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Digital Resources in the Classroom?

A guest post from Robin Seaman, Publisher Liaison for Bookshare

“At the revamped Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) summit, the opening session took a unique tack.  Months earlier, the AEP decided the best way for traditional publishers to understand what teachers needed and wanted in digital resources in the classroom was to hear from the teachers directly – using the digital tools already at the teachers’ disposal,” explained Frank Catalano, the noted educational consultant.

Frank worked with the AEP and the social networking site to solicit teacher videos to be submitted via YouTube and he posted the following in his blog:

Twenty of the short videos were played during the opening session, which was called the Teacher Video Challenge. The two-minute videos were asked to address three specific questions, in whatever manner the educator chose:

1. “What are you most in need of to teach effectively in the digital age?”

2. “What one request would you make of those who create instructional materials to make them digital-classroom friendly?”

3. “How would better digital technology and content in the classroom help you and your students?”

The videos (still viewable on YouTube at in the Teacher Video Challenge playlist) came from K-12 educators in Texas, California, Oregon, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Missouri, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Dakota, Georgia, Saskatchewan and Alberta. They were clearly from a tech-savvy, self-selecting group and not a scientific sample in any way.

However, several common themes emerged:

  • Make technology use in the classroom seamless – all digital content should work with all technology devices;
  • Provide collaboration and content creation tools for students to use;
  • Provide teacher training for both using and integrating technology tools and resources;
  • Make digital materials editable and searchable;
  • Include more video and music in digital resources.

This is great information!

We’d like to learn more. Teachers, are you using Bookshare in your classroom? How are you teaching with it? How are your students learning? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. Post a comment or link to a You Tube video.

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