Broadcast projects readily lend themselves to digital libraries, which can extend the reach of the program into classrooms and the home. You can develop a great collection of multimedia as you produce your project, among them:
- Video clips from the final programs
- Interactive activities from a companion Web site
- Photographs and other images
- Content not included in the final program
- Sound reproductions
In addition to the multimedia materials listed above, you can enhance the educational value of your digital library resources if you include the following:
- Annotations: one-to-two-sentence descriptions of each item in the digital library
- Lesson plans that incorporate the materials in the digital library
- Background essays that explain the content of each of the materials in the library
Having this material online on the Web or on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM makes it accessible to many on demand. You can present your digital library resources as an element of a video content companion and/or incorporate them into a larger, preexisting public television digital library.
Here are some things to consider as you think about developing a digital library:
- What kinds of materials are most useful to your target audience?
- How do your multimedia materials correlate with national and/or state educational standards and typical curricula?
- Who will select and digitally process all the materials for your library? If you are going to provide video, you need to consider digitizing, compressing, storing, and serving the video.
- Who will write any contextual materials you provide for your library resources? If you are providing a search mechanism, you will need to index your materials.
- Who will review your materials to assure content and pedagogical quality?
- Who will design and develop your digital library?
- Who will serve and maintain the site or distribute CD versions?
- How much material can they store and distribute digitally?
- What are the rights issues for distributing your material?
How will people find the library and use it?
The Evolution Library is an example of a digital library drawn from a broadcast series.
There are several nonprofit and for-profit educational digital library initiatives afoot in the public television system. You may want to consider providing your collection to one of these services. These include the National Science Digital Library, Teachers' Domain, United Streaming, and AIMS.