Tag Archives: Scott McNealy

Curriki Project-Based Geometry Course Now Available Free Worldwide

KimJonesimageBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

We are very pleased to report that the Curriki project-based high school Geometry course is now available here. Students are going to love geometry after taking this course! So many students hate math because it’s difficult to make a real-life connection between math and their everyday lives. By adopting a Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach, we show students that geometry is not only theoretical, but practical and necessary. Students will move beyond a basic understanding of concepts to an enjoyment of discovery.

This free Geometry course not only leverages the popular PBL “active” approach but is also aligned to Common Core State Standards. Available online at the Curriki site, it is designed to meet the needs of students raised in a global, interactive, digitally-connected world through the use of real-world examples, engaging projects, interactive technologies, videos and targeted feedback. Developed with funding from AT&T, the Curriki Geometry course is modular, so can be used as the foundation for students’ Geometry 1 curriculum, as a supplementary resource, in an after-school program, or in a homeschool environment.

geometry2The course units have been designed with carefully selected Curriki instructional materials, interactive content, videos and other materials that students can explore and use as they solve the series of challenges in each unit. The course structure is based on the six Common Core High School Geometry topics, organized in six units covering: (1) Congruence (2) Similarity, Right Triangles and Trigonometry (3) Circles (4) Expressing Geometric Properties with Equations (5) Geometric Measurement and Dimension, and (6) Modeling with Geometry. The Common Core Math Practice Standards are woven through each unit, with projects and explorations designed to develop students’ mathematical “habits of mind”, problem-solving and reasoning skills, and abilities to use mathematical models and technology tools strategically.

Thom Markham, Ph.D., President of PBL International, is the designer of the course. He notes that Project-Based Learning points us toward the future of education. “It’s a proven method for integrating the 21st century skills of communication and teamwork into the delivery of core subjects. Taking it online is the next step in offering this student-friendly approach to learning to a wider teacher audience.”

“When was the last time you had to force a kid to put down a text book?” asks Scott McNealy, Curriki board member and chairman of Wayin. “Never! On the other hand, give them a computer and a dynamic learning platform, and they never want to stop. We have to support future generations in the best ways possible given the challenges they will face.”

We thank AT&T for a $250,000 contribution to support the Curriki Geometry course as part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s $350 million commitment to education. Launched in 2008, AT&T Aspire is one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.

We encourage you to take a look at the Curriki Geometry course today, and to consider how it can be utilized in your classroom or school.

Curriki Celebrates Six Year Anniversary!

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Curriki is celebrating our 6-year anniversary this week. For 6 years, Curriki has been the leading K-12 global community for teachers, students and parents to create, share, and find free and open learning resources that improve teacher effectiveness and student outcomes. We are pleased to be going strong and we thank you for your support and engagement, whether you just joined this year or have been involved with us for several years.

The name Curriki is derived from the words “curriculum” and “wiki”. Here’s how our mission is described at Wikipedia:

Curriki’s mission is to use technology to help break down economic and geographic barriers that prevent children worldwide from having access to quality education, and thereby to make learning possible for anyone, anywhere in the world. Curriki’s model is to develop curricula through community contributors, and to deliver curricula and open educational resources globally. Anyone with access to the Internet can contribute and use the material found on Curriki to teach themselves or others. Since the materials, which include digital textbooks, learning videos, and interactive resources, are provided in open source, they can be adapted as needed to particular requirements inside or outside of the classroom.

Curriki continues to grow rapidly. The number of resources available at Curriki has doubled just in the last 4 years, and is now at 45,000. The number of members has grown to over 300,000, more than tripling in that same period. There have been over 7.5 million unique visitors to the Curriki site! And there are 678 groups within the Curriki family that have established by our members.

Curriki’s pre-history was in 2004 and 2005 and saw the development of the original concepts for a global education community, spearheaded by Scott McNealy and myself when Scott was the CEO at Sun Microsystems and I lead the Sun Education group for the company. Working in the technology field and with the education community, we were able to see the potential to leverage the Internet and technology more broadly to address the mission as stated above.

