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Friday, October 22, 2010

The 7 Most Important Elements in Selecting a K-12 Curriculum Management System (Part 2)

{by Gail Tolbert}

Here are the last three of the most Important Elements in Selecting a K-12 Curriculum Management System (See the first four here.)

5. Look For a System That You Will Never Outgrow

It’s true, leading edge technology means you are provided with a tool that you will never outgrow; as your district and curriculum continues to grow and change, so will the system. Today, many school districts are looking for a new curriculum tool because they have outgrown their current one. Purchasing a system that only handles the needs of today means that at some point, districts will have to go through the process of researching the next generation of software.

6. Can the Software be Customized?

Because no two districts operate exactly the same, it is important to understand the depth of customization that a leading edge company can offer. When assessing curriculum software, some companies will claim that their product is customizable. Often, their definition of “custom” is having the ability to change a title, a font or some other layout or design option. Although, these claims are technically correct the reality often forces school districts to conform to the limitations of the software rather than the software conforming to the district’s strengths. Leading edge technology means the software will customization to meet a districts internal language, process, forms, environment, and the hierarchy of the district curriculum.

7. Chose a Partner, Not a Vendor

Partnerships are not developed by vendors selling or reselling cookie-cutter software. Successful K-12 curriculum implementation comes from understanding a district’s needs, strengths and limitations. Leading edge technology companies take the time to learn the needs of their K-12 school partners and work with them to develop meaningful strategies that meet the demands of the ever changing K-12 school district curriculum. Through those partnerships curriculum systems evolve into a more meaningful tool for teachers and ultimately their students.

Since leading edge technology meets the needs of the 21st Century Educator don’t let the flashy sales, glitzy advertisements and the promise of uniformity lure you into selecting a system that is not good for your district.

Remember, the most important thing is “what’s under the hood”.

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