The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) provides online resources to create safe school and learning environments for students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Their website shares information on LGBTQ policies, research, educator guides, and materials for school and community organizing. Visitors are able to access lesson plans, data, survey tools, webinars, and links to other educational videos.
Type of Material:
Learning object repository, reference material, workshop and training material.
In-class assignments, homework, individual assignments, team assignments.
Internet Explorer or applicable browser, Flash player (viewing videos).
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learner will be able to explore and understand LGBTQ issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression and be able to analyze LGBTQ student data and associated policies using secondary sources. The learner will also be able to identify and apply appropriate terminology and neutral language for working with diverse groups.
Target Student Population:
High school and lower division college students in sociology and/or teacher education.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer operations and introduction to social research.
This is a resource to help schools take action in creating more inclusive environments. I see this being used as a guide for student/faculty groups. Learners have access to quantitative and qualitative data for exploring issues on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Lesson guides offer activities and exercises for stimulating critical thinking and discussion.
This material is geared toward younger students K-12. Higher Ed faculty may need to supplement the information with more robust/sociological studies. The site is not well organized, many lesson guides are in “For Students” rather than “For Educator” page, and research incorporates a limited number of sources from other researchers, groups, or organizations.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The teaching resources take faculty through step by step processes for effectively discussing various LGBTQ issues -- bullying, etc. It is self-directed (students may complete it at their own pace). Lesson guides and webinars are effective tools for introducing or reinforcing LGBTQ topics.
Learners would benefit from a site overview to identify and differentiate resources. Heading tabs and quick link tabs do not accurately label resources. Data and information from the site will require additional research or materials to reinforce concepts and theoretical perspectives to meet course learning objectives and outcomes.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Active links in PDF lesson guides and embedded webinars.
Learners would benefit from: (1) instructions on identifying and finding resources, (2) active links embedded on web pages (rather than having to download PDF documents for access), and (3) links to related sites or organizations for additional research, information, or resources.
Other Issues and Comments:
This site is really designed as a resource for educators and student groups.
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