Like your local library, DLESE is made up of a wide variety of resources, collections, and services. DLESE's educational resources include lesson plans, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips—in short, any web-accessible teaching or learning material. Many of these resources are organized in collections—groups of related resources that reflect a coherent, focused theme, such as the NASA ED Mall Collection. All resources in DLESE have been contributed by community members, are relevant to Earth system science education, and are checked periodically for technical stability. The DLESE Reviewed Collection (DRC) includes those DLESE resources that have been more closely examined and are considered exemplary. Some resources in our collection are reviewed according to AAAS Project 2061's Guide to Selecting High-Quality Instructional Materials. Click here to view an example analysis. Visitors can also view the newest items in the library.
The value of DLESE is in its careful descriptions of resources and services. These descriptions are created by Earth system educators, scientists, and librarians, and include subject, grade-level, education standards, resource type, technical requirements, creator, publisher, and for a subset of the collection, educational standards..
The ability to search by educational standards allows you to append additional criteria to your search to better target your needs. Currently the National Science Education Content Standards (NSES) and the National Geography Standards are available. The NSES are hierarchical and allow you to choose grade level, broad topic, and ability, while the National Geography Standards are a list of 18 concepts grouped by topic only.
The association of a standard with a resource signifies that the content of the resource supports the student learning and attainment of the specific ability noted. This can be through many different mechanisms and resource types, including access to background and text-based material as well as inquiry-based activities. Some standards are general in nature, some more specific. The resource need not address the entire scope of the standard for the association to be made, and some resources may not map to any standards at all.