TEACHER EXPERIENCE WITH REVIEWED DIGITAL LIBRARY RESOURCES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
1 AAAS Project 2061 (UNITED STATES)
2 Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (UNITED STATES)
3 Winthrop, Maine (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:Despite the growing use of online instructional resources, teachers are often on their own when it comes to judging the quality of those resources and their match to state and national content standards. A collaboration of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) and Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has reviewed approximately 900 Web-based resources for their quality and value in standards-based science classrooms. The resources in the PRISMS (Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle Schools) collection focus on scientific phenomena or representations that can be used to help students understand important science ideas in astronomy; biological structure and function; earth; ecology; energy, force, and motion; and matter. Using Project 2061’s curriculum-materials analysis procedure, the PRISMS team worked with middle school teachers to carry out the reviews. Along with links to the resources themselves, the reviews can be accessed online at http://prisms.mmsa.org. To take a closer look at how teachers would actually use the PRISMS resources, we selected a small cadre of middle school science teachers from three states (FL, LA, ME) and invited them to examine the PRISMS Web site, read the reviews, and try out one or more of the resources. Teachers reported unanimously that the resources provided strong support for their instruction and that their students responded very positively to the use of the resources. Teachers also either agreed or strongly agreed that the online PRISMS reviews were useful and that the resources were well aligned with their respective states’ science curriculum standards. All of the teachers said they would be very likely to use the PRISMS resources again in the future. We conclude that careful review of the content alignment and instructional quality of digital resources can contribute significantly to the potential of digital library resources to foster student learning.
Keywords: digital libraries, content alignment, instructional quality, teacher testing.