Instructional Media Services (IMS) - IU13
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Instructional Media Services (IMS)

IU13 Instructional Media Services (IMS) provides a cost-effective and convenient program for educators to obtain high-quality digital media to complement classroom instruction.

We update and revamp the IMS every five years in order to continue to meet districts’ current needs and initiatives. Our IMS focuses on supporting 21st century skills, digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, high productivity, and effective communication. Whether students are studying world languages, math, science, language arts, humanities, social studies, or any other electives, our IMS provides materials and resources for all K-12 educators and learners.

For more information, please call 717-947-1742 or email

BrainPOP is a great educational tool to help engage and motivate student learning independently, in small groups, and within direct instruction. Investigate the multitude of topics/units in Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Health, Arts & Music, and Engineering/Tech. Teachers can assign students videos, quizzes, and activities to complete individually. In addition, teachers/students can access the primary source document resources, Game Up interactive games, or other activities in large/small group settings. We also offer additional BrainPOP subscriptions including BrainPOP Science, ESL, Español, and Français.  For more information check out BrainPOP.

Through the use of CultureGrams, our students can travel to exquisite places in the world, researching new cultures, languages, foods, and customs. CultureGrams is a searchable database containing concise, reliable, and up-to-date cultural information on more than 200 countries, all 13 Canadian provinces and territories, and each U.S. state. This database provides online resources including a worldwide photo gallery, slideshows, video clips, famous people collection, recipe collection, and sortable, create-your-own data tables of selected information. This is a great primary source database used in World Languages, Family and Consumer Science (FCS), Social Studies, and English departments.

IMS is a proud member of Access PA, providing PowerLibrary access to educators who attend meetings, trainings, and workshops in any one of our IU13 locations. PowerLibrary has popular resources such as AP Images, BookFLIX, Access PA Database, Consumer Health Complete, EBSCO, Sirs Discoverer, and so much more! Make sure you visit PowerKids to have a more elementary-friendly resource.

In addition, through your IMS membership, we hold Connected Libraries/Access PA meetings where all our local media specialists and librarians collaborate and share job-alike practices. These POC collaborative meetings are for Lancaster and Lebanon county library stakeholders, including but not limited to AccessPA member libraries, for the purpose of providing pertinent information concerning technology tools, ethical and legal issues, and professional development opportunities. In addition, time is devoted for new learning and exploration for the integration of IMS and other tools/strategies supporting all content area curricula. This group is co-facilitated by member districts and IU13 IMS.

For any questions regarding PowerLibrary and Connected Libraries/Access PA meetings, please feel free to contact

Discovery Education Experience is a high-quality digital video-on-demand library that provides thousands of full videos, images, clip art, interactives, and many other teacher resources. Teachers will enjoy exploring the creation tools including Interactive Video Quizzes, Studio Boards and Slideshows, Assignment and Assessment Builder. Instructional Activities and Student Learning Channels contain ready-to-use activities that explore a variety of topics. Through Discovery Education, students can create their own digital poster boards and slides that contain digital content found in Discovery Education to display their learning in the classroom from K-12.

The IMS Lending Library offers a wide range of STEM resources that promote a student-centered learning approach and foster curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Register on the IMS Lending Library website to explore the available tools, including tools from Sphero (Bolt, Indi, littleBits), BirdBrain Technologies (Finch, Hummingbird), Botley, Phidgets, and many more!

School districts can request to borrow books from any other school district or library in Pennsylvania through the Access Pennsylvania database. There are three methods of returning materials to the lending school/library, based on eligibility as noted below:

  • If both the lender and the borrower of the item are served by IU13 Courier Services, materials may be returned for free through the IU13 Courier Services.
  • If the above does not apply and the borrower is a member of Interlibrary Delivery Services (IDS), the borrower may return the item to the lender via IDS.
  • If neither of the above apply, borrowers must return the item to the lender using their own method and at their own expense.

Please note that the IU13 IMS program provides IU13 IMS members with nylon, zippered shipping bags for item returns by any of these methods.

Take your classroom to all new heights of exploration, immersion, creativity, and virtual field trips! These Instructional Media Services resources will explore the latest in VR (Google Arts & Culture, ExpeditionsPRO, Jig Space, etc.) and various apps for K-12 student creativity (Astronomy, History, Phys Ed, stop motion video, scavenger hunts, etc.). This set of devices includes iPhone devices and VR headsets. Teachers who wish to rent these kits must attend a half-day workshop to learn how to reserve, use, and return these amazing virtual reality sets, taking your classroom to all new heights of exploration and expeditions!

