Latinos in Action (LIA) is a program that prepares Hispanic youth for academic success, post-secondary education, and successful careers. LIA has impressive growth and impact, now being offered in over 110 schools across Utah and resulting in high rates of high school graduation and college entrance. LIA accomplishes its mission by delivering classes that focus on leadership, cultural heritage, service learning, and academic excellence. Atomic Jolt developed a platform and a curriculum to support LIA's year-long middle and high school classes.
In order to support its growth, LIA was looking to create a robust curriculum for teachers. They wanted a curriculum that utilized research-based instructional practices and could be delivered via web, mobile, and print. They wanted a platform that would allow the curriculum to draw from and integrate existing web resources and continue to evolve as new resources become available. They also wanted teachers to be able to customize the curriculum to the specific needs of their students.
Atomic Jolt assembled a team, including instructional designers from Utah State University with experience developing curriculum in the content areas taught by LIA. We evaluated the needs and existing resource assessments utilized through interviews and surveys. We used Google docs for the backend authoring interface for the curriculum and created scripts that generate a mobile-friendly website each night. We developed templates that integrate the curriculum with forums for teachers to use for discussions and sharing lesson materials and experiences. We worked with LIA staff to deliver teacher training on the new curriculum as well as the technology platform.
BOTTOM LINE: LIA teachers now have a solid online curriculum to deliver courses, including lesson plans, handouts, videos, presentations, and support forums. Unit plans show the alignment between teaching standards and lessons. Lessons contain key components including academic vocabulary instruction. Teachers can print, download, and modify provided materials and collaborate with other LIA teachers through the LIA forums.