We launched Curriki in 2006 as a non-profit organization, and the initial website was launched in 2007. The first contribution was from Kevin Driscoll. In the same year the Curriki review team was launched. In 2009 we added a full chemistry curriculum.

Highlights in the current year of 2012 included a significant redesign of the Curriki web site, the launching of the Curriki Algebra 1 course, and the 300,000th member joining Curriki.

We look forward to increasing Curriki’s capabilities in the coming years and to continuing to help you achieve successful educational results!

Open Source Education – Curriki on “Class Action”

by Kim Jones, CEO of Curriki

Scott McNealy, Curriki’s founder, and I were so pleased to be interviewed by Jessica Aguirre recently on the NBC San Francisco Bay Area television program “Class Action”. We discussed what Curriki – a leading open source curricular repository – is doing to improve education in California and around the globe.

Open source curricular materials on Curriki are freely available, freely distributable, can be customized to particular requirements, and are cross-platform.  Over 40,000 open source materials are available at no cost, unlike traditional closed source educational materials, and the materials on Curriki are not confined to being used or viewed on a single platform or interface.

Take a look at the interview, it’s just a few minutes in length, and you can see it here: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/video/#!/on-air/shows/Open-Source-Education/138363864

A few highlights:
* The killer app is self-paced learning with assessment and scoring, kids are used to this from video games.
* Anyone can go to the Curriki.org web site and from the front page, search over 40,000 materials by subject, grade level, content type, media type. And the open source content is rated by users, with best content shown at the top of your search.
* Because the materials are open source, Curriki promotes personalization, so fast learners in a subject can zoom ahead and those needing help can try other methods of learning.

Thanks again to Jessica Aquirre and NBC Bay Area’s “Class Action” for hosting us and promoting Open Source Education!

Q&A with Kim Jones, Curriki’s New Executive Director

Kim Jones, chairman of the board and executive director, Curriki

Curriki welcomes new Executive Director Kim Jones, who is already a familiar face around Curriki!  Some of you may know that Kim was the original co-founder (with Scott McNealy) of Curriki and has served as its chairman of the board since 2004. We are thrilled that Kim recently accepted the additional role of executive director, where she will oversee Curriki’s next phase of growth.  You can find the official announcement here.

We had a chance to chat with Kim for a few minutes.

When did you first become interested in education?

I have been interested in education for as long as I can remember.  What really struck me, however, was when I was in college and doing a lot of volunteer work. I worked with a Big Sister program and spent time with many less fortunate children.  It was during this time that I realized how important education was and the critical role education played in helping to pull these children out of the cycle of poverty. I knew that education could change lives and allow these children to make a meaningful contribution to the world.

What is the biggest educational issue you believe we can address over the next five years?

The use of technology to bring different kinds of teaching styles to everyone – rich or poor, challenged or not challenged.  I believe learning can be fun and our use of technology as a tool to access powerful digital learning resources will give children and adults a much greater opportunity to learn and contribute to society all around the world.

What do you like most about heading up Curriki?

Having the opportunity to give back and making a difference to many people through education.

What are your goals for Curriki this year?

I want to grow our membership to more than one million registered users, and I want to see teachers and students using Curriki in the classroom or at home to improve both teacher effectiveness and student outcomes.

Why should a teacher become a member of Curriki?

Curriki gives teachers tools that can help them bring learning content “alive,” improve their effectiveness in the classroom to enhance student outcomes, and give them the opportunity to network with other teachers across the country or around the world to find out what is working, what is not working, and to share best practices and successes.

How does Curriki benefit society?

Clearly, a more educated population will benefit societies around the world. Curriki gives teachers and students new tools and new ways of teaching/learning that allow students to move at their own pace and improve their educational outcomes.  Ultimately, this will lead to a more productive population that can help us fill jobs and solve the problems we are facing in the 21st century.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Hire the best people you can – it takes a team!

You’ve lived and traveled around the world – where would you visit again?

There are not many places I would not visit again.  I particularly enjoyed my recent trip to Bhutan  and look forward to visiting more areas in the Himalayas.  I also love Africa and will return there any time!

What is your pet peeve?

The phrase “cannot do.”

What is your favorite type of food and/or restaurant?