Sora carries our former literacy book bag collections into the 21st century by providing access to eBook publications from the number one eBook provider to libraries in the world. Not only will students enjoy many fiction titles, they will have access to nonfiction titles supporting the standards and lexile reading levels. Sora will enable teachers to “talk to the text,” showing students how to annotate on eBooks taking notes in the classroom setting or enable students to check out eBooks and AudioBooks via their own devices, Android, IOS, Windows, or any browser. Students and staff have the opportunity to check out titles that meet their reading needs and interests via our immense collection of titles put together by librarians from our IU13 districts on an bi-annual basis.

Students can explore space (Greek, Native American, and African mythologies; earth and celestial coordinates; stick figure constellations; ocean currents; Chinese seasons/four beast; deep sky objects; Ancient Chinese Legends), maps (the Lewis & Clark celestial, plate tectonics), and science concepts (biology cells, weather, ocean currents).

This resource provides two popular research databases, Student Resources in Context and Opposing Viewpoints in Context for the secondary-level researchers. These resources provide federated searches to help turn learners into researchers, thinkers, and debaters.

Student Resources In Context provides stellar support for papers, projects, and presentations that reinforces development of academic skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation. This knowledge portal offers an authoritative selection of overviews, primary sources, videos, images, and more. Student Resources In Context helps students develop 21st-century skills then transition from high school learners to college thinkers.  Click here for more information about Student Resources In Context.

Opposing Viewpoints In Context answers the call for a better way to explore today’s most hotly debated topics. This next-generation portal delivers a range of perspectives on important issues. Users find a remarkable compilation of proven reference content, including the award-winning Opposing Viewpoints series from Greenhaven Press, integrated with the best multimedia available today. With its scope and depth, Opposing Viewpoints In Context supports virtually any curricular, academic, or general-interest need. Informed, differing views help learners develop critical-thinking skills. Click here for more information about Opposing Viewpoints In Context.

IU13 IMS can provide districts with consultation regarding the selection and use of media. Workshops and other presentations are available on many topics, some of which include the following: Google Apps for Education, Social Media, Blended Learning Strategies/Tools, Formative Assessment Tools, etc. IU13 can provide districts with professional development regarding the selection and integration of technology and media into the curriculum.

The telepresence robot is a revolutionary tool for homebound students. Bringing the rich learning environment of a classroom to a homebound or hospitalized student can be very difficult. The Double 3 enables the remote student to join the classroom in real-time, interact with other students one-on-one, and participate in group discussion.

Newly added to the IMS!! Our new Transfr VR systems are available for checkout via our IMS Lending Library. The devices take our learners to explore careers via virtual reality as an Immersive Training Solution. In addition, learners can move beyond exploration and begin training on their own pace through “a curriculum built on experiences from real-world experts in a variety of fields.” Click here to learn more about Transfr VR.

IU13 IMS coordinates IU-wide consortia to provide cost-effective services/programs to benefit member districts. Some examples include Schoology Enterprise Learning Management System, BrainPOP, Atomic Learning, and Nearpod. Visit the IMS Consortia Page for more details.

If districts/schools are interested in pursuing additional consortium possibilities, please contact the IMS Program Coordinator at

The IU13 IMS program develops programs to meet districts’ needs for specialized information or training. The IMS program develops full-day workshops and contracts with experts to conduct programs beneficial to school district staff. IMS provides follow-up training and services for district librarians, media coordinators, technology specialists, technology integrators, etc. Examples include: Annual Elementary Technology Conference, Annual Secondary Technology Conference, Schoology Usergroup Forums, World Language Collaboration Days, iPAD Collaboration Days, 1:1 Forums, etc.

Meetings are held on a monthly basis at IU13 and facilitated by IMS staff for school district technology and media coordinators/coaches/specialists. These meetings provide a valuable forum for learning and information exchange among these district staff. Valuable demonstrations and hands-on training are conducted by IMS staff and invited experts to meet the information needs of school district technology and media coordinators with respect to emerging technology and media uses in education. Discussions are held that assist districts in developing policies and procedures related to the uses of technology and media in the schools. IU13 IMS districts and schools are invited to send their Tech Media Integrators, Media Specialists, Tech Coordinators, Instructional Coaches, Tech Coaches, etc., to these monthly meetings.

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