Top 10 Difficulties Teachers Have When Starting Digital Curriculum

Whenever you add a new tool to your classroom, there’s a learning curve to using it.

AES’s digital curriculum system is designed to be as easy as possible for teachers to start using and succeed.

Still, lots of teachers ask similar questions when they’re starting to use digital curriculum.

These are the 10 most common questions we hear from teachers, all of which have to do with starting digital curriculum:

  1. Figuring out the price
  2. Forgetting to enroll students
  3. Using only digital curriculum
  4. Repeating modules
  5. Neglecting certifications
  6. Not communicating with other teachers
  7. Focusing on desktop computer use
  8. Only using worksheets on computers
  9. Neglecting individual student pacing
  10. Working with long-term subs, aides, and more

Let’s start with the most common hangup — figuring out price!

1. Figuring out the Price

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When you want to get approval for a new classroom resource from an administrator, you always need to know how much it’ll cost.

Whether you have a classroom budget or you teach a subject that qualifies for Perkins funding, the money is almost always there — you just have to figure out how to use it.

The funding process (along with talking to your administrator) can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first-year teacher.

That’s why we make our pricing as simple as possible. All of it is based on a one-year (12 month) subscription that's paid once per year, which is our only current timeframe available for curriculum use. 

(Unfortunately, we can't pro-rate either.)

Below, you’ll find pricing information for both of the AES curriculum areas:

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After pricing, the next most common hangup for new teachers is enrolling students.  

2. Forgetting to Enroll Students

2.0-forgetting-to-enroll-studentsWhen teachers get started with digital curriculum, most of them have an easy time creating a new class.

The place they hit a snag is enrolling students.

A digital curriculum system like AES is made for teachers to use with a full class of students. It simply doesn’t work when teachers use the curriculum on their own without enrolling students.

In AES’s digital curriculum system, this is a cinch.

To start, you have to create a class and fill it with curriculum modules.

Then, you just need to select your class…

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… and then click on the Student Enrollment option in the left-hand bar.

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This will show you a unique code that your students use to join your class.

You can also choose to click the big green button on that screen to close enrollment. That way, you prevent students from joining late.  

Once you have students enrolled, your class really starts to shine!

You just have to avoid the next pitfall that can happen for teachers using digital curriculum for the first time.  

3. Using Only Digital Curriculum

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Digital curriculum is at its best when you use it in a blended learning environment.

This allows you to differentiate instruction for IEPs, accommodate students who work at different speeds, and generally improve your students’ experiences in your class.

Using digital curriculum exclusively often means that your students will become bored with the material. No one likes to spend a 40-minute class period staring at a computer screen, and that goes double if your school uses block scheduling. 

As a result, it’s smart to continue lecturing, using games for interaction, and bringing in other strategies to engage your students.

When you do use digital curriculum, you should also ensure you avoid the next mistake – repeating content modules.  

4. Repeating Modules

4.0-repeating-modules“Modules” is the generic term that applies to any curriculum subject.

In digital curriculum, a “module” includes lessons, assessments, worksheets, and activities that pertain to that module’s title.

You can use these modules anywhere you want in a class.

But you have to be careful that you’re not using the same module in sequential classes.

For example, we have a Marketing module that business education teachers like to use in intro to business courses.

Sometimes, the same teacher is required to teach a marketing class as well.

If a student goes through the intro to business class and the marketing class, they run the risk of repeating the same Marketing module.

In that scenario, the student doesn’t get the same value from the classes as students who only took one class or the other.

As a result, digital curriculum works best when you line up your modules sequentially, much like how you’d align your sequential courses.

If you’re teaching Health Science I and Health Science II, don’t use the same Anatomy & Physiology module for both courses.

You’ll keep your students engaged in both classes, you’ll teach them fresh material every marking period, and you’ll give them a strong sense of progression through material to enrich their educational experiences.

5. Neglecting Certifications

5.0-neglecting-certificationsCertifications are the most common way to prove end-of-pathway success in CTE and general success in secondary schools.

They also set up students for prime opportunities in their careers, sometimes giving them an extra leg up over other job-seekers who may be in their same area of interest.

Fortunately, you can prep your students for certifications and use digital curriculum at the same time!

That gives you the best of both worlds — and it’ll make your administrator happy, too.

At AES, our philosophy is simple.

Digital curriculum systems should be robust and versatile. They need to be robust so that you get the tools and curriculum required to improve your classroom, and they need to be versatile enough so you can use digital curriculum however suits your needs.