Like travel, I love food and restaurants.  I don’t really have a favorite, but I do appreciate fusion cuisine,with its various foods from around the world, and its clean, modern California-style of cooking using very fresh ingredients.  I particularly love Asian cuisine, and Japanese in particular – either authentic Japanese or fusion-style with modern California touches.  I recently went to Benu in San Francisco which does this really well. The tasting menu was outstanding with 15 courses!  (Now this is for a special occasion.)  For casual, every day food, I love the recently opened Cotogna, which serves pasta and pizzas made with wonderfully fresh ingredients, and I love our Russian Hill neighborhood’s sushi groove!

Curriki has a Lesson Plan for Big Education: ‘Sharing is Caring’


Amarynth Sichel of Imprint TV learned a great lesson from Scott McNealy and Christine Mytko when she wrote about Curriki, open source education, and the online educational community last week. It is a lesson that we all learned in grade school, yet many in the education business seem to have forgotten: ‘Sharing is Caring.’

“Although open source sharing has revolutionized the way technology is used – by providing free access to everything from web browsers to T.V. shows – it has yet to transform the way children are educated. Each year the United States spends billions of dollars on K-12 texts and supplemental materials, which isn’t necessary”

— Curriki founder Scott McNealy.

If educators are learning the same lessons in sharing that they are teaching to students, they will look to Curriki as the place to put ‘Sharing in Education’ into practice, for the benefit of their fellow educators and students across the socio-economic spectrum.

As Curriki’s Executive Director Kim Jones puts it: “Our dream with Curriki is to make education truly kid-centric, so that kids can get a quality education regardless of their economic status.”

To learn more about what Curriki is doing to bring open, high quality education to students worldwide, read the full article: Educational Site Curriki, Provides Free Materials for All Learning Styles and visit Curriki.org!


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Photo contributed by Curriki

Scott McNealy in the Mercury News: Inspiring the Future of Education

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi via Flickr Creative Commons


Under the vision of Founder Scott McNealy and Chairman and Executive Director Kim Jones, Curriki is energizing schooling and inspiring a new movement in education, offering free textbooks, free courseware, a global community of educators, and a hot-spot for educational technology innovation. This summer, media outlets have been taking notice and rallying to the cause: the New York Times, Creative Commons, Network World, and now, the San Jose Mercury News.

Mercury news columnist Mike Cassidy spoke with Scott McNealy about his vision for the future of education, Curriki and the open source, free textbook mission.

McNealy admits that the mission of Curriki is bold and faces many challenges, especially from the education hegemony, but he affirms, “If I never have another job … this is a wall that I am going to keep bashing my head into… I just want this problem solved”.

Cassidy agrees with McNealy’s mission, and his words of support are inspiring for all educators, parents and students fighting the open source education battle. “We all want that. And the truth is, the more big, bold ideas out there, the more dynamite fuses we light, the better our chances of finding something that might just save our schools and our future”.

Read the full article, “Cassidy: Former Sun chief Scott McNealy s better idea for school text books” from the San Jose Mercury here.


What’s the Future of Curriki? An Interview with Scott McNealy

Curriki, OER, Scott McNealy, open education

[tweetmeme]I’d like to think of Curriki not as “No Child Left Behind”, but rather, “No Parent, Teacher or Student Held Back!” –Scott McNealy


Thanks to Amy Vernon at Network World for posting her recent article, “Curriki: Bringing the open source model to education”. The article includes an informative interview with Scott McNealy (Founder, Curriki.org; Co-Founder, Sun Microsystems) and Kim Jones (Executive Director, Curriki.org). Click play on the podcast above to hear Amy, Scott and Kim discuss:

  • The history, mission and impact of Curriki
  • The value of open source in education
  • The future of Curriki (Usability improvements! Recommendation engines! Assessment tools! Curricula development tools! Real time scoring!)
  • Donors—Who funds Curriki and how Curriki uses donations to help students, teachers and parents around the globe!

Thanks for listening!


Visit Curriki to find education resources, spread the word about the value of OERs in education and donate!

Like what you read? Become a fan of Curriki on Facebook!


Photo by Paul Goyette via Flickr Creative Commons