Common Core PD Goes Open Source

By Dave Saba
Educator engagement in the implementation of Common Core State Standards is critical if we really want to see a quantum leap in college readiness. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which is one of two groups creating assessments for Common Core, recently awarded a contract to the National Math + Science Initiative’s Laying the Foundation program to create an Educator Leader Cadre to ensure greater expertise in the new standards at the classroom level.
The Educator Leader Cadre (ELC) will be made up of 24 educators form the 24 PARCC states. This group will complete intensive training on the standards and the assessments so that they can be the experts in their states. They will also receive training in adult learning and leveraging technology so that they can then reach the other 1.6 million teachers in their states.
So how do you reach 1.6 million teachers through technology with a limited budget on a contract that ends after 29 months?
In our case, you create open resources using open source:

  • Purchase servers that will be used only for PARCC resources that can be moved at the end of the contract to a host state or Achieve
  • Set up a Moodle Learning Management System that can be accessed by all teachers without a per teacher cost
  • Set up a Big Blue Button webinar platform within the LMS so that all teachers can create and hold webinars for their state at no additional cost per person
  • Use the forums plug in for Moodle to create an ongoing dialog for teachers
  • Create training for the ELC members to know how to use the technology; and
  • Watch it blossom – and keep it going as long as it is needed for teachers with only maintenance costs in the long run.

The contract was awarded last week and the servers are already installed, the software is downloaded and the programmers are working feverishly to get things up and running. Stay tuned to the PARCC Portal so you can take a look when it launches!

Dave Saba is the CEO of Laying the Foundation.

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