2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

November/December 2005

Project 2061 Digital Library Work Draws Accolades

An education review panel has given a digital video library web site that was co-developed by Project 2061 an impressive 4.9 overall rating out of a possible 5. Termed HSDVL for Harvard-Smithsonian Digital Video Library, the web site is the result of a collaboration between Project 2061 and the Science Media Group of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The high rating was awarded by the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), which applauded the site for providing visitors with access to “more than 1,000 videos that can be identified by the AAAS Benchmarks for Science Literacy, the Atlas of Science Literacy, National Science Education Standards, and/or all state standards.” MERLOT further noted that “the [site] user can be confident that this material represents the current state of our knowledge about teaching and learning based on education research.” The HSDVL site has also drawn accolades in the International Communications Film and Video Competition receiving the silver plaque—the highest awarded for an educational Web site—at INTERCOM 2005.

Beginning in September, 2002, Project 2061 and the Science Media Group set out to mine the Center for Astrophysics’ extensive video collection in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning, specifically reviewing videos showing teaching in action, materials documenting children's ideas in science and math, interviews with internationally prominent researchers in STEM learning, as well as computer animations of STEM ideas. Project 2061 staff and consultants evaluated the selected video footage to identify related Project 2061 benchmarks and also analyzed them for how well they supported effective teaching and learning using Project 2061’s instructional analysis criteria.

The joint effort by Project 2061 and the Science Media Group to evaluate and organize videos that can increase the understanding and teaching of STEM learning goals is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a two-year grant. In addition to searching by individual benchmarks, videos in the HSDVL Web site can be accessed through the National Science Education Standards, state standards, and interactive strand maps from Project 2061’s Atlas of Science Literacy.

Project 2061 has also teamed up with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance on a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) grant to evaluate approximately one thousand Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS) with the goal of increasing the amount of pedagogically useful science content available in the NSDL and other digital collections through the application of Project 2061's research-based evaluation criteria. Through its collaborative work with digital libraries, Project 2061 is moving closer to one of its core goals: to identify resources that can help all students learn the ideas and skills that are essential to science literacy.

[Table of Contents]