FAQs

CURRICULUM CRAFTER TOOL

What is the Curriculum Crafter® tool?

The Curriculum Crafter® Tool is a dynamic web-based curriculum management and design tool that offers embedded, researched-based curriculum which will align to your state standards. The curriculum can be customized to your needs and support your current initiatives.

Who should use the Curriculum Crafter® Tool?

District Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Principals and Teachers, and Dept. of Education Administrators at Teaching Colleges & Universities.

What type of reports will Curriculum Crafter® Tool generate?

Standards: broad descriptions of the knowledge and skills students should acquire in the unit of study. Analysis of Standard: The outline of the unit of study that includes all information listed below. Differentiated Resources for some standards.

Foundations: prerequisite vocabulary, new vocabulary, essential questions, and enduring understanding.

Concepts & Information: consistent background information for the standard allowing consistent vocabulary between schools and within the district.

Sequence of Instruction: The lessons are listed, in sequential order, as well as the content expectations and corresponding instructional strategies. Electronic Resources: The resources for the entire standard are available electronically within the standard.

Course Standards Comparison Report: This report compares several grade levels of curriculum standards, by content area, and displayed by strand.(Comparing Curriculum)

Content Expectation & Priority Content Expectation Comparison Report: This report compares several grade levels of content expectations, by content area, and strand. (Comparing Content Expectations)

Curriculum Summary Filtered Report: This report allows you to select and sort by content area, course and strand. This report is great for School Improvement purposes.

Content Expectations/Keyword Search: This area allows you to type in a content expectation (R.CM.03.01) or a key word (e.g. ‘statehood’) to search/find everywhere this concept is taught.

Standards Report: This report will show the content standards for the course, aligned by strand. As with many of the reports, the standards are hyperlinked directly to the full analysis of standard.

Vocabulary Report: This report will pull all new vocabulary into one master list from each of the standards within the particular content area and course.

Curriculum Map Report: This report displays the yearly map of the standards for the specific content area course. **The standard maps must be done prior to anything being populated in this report.

Content Expectation Report: This report will display in one master list all the content expectations for the content area course selected.

What are the features of the Curriculum Crafter® Tool?

Message board, technology support, supports multiple users, KC4 curriculum built in (optional), customizable, web-based, immediate updates, easy to use, inservice training, paces and maps, searchable

Can I add my own materials into the web-based program?

Yes, curriculum can be added directly into the web-based application or it can be attached, uploaded, or linked to the district file located on our server. We recommend that some instructional items such as videos, photos, music, etc. be created as links due to the fact that these types of files take up a great deal of storage space on the actual web-based server.

As a Curriculum Director for a local district, what information do I need to share with our technology director to help them understand this web-based curriculum design tool?

Since Curriculum Crafter® is web based, any internet enabled computer will do. In order to view the video training guides you will need Flash 9.0 installed on your computers.

What kind of training will be needed for successful implementation?

We believe that if a technological tool is well designed and intuitive for the user, then costly training and professional development can be dramatically reduced and the likelihood of adoption and success can be significantly increased. We are proud to report that our teacher users are prepared to use Curriculum Crafter® competently after only two hours of training. This allows them to experience the benefits quickly, with confidence and consistency. Research shows that if teachers are consistent in their implementation of a particular course, the likelihood of student achievement increases. We recommend the use of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), grade level/department meetings, and staff meetings throughout implementation to insure appropriate understanding and commitment to the use of Curriculum Crafter®.

TECHNOLOGY

Will the Curriculum Crafter® Tool be compatible with our district’s computer system?

Yes, because it is web-based, it can be accessed from any computer that has web access.

Compability Issues with Various Browsers: Please watch this short video to assist you and your district if you are having problems with certain functions such as reordering within the Curriculum Carfter Tool. http://www.screencast.com/t/VpKBUxQG8V

If we have Mac computers, can we still run the web-based program? How will this work for downloading information from the website?

Yes, as long as the Mac computer has a connection to the internet and a browser, they can access the website.

If you are having problems reordering items using a Mac please watch the following video for more information. http://www.screencast.com/t/uFZxbgXhoL

Does every computer need a copy of the Curriculum Crafter® Tool on it?

No, because Curriculum Crafter® is web-based, it can be accessed from any computer that has web access.

How often will the curriculum documents be backed up?

The server(s) are backed up on a daily basis.

Will our district’s curriculum be safe? What type of security is in place for the server?

The Curriculum Crafter® Master Curriculum is safely stored within our server so no changes can be made from outside our own System Administration Team. Each licensee has its own version of the Master Curriculum to which they may customize, add, delete, upload resources, etc. depending on the needs of the individual district. Each licensee’s curriculum remains available as long as the contractual agreement remains in place and the annual 15% maintenance fee is paid. The district has control of this content and it resides within our server which is housed within one of the most secure and reliable servers and associated firewalls available on the market today. The Curriculum Crafter® site is encrypted with a network solutions ssl certificate above typical encryption.

The server is secure and has been hardened per Microsoft’s IIS best practice analyzer, and one of Cisco’s best firewalls.

Is technology support available?

A help-desk will be available for customer support between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. The Curriculum Crafter® helpdesk can be reached via toll-free phone (1-866-350-1357) or by email at (curriculumcrafter@kentisd.org ).

What has been the reliability of Kent ISD’s website access?

Kent ISD has 2 circuits to the internet through AT&T and reliability should be no concern.

What are the benefits to using a web-based program rather than housing the information on our own site?

Hardware management is minimal, backups are our concern, not the schools, management and uptime is our concern as well. All the overhead that is required on your end is providing access to the internet.

How will we be notified regarding updates made to the curriculum?

Every time curriculum is updated to the main system, an automatic email alert will be sent to the district level “administrator” notifying them of the changes being made. The district administrator is then responsible for making the appropriate changes to the information into the district file on the web-server. Since many districts may choose to customize their curriculum, we do not want to automatically force changes and override any district related curriculum changes made in the local district systems file. Therefore, it is important to note that it is the responsibility of the district level, local administrator to update the change(s) in the local level curriculum file after update notices are sent to local districts.

What browsers are supported?

We currently support the following browsers:

Internet Explorer – version 7.0 and above

Mozilla Firefox – version 2.0 and above

Need Adobe Reader to open PDF Documents (for free download – http://get.adobe.com/reader/)

Compability issues with various internet browsers – please watch this short video to help ensure that Curriculum Crafter is working properly for your computer based on the browser you are using.
http://www.screencast.com/t/VpKBUxQG8V

What do I do if I am having problems reordering using Internet Explorer 8?

Internet Explorer 8 is a new release and some websites may not yet be ready for the new browser. Click the Compatibility View toolbar button to display the website as viewed in Internet Explorer 7, which will correct display problems like misaligned text, images, or text boxes.

This option is on a per site basis and all other sites will continue to display with Internet Explorer 8 functionality. When you click on the Compatibility View button for a site, you don’t need to do it again as the next time you visit that site the browser will show it in compatibility mode. If for some reason you’d like to go back to browsing with Internet Explorer 8 functionality on that site, simply click the Compatibility View button again.