http://www.thegateway.org

A new tool is now available to help teachers pick, from thousands of resources on the internet, the one that is right for their students. The Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) site is designed so that teachers can type a topic, grade level, or other information into a search screen in order to retrieve lesson plans, instructional units, and other free educational materials on the selected topic, for the selected grade level. GEM lets teachers search for instructional materials from more than 140 federal, state, university, nonprofit, and commercial organizations. These materials may also be browsed by subject area or key word. Currently, more than 7,000 items are included in GEM, with hundreds of new resources being added and new consortium members joining each month, according to the site’s creator, the U.S. Department of Education. “GEM works like the card catalog system in a library,” explains Keith Stubbs of the National Library of Education, which oversees the department’s support for GEM. “A GEM search retrieves fewer resources than most search tools, and with more precision. Also, in the future, teachers will be able to search and find resources by state academic standards.”