Teacher friendly metadata underlies Texan database

Posted on October 25, 2007

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Susan Clarke, Rachel Galan are giving a briefing on Texas Tides: Digital Learning Consortium. This is a platform for collaborative retelling of Texan history. It is described as having two sides: a website designed specifically for K12 teaching; and a searchable database of 16,000 digital resources.

Is as much an education project as an archives one. An important component is the “teacher-friendly metadata”. This contains curriculum alignment, citation information etc. A wiki and blog are used to keep connections with a widely dispersed community. There is much about the importance of drawing connections between material, lesson plans etc.

They stress the importance of working with time pressured teachers who need: material that is structured according to the curriculum; is engaging; is accessible (videos placed on you tube etc). Information needs to be in forms that engage kids (so video, simulation etc), some in forms of “virtual expeditions”. These are specifically designed for different groups (eg Mexican life for kindergarten kids has pictures of kindergarten kids doing normal things).

Working with schools is elusive – curriculum keeps changing etc – so need to structure to embrace change.

The system is linked to information literacy mechanisms.

Q: How did they work the user community? focus groups, interviews, online surveys etc ongoing.

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