5 Ways AVID & Digital Curriculum Work for College & Career Readiness
Over the past 37 years, Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) has become one of the most distinguished career preparation organizations in the United States.
What started as one teacher’s grand idea for student success has grown into a nationwide opportunity for thousands of high schoolers.
But technology is changing the way teachers teach. AVID is no exception.
Today, teachers can actually improve AVID’s tried-and-true methodology by using a digital curriculum.
In a nutshell, AVID is what you teach. Digital curriculum is how you teach it.
First, we have to take a look at AVID and digital curriculum separately to understand how they can work together.
What Is AVID?
AVID was founded in 1980 to help economically impoverished students earn placement in post-secondary education.
The organization’s mission statement is posted on almost every page of their website so everyone can see it.
They host events throughout the United States, including workshops, speakers, giveaways, and contests.
All of these events are designed to help AVID students directly or indirectly. Some events act as incentives for teachers to go above and beyond, while others reward students themselves for their hard work.
Often, these incentives focus on the last two words in AVID’s name — individual determination.
Self-determination is at the core of AVID’s methodology. After all, how can students succeed in life if they never learn what inspires them?
At the end of the day, AVID wants to help students get a college education. The key is preparing those students for a life of challenges, lessons, and achievement that comes from their own motivations.
What Is Digital Curriculum?
Digital curriculum is an online teaching tool designed to empower instructors with pre-made lessons, resources, and materials that save teachers time and help students learn.
In a nutshell, teachers use digital curriculum to make their work easier.
Specifically, they use it to teach, plan, and assess both in and out of the classroom.
That’s because digital curriculum is a versatile addition to any teacher’s educational strategy. It can fill just about any gap in your course syllabus, and all it takes is a device with an Internet connection.
But this is all at-a-glance information — there’s still a big question to answer.
How does a digital curriculum help AVID education?
1. Digital Curriculum Promotes Independent Learning
The biggest benefit of digital curriculum is its emphasis on independent learning.
While you control when and how students use digital curriculum software, students often go through the material on their own.
That means they’re responsible for learning and retaining information in the long run. Their future is in their hands, and they’re the primary force behind their success.
With a digital curriculum, students can work during class or at home to go through lessons and activities. Their classmates may work more quickly or more slowly than them, but every student has the same benchmarks.
Students each work at a pace they establish themselves, meaning they don’t feel the need to “keep up” with anyone else.
That lets them learn at the best speed for themselves. It also means you don’t have to spend as much valuable lecture time answering questions about material you’ve already covered.
Essentially, you give every student the same goal. You just remove the speed requirement for the students to hit that goal.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes them to finish. It only matters that they ran the race.
And if they missed something, it’s not a big deal.
They can go back and remediate all on their own.
2. Digital Curriculum Simplifies Remediation
Because digital curriculum focuses on independent learning so heavily, it has to be accessible to all of its users.
That includes you — but accessibility is most important for your students.
With 24/7 access to a digital curriculum, students can review old material that they might not remember from the first time they completed a unit.
That review empowers students to remediate themselves outside of the classroom.
That means you don’t have to spend class time or your personal time to help students catch up!
At the same time, students are accepting responsibility for their education and motivating themselves to succeed.
That alone makes digital curriculum a perfect match for AVID standards.
But there are still more benefits of a digital curriculum that help your students — and you — succeed.
3. Digital Curriculum Tracks Student Activity
If students are going to work independently, then you need a reliable way to keep tabs on their progress.
After all, AVID still uses grades as a measure of a student’s success.
But how do you grade students when they can do their work anywhere, anytime?
Digital curriculum is designed to automatically track a student’s grades (among other progress) and record it in your gradebook via the Internet.
This is especially handy in rural areas where absenteeism is a major problem. You can have students complete entire units’ worth of instruction and activities before making it into the classroom — even if they only make it into class a fraction of the time!
Then, when they’re done with each individual assessment, the digital curriculum automatically records each student’s performance in your gradebook.
You don’t even have to touch it!
With that, you can see where every student is succeeding and struggling. This ultra-specific, individualized information is the key to showing you who needs your time and attention.
Best of all, you can check your gradebook at any time, whether it’s a Saturday afternoon or Super Bowl Sunday.
But even with this great feature, digital curriculum still requires your involvement to work.
Fortunately, it’s much easier to plan a course with a digital curriculum than it is by hand.
4. Digital Curriculum Streamlines Lesson Planning
At some point in their careers, every teacher says the same single sentence.
“Lessons take forever to plan.”
That’s true for any teacher of any subject — especially college and career readiness.
After all, it takes a lot of time to get in touch with employers to schedule shadowing opportunities, and it can take universities a while to get back to you about student walk-throughs.
That’s all besides the regular lessons you have to make for a course, too.
Digital curriculum removes the stress of creating those regular lessons with pre-made materials, customizable courses, and other options that give you complete control over your classroom.
Then, you have all of your lessons in one place. You only need to lay them out the way you want, and you have the fundamentals for a full course!
On average, we hear from our customers that they save anywhere between six and 12 hours of work every week by using digital curriculum, and they see even better results from their students.
That’s a win-win for any teacher.
You get your free time back, and your students keep getting better.
We still have one big question though.
Digital curriculum isn’t an included tool in most classes in the United States.
So how can you get it?
5. Digital Curriculum Is Covered by Funding Organizations
States, Perkins budgets, and a huge range of other education funders cover the cost of digital curriculum.
Sometimes they only cover a portion, and other times they may cover the entire cost.
But you still have options to get funding help from outside your school or district.
With that in mind, all you have to do is ask your supervisor about funding opportunities!
Teach AVID with Digital Curriculum Today!
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