August 22, 2014

Virtual library opens world to teachers and students (AUDIO)

NET General Manager Rod Bates discusses the Nebraska Virtual Library during a news conference

The Nebraska Virtual Library is now online.

State Education Commissioner Roger Breed stated during a news conference in the Governor’s Capitol office that the offering of 20,000 digital resources will help teachers capture the attention of students.

“When you’re seeking to engage students, in today’s learning, obviously books and print media are very important, but let’s face it, we’re a visual society in ways that we never have been (before) if you’ve ever heard of YouTube, your kids have,” Breed said.

The virtual library will be maintained by Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) and contains material from the Library of Congress, National Archives, PBS News House, NOVA, American Experience, Electric Company and SciGirls.

It will be offered free statewide for teachers and students.

[Click here to access.]

NET General Manager Rod Bates said it gives teachers another tool.

“Teachers, really talented teachers, will take these learning resources, string them together and create an electronic syllabus, if you will, for their class,” according to Bates. “If they share that with other teachers, I think quickly you’ll begin to see instruction improve, because this teacher has another idea that could be added to this and then it’s just dragging and dropping one of the resources and you have an updated syllabus.”

The Nebraska Virtual Library is part of the larger statewide educational initiative announced a year ago by Gov. Dave Heineman. The Nebraska Virtual Partnership emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math. It includes the Nebraska Department of Education, UNL Independent Study High School, Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council and NET.

AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman holds news conference with Education Commissioner Roger Breed and NET General Manager Rod Bates about the Nebraska Virtual Library. [6 min.]