Hazel Glen College is a new school in the north of Melbourne and we are continually trying to approach education in a fresh way, building on the lessons of the past. When it came to looking at the resources our curriculum was using, it was anything but fresh. We were using digital textbooks that were purely substituting the paper books that have been used for a hundred years. We had to do something different.
Like many schools, we decided to scrap the text book and use freely available resources on the web, supported by our own resources and learning intentions. So we started looking for inspiration from other schools. Many were doing it, but almost no one was sharing it freely. Many lone wolf educators were posting their courses, but no schools, in every subject area, were saying here is our curriculum, look at it, use it, reuse it...for free. So we decided it had to happen.
A small team set up the learning structure that we were all to follow, Tune In, Learn About, Reflect On, and then we started training the staff. We knew it would be a lot of work to create a whole Year 7 and 8 Curriculum from scratch, with no textbooks and only using freely available resources on the web, but they approached it with vigour and took on the challenge.
Nine months later we have over 50 courses online (all free), we are expanding next year into Year 3, 4 and 9, we are rebuilding our initial courses (some could do with improvement) and we are seeing where we can expand in the future.
Our staff are excited by the opportunities it has offered as well. We have had visitors from overseas, their courses are being downloaded by sometimes ten times their classroom and we almost always feature in the top ten courses listed on iTunes U.
It has been an amazing opportunity for us to share our work and we hope that when we get more people to hear about the HBook program, they too may decide to share their curriculum and in turn redefine what education could be.
Link to HBook Collection: https://itunes.apple.com/au/institution/hazel-glen-college/id1052912638