How one university supports K-12 online learning (for free)

We know that teachers don’t really want technology, they want curricula'

Teachers looking for online learning resources are getting a big boost from the University of Michigan’s free library of digital instructional materials.

The university’s Center for Digital Curricula is powered by proprietary, open software called the Collabrify Roadmap Platform, which was created by the school’s College of Engineering,

The resources cover all subjects and include full classes, open textbooks and lessons that teachers can “remix” with their own content.

In the last few weeks, a few thousand students and teachers have accessed the collaborative, standards-aligned materials for online learning, says Elliot Soloway, professor and co-director of the Center for Digital Curricula.

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“We know that teachers don’t really want technology, they want curricula,” Soloway says. “We are setting our sights on the fall with the goal of making the transition back from learning at home to learning at school seamless.”

The Roadmap platform allows students and teachers to collaborate in real-time. The resources are developed and vetted by a group of Michigan teachers who are working with the university.

Wendy Skinner, who teaches second grade at Brandywine Community Schools in Michigan, told the university that she is creating her own “roadmaps” with the Collabrify platform.

“Roadmaps are the only thing I’ve seen where I can plug in my skills for my students in the same way I’d do it in the classroom,” Skinner said on the university’s website. “It’s all in one place, and I can monitor it and look at what they’ve done. I can also make sure I include the things that I value to make my connections with the students more meaningful.”

The Center for Digital Curricula also offers free webinars for teachers and school administrators on its website. A searchable repository of digital curricula can be found on the Michigan Department of Education’s Open Education Resources repository at

UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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