Myth: The Smarter Balanced Digital Library is only for teachers whose students take the Smarter Balanced statewide assessment, so it's no help to me if I don't teach math or English language arts in grades 3-8 or 11.
Fact: The Digital Library is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System. Smarter Balanced is more than the statewide summative assessment. The Digital Library is an online collection of formative assessment resources available at no cost to South Dakota K-12 educators. It contains resources for all K-12 educators, not just those who teach tested subjects and grade levels.
Most South Dakota educators already have access to the Digital Library. Any teacher unsure of his/her username and password is encouraged to check with his/her school's assessment coordinator.
The Digital Library contains 2,700 high quality instructional and professional learning resources contributed by educators for educators, and it's growing. Resources are sortable by standard, grade, subject area and a number of other parameters. All resources are strictly vetted by trained members of a State Network of Educators (SNEs) across the country. A checkmark in the top right corner of a resource card (pictured above) indicates a resource has been posted with distinction, meaning it received the highest recommendation from all SNEs.
In January, seven South Dakota educators who are trained members of the State Network of Educators traveled to Portland, Ore., for a three-day workshop where they worked with educators from across the country. They submitted and reviewed resources for the Digital Library and were involved in creating playlists that will be available soon. Smarter Balanced is continually working to make the Digital Library more user friendly. Users can provide feedback on resources and navigability of the library.
"The Digital Library is loaded with instructional resources in ELA and math, but other content areas are also available," says Jonathan Nesladek with the South Dakota Department of Education's Division of Assessment and Accountability. "Smarter Balanced continues to expand the Digital Library to include more items for social studies, science, world languages, physical education and other areas. 'Illustrative Mathematics' and 'Supporting Students with Disabilities' series are also available for use with students with disabilities and English language learners."
Any South Dakota educator interested in learning how to submit and review items is invited to contact Jonathan Nesladek at email@example.com or (605) 773-3426. Smarter Balanced provides training and plans to host two national workshops annually, like the one held recently in Portland, Ore.
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