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Deeply-Digital Curricula: Making Learning At School and At Home Seamless

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Sunday, November 29, 10:00–10:50 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Monique Coulman  
Dr. Cathie Norris  
Dr. Elliot Soloway  
Dr. Anne Tapp  

The COVID disruption has taught K-12 that learning at home and learning at school must be seamless. "Roadmap" lessons- deeply digital lessons using OER and collaborative learning activities created in the free, browser-based Collabrify Roadmap Platform - enable continuous learning. Come learn — and talk with Roadmap-using Michigan teachers!

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: As the Collabrify Roadmap Platform, housed at is browser-based, attendees do not need to prepare their computing device for the workshop.
Topic: Instructional design & delivery
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Learning must be seamless -- learning needs to be continuous, regardless of location. And, with 1-to-1 and digital curricula becoming the new normal, teachers face tremendous challenges. More and more, teachers are becoming responsible for developing digital curricula-based lessons. The data suggest that teachers are spending 6-10 hours per week searching the Internet for digital lessons to use in their classrooms!

There are five major activities that a teacher must perform in a seamless, 1-to-1, blended-learning, digital curricula-based, classroom: create an assignment, distribute that assignment (differentiating where necessary, and creating collaborative groups when appropriate), monitor the enactment of the lesson (moving between group work and whole class instruction, seamlessly), assess student artifacts, post-enactment (including the use of learning analytics collected during enactment), share Roadmaps with other educators.

The Collabrify Roadmap Platform (Collabrify) supports teachers as they perform the above described five functions. Collabrify is free, browser-based, device-agnostic and works well with Google Classroom. Collabrify was developed by the Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center, with funding from George Lucas Education Research and the NSF. At the heart of the process is the Roadmap – a digital representation of a lesson. Structured like a concept map, each “node” in the Roadmap is a learning activity, e.g., interact with a simulation, read a PDF, watch a video, create an animation, answer specific review questions, etc. The Roadmap can contain virtually any URL from the Internet. Importantly, the Roadmap directs students to use apps, e.g., Google Apps for Education.
In fact, in the Roadmaps lessons, teachers can use the free, device-agnostic Collabrify Suite of Productivity Tools that support synchronous collaboration – the co-construction of text documents, KWL charts, drawings and animations, spreadsheets, Venn diagrams, PDF markup, and concept maps. (Students can work together in these tools even when they are not co-located!)

In our hands-on workshop, attendees will learn how to use the Collabrify Roadmap Platform to carry out the above five major activities. Inasmuch as Collabrify is itself collabrified, teachers can work together, synchronously, in real-time, to create OER-based lessons (Open Education Resources).

Importantly, attendees can talk with fellow teachers who have created and used Roadmaps in their classrooms. We are purposely bringing a contingent of Roadmap-using teachers to provide support during the workshop. Informal conversations will spring up and attendees will be able to tap into the classroom experiences of the presenters.

At the end of our session, teachers will know how to (1) create differentiated, (if desired) digital lesson “Roadmaps” with multiple learning activities (reading/viewing multiple media, collaboratively constructing artifacts, etc.) that use OER (Open Education Resources) from OER marketplaces (,, etc.); (2) distribute a lesson Roadmap with pre-made collaborative workgroups; (3) monitor enactment of a lesson Roadmap, displaying and discussing the work of different student groups to the whole class using a projector, and tweaking collaborative workgroup membership in real-time due to absences, etc.; (4) and post-enactment, assess and provide feedback by easily visiting each student’s files as the files are all in one place; (5) use – or not – Google Classroom with Collabrify; (6) access, use, and share/contribute lesson Roadmaps from/to Collabrify’s online Roadmap repository.


-Explain how Collabrify Roadmaps work & benefits of using Roadmaps for seamless learning - 5 minutes
-Share example Roadmaps from various content areas and grade levels & describe the different ways educators are using Roadmaps in their classrooms - 5 minutes
-Share Roadmap Tutorial with participants to help them learn to navigate a Roadmap & work with tools in Collabrify -15 minutes
-Provide time for participants to create/modify a Roadmap - 25 minutes
-Reflect on next steps & share resources for continued support with Roadmaps - 10 minutes

Supporting research

Norris and Soloway conduct research into the role that digital curricula is playing in the digital transformation of K-12. In the following blog posts at the T.H.E. website, we describe a broad range of research that addresses the following topics: (1) the need for quality digital curricula, (2) the challenges involved in developing and deploying digital curricula, (3) and the kinds of impacts that are being observed due to the use of digital curricula.

Norris, C. Soloway, E. (03/06/19) OER 3.0: K-12 Teachers in Michigan Are Creating and Using Deeply-Digital, OER Curricula,

Norris, C. Soloway, E. (10/01/18) 1-to-1, Blended Learning Enables Personalized Learning: Walk Through an Example Lesson.

Norris, C. Soloway, E. (08/21/17) 1-to-1 Computers Demand 1-to-1 Curriculum: Good Luck Finding Any,

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Monique Coulman, Haas Elementary School
Dr. Cathie Norris, University of North Texas
Dr. Elliot Soloway, University of Michigan
Dr. Anne Tapp, Saginaw Valley State University

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