myWorld Geography

The Digital Path for Pearson’s myWorld Geography program was a multi-million dollar undertaking centered on the Understanding by Design (UbD®) framework for curriculum, assessment and learning. In UbD, curriculum is designed around the long-term goals of student understanding versus short term coverage of facts to foster enduring understandings. To achieve this, UbD® uses Essential Questions at the beginning of a topic that focus on big idea such as “Is conflict unavoidable?” “Is it better to be independent or interdependent?” or “How can you measure success?” This method allows students to find greater meaning in their learning and transfer it to other topics and areas in their lives.

Using the learning model “Connect, Experience, Understand” students take on the role of journalists and go “On Assignment” in the Digital Path to develop deeper understandings of the world through videos, interactive lessons, timelines, maps, culture “close ups” and data analysis activities which encourage exploration. Formative assessment is built in to each module, enabling students to practice and synthesize what they have learned, then apply their responses to Essential Questions about the world around them through final projects.

I was hired to lead the MyStory video component of the program. myStory videos are topic openers which explore the lives, hopes and challenges of real teens from around the world. The videos serve as a touchstone for students to make personal connections to the content they are about to learn though the experiences of their international peers. I collaborated with an international team of producers and location managers to communicate the big ideas each video should address, and profile and locate candidates. I reviewed each video from script to final cut. I also wrote scripts for 3D regional flyovers and country overview videos.

In addition to overseeing the video program, I worked with a cross-functional team of editors, designers, developers and project managers to research, build and publish interactive lesson content and a broad range of digital ancillaries including an interactive textbook, and audio, game, assessment and remediation products.

myWorld Geography won the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Distinguished Achievement Award for Social Studies Curriculum and was a Software & Information Industry Association (SIAA) CODiE Awards finalist in both Best Social Studies ad Best Education Community Solution categories in 2010, and garnered Tech & Learning Magazine's award of Excellence in 2011.