It’s a thin line to tread, and we do our best to ensure that health science, business education, and computer applications have everything they need to improve and innovate on their own teaching strategies.  

To do that successfully, you have to avoid another obstacle that catches many first-year teachers off guard.

You have to communicate with other teachers who use the same digital curriculum.

6. Not Communicating with Other Teachers

6.0-not-communicating-other-teachersFor schools or districts that use the same digital curriculum, it can get tricky to ensure students are getting a rich educational experience while avoiding repetition in curriculum content.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix to that.

AES digital curriculum makes it a snap for any teacher (or administrator, for that matter) to share classes with another curriculum user.

That means a teacher in one middle school can share a computer applications class with a peer across the county.

It also means health science teachers at multiple CTCs can share crucial courses with one another to ensure consistency across the CTE program.

With that, email, and good old-fashioned phone calls, it’s never been easier for teachers and administrators to share course information — even district-wide!

7. Focusing on Desktop Computer Use

7.0-focusing-desktop-computer-useWe hear a lot of teachers say that students can’t do homework on digital curriculum systems because the students don’t have home computers or Internet access.

With today’s technology, students don’t need a home computer — or even conventional Internet access!

First, AES digital curriculum is compatible with iPads, laptop computers, and desktop computers.

Second, almost every person in the United States — students included — have access to smartphones. That means they also have access to a service provider that offers Internet access.

While AES digital curriculum doesn’t have a native app, students can still navigate to learn.aeseducation.com and do their homework from anywhere they have cell service.

But we hear you — what if you want to remove the factor of computers and Internet access altogether?

What if you could remove the excuse of “I don’t have a computer?”

8. Only Using Worksheets on Computers

8.0-only-using-worksheets-on-computersAES digital curriculum has modules that come complete with worksheets, all of which you can use electronically or choose to print.

Many teachers choose to use these worksheets on computers to save paper and more easily keep track of student progress.

Other teachers opt to print the worksheets, hand them out to students, and grade them the old-fashioned way.

There’s no right or wrong answer here — in fact, many teachers find this to be the best way to address excuses like “I don’t have Internet at home.”

When you hand someone a paper worksheet, they can’t say they don’t have the proper technology to do their homework.

They may say their dog ate it, though.

9. Neglecting Individual Student Pacing

9.0-neglecting-individual-student-pacingLet’s face facts: Students work at different paces.

So why do so many digital curriculum providers force you to keep students all at the same pace?

At AES, we recognize that’s not the right approach to this topic. That’s why we build advanced student pacing features right into our system itself.

With these features, you can:

  1. Set custom assessment options for midterms, finals, etc.
  2. Assign due dates and deadlines
  3. Ensure students complete lessons before taking assessments
  4. Customize content delivery to individual students

Sounds good, right?

Our community of teachers feels the same way!

That’s why we built those features and continue to support them. Student pacing is exceptionally important these days, and it’s going to become even more important as the tone of education embraces individualized education plans (IEPs).

But there’s still one problem that’s plagued teachers — new and veteran — for as long as there have been teachers.

What do you do with a long-term sub? What about teacher aides? What about when you have to step in and cover another teacher’s classes?

Don’t let these questions keep you up at night anymore — AES has your back!

10. Working with Long-Term Subs, Aides, & More

10.0-working-long-term-subs-aides-moreWith AES digital curriculum systems, you have the ability to create special login accounts for long-term subs, teaching aides, and even other teachers who have to cover for you.

This provides a seamless transition of content and information for anyone who needs it — including your administrator.

So what do you do if you need someone to cover a class for eight weeks?

Easy — give them the special login credentials for your class and let them teach exactly what you were going to teach.

If you feel that sudden sense of relaxation in your shoulders, you’re not alone.

We hear from teachers who feel the same way every day.

So with all of this out in the open, how do you feel about trying digital curriculum for yourself?

Try a 30-Day Free Trial of Digital Curriculum for Yourself

99.9-try-digital-curriculumYou can try AES’s digital curriculum system for free for 30 days.

With this trial, you get:

  1. Unlimited access to all curriculum
  2. Help from our top-notch support team
  3. Resources to help you in the classroom
  4. More!

All you have to do is sign up for a trial.

You’ll then be asked to verify your email address by clicking a unique link that goes to your inbox.

Then, you’ll be asked to validate that you are, in fact, a teacher.

(We’ve had sneaky students try to game the system before.)

Altogether, those tasks take about 30 seconds to complete. Plus, you can do them while you explore all of the curriculum and feature options that AES offers.

Are you ready to try digital curriculum for yourself?

Start your free trial today!

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