What is it?
The Digital Library has been “pushed” off and on as a resource here in Washington. To be honest, I hated it first few times I went in there. Perhaps, like me, your district mass enrolled the teachers and you received a random notification to set up your account. When I first went into the Digital Library, it was clunky, overwhelming, and difficult to navigate. I did not even know what the main goal was, which is to support the formative assessment process in conjunction with the Smarter Balanced summative assessment. So when I got the chance to participate in the creation and “screening” of digital library content, I was intrigued. I wanted to be involved in the process so I could better understand what it was, how it could help my classroom, and how it was being improved for teachers.
All the content in the Digital Library has been vetted with fairly strict submission guidelines and reviewed by at least three other educators. It may have been through several revisions before it was admitted to the Digital Library. The goal of the content is both professional development and classroom use. There are many resources now for teachers to use in their classroom, whereas when I first explored it, I felt like there was more professional development materials and training modules than anything else. Currently there are almost three thousand resources available with more being added!
The content is intended to support the formative assessment process and connect in with the standards, the Smarter Balanced testing claims and targets, and the interim tests. There are many different ways you can search the library and this tool is being improved, even as I write this. There are new “educational use” tags that are being added to the items as well as claim and target tags which will supplement the standards already tagged on the items.
What is coming?
Something fairly new to the library are the playlists. These are lists of resources from the digital library that focus on a particular interim assessment block. If your students struggled with a particular block, or you feel like there is a weakness in your curriculum, you can look to the playlists to help you find resources for that gap.
In the works are some more targeted lessons that will focus on teaching students even more targeted skills relating to the assessment targets within the four claims. If you are not familiar with the structure of the Smarter Balanced Assessment and how it compares to the standards, check out this document here.
I cannot forget, they also made it easier for teachers to register (and reset their passwords if they forgot it existed after the initial set-up). If you have not checked it out, or visited in last year or two, you should investigate the resources that are available now.
I am excited about what is available on the digital library now. I am excited to use resources I have found, to submit lessons that have worked for me, and to continue the work of developing tools that can actually help teachers.
How have you used the digital library?
In my non-teacher consumed hours I love to spend time with my husband and son, play board games, sew/craft/quilt, and read (I DO teach ELA).I aspire to be more into fitness and outdoors more often, though I find a comfy chair and a good book/movie mightily appealing.