83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 12:00 PM
The Digital Water Education Library: Investigating the Science, Economics, and Politics of Water in Grades K12
Edward E. Geary, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and B. L. Aivazian, S. W. Ireton, T. Sumner, and M. Khoo
There are millions of digital science and education resources on the Internet. A few of these resources are excellent, many more are at best average, and some are simply terrible. For educators, students, and parents with little time and diverse needs, finding the high quality resources they need, when they need them is often a difficult and daunting task. As national digital education library efforts evolve, there is an urgent need to build collections of digital resources that complement existing collection efforts, add value to existing text, laboratory and kit-based materials, and specifically address the needs of K-12 and informal education users.

The Digital Water Education Library (DWEL) is the first major thematic collection building effort to bring high quality, K-12 and informal education resources into the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education (DLESE). Efforts are currently underway to provide teachers, students and informal educators with easy, searchable access to over 500 exemplary digital resources related to the science, policy and economics of water by the end of 2003. The primary goal of DWEL is to promote inquiry-based investigations of water in the Earth system.

A discovery tool will allow users to search the library catalogue by content area, grade level, resource type and the national science standards to obtain the resources they desire. A series of concept webs will allow users to examine the connections and relationships between important water concepts and issues. In addition to high quality curricula, lesson plans, experiments, models, simulations, and activities, the DWEL collection will link to exemplary online professional development programs, assessment item pools, and useful data and image sets. Links to newly revised online modules from NSTA's "Earth the Water Planet" curricula will also provide educators with the opportunity to sample high quality, text-based curricula that has been updated, correlated to science education standards, and enhanced by the addition of online resources from the DWEL collection.

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