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GELC => Curriki

Posted by rstephe on October 17, 2006 at 5:35 PM PDT

A few months ago we ran a contest to suggest a new name for the GELC's new Website. Today the GELC Advisory Board's decision is officially out: the new name is Curriki. The new Website, still under development, is and will support the GELC's new mission of providing "open source curricula" to teachers and students around the world. The new name fuses the terms "curriculum" and "wiki," symbolizing this aim to use technology to provide universal access to free curricula and instructional materials.

"Quality learning requires access to quality curricula," said Dr. Barbara Kurshan, Curriki’s Executive Director. "At Curriki, we are taking a distinctive approach to open education by focusing on a complete curricula solution, not just a textbook or lesson plans, but a complete course of instruction and assessment. We believe that by engaging a community of educators to participate in creating, developing, and evaluating curricula – and harnessing smart technologies like open source – we’ll be able to build the best source for world-class learning."

Focusing initially on K-12 curricula in the areas of mathematics, science, technology, reading and languages, Curriki will begin building an online repository where anyone anywhere can contribute to and access quality learning materials. This interactive and open repository will empower and enable people everywhere who want to learn and who want to teach.

Curriki’s approach represents a paradigm shift in curriculum development, distribution and evaluation that is represented by the organization’s 3-D model: curriculum developed through community contributors, delivered globally and whose impact is determined by project and by individual. "By applying the open source model to education," said Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems Chairman, "Curriki will ensure that anyone, anywhere in the world has access to learning. This will not only drive personal growth but could unleash the children who could solve some of our biggest problems, from avian flu to climate change."

Curriki is now looking for curriculum. A number of projects are underway to create a nucleus of learning materials, such as one with the Africa-based Shuttleworth Foundation (home of the Ubuntu Linux distro) to create and distribute open source textbooks for math, physics and chemistry. Especially welcome are GELC projects creating open educational content for teaching Java, computer science, math, science or languages at the K-12 or even college level.