find quality curriculum and drill it down into manageable lessons that meet individual student needs. The website includes playlists and resources like worksheets, lesson plans, graphic organizers, pictures, videos, websites, power points and assessments. Parents and teachers can also follow teacher playlists, and teachers can work through online communities to build and share what works.
“Like all teachers, my incredibly diverse students have varying passions, interests and learning needs,” said Kevin Bock, a high school teacher at Summit’s Everest Public High School in Redwood City, Calif. “In a single playlist on Activate, my students can now choose from a host of learning resources based on their individual needs – or explore completely different material across separate playlists. I can personalize instruction in a way I’ve never been able to do before.”
Schools nationwide with a range of student achievement levels and demographics are preparing this fall to join Summit and High Tech High schools in using Activate, including school districts across California in Sanger, Tustin, Cotati-Rohnert Park, Morongo, Moreno Valley, Old Adobe, North Monterey County, some KIPP schools nationwide, Intrinsic Schools in Chicago and Heritage Digital Academy charter school in Escondido, Calif.
“Activate Instruction has been instrumental in our district’s efforts to increase instructional rigor and better align our curriculum to the Common Core standards - it’s been a catalyst for our transition to the CCSS,” said Elizabeth Kaufman, assistant superintendent, Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, Calif.
“Large school districts today are putting out multi-million dollar bids for technology to prepare for the Common Core – expensive bets that could, in large part, be satisfied by Activate Instruction for free,” noted Hansen.
Activate Instruction was created over the last two years by educators, supported by a partnership among Illuminate Education, Inc., which designed and built the technology; Summit Public Schools; the Girard Education Foundation; and, The Alvo Institute.
“We came together to create Activate when we all independently realized that no single platform existed that would both allow educators to use, create and share high-quality content across all grades and subjects – while, at the same time, allow educators to select content based on student performance data, and even generate new resource-specific data, like student and educator rankings of various resources,” said Lane Rankin, president and CEO of Illuminate Education, Inc. and 1994 Educator of the Year, according to the California League of Middle Schools.
School systems using student data assessment management systems such as Illuminate, which is used by more than 100,000 education professionals today across 4,500 schools and school systems, can use Activate Instruction to locate proven, standards-aligned curriculum aligned to student needs according to assessments and drill it down to meet individual student learning needs, at no cost. This is because the Activate Instruction technology is designed to be capable of connecting with any student data assessment or content provider through a public application programming interface.
About Activate Instruction
Activate Instruction is a free, open technology platform funded and managed by the nonprofit Girard Education Foundation. Through providing teachers and schools with high-quality educational resources tailored to individual student needs, the foundation hopes to enable every student to have a personally enriching learning experience that prepares him or her to succeed in life. To learn more about Activate Instruction, read Frequently Asked Questions and visit: Activate Instruction.