With the school year in full swing, boys and girls are busy learning new things and completing classroom assignments. Backpacks are chock full of pens and pencils, books and paper, and most likely homework.
A great resource for homework help, project research or general knowledge is called the Digital Prairie. A set of statewide databases, the Digital
Prairie has a collection of full-text reference materials available for all Oklahomans to use for free, 24/7. All that is needed to get started is a computer connected to the Internet, a username and password, which you can get from your local school or public library.
Digital Prairie is a service of the Oklahoma Library Technology Network and is funded by the state Legislature through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Federal funds are also provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Great resources for school reports are available for any grade level and include articles from a wide variety of professional and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers. There are also historical and current maps of states and other countries, and pictures that can be downloaded.
Digital Prairie includes:
• EBSCO has thousands of complete articles, from both professional
journals and general interest magazines, as well as an encyclopedia, dictionary and an image collection. It has more than 1,000 national and international publications. There are search tools in place for students of all ages, parents and educators as well. “Searchasaurus” is designed for lower elementary, “Kids Search” is for upper elementary and middle school students, and “Student Research Center” is for middle and high school students.
• SIRS Discoverer is geared toward Grades K-8, with articles and Web
sites that are age-appropriate and selected by a team of former teachers.
It includes articles and images from more than 1,600 newspapers, magazines, government documents and appropriate Web sites.
• FirstSearch/WorldCat is a comprehensive bibliography, representing many
languages, and including information that is available in libraries around the world.
Access to Digital Prairie is available on the State Department of Education’s Web site http://www.sde.state.ok.us/ from the Library Media/Instructional Television office. Call your local school library or public library to get your username and password, so you can start exploring Oklahoma’s Digital Prairie – today!