In a marketplace saturated with options, the search for curriculum and other instructional resources can be a difficult process for educators. All K-12 stakeholders from curriculum directors to classroom teachers should know the methods districts employ to discover and evaluate the resources that make it to students.
In “How to Conquer a Curriculum Search,” Mindy Sinyak, VP of Customer Success, Noodle Markets, reviewed essential tips schools and districts can use to succeed in their search for curriculum and instructional resources.
1. Lead Time
Outreach to suppliers is key, whether it is for textbooks, supplements, or apps (paid or free). The first step towards success in a curriculum search is to give vendors enough lead time to get you the information you need.
Not only will this ensure a response to your request, but it will also provide vendors with enough time to respond with the best possible resources.
According to Sinyak, schools should give at least a three-week lead time. This also leaves time to loop in all the stakeholders at the school as responses and new information come in.
2. Assessment Components and Standards
Next, if you are interested in an assessment component that comes with the curriculum, make sure to state specifics of what you need, such as which types of questions, how periodically they are administered, etc.
You may already know which assessments work best with the curriculum based on your state’s tests. Make sure to be clear on whether or not you need an assessment component with your curriculum, as it can greatly affect cost.
While standards alignment can be flexible, it is not always this way. If your school has a strict set of standards it adheres to, look at curriculum products that are aligned to those standards. Most vendors will advertise the standards they are aligned to, while some vendors may even be willing to do additional standards alignment for a cost.
3. Tech Specifications
Also important is to be clear about the details of your school’s technology. Indicate things in your request like your network’s operating system, if you’re a 1:1 school, and if you have WiFi capabilities. Some vendors may even be able to integrate with a product you’re already using, making for a huge cost savings.