One of my goals with the podcast is to get past the insider edu-speak and all of the anagrams that we’re faced with as parents, and have more direct conversations.
We do that on this episode, though it’s choc-full of anagrams to break down.
My guest is Annika Goodin, the science department chair and an English learner coordinator at El Cajon Valley High School. Annika and I are going to talk about two separate but connected topics today.
The first is Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. As you may recall from a past episode with Cara Dolnik, NGSS is a sort of next step of Common Core in terms of encouraging critical thinking and the learning process, versus rote memorization.
Annika leads a district team to create a Next Gen Science curriculum for earth science, and is part of her district’s NGSS vision team. The method of designing the curriculum is using our second topic of discussion, Open Educational Resources or OER.
If you’re wondering what Open Educational Resources are, here’s a rough overview: Any federally funded research comes with a mandate that the research be made public for no cost. That allows for educators to integrate the latest scholarship into curriculum now, instead of waiting years for textbook companies to maybe utilize it, and for schools to have the funds to change out textbooks.
Annika explains it far better than I do, but OERs could force a massive shift in how we keep up with the latest scholarship, and how our students are equipped to use that scholarship.
It’s a fantastic conversation and I hope you enjoy it. And away we go!