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Web Reviews

Best Web Sites for Teachers.

Of all Internet users, teachers must surely be among those best-served - the sheer volume of (mostly) free online resources available, their rich variety, their usefulness as learning tools, the dynamism of the environment as resources are developed to meet new challenges, are a tribute to the educators at every level who make it all possible, and to those who ultimately make it all worthwhile - the teachers and students who put the materials to good use.



What Makes a Good Educational Website?

* The ALA's Great Web Sites for Kids Selection Criteria (ALSC Great Web Sites Committee, 2005) expands on these considerations: Authorship/ Sponsorship; Purpose; Design and Stability; and Content.
* At his Education Community site , Daniel Séguin links to a select range of sites and outlines Criteria for Evaluating Educational Websites , considering Origin, Design, Content, Accessibility, and Currency. As an example, he applies his criteria to Funschool.com.
* Olin and Uris Libraries at Cornell University feature an article on Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools (Michael Engle, October 2004), presenting a Higher Education perspective - includes Online Selection Examples and a Webliography.
* Lesley University's Evaluating Web Sites; Criteria for the Classroom (2005) is an interesting recent contribution designed to help faculty and students to sort out the good stuff, under these headings: Purpose, Authority, Objectivity, Appropriateness, Currency, Responsibility, Clarity, Accessibility. Includes examples and a Webliography.
* Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators is widely recognized as one of the best sites for educators - how does it line up against these sets of criteria?

Ranking and Rating.

* Sites for Teachers is a large listing, with ratings recalculated hourly according to popularity with teachers.
* The Best on the Web for Teachers (TeAch-nology.com) is another large ranked listing - high-ranking sites here seem to emphasise classroom printables.
* Best of History Web Sites carries annotated links to a huge range of resources suitable for use in History education - lesson plans, teacher guides, activities, games, quizzes, and more throughout its pages. Google gives premium ranking to this site in a search for "history web sites". Try a similar search using "geography web sites" for a similarly ranked site; however, also try "geography websites", for a different result.

Award-Winning Sites for Teachers.
Winning awards is one way of establishing worth; here are links to some sites which recognise that authority:

* The Busy Educator's Award Winning Sites is a very extensive listing across all disciplines and most education- related topics: alphabetically arranged from Art, through Libraries, to University.
* David Brear's Educational Award Winning Web Sites is a selective annotation of 11 top sites - just a small part of his directory of Internet Sites that Work for Students and Teachers , updated monthly - another great way to stay current.
* The Cool School Honors Archive at Education World lists winners of Cool School Awards - see for example what's happening on the technology front at Lakeside High School .
* Education Coffeehouse lists winners of Educational Excellence Awards.

Extensive Lists.

* Super Sites For Teachers (John Eggers / WOWTeaching) - short annotations and terrific sites.
* General Teacher Resources http://sciencespot.net/Pages/refdeskgen.html (Science Spot) - an alphabetical listing with brief annotations.
* The Best Web Sites For Teachers - sites for the classroom categorized by various grade ranges, preK-12
* Marjan Glavac's Top Educator Sites (Busy Educator's Guide To The World Wide Web) - chosen for their capacity for making teaching easier and saving teachers time. Most of the annotations run to at least 3 paragraphs.
* Just for Teachers - a warmhearted directory for teachers of all grade levels, modestly subtitled The Ultimate Website for Educators. The author is an elementary ESOL teacher, but the topics covered range much further than expected.
* The Teacher's Corner - a sophisticated portal catering to the needs of Primary & Intermediate teachers.
* 4Teachers.org offers free online tools and resources designed to facilitate technology integration.; emphasis on Professional Development; carries a Site of the Week.
* ProTeacher Web Directory (ProTeacher Community) - a major directory emphasising teacher cooperation, sharing, collaboration.
* Teaching Resources: Content & Lesson Planning; Curriculum Resources - just in case you miss the Pink Flamingo reference further down. See also at the same site: Designing Courses: Learning Objects, SCOs, IMS Standards, XML, SGML, etc. - some repositories listed here offer collections of free content.

A Few More.

* In IT and Education: a Steep Learning Curve (Computeractive: February 24, 2005), Martin Courtney identifies popular British sites which reflect the nature of the UK's examination system, providing course information, revision tips and coping advice. At the top of the list are BBC Learning and Channel 4 Learning ; other recommendations are : GCSE.com: revising revision ; S-Cool's Teacher World ; Project GCSE ; and RevisionNotes.Co - absolutely no-nonsense assessment-oriented material.
* Top Education and Teacher Sites! is a searchable collection from EdHelperNet.
* Best WebSites for Elementary Teachers represents the collective feedback from an elementary teacher in-service run by Nancy Gridley and Laura Oakes - take a look at the sites reviewed and see if you agree with the teachers' comments.
* In her Library and Teaching weblog (December 28, 2004), Sharon Drake shares a shortlist of Great Websites with teachers and school librarians
* The P.L. Duffy Resource Centre Website at Trinity College, Western Australia is by far the best school library website I've come across so far, carrying a multitude of quality links supporting the work of teachers and students everywhere, and in Western Australia in particular.
* Teacher Librarian Rosemary K Horton presents an interesting account of how and why it all happened in her article Online Collection: Development of P.L. Duffy Resource Centre Website - headings are: Rationale; Methodology; Presentation Style; Criteria for Choice of Links; and Areas of Coverage. Exploration is probably best achieved through the Site Map. For an appreciation of ongoing developments, see What's New on the Website?
* PinkFlamingo's Resource Lists for Educators will tempt anyone interested in distance education to nominate it as the home page on their computer - it's basically a very impressive directory together with lots of links to featured resources and handy webtools. Directory headings are: FOR EDUCATORS: The Virtual Professor; Teaching Resources; Your Online Students; Designing Courses; Accessibility Issues.
* Teachers First is another fully-fledged portal, with resources accessible through an easy-to-use menu at the top of every page.
* PBS Teacher Source carries more than 3,000 free standards-based lesson plans, teacher guides and online activities - from the sidebar, search by keyword or browse the subject directory. Other features include: Concepts across the Curriculum; Current Events for the Classroom; Online Professional Development; and What's on TV?
* Edutopia Online - for Educators (George Lucas Educational Foundation) - emphasis on technology, innovation, student-centred learning and the ideas driving modern educational practice - see sidebar topics for detail.
* Resources for Teachers and Schools (Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain) - don't be misled by the simple introductory pages: this site is huge and has a lot to offer, with a special emphasis on using technology. Browse via pull-down menus and subject directories.
* Teachers Helping Teachers is Dr. Scott Mandel's free, non-profit service to teachers everywhere - 4,231,612 of them since 1995, and still going strong. Its unique strength lies in the large collection of Lesson Plans created and contributed by teachers, updated weekly. There's also a Teachers' Forum, Poem of the Week, Weekly Stress Reduction Moment, and a great list of The Best Educational Resources on the Web
* The Librarians' Index to the Internet is a very useful directory selected and organized by librarians. See especially the Education section.
* The Top 101 Web Sites for Teachers - the weblog approach, effective for regular updating.
* Awesome Library (EDI and Dr. R. Jerry Adams) - 26,000 reviewed resources, including the top 5% in education.
* The Edsitement Subject Catalog (National Endowment for the Humanities)
* TeachNet (teachersnetwork.org) - by teachers, for teachers.
* Information Literacy: Search Strategies - Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need (Noodle Tools) - an indispensible table for the serious searcher.
* Useful Reference Sites (Springfield Convent Junior School)

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