Teach With INFOhio

Curating Content for Student-Centered Learning: Resources to Personalize Learning

Author // Mary Rowland Wednesday, 22 November 2023

As a digital library, INFOhio practices curation daily. Whether writing a blog post or selecting resources to share for a professional development session, INFOhio selects the best content for the intended audience. In Curating Content for Student-Centered Learning: The Human Touch, INFOhio recognizes that educators add the human touch to curation by making informed evaluations, selections, and collections of the best resources to support students' needs. INFOhio encourages Ohio educators to curate INFOhio's instructional materials to select the best materials for their students. 

Curating resources can be a useful practice to support a personalized learning environment. The Ohio Personalized Learning Network defines personalized learning as a learner-driven approach. In a personalized learning environment, educators help students facilitate authentic learning experiences, overcome obstacles, and accelerate learning. Curating resources supports personalized learning by,

  • accelerating learning with resources that allow for multiple ways for students to learn and show what they have learned. 
  • overcoming obstacles with the best materials to meet learners where they are.
  • facilitating authentic learning with resources selected to meet the needs and interests of students.
Support Students with Materials for Authentic and Inquiry-Based Learning

The Ohio Personalized Learning Framework encourages educators to facilitate authentic learning experiences aligned with student interests. These learning experiences help students foster a meaningful connection to their learning. Research and inquiry projects can lay the foundation for building these authentic learning experiences. In Bringing Inquiry-Based Learning Into Your Classroom, Trevor Mackenzie recognizes that a key component to building successful inquiry-based, authentic learning experiences requires scaffolding the experience. He recommends beginning with structured and controlled inquiry models. Both models allow educators to establish the essential questions and collect the materials students will use during the inquiry project. Educators can ensure all students have access to grade-level appropriate texts, videos, and interactives by curating resources from INFOhio. Together, the students and the educator unpack the materials to build meaningful connections and solve problems. In the example below, a school librarian supports authentic learning by curating resources from INFOhio to support student research and inquiry-based projects. 


INFOhio Resources to Support Research and Inquiry

World Book Kids, Student, and Advanced 

Ohio students in grades K-12 have access to a complete set of digital encyclopedias to support research. To support voice and choice, students can use World Book encyclopedias to learn more about topics that align with their interests and curiosity. Students can feel confident as they search, browse, and navigate the encyclopedias. Students and educators can work together to build background knowledge. With the knowledge gained from World Book, students can develop creative solutions to real-world problems. This engages students in relevant experiences by building meaningful connections between classroom learning and real-world problem-solving. In the image below, students can use World Book Student articles and videos to learn about composting. Using this information, students can implement a composting program at their school. 


Support Students with Materials to Overcome Obstacles

A high-quality district-adopted curriculum is the best way to support student learning. However, by adopting a personalized learning environment, the educator provides students with opportunities to progress at their own pace. Educators may need to select materials and interventions to help learners develop skills and reach learning goals. According to EdTech Essentials: The Top 10 Technology Strategies for All Learning Environments, curating content allows educators to select resources to connect curriculum goals, support differentiation, and meet the needs of all learners. Educators can curate high-quality, grade-level appropriate materials from INFOhio to support students as they overcome obstacles to develop skills and reach learning goals. The pace at which each student develops those skills may be different. However, educators can leverage materials from INFOhio to ensure all students have equitable access to the quality materials they need to overcome obstacles and develop skills. 

Educators and librarians can collaborate to combine digital content with print materials from the school library. This combination of print and digital materials allows educators to meet the learning needs of their students. Librarians can help educators use INFOhio resources to locate grade-level text for their students. Using digital materials in the classroom gives students access to read-aloud features and closed captioning. These features are designed to support students as they engage with the material. In the example below, the Early Civilizations: Greece Course List combines print and digital text to overcome obstacles and support knowledge building. Students can select from digital text and print books to read. Then students can compare what they learned with a peer during a Think, Pair, Share


INFOhio Resources to Overcome Obstacles

Explora for Grades PreK-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12

Explora provides access to full-text articles from thousands of magazines, journals, and newspapers along with images, videos, and primary sources. To provide students with a choice, educators can choose several articles from Explora on the topic or concept. Students can select two or three articles to read and then meet with the teacher to discuss what they learned from the articles. Both Online Full Text and PDF articles include Text-to-Speech for students who need additional support accessing the content of the article. In the image below, a student can use the Text-to-Speech option to listen to the article read aloud. 


Support Students with Materials to Accelerate Learning 

Building a personalized learning environment includes providing students with multiple ways to demonstrate their learning. In a 2019 study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, educators said they need supplemental materials to engage students and offer enrichment. Educators seek out instructional materials that offer innovative approaches to learning and provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate their learning.

Licensed digital content accessible through INFOhio provides educators with content that is innovative and engaging. By combining this with freely available content from Open Space, educators create targeted collections of content to accelerate the instruction of a skill or topic. Open Space includes a collection of endorsed materials that have been peer-reviewed. These materials have been evaluated for alignment with Ohio's Learning Standards and use research-based instructional strategies. When educators curate a combination of licensed and endorsed materials, they bring evidence-based instructional materials into the classroom. These materials accelerate student learning. The Planning and Money Management content package includes a curated package of eBooks, videos, and lesson plans selected to support the development of financial literacy skills. 


INFOhio Resources to Accelerate Learning

Science Online

Science Online provides articles, diagrams, timelines, and videos to support science, technology, engineering, and math classrooms in grades 6-12. This resource includes a collection of interactive and hands-on experiments. Educators can use experiments, diagrams, and videos to reinforce difficult concepts, extend learning beyond the classroom, or provide students with options to show what they have learned. 


ScienceFlix offers more than 80 complete units of study on science, technology, engineering, and math. This resource includes a collection of hands-on activities and experiments. The units in ScienceFlix lend themselves to mastery and competency-based learning, providing students with multiple ways to gain knowledge and show what they have learned. In the image below, students demonstrate their mastery of CAD software by creating a 3-D image of a useful item. 


INFOhio's resources contain thousands of instructional materials to support student learning. Watch the Supporting Everyday Teaching Learn with INFOhio webinar series to learn more about how to evaluate and curate instructional materials to support student learning. Sign up for email updates about INFOhio's Professional Development and Training designed to help you integrate INFOhio's quality digital content in the classroom.

If you have questions, please reach out to INFOhio Support at support.infohio.org


About the Author

Posted by: Mary Rowland

Mary Rowland is a Senior Instructional Specialist with INFOhio. A former high school English teacher with 14 years of teaching experience, Mary is an accomplished leader who facilitated professional development in her previous district on integrating web-based tools into the classroom, Google Apps for Education, and writing across the curriculum. During her career, Mary mentored student teachers and served on both the district and building leadership committees. She has earned a BA in English, an MS in Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and is a Google Certified Educator Level 2. Mary is passionate about supporting INFOhio’s mission to help Ohio’s educators integrate the tools and resources to strengthen education for Ohio’s students.

Mary Rowland
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