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Engaging All Learners With Deeply Digital, Interactive, Open, Collaborative Curricula

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Nicole Andreas  
Liat Copel  
Monique Coulman  
Dr. Cathie Norris  
Dr. Elliot Soloway  
Dr. Anne Tapp  

Deeply digital curricula can make learning at school and at home seamless — COVID has taught us this lesson! The free, browser-based, Collabrify Roadmap Platform supports teachers creating and distributing graphical, lesson roadmaps. Currently, 3,000-plus K-5 students and teachers use roadmaps and "Collabrify" daily for in-class and remote learning.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: As the Collabrify Roadmap Platform, housed at roadmap.center is
browser-based, attendees do not need to prepare their computing
device for the workshop.
Topic: Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Learning at school and learning at home must be seamless - COVID has taught us this lesson! Deeply-digital curricula can make learning independent of location. The free, browser-based, Collabrify Roadmap Platform supports teachers creating and distributing graphical, lesson Roadmaps. Currently, 3000+ K-5 students and 100+ teachers are using Roadmaps and "Collabrify" on a daily basis for both in-class and remote learning.

There are five major activities that a teacher must perform in a 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

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! Students - and teachers - can use the "phone" function to talk through the computer to each other.)

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 (gooru.org, edmodo.com, 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 - 5
-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 (06/16/20) The Lesson of COVID-19: Learning at School and Learning at Home Must Be Seamless

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,

More [+]


Nicole Andreas, Kent City Elementary
Liat Copel, University of michigan
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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