The Road So Far
OLI began informally as an individual effort to make the curriculum available to as many teachers as possible in Guatemala. The result is CNB Guatemala, a website that now holds practically all of the Guatemalan National Basic Curriculum, from early education to upper secondary. OLI was established to give this effort an institutional basis for growth and sustainability.
The website is rapidly becoming an integral part of education practices in the country, both for teachers and institutions. More than 1 million individual users –mostly teachers and teacher students from Guatemala and other Latin American countries– used it during 2016. The Ministry of Education in Guatemala formally recognized CNB Guatemala as an educational asset and linked it to their institutional portal.
Over 100 teachers attend a 2-day "bring your own device" workshop on using the online curriculum and sharing educational resources online.
Since completing the publication of the national curriculum, our effort has focused on expanding usability by building bridges between the curriculum, teaching and learning resources, and effective practices in the classroom. This has included:
- Incorporating and linking a variety of teacher education and support materials explaining the curriculum and illustrating its application;
- Developing an online help module for teachers to learn how to make the best use of the website and its resources;
- Identifying good quality, open access teaching and learning resources available internationally on the Web, aligning these with the Guatemalan curriculum, and linking them to the curricular competences and knowledge areas, so teachers can find them on a just-in-time basis, when they are planning their classes;
- Developing tools for teachers to link their own resources to the curriculum and share them with the rest of the teacher community;
- Designing and testing a teacher training workshop model that can be used in teacher colleges to introduce teacher students and in-service teachers to the use of the online curriculum, and to encourage them to develop, align and share their own resources with each other; and
- Collaborating to develop a free-standing offline version of the website for use in schools without internet access.
Instructor Pedro Us and teacher trainers in a workshop on incorporating the online curriculum into teacher education.
What comes next?
Our experience so far in Guatemala has taught us important lessons:
- Yes, it is possible to make a difference with relatively few resources;
- Yes, even though internet access is still restricted, many teachers are willing and able to find online resources, but need help to use them more effectively;
- Yes, there are national and international partners —private individuals, government agencies and international technical and financial assistance agencies— who can help to translate our vision into sustainable practice.
Over the coming years we will prioritize:
- Expanding the number and usability of teaching and learning resources aligned with the curriculum, so teachers can find an ever growing number of tools for effective use within and outside the classroom;
- Consolidating the technical and technological platform so that teachers everywhere can access and use it easily, whether they are using a mobile phone, a tablet or a conventional desktop or laptop computer; and
- Incorporating curricula and sharing resources across countries. Why shouldn't teachers everywhere benefit from the efforts of their peers anywhere?
- Building a community of partners and donors who are as passionate about education as we are, and are willing to back OLI on a regular and long-term basis.