Teachers’ capacity to use technology in classrooms is also improved by the easy availability of technology-based activities and lessons that are aligned with their curriculum needs. Dexter, Morgan, Jones, and Meyer (2016) observed that accessible resources (those that could be incorporated into classrooms with minimal adaptation) were associated with greater use of technologies. This led those scholars to conclude, “leaders must provide unfettered access to technologies beyond personal computers… and provide learning experience in the pedagogical strategies that support integration those technologies into teachers’ instruction” p. 1208). Curriculum repositories (Ackerman, 2017) are systems that facilitate sharing of resources and strategies among the professionals working a local community.
A curriculum repository is an online space, typically a course created in the learning management system provided by the school, where educators can engage with each other to find and create resources to support all types of TPCK. Training that is part of on-boarding new teachers is necessary so they are prepared to use those systems; by posting the materials used during those training sessions to the curriculum repository, IT managers can make the repository a valuable resource for educators when they first arrive.
Curriculum repositories are often modeled after existing open education resource (OER) communities. Several communities of OER developers have created web sites where visitors can search for and find documents, media, simulations, and other resources created by members. These sites are available to general users of the Internet, and membership is slightly restricted, so these tend to be vast and rich repositories that many users find them overwhelming. Curriculum repositories are modeled after OER sites as users can upload and curate and share resources, but the collections are more limited and participation is restricted to teachers (and others) in local communities, so the resources tend to me more closely aligned with specific curriculum expectations and the they tend to be created by individuals with similar technology available.
Ackerman, G. (2017). Strategies to increase technology acceptance. In M Grassetti and S. Brookby (Eds.). Advancing next-generation elementary teacher education through digital applications. Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.
Dexter, S., Morgan, M. A., Jones, W. M., & Meyer, J. P. (2016, March). Trends in types of and goals for technology usage as teachers increase their technology integration. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2016, No. 1, pp. 1203-1209).