Ch-ch-ch-changes! How our website is evolving to meet our users' needs
EL Education is updating its homepage and expanding the Resources section. Below is an overview of all the changes, with screencasts to walk you through each new feature. The updates will go live on February 28, 2017.
Overview of changes
The homepage will feature:
- Timely news stories and spots for promoting deadline-sensitive content and events
- A video and messaging that speaks to our mission
- Key resources, like our video collection and publications
The new Resources section will include:
- A set of resources that are public and free to all.
- A new public section dedicated to “collections” which are groups of resources curated by theme, type or topic.
- The PLPs have been renamed PD Packs and migrated to the public Resources section so users don’t have to leave the site to use our self-guided study modules.
- All of the files that previously “lived” in EL Commons (our proprietary library of resources for our partners) will still be available to EL Commons members. That means members will be able to see the entire open and free library plus member-only content; staff will be able to see everything plus internal documents. Starting on February 28th, members can log-in to view members-only files as well as special search menus that will allow search of our resources by core practice.
Resources: How to use the library
We’ve imade significant changes in the library based on user feedback:
- We pulled out the search menu from the main navigation and put it in a more traditional position to the left of the results. We added checkboxes to the filters (that’s what we call the categories and subcategories) and quantities so you can keep track of what you’ve chosen and how it affects the number of results you see.
- We also moved the keyword search to that area so you can apply all your search criteria in one place.
- The tiles themselves have evolved too: We’ve added imagery to all of them, and a “play” icon to all videos. We’ve also added “Type” and “Topic” tags since many titles aren’t self-explanatory.
- You can sort your results using the pull-down menu on the right side and you can also change to list view if you prefer to scan without images.
Collections are a new content type. They are groups of Resources curated by EL Education program staff. They are sometimes organized by topic (e.g., foundational EL documents), strategies (e.g., Classroom management) or type (e.g., videos or Books).
Resources: PD Packs
Our self-guided study modules, Professional Learning Packs (PLPs), have been renamed PD Packs and are now incorporated into the Resources section rather than living off on a separate site. The content and hierarchy remain the same but we are excited to add more of this popular content type in the near future.
Searching the site
If you want to search our site by keyword, there are two ways to do so. The first option is to type in your keyword(s) into the search field that lives in the main navigation. That will return results from the entire ELeducation.org site plus any relevant results from Common Core Success (CCS) — our nationally-recognized literacy curriculum — and Models of Excellence (MOE) — our library of high quality student work. It’s really powerful!
The second option is to use the keyword search tool in the Library section. That will return results from only the Library section, not including the curriculum. If you don’t have a keyword in mind, try using the filters to narrow or expand your search. Filters are what we call the categories and sub-categories that appear in the menu on the left, below the main navigation. Type, topic, grade and discipline filters are always visible. If you are logged in as an EL Commons member, you can also see filters that correspond to our Core Practices. If you are EL Education staff member, you’ll also see filters that relate to internal documents.
Creating tighter integration between Common Core Success and Models of Excellence
We have taken several steps to tie together our content. As part of our rebrand, we updated the design of Common Core Success (CCS) and Models of Excellence (MOE), adding an “omnibar” that enables users to toggle between sections of the Resources section more easily. The omnibar also contains a link to ELEducation.org. In the future, we will be adding more cross-references between sections. For example, our CCS modules will include links to relevant videos and instructional aids, as well as to student work produced by classrooms working with the curriculum.
How to give feedback
Your feedback is easy to offer and super important to us. After all, we can’t fix broken links, typos or other mistakes if we don’t know about them. Likewise, we can’t consider new features or other suggestions unless we hear from you! Please use the contact form in the primary navigation on ELeducation.org to submit feedback. Select “Website issues” from the menu and then give us as many details as you can about the issue at hand or your ideas for improvements.
Thanks for helping us continue to improve our site!