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Building the Digital Resource Library of Your Dreams

Jayne Miller wrote this on Sep 14, 2016

By now you’ve probably seen the materials tab that lives on every class page in Chalkup. But do you know that this tiny icon is the key to building a hugely helpful digital library that your students can lean on all year?

materials-tab.png

Your materials tab is the gateway to a collection of documents accessible to everyone in your class. But more than a handy place for PDFs of your course textbook, by keeping info in the cloud we make it a little easier for your students to find course-related info no matter where they are.

For material-tab newbies, here’s a quick overview.

Once on your materials page, you can add anything by dragging and dropping it onto the page.You’ll also notice some familiar upload buttons in the top right of your screen for finding documents on your computer, adding from Google Drive. As well as video and link options to add your favorite bookmarks to your class. materials-folders-drag.gif

Also in the top right of your screen is a “new folder” icon. (It does exactly what you think it does.) We’ll use this to keep your resource library uber organized.

Moving documents into folders takes a simple drag and drop. To move things out of folders, drag documents to the location in the breadcrumb in the top left of the materials page. They’ll pop right out of the folder.

Breadcrumb

Winning organization strategies

A few quick suggestions out of the gate to engineer a resource library that is worth its weight.

First, consider how you’ll use folders before dragging and dropping all the things. A quick outline of what categories of info you’ll house in your library might save you from restructuring it later in time.

Also see if you have enough administrative resources to make it worth creating a class logistics folder. This would be a space exclusively for content like syllabi, course rules and/or standards, or perhaps information about where and when you’ll meet.

The really good stuff

Okay. You know how to use it, so let’s make it great. A few ideas:

Examples rock. Consider housing examples of assignments from previous years or from your current term that stand out. Not only is this a solid study tool for your students, but it’s a choice opportunity to show them what you’re looking for in their work.

We can go beyond PDFs. Your resource library will handle tons of file types. Upload videos to a media folder? Oh yes. Create a space to share diagrams for your bio students? We can do that. Share photos and designs with your art students? Of course. Templates that you’ll use throughout your course? Put em in there. On that note - if you haven’t perused podcasts related to your course, give it a go. If you find one that’s a match for your subject matter, it could be a very cool thing to house in your library.

But hey, we still think PDFs are great. Especially when you can turn websites into PDFs and save them in your digital library for reference.

In short? Fill your library to the brim. Make it a go-to place for information. Search for fascinating, creative content. Use it for information that will both support what you’re asking your students to do and learn, but also feed curiosity.

Ask yourself what your dream resource library would look like. And then make it happen. We can't wait to see what you build.

 

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Topics: Chalkup, Teachers