Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 28: Curriculum and technology

Should technology drive curriculum, or vice-versa?, our Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge asks us to consider.

Can technology even drive curriculum? Maybe my take on this will be a cop-out, but I was looking at the definition of curriculum on Google and it made me wonder. 
  • Curriculum: the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.

synonyms:syllabus, course of study, program of study, subjects, modules
"the curriculum choices for history students are extensive"

Since curriculum is so subject/content-focused, it seems like technology wouldn't do much except help deliver the content. (Unless you're studying technology, of course.) 

Case and point: a friend is teaching a creative writing class and has a closed Facebook group for her students. Each day, a different student posts the notes and homework from each class. When they're workshopping drafts, she has the students whose drafts are being reviewed post three questions they'd like their partners to answer in their critique. That's a nice way of using Facebook to augment some of the issues that come up in class: help remind students of the homework, give absent students a place to see what they missed, and avoid unnecessary handouts. Moreover, most students use FB regularly, so it's likely the course will be "in their face" and thus be a higher priority.

But Facebook wasn't invented for this purpose. The instructor saw an opportunity in it and used it to help students take ownership of the course and stay on track. That's not curriculum .... is it? 

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