On Monday, June 24, 2013, Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts held a free half-day workshop focusing on developing lesson plans featuring digital content. The workshop was held at the Whittemore Library, Framingham State University, and was attended by school library media specialists, new teachers, and professionals from cultural organizations interested in making (and using) digital content for educational purposes.
The workshop included an introduction to Digital Commonwealth the organization (a collaborative initiative promoting digital content of Massachusetts cultural institutions), the existing Digital Commonwealth portal and repository (an online discovery and storage platform), screenshots of the upcoming new system (currently in development by the Boston Public Library, a partner organization to Digital Commonwealth), and examples of existing lesson plans using digital content.
Attendees responded favorably to the variety of digital content available via the metadata within the existing portal which includes links to video clips from WGBH’s Open Vault; images of historical broadsides from the State Library of Massachusetts; and audio files and photographic images from NOBLE’s Digital Heritage. Marianne Brown, a new teacher, talked about how she developed a lesson plan featuring photographs from the Watertown Free Public Library (digital images of these photographs are stored in the current Digital Commonwealth repository). Marianne’s lesson plan is available as a PDF on Digital Commonwealth’s lesson plan page: http://digitalcommonwealth.org/lesson_plans
Kim Cochrane, Curriculum Librarian, Framingham State University, and Nancy Heywood, Digital Projects Coordinator, Massachusetts Historical Society, led the workshop. Both Kim and Nancy serve on Digital Commonwealth’s Outreach Committee and will review and revise the program. They hope to schedule two more workshops later this year. For information and notification about future workshops, email Nancy Heywood: firstname.lastname@example.org.