Web Hotspots for Today's Classroom Teacher - IT0116
The Internet is constantly changing. Sites that were excellent resources for classroom teachers two years ago may no longer be in operation, and new sites are appearing every day. This session will point teachers towards a number of web resources that are current and exciting in the content or services they provide.
During this 2 hour session special attention will be paid to online communities creating and sharing copyright free content (text, photos, music, movies, etc.) that can be used in the classroom.
This page is NOT intended to be an all-inclusive list of good websites. It is a list of sites that support a staff development session and its discussion.
Little Known LPS Web Resources
- LPS KEYWORD: Survive
This page on the LPS website is an overview of many of the pieces of technology encountered by LPS teachers. Perfect for new teachers to the district, but may also hold some gems for veteran LPS staff.
- All Posts
Stay in tune with content posted to the LPS website. All new content is listed here. (RSS)
- Digital Content Resources
Subscription services that LPS teachers have access to. Valuable content that LPS pays good money for sits here, sometimes unnoticed.
The supporting page for a presentation on RSS feeds and how to get started using them. ('RSS in Plain English', via Common Craft)
Multimedia and other General Resources
Snopes is a clearinghouse for all email and web based rumors, hoaxes and urban legends. With a simple search box you can determine in seconds if the shocking, disturbing, or inspirational email you just received is verified as true, false, or of indeterminate origins.
- NPR Search
The search page on NPR.org allows you to refine any search criteria and return only items that match a category, such as “science & health” or a date range (or both.) This allows you to quickly find news or feature stories presented as text, usually with supporting audio and photos, all with NPRs legendary quality.
3 minute videos that explain technology and other current topics in "Plain English". A great website to learn from, but also a perfect example of a low-tech approach to video making. Your students could do this!
In the past few years there has been a surge towards online photo storage and management tools. For more information about the concept of online photo storage, I refer you to this short video. The most popular of the online photo storage and sharing sites is called Flickr. Useful for personal reasons, it is also a tremendous resource of Creative Commons and Museum materials as we will discuss.
Animoto is a powerful online video creator. You provide the photos, they do all the rest. Create captivating "MTV-style" slideshows set to the music of your choice. Animoto requires an annual fee, but educators can apply for a free "all access" pass that lasts for about 6 months.
A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too. Opens many avenues for allowing students to participate in the classroom curriculum. (Examples & ideas.)
- TED Talks
The 2 TED conferences held each year in Long Beach, California and Oxford, England bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). The subject matter covered is open-ended and broad, but the common denominator is that these will be the best and most inspiring presentations you view each year, on deep and insightful topics. Some previous examples include:
- Google Docs
Web Word Processing & Spreadsheets! Share documents instantly & collaborate in real-time. Edit your documents from anywhere. Choose who can access your documents or publish them for the world to see. Store your documents securely online. Easy to use. Clean, uncluttered screens with a familiar, desktop feel.
- Google Books
Search the full text of books. Each book result includes an 'About this book' page with basic bibliographic data. You may also see additional information like key terms and phrases, references to the book from scholarly publications or other books and a list of related books. For every book, you'll see links directing you to bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it.
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
- Google Reader
Google Reader makes it easier to keep up with your ever-expanding reading list of content from across the web. Includes a feature that "auto-magically" creates your own website of suggested articles.
- Google Earth
Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.
An easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that enables you to explore the world in 3D. With just a few simple tools, you can create 3D models of houses, sheds, decks, home additions, woodworking projects - even space ships.
- Google Operating System [NEWS]
Google Tutor [HOW-TO]
The folks at Google are busy. They update, add or change the tools they offer on a weekly basis at times. These two sites are pretty good at keeping you in the loop.
"Open Content" Media
- Creative Commons [ABOUT]
SEARCH Creative Commons [SEARCH]
Creative Commons (CC) offers content creators reasonable, flexible copyright. Audio, video and text found here can be used without copyright concerns. The CC search engine finds results in: Google & Yahoo (Web), Flickr (Photos), Blip (Video), and Owl (Music).
Begun in 2001, Wikipedia has rapidly grown into the largest reference website on the Internet. The content of Wikipedia is free, written collaboratively by people from all around the world.
To learn more about Wikipedia and it's use in education, start with these pages.
Education Related Sites
- Alltop: Education
If it is current or important in the Educational profession, it will be on this page.
The George Lucas Foundations' website focusing on ideas that are working in public Education.
- The K-12 Online Conference
Beginning in 2006, the K-12 Online conference offers tutorials and keynote presentations on topics that are affecting educational technology. Free and always available, any time you spend on this website will be a benefit to you.
Secondary Focused Content
- The Exploratorium
Perenially one of the top museums in America in person, and also on line. If there are current events in the world of science, you can count on them for incredible educational multimedia content to support it.
- National Archives: Online research tools
National Archives: Digital Vault
National Archives: Flickr
National Archives: Daily Document
Key pieces of our American experience are being converted to electronic files on a daily basis. get students "in touch" with primary source documents!
Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development, making the world more understandable.
- smART history
Smarthistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook.
- Academic Earth
thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars. For students wanting to enrich or extend their high school curriculum, this might prove to be a valuable resource.
Elementary Focused Content
A database of animal facts aimed at emerging readers. Includes hundreds of animals, audio and video clips, carefully leveled text and educational games. A great introduction to database and research concepts. LPS Media Services provides a subscription to this resource, and suggests that teachers will also appreciate how it supports the new writing curriculum. Accessible from school or from home.
- Visual Dictionary by Merriam Webster
Search ideas within organized subject fields to quickly locate more than 20,000 terms with full definitions or consult more than 6,000 stunning illustrations of a wide variety of objects from all aspects of life.
- Howtoons and Instructables
Similar in concept, these sites feature how-to instructions done in a cartoon style. Informative, and also act as a model for ways students might present what they know about a topic.
- Fact Monster
A kid focused reference site brought to you by InfoPlease.com (Pearson Education). Information Please has been providing authoritative answers to all kinds of factual questions since 1938—first as a popular radio quiz show, then starting in 1947 as an annual almanac, and since 1998 on the Internet at www.infoplease.com. Many things have changed since 1938, but not our dedication to providing reliable information, in a way that engages and entertains.
- KABOOSE: Crafts and Holiday pages
Kaboose is a larger website focused on the parenting community. The Craft & Holiday secions of their webiste are a treasure trove of new ideas for activities to do with young children.
Published: August 7, 2009, Updated: September 4, 2012