Curriculum and Instructional Designer for Early Learners – Kristin Shaeffer

The reason I am interested in pursuing a career as a curriculum and instructional designer is because during the pandemic, the sudden switch to online instruction for many teachers was stressful. I observed that many children and families struggled to understand expectations, to complete work, and to engage and perform up to standards while “schooling’ at home.

I already have experience creating courses for parents and young children.

We, as educators, must learn from the past few months when isolation or quarantine caused changes in kids’s environment, economics and family. These variations caused stresses on our children’s education. I look forward to improving this skill so that I can be a part of the solution to better online education for children.

– Kristin Shaeffer, ECD 505 (jdkris@asu.edu)

A current job opening in this field is curriculum designer for Waterford.org, which is a remote job during the pandemic, but is based 15 minutes away from my home.

This job has an emphasis on PreK-2nd grade early literacy development. Work may also include assisting in creating math content. This designer envisions innovative, creative, and effective ways to provide learning experiences for children!

The position requires a deep understanding of early literacy learning, an understanding of math skills development, classroom experience including supporting families, and well-developed writing skills. This role will build product content ensuring that it is effective, engaging, and relevant to all students. This role participates in a variety of content development processes including researching, drafting, designing, developing, editing, reviewing, and delivering learning experiences to children.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with content development and correlation teams to build literacy content based on the science of reading for students in preschool through sixth grade and to develop resources that fill gaps and align with digital instruction in the program.
  • Be the voice of the learner, ensuring that their needs are at the forefront.
  • Lead projects through the design lifecycle.
  • Participate in the writing process by assuming responsibility for revisions to child, parent, and teacher-facing materials
  • Support the development of instructional materials …that transform technical information into engaging instructional materials.

The knowledge and skills that are needed include:

  • BS in Early Childhood Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Technology, Elementary Education or similar degree
  • 3+ years of early childhood or elementary teaching experience
  • Experience teaching students with diverse learning needs in diverse settings
  • Experience implementing programs in classrooms using technology tools to build and implement curriculum
  • Background or knowledge of learning design, training/education, curriculum development and/or instructional design
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong writing and editing skills

Preferred

  • Master’s Degree in Education
  • Experience with online platforms
  • Familiarity with Google suite, OneDrive, and Excel
  • Familiarity with Jira and Confluence

As I looked at the company’s website I could see that economic considerations is an important value to have, since they picture underserved communities among their students. Besides, you read “serve all people” in the job description. Learning outcomes and and an openness of the learning community to alternative view points would be very important. Since they are serving young children, esthetics and visual space is very important to keep the learning experience engaging.

Asking questions is the attitude that would seem to be crucial because that is how you get in a child’s head (mental mode) to address every possible strategy, some never thought of before. To innovate instruction one must be skeptical, leaving no rock unturned.

These values and attitudes are developed through experience with children, observing their interaction (one of the pillars) with your ideas and constantly improving. Being open to learning myself, which is why I am taking this class, is also important in strengthening necessary values and attitudes.

CLICK HERE TO JOB LISTING.

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