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Upgrading Your Curriculum

We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, 
and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet. 
—Margaret Meade


Janet helping teacherOne of my colleagues, Mike Fisher, and I wrote a professional book to capture our experiences and “how tos” based on working with schools, districts, and higher-ed programs to upgrade (transform) both learning and teaching. 


Everyone involved in creating modern-learning environments for our current and next generations must embark, or continue to grow, by participating in collaborative efforts. Moving from me to we is an ongoing process. It is important to lay a foundation for learning and teaching in relationship to upgrading curriculum, assessments, and instructional practices. When teachers begin to transform curriculum, two important perspectives in the design-process include:

  • Actively seeking collaborative relationships (orbits of abilities) to aid in upgrading units of study
  • Considering the relationship between high impact on learning and  high impact on engagement to ensure students are involved in “owning their learning” experiences


Educators need to focus on upgrading specific elements in their the existing curriculum purposefully and gradually. Professional growth caused by a transformational-process experience is best described as a spiral process. When teachers upgrade, they often express a desire to transform the same unit of study again, or do so with a new unit of study. The transformational process spiral consists of four phases:

  • Appraisal and Brainstorming
  • Commitment and Communication
  • Reactions and Reflections
  • Revisions


Each phase allows educators to thoughtfully upgrade unit elements in purposeful ways. The phases represent a natural sequence from making conscientious decisions to providing reflection time based on the results of those decisions. Examples that express the transformational process phases are included in the snapshots in Upgrade Your Curriculum. Since no two upgrades are exactly alike, each snapshot tells its own story. Each narrative includes the entry points, 21st century clarifications, technology authenticities, and standards connections, as well as the spiral elements from appraisal to revisions. 

Skyping with Mary BethThe beauty of the transformational process is that it is applicable to classroom environments, professional growth, and administrative upgrades. Whichever you are involved in, it is recommended that you participate in Curriculum Upgrade Reviews to collaboratively gain insight into and feedback concerning your planned upgrade. 


Click here to download your complimentary Curriculum Upgrade Review Process guide.


Our book’s appendix includes 12 TECHformational Matrices to be used as visual conversation starters for educators to contemplate and express their ideas related to potential technology-based transformations. While the Transformational Matrix focuses on overall student learning and student engagement, the TECHformational Matrices focus specifically on technology and potential use of Web-based tools in relationship to student engagement and ownership of the learning.  The TECHformational Matrices are divided into three categories: Digital Devices, Web-based Tools, and Curations. For example, Web-based Tools includes a Quick Response (QR) Codes TECHformational Matrix.


TECHformational Matrix QR Codes



If you are interested in learning more about Janet's Upgrade Your Curriculum book, click here.Upgrade Your Curriculum Book Cover

To discuss your learning organization’s curriculum upgrade needs, please complete a Curriculum Design Survey. Janet will respond within 24 hours.


To contact Janet directly, please call her at 520.241.8797, or email her using this contact form.