Westjam’s Curriculum Mapper
Scheduling curricula in a large school is a major strategically undertaking – with several classes running parallel and standards to be met, balancing classroom focus and a timetable requires extensive juggling. But a key characteristic of the technology the procurement revolution has equipped schools in our system with is its value in logistical support. Westjam’s flagship software package Curriculum Mapper was designed to exploit that advantage, and do so in a stellar fashion. At the hear of the product is the concept of a “curriculum map,” a visual representation of the elements of a school’s curricular program- content and objectives for a specific class or system. Having such a diagram available is a useful aid in defining connects and boundaries, and managing learning outcomes, as the majority of districts that mandate them have discovered. Administrating them for large student bodies can be such a strenuous task that it threatens to absorb any benefit the maps may offer.
Curriculum Mapper plays a decisive role in this process by providing an integrated resource for management and analysis of a school or district’s curricular goals. By first creating a template, then connecting to a national database of curriculum maps, teachers can easily produce maps of their classes, analyze their outcomes, then compare them to schools around the nation. With product’s search engine, teachers can uncover gaps in their lesson plans and instantly address them by finding suitable materials field-tested by educators elsewhere in their districts or in other states. Furthermore, they can ensure that their classes are in synch with the remainder of their unit’s teachers.
Similar advantages are offered to administrators, who can utilize functions built into the program assessing state standards and providing statistics on a number of criteria. Maps can easily be copied from year to year, and a broad scheme of password protection with administrative access comes as a standard option. They act as the admins of the system, able to quickly change passwords, levels of access, content in individual maps, etc.
I installed the program on a two year-old G4 Mac and was able to rapidly configure it for use, although the package is entirely cross-platform accessible and can be used on either Macs or PCs. With exactly zero experience, I was able to construct a curriculum map for an imaginary trigonometry class and with a few minutes of online research, create a complete fictitious year of study for my students, complete for two semesters. Furthermore, I aligned the class to New York State math standards and pinpointed the topics as well.
Despite my utter lack of experience, I was able to map out curriculum for a typical class, so I can say with total impunity that a working teacher should have no problems in doing so. Even better, I was able to print out directly from my browser without having to access the software. For any school system, district or school struggling to manage their map resources, I recommend without reservation logging on to www.curriculummapper.com for more information.#