Bennett, N.A., Sandore, B., & Pianfetti, E. (2002a). Illinois Digital Cultural Heritage Community - Collaborative Interactions Among Libraries, Museums and Elementary Schools. D-Lib Magazine, 8:1.
   Retrieved November 2004, from

"The primary purpose of the project was to create an online database that housed digitized materials from museums and libraries for use by elementary school teachers in their classrooms."

"The DCHC was built on the concept of a digital community -- institutions would contribute to a database images, text, other multimedia objects and descriptive information addressing common themes. Teachers would then use the database to engage their students through more robust lesson plans. The database framework would provide museums, libraries and archives with a basis for identifying common ground among their collections, experimenting with formats, developing best practices, and determining new ways in which they would provide digital access to their materials. The project aimed to make it easy for elementary school teachers to utilize these resources, enabling incorporation of online materials into their classroom activities in meaningful ways for their students."


Teachers felt that the project had the potential to be very useful,

"I thought interpretation and links to other resources were extremely important aspects of the database" (museum educator)
"So simple, even a teacher can use it!" (3rd grade teacher)

Teachers were not able to use it as much as they would have liked because networking and display capabilities were limited in the classrooms.

"I can't display database objects to the whole class." (4th grade teacher)
"I have to ask kids to come around the computer." (4th grade teacher)
"There are not many possibilities for either whole lab instruction or for kids to do research independently." (5th grade teacher)

Teachers did have some specific and constructive suggestions for improving the usefulness of the database. For example, they indicated that it was not easy to tell what was in the collection from the interface search screen, and suggested that more detailed summary information would allow a user to receive a better sense of the database content. Teachers also suggested that they would like to have a component where users could submit commentary on objects. Curators and librarians welcomed this suggestion and indicated they, too, would find it useful to receive feedback from users about objects, documents, interpretations, and descriptions."