Posted on 02/13/2014 at 01:39 PM by Liz Determan

Many of your schools have 1:1 initiatives in place; one device for every student. I'm guessing as a result, teachers are looking for more and more digital content that they can use with their students. Using digital content does certainly have instructional benefits. In an article found in eSchool News, TCEA: Digital content's impact on teaching and learning, principals reported that digital content increases student engagement, extends student learning beyond the school day, personalizes learning, and improves teachers' skills with technology. Digital content can also help students with research skills -- one of the crucial and in-demand skills students will need to be successful in college. However, there are some obstacles, one of which I found to be telling. Principals shared that evaluating the quality of digital content is a barrier to its use. In a two year study at McKinley Technology High School in Washington D.C., students used Gale resources regularly in their classrooms. When the resources were integrated into lessons and supported project-based learning activities, students demonstrated higher achievement gains. 

Time now for the commercial advertisement. All students and teachers in accredited schools in Iowa have access to quality digital resources including a Gale database. Evaluating the quality of digital resources should not be a barrier to its use. To see what digital resources are available, you can go to Northwest AEAs homepage and click on online resources. There you will find a variety of digital resources which includes the recent addition of eBooks. If you have questions, please let me know. 

The short video clip that follows briefly shares the advantages databases have over Google searches. When you listen to the video, substitute Iowa AEA Online resources in place of Purdue databases. 

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