Knowledge Networks On the Web (KNOW)

Knowledge Networks on the Web (KNOW) is a web-based professional development environment developed with the goal of creating a self-sustaining community of teacher learners engaged in learning how to use inquiry-oriented curriculum materials. KNOW is built around standards-based, inquiry-oriented, and technology-rich curriculum materials (like the ones developed at hi-ce), and adds a collection of videos, student work artifacts, and other enhancements designed to help teachers understand how to interpret curriculum so that it becomes more useable in their local contexts. This kind of customization is impossible to achieve using traditional materials, but is ideally suited for the web. Furthermore, KNOW supports ongoing conversation and exchange via message boards about how to teach specific curricula. A key part of the KNOW community is the linkage between new and experienced teachers using the same curriculum materials.

KNOW is being used in a new NSF-funded experimental study of teacher learning called "The Impact of Online Professional Development (IOPD): An Experimental Study of Professional Development Modalities Linked to Curriculum." The five-year study is funded by the NSF's Teacher Professional Continuum Program and will provide policy-relevant information about the relative value of on-line and face-to-face professional development for teachers learning how to use inquiry-oriented curricula.