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August, 2004       Issue 15 Previous Issues

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Resource of interest: American Field Guide

American Field Guide image and linkThe American Field Guide offers video clips of the outdoors that tap into the sights and sounds of a wide variety of wilderness environments throughout America. The videos can be browsed by categories that include animals, ecosystems, Earth and space, plants, and public policy. Lesson plans for middle and high school weave segments of video together into units of inquiry around specific topics. The lessons were all written by high school teachers and draw upon national and state standards for science learning. The project is supported by Oregon Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Professional development opportunity: Online Earth Science Course for Middle School Teachers

The Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McRel) group will facilitate a sixteen-week professional development course developed by the Center for Education Technology (CET): Online Earth Science Course for Middle School Teachers. Participants work in collaborative groups in problem-solving activities, incorporated with active participation and reflection on learning in a student-centered model. The cost of the course is $215, which includes all of the materials, and participants will earn three semester hours of graduate credit from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). For all information about the course, go to http://www.mcrel.org/epo/essea.asp. August 13, 2004, is the deadline to register for the fall session.

2004 DLESE Annual Meeting report

A very successful DLESE 2004 Annual Meeting took place at the lakefront campus of the University of Wisconsin, in Madison from July 10 - 13. The support provided by meeting host Steve Ackerman, site coordinator Maria Vasys, and their colleagues and students at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) was terrific, and a great time was had by all. There were 193 participants from 34 states, more than half of whom were new to DLESE or to the DLESE Annual meeting.

An optional Skills workshop day on Saturday provided excellent opportunities for attendees to learn about various software applications or to simply improve their skills in using DLESE as a teaching and learning resource. From Sunday to Tuesday, eleven strands examined a variety of issues in the areas of a quality and comprehensive collection; reaching new users; making effective use of library resources and services; and enhancing the diversity of DLESE at all levels. Planning Committee Chair David Steer challenged participants to come away from the meeting with one "great idea" that they could use or implement in their own practice. Other highlights included an excellent and thought-provoking keynote address by Jean May-Brett, the Math-Science Partnership Program Coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Education. A Town Meeting, together with the closing Plenary, provided much good community input on such varied topics as the 'marketing' of DLESE, the Ambassadors Program, concentrated outreach efforts to K-12, pre-service and in-service teachers, the impacts of testing, state standards, and grade level expectations, support for content creators, data in DLESE, and the notion of a DLESE for Kids, as well as discussion about recommendations concerning quality of resources and collections in DLESE. An enjoyable dinner and polka party on Monday evening in the Great Hall of the historic Memorial Union gave everyone a chance to shine on the dance floor. Links to photos, presentations, and to the strand Swiki sites (collaborative workspaces) are available from the DLESE 2004 Annual Meeting site.

If you would like to be involved in future DLESE Annual Meetings, please respond to the Call for DLESE 2005 Annual Meeting Planning Committee participation or to the Call for DLESE 2006 Annual Meeting site host.

DLESE Community Review System scales up reviewable resources

The DLESE Community Review System (CRS) gathers and disseminates web-based feedback from educators and learners who have used DLESE resources, as well as formal reviews from science and pedagogy experts. Until recently, the CRS processed reviews for resources whose creators had specifically requested such review. This has now changed. The CRS has made an additional 1000+ resources—primarily field activity, lab activity, computer activity, and classroom activity—newly available for users to submit a review. When a resource is open for review, a link labelled "Submit a Review" is visible in the upper right-hand corner of the resource description. Follow the link to contribute a review for that resource. Additional pedagogically-oriented resources will be available in future. Resource creators may opt-out of the review process if they prefer not to have their resource available for review. We are greatly interested in feedback to these changes, either from resource creators or potential resource reviewers. Please email Kim Kastens (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University) at kastens@ldeo.columbia.edu, with your questions, experiences, comments, and/or suggestions.

Upcoming deadlines: AGU submission and GSA registration

A number of deadlines are approaching for important geoscience annual meetings:

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting takes place December 13-17, in San Francisco, and the submission deadline for abstracts is September 9, 2004. There are 23 Education sessions at AGU - use the search function on the AGU site to locate sessions that are of interest, or check out DLESE News and Opportunities and Conferences for announcements about particular sessions.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting is November 7-10, 2004, in Denver. Registration deadline is September 30.

Outreach materials available

Will you be attending a professional development conference, workshop, or other event, and want to make a presentation about DLESE? Or simply have some DLESE materials to distribute? A DLESE Powerpoint is available for community use, as well as a blank DLESE Powerpoint template, brochures, business cards, posters, and handouts of exemplary resources by grade level. Go to the DLESE Outreach activities site. (From the DLESE homepage, select People and Groups / Outreach activities, from the top menu.)

Do you have tested lesson plans that you would like to share with colleagues? The Geological Society of America (GSA) and DLESE have partnered to enable teachers without access to a web server to share their lesson plans. Go to the GSA website and select Education & Teacher Resources (http://www.geosociety.org/educate/) to find out more.

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Your feedback is appreciated. To send comments, articles, requests for a text-only version of the newsletter, or to unsubscribe, send email to: support@dlese.org. To contribute photos of interesting Earth science phenomena for use in the DLESE Matters banner, email support@dlese.org. Photo credit will be acknowledged.

Banner photo: Tropical cyclone Hudah, Météo-France

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