Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Plugged In


Wacky for Curriki 

By Barbara Axelson | August 2007

Scott McNealy's vision of open source and online community building aims to improve online resources for education.

Most people would say their children inspire them. Not many can show the proof like Scott McNealy, the visionary chairman and cofounder of Santa Clara–based Sun Microsystems. He can point to Curriki, the hot education Web site that permits users to contribute and tweak assorted educational material.

McNealy’s idea came about three years ago when he was assisting one of his children with a third-grade science assignment. As he attempted to search online for basic information on how electricity works, he decided that free academic resources could benefit students and teachers and save schools money. California alone spends in excess of $400 million a year for educational resources for K–12 students.

Curriki was born. The name is a combination of curriculum and wiki (as in the popular Wikipedia). The site is an open source curriculum repository and community that captivates teachers, parents, and students as they post or download information.

McNealy likes what he sees so far. “With 35,000 members and 3,000 assets in just six months, Curriki is already exceeding our expectations,” he says. “One person referred to it as EduTube. We want to move the market at large to delivering universal access to K–12 education through the open source model.”

The wealth of Web-based education materials online right now makes it that much harder to find a central repository that teachers can trust. McNealy wants Curriki to be that place: where educators can not only find but contribute materials such as lesson plans, sample tests, and video tutorials all developed and built by the community. “Not only do they have one place to go,” he adds, “but they can create a MySpace-like page for themselves to manage all their content.

”The Curriki idea continues to evolve. In June, AARP (American Association of Retired Professionals, Washington, D.C.) announced a partnership with the Curriki community to, as they put it, “eliminate the education divide.” The plan is for AARP to encourage millions of teacher retirees to use the site to contribute and assist in the creation of thousands and “ultimately millions” of educational objects and to participate in a community to change learning and teaching in the future. AARP teacher-members from the National Retired Teachers Association will aid in the growth of the high-quality content, which ranges from assessments and media clips to complete textbooks, all at no charge.

Curriki and AARP are connecting retired teachers to form the first group of volunteer educators to use the site. Experienced subject-matter experts will organize resources, review content, supply curricular materials of their own, and train teachers. Curriki outreach through these Web sites and publications will invite teachers to form dynamic communities, both physical and virtual, ultimately encouraging travel to collaborate with colleagues in developing countries. “The [AARP] announcement is the epitome of the principles on which both Curriki and Sun were founded: open source and community-built content,” says McNealy.

  • Scholastic Store
  • The Scholastic Store  
    The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

    The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

    by Mary Gribbin and John Gribbin

    Faithful Pullman fans, as well as pure science buffs. will be mesmerized by the scientific concepts and philosophical theories found throughout the books, ranging from string theory and quantum physics to Jungian theory and the I Ching. Truly thought-provoking, this supplement to the trilogy gets your child wondering about the connections between her favorite fantasy and the larger world.

    Learning Highlights

    Science concepts and philosophy deepen an appreciation for science-fiction and fantasy.

    $12.76 You save: 20%
    books;hardcover books;hardcovers | Age 16
    Add To Cart
    The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
    Age 16 $12.76
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  


    by Cynthia Weill and Quirino & Martin Santiago

    Beautiful and whimsical authentic hand-painted animals from Oaxaca teach kids about opposites in Spanish and English!

    $3.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grade K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Grade K $3.71
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.