Whitney Green is an assistant principal at Ooltewah Elementary in Hamilton County Schools, Chattanooga, TN. She currently leads the implementation of EL K-5th and is taking full advantage of utilizing Kiddom within the classrooms at Ooltewah Elementary as both have positively affected her students success this year. She is excited to share her drive and her experiences with others.
I believe that in education, someone reaches into a big bowl filled with buzzwords and picks a random one to be the word for the year.
Just like there is always a new color, trend, or style that everyone must have in their wardrobe or in their home, the education world gets this same treatment.
It’s Marketing 101, really. Another way to sell an idea or concept. Teachers are marketed to in the same way. Someone magically decides on the word for the year and it’s pushed heavily on us.
High-Quality Instructional Materials, or HQIM as you may have seen it, feels like it could be the new buzzword, especially when schools are still suffering from the adverse ripple effect of the pandemic.
Teachers are burned out, overworked, and emotionally and physically overwhelmed, just as students who are struggle socially and have significant gaps are present in their abilities.
Fortunately, HQIM is not a buzzword at all, and instead presents an answer to the significant gaps and pains we are seeing in our schools. But, like most new things for teachers, this means another new thing to learn, use, or be trained on.
This is not always received well by teachers and leaders that are already pressed to find answers to their low-test scores showing students’ lack of mastery or growth with their state standards.
Implementing HQIM with Technology
If there was one positive shift from the pandemic, its that everyone has become far more comfortable with technology.
Teachers can now work smarter, not harder as students enjoy new ways to engage, interpret, and interact with their curriculum.
When it comes to HQIM, when we ask teachers to ultize it, then we, as leaders at the district and school level, need to vet materials. If what you ask of teachers does not prove positive results within their students’ mastery of the standards, specifically being reflected on state assessments, they will lose respect and trust in these platforms or apps.
Another facet to selecting technology that supports the use of HQIM also needs to ensure it makes the teacher’s work less time-consuming. I always say teachers’ time is the most valuable thing you need to be aware of and respect, as not having enough time to do all their duties is the number one complaint.
I specifically had my teachers using Kiddom as it not only housed our ELA curriculum, and yes, I said it, as our whole ELA curriculum is virtual, it also provides personalization with collaborative planning (autonomy is key with educators). Many curriculums out there have online platforms, which seems great, but have you ever tried to navigate them? Completely confusing and never efficient.
Kiddom created a platform that took all the materials and organized them for teachers and students to access the materials easily, and lessons are also customizable, using curriculum management. Instead of countless hours navigating an online platform, teachers can dive into the curriculum, planning with the materials to develop high-quality lessons embedded within the curriculums.
Teachers engaging within HQIM can be extremely tricky, as I have found secondary-level teachers struggle the most with understanding how to develop lessons that engage the students to have academic discourse. Another feature of Kiddom that supports alignment with the use of HQIM is to provide real-time interactivity and engagement for the students at the touch of a button.
Understanding HQIM Usage
As a former administrator and now working at a district level as a K-12 ELA Coordinator, being able to see usage and use of the curriculum is used is key! Districts spend a lot of money on purchasing HQIM but ensuring that teachers and schools use them is another thing.
Technology can either hinder or help the use of HQIM. As leaders, do not just throw random apps or platforms at them. Take the time to research before asking teachers to use them. Just because a district purchases an app or platform does not always mean its worthwhile, sometimes decisions are made based on financial reasons. An easy process to ensure it helps is to follow this process below:
- Does it align with your standards?
- Is it embedded or aligned with your current curriculums?
- How easy is it to navigate or use?
Using these three guiding questions will help ensure the use of technology supports HQIM. I can honestly say, our district has purchased and not renewed many contracts, as they were not vetted properly at the top, and teacher use or student outcomes was minimal. When in doubt, talk with teachers and get their input.
Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.
For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one place. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.
Ready to bring digital curriculum to your school or district?
Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum and assessments, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.