Taking The Curriculum One Click at a Time

By: Heather Lavers, SNN Reporter
Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, NF

Imagine one central database where teachers can immediately access the standard curriculum outcomes for every course in every grade. Well you don't have to imagine any more, thanks to Leon Cooper and the division of program development in the Department of Education. They have developed a software entitled, The Curriculum Outcomes Database Project.

"In laymen terms this project is software that contains the entire curriculum in a searchable format and allows individual teachers to add their own activities or ideas", remarks Leon Cooper from the Department of Education. He presented this new software to 10 teachers at the Stem- Net conference on Tuesday, June 27th 2000.

When asked about the presentation, Don Dunphy, a technology education teacher said, "It was a great presentation and very informative. I'm looking forward to using this software for my class. I believe this software will be simple to operate and will benefit all teachers." Despite this glowing report not all teachers walked away with the same impression. Bonnie Lane-McCarthy, a program specialist for high school noted, "I thought it was an informative session because of how it organized the curriculum and how the software is based for cross-curriculum. I understand how it will help others and I think I will use it when it comes out, however, I don't believe it will be easy to operate. The Department of Education should come out with an inservice in order for teachers to become comfortable with the program."

The program is not perfect yet, there are certain glitches that need to be worked out. Some examples that Mr. Cooper pointed out in his presentation were, the fact that the program out now is already 50 megabites of space and it is still only about 50 percent completed. He said, " Right now to download it from the internet you need a high speed connection or be prepared to wait it out over a night or several nights for your software to finish downloading." According to Mr. Cooper we have a good idea but it will take many years and a lot of teacher cooperation to make this venture a success but once it is complete the entire curriculum will be one combined network, for all teachers, throughout the province.