Monday, November 4, 2002

A New Look for Georgia Learning Connections

By Sara Pitts

Georgia Learning Connections (GLC), the Georgia Department of Education's curriculum website, is pleased to announce its new look! In July 2002, a redesigned GLC was launched amid the cheers of approval of educators across the state. GLC's new look is more user-friendly for the site's visitors and better highlights the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) standards and the accompanying resources. Currently PeachStar and GLC are working on a video production designed to walk educators through the new GLC site. Look for Georgia Learning Connections: Video Site Guide to air on PeachStar in the coming months.

GLC introduced several new features in conjunction with the redesign, the most exciting of which is the Projects and Programs area located under the QCC Standards & Resources link on the homepage. Projects and Programs will profile each of the educational programs of the Georgia Department of Education with resources such as curriculum overview, lessons, Web links, and more. Don't miss "Spotlight on..." a showcase for information that will benefit Georgia educators like new additions to GLC, exciting lesson plans, and conferences being held around the state. To facilitate the site's navigation, a left-side navigation bar was added and can be found on every page of the site. For example, if you are looking at links about language arts education in the Teacher Resource Center (TRC), decide instead to look up lesson plans in the Ninth Grade Language Arts sequence, you no longer have to return to the homepage and start over. Just click on the "Sequenced Lesson Plans" link on the blue bar on the left side of the page to access the lesson plan page. Another feature that will help you keep track of where you are on GLC is the "You are here..." area located across the top of every page. GLC is a large site with thousands of resources and this area will help you map your way around to your favorite GLC pages.

You can still find all of your favorite GLC resources on the site, but the format of each has been improved for ease of use. You can now search for Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) standards and the correlating resources by clicking on the "QCC Standards & Resources" link. If, on the other hand, you want to search the entire GLC website simply click on the "Search GLC" link from the homepage. The Lesson Plan Builder is in the same format as always, but now opens in a separate window to allow you to move easily between it and the main GLC website. You'll also find the TRC in the same familiar format, as well the sequenced lesson plans.

GLC is always adding more and better resources, having recently reached a total of more than 12,500 lesson plans on the site. GLC is currently seeking to augment the diversity of materials for the TRC, adding such categories as Copyright Issues and First Year Teachers.

The new site recently won First Place for K-12 Education in the Best of the Web contest sponsored by Converge Magazine and The Center for Digital Cities. The entries in the contest were judged on innovative use of online technology, efficiency, economy, functionality, and user participation. GLC wants to invite all of its users back to check out the new look; newcomers are also invited to log on to see the premier website for Georgia educators. GLC wants your feedback; be sure to share your thoughts and suggestions in the online GLC Guestbook.

Visit the new site and look for Georgia Learning Connections: Video Site Guide on PeachStar to find out how Georgia Learning Connections can help you in the classroom.