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DLESE-Digital Library for Earth System Education by Jennifer Kott INFO 653 – Project 1 04/10/2011

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I selected The Digital Library for Earth System Education to review for my first short paper. The Digital Library for Earth Systems Education also known as, DLESE can be accessed at http://www.dlese.org. The Digital Library for Earth System Education was built as a collaborative effort between scientists, educators and students to provide a digital library providing educational information on Earth systems. A community center encourages both educators and learners to come together to share information and resources. (Kastens, 2006) The National Science Foundation funds DLESE and the library is managed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Library. NCAR’s mission supports preservation, accessibility, and collaboration in scholarly education and activities http://library.ucar.edu/about/mission.php. The National Science Foundation is a federal agency that works with colleges and universities by supporting research in the areas of mathematics, computer science and social science. Additional information about the National Science Foundation can be found by visiting http://www.nsf.gov/ A resource for everyone, DLESE content covers a wide target audience including all grade levels, K-12 teachers and higher education faculty. (Manduca, 2000) DLESE currently holds a total of 13,248 pieces of digital information. The top four resources subject areas include: environment science, atmospheric science, space science and geology. The library is divided into several different sections with easy to use interfaces and tools. Students and faculty can retrieve information on Earth data sets, geospatial materials, peer reviewed teaching and learning resources. Facility can assistance with using the educational materials and collaborative in the community center. The library is equipped with interactive maps, graphical images, data and online courses. Resources available for teachers include curriculum, lesson plans and assessment activities.

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The library comes equipped with a reports area which allows educators to run individualized reports to assess students on their learning effectiveness. The system tracks user habits and comments and results print out on the instructor’s individualized report. The report broken down by subject shows educator’s how users rate information available in the library on a scale from one to five. I found an example of one report in an article by Kasten and Holzman. The one page example is broken down into two headings, Motivational/Inspirational and Pedagogical effectiveness. Motivational/Inspirational shows student’s general interest in the subject, curiosity and the students overall comments about the subject matter. Pedagogical effectiveness shows student evidence of learning by lesson and student comments about the activity. The goal of the instructors individual’s report is help educators understand student learning habits by tracking there selection of digital resources. The process of rating resource effectiveness helps students become more aware of the how they learn. Rating what was useful to them will help those select useful activities in the future. (Kasten, 2006) My impression of the DLESE is that the collection encompasses a wide variety of information. Submission guidelines are stringent and all information is checked for scientific accuracy, importance and significance. The reviewed section contains classroom tested materials. (Kastens, 2001) Verifying the materials provided and following up by classroom tests to evaluate learning, are two positive aspects of DLESE. The searching capability of the DLESE library is another positive aspect of the library. Users can chose to limit their search by grade level, resource type, collection or standard. (McKinney, 2007) DLSES differs from a traditional library because it incorporates on-line learning and curriculum based activities into its library collection. DLESE library collection is stock pile of scientific resources from authoritative resources such as NASA and the Encyclopedia of Earth at the Earth portal. The library’s collection is organized by grade level making it easy for educators to find information to meet the needs Page 3 of 6


of a specific audience. The interactive interface allows for collaboration and the authoritative resources organized by grade level sets DLESE apart from a traditional website. One negative observation, regarding the amount of information available in the library is that the library will become too large and hinder its usefulness. How often is older or outdated information purged from the database? As standards in learning change does the information change so students are learning accurate information? There appears to be many individuals working together to make this library run effectively. DLESE hires associate editors with research experience to oversee reviews of 50100 resources over a 12 month period. The library currently boosts a collection of 13,248 resources. It would take high amount of associate editors to perform reviews on 13,248 items. I would define DLESE as a “real� digital library because it has all of the features of a digital library. DLESE supplies services for its users, archives digital information, has advance searching capabilities, uses collaboration and contains a very large digital collection. The advance searching capabilities include a tips page that gives information to users on how to perform advance searches. The user who seeks additional information can follow up by email to ask for assistance. Results from the search are returned to the user via the results page. At the top of the results page is an additional search box that allows users the opportunity to narrow down their search. Top ten results are returned to the user and are ranked in the order of importance. To allow for collaboration, the user can add a comment on the results page. (McKinney, 2007) My overall assessment of the DLESE library is that it’s one of the best resources for scientific learning in one location. Science educators can use DLESE to find peer reviewed resources in one central location to facilitate learning. Library resources use a controlled vocabulary to helps students and instructors narrow searching criteria. Tagging information can help speed the search for users to

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ensuring that they can easily locate information. Visual learners benefit by using the interactive maps incorporated into the library, to make it the easier for them to learn. Additional quality reference resources are continuously being added to the collection. If a user chooses they may scribe to get RSS feeds or be put on the mailing list to receive additional information. Users are invited to submit suggestions on resources or information they would like include in library. The best part of the library is that users do not have to pay a subscription fee to access the library. As DLESE resources continue to grow, educators, students and faculty can be proud they had a hand improving scientific learning for all grade levels in the future.

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References Kastens, K .A., & Butler, J.C. (2001). How to identify the "best" resources for the reviewed collection of the Digital Library for Earth System Education, Computers and the Geosciences, v. 27 (3), 375-378. Kastens, K. A., & Holzman, N. (2006). The digital library for the earth system education provides individualized reports for teachers on the effectiveness of educational resources in their own classrooms. D-Lib Magazine. 12,(1). Manduca, C., & Mogk, D.W. (2000, June). The digital library for Earth System Education (DLESE) : a community plan. Final report to the National Science Foundation. Grant 99-06648. McKinney, M. (2007). Digital library for earth system education. Reference Reviews, 21(8), 39. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/215215799?accountid=10559

I certify that: 

This paper/project/exam is entirely my own work.

 I have not quoted the words of any other person from a printed source or a website without indicating what has been quoted and providing an appropriate citation. 

I have not submitted this paper / project to satisfy the requirements of any other course.

Name:

Jennifer Kott

Date: 4/10/2011

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Digital Library for Earth System Education  

Digital Library for Earth System Education review by Jennifer Kott 2011 Drexel University

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