The more that I do these journals, the more I realize there are a lot of areas with regards technology that I am unaware. I had never heard of a digital library collection before. I was thinking that it was the system in which I use at my local library to reserve physical books to be picked up at the library. I had to use Wikipedia to find out the real definition. Of course I knew that there were resources that you could retrieve online, but never heard of as a digital library and did not know such collections existed. I work for a huge technology company and have found that there is still a lot in the world of technology out there that in still unknown to me. The crazy thing is that technology is changing and evolving so fast that it is hard to keep up. I guess that is the reason that we have classes that point us to various forms of technology. These journals and websites have been very insightful and a huge source of reference.
The first place that I explored was the Library of Congress American Memory site
This site had over 100 collections to choose from. It is a wealth of knowledge for almost every subject in school. Teachers of all grade levels and subjects could use this one site for great research projects for all ages. There is Art History, History in general in any subject one could think of; American history, World history, the History of different civilizations. These resources could be used to teach Geography lessons and English lessons about research and using digital libraries. There are great resources available to teach about Government and our system of Law. The possibilities are endless.
One assignment in particular that I can see using this site could be for a third grade history class. The objective being using this site to do a timeline of the History of African Americans using only digital photographs found on the site. After the photographs have been compiled and put in order, a short essay describing the photographs could be written by the students. The lesson would also spill over into English by requiring the children to use the correct APA style referencing in the project. Then the children could share their projects with class in an oral presentation.
Under the Sports and Recreation collect, I found an area on State Parks. This could be used for a great Geography lesson. In groups of three, forth graders could pick a National Park and describe the park and then provide information about that Parks’ geographic location, habitat and weather. They would use PowerPoint to create a presentation containing maps of the area and digital photographs. The presentations would then be presented to the class.
The next site that I explored was Alaska’s Digital Archives (http://vilda.alaska.edu/index.php) . This was a wonderful collection of photographs, oral histories, maps and documents about the History of Alaska. A neat project that comes to mind is having the children in a fifth grade classroom pick an oral history and take notes with a pencil and paper (I know so old school) and then write a summary on what they learned.
This site would also be a great site to have children of all ages and grades to learn more about Alaska. It could be used as a reference on the History of Alaska and how Alaska became a state despite its geographic location. Another option would be to study the culture of Alaska.
The last collection I explored was from the American Journeys site (http://www.americanjourneys.org/index.asp). This site is a Digital library featuring eyewitness accounts of early American exploration and settlement. The content of this site is vast. The feature that I liked the most was a section for teachers. There is a Teacher’s Sourcebook. It is a reference filled with information for teachers to use while teaching the content of the site. The resource even has lesson plans provided in the material. A teacher could use the lessons plans straight out of the text, or tweak them to fit their age group and own teaching style.
American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of American Exploration and Settlement: A Digital Library and Learning Center. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website: http://www.americanjourneys.org/index.asp
Library of Congress: American Memories. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from website: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html