World Digital Library – Potentially the most exciting e-learning resource

Publically launched in April 2009, the World Digital Library (WDL) is easily the most exciting e-learning tool on the web. It exemplifies what Web 3.0 is about and its power to transcend geographical boundaries and reach global audiences promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

Developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress in partnership with UNESCO, WDL makes available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The digital library contains materials from over two-dozen libraries around the world, searchable in 7 different languages. The library will continue to add content and will be the largest collection of the world’s cultural riches that would tell the stories and highlight the achievements of all countries and cultures.

The digital library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site. One of its many exciting features includes multiple forms of search and browsing capabilities that allows items to be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities.

wdl
Home Page – Interactive Search Browser

The library’s cultural treasures include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings and more. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.

Even with its current limited range of resources, it can easily be seen that the library has the potential to transform teaching – learning in a classroom. The variety of literary resources that will be available to seekers of information can have wide implications for collaborative learning (including international collaborative learning between grades) and in bringing multiculturalism and the real world into the classroom.

Thank you Nancy, for bringing this to our attention.

1 Comment

  1. The demand for digital resources, including ebooks, audio books, etc are in a high growth phase. The options available to readers is also set to increase manyfold.

    Never known to do anything in a small way, google is set to take one of the largest initiatives in this area. Google, in partnership with publishers, has plans to launch (sometime in the first half of 2010) an online store for electronic books. At the time of launch, google will have an inventory of about half a million books.

    The ebooks will be assessable from any device with a web browser including PC’s laptops, net books, smartphones and ebook readers. The device does not need to be connected to the internet after it has been downloaded.

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