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Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning

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The "Top 25" Websites foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.


Media Sharing

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and und understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.
  • 3.3.4 – Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context
  • 4.1.8 – Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning

Glogster this link goes to an external site
Remember the old the poster board presentations? Well, they are now digital, motivating and very visually exciting. Use these digital posters to create a book review, an interactive front page for a wiki, an innovative topic exploration or any other demonstration of learning using video, graphics, text, etc.

Masher this link goes to an external site
Are you a little hesitant to create videos? Masher makes it’s easy. You can "mix, mash, and share" video clips, audio files, and photos into polished movies. Students own content as well as media from the BBC Motion Gallery and Rip Curl free for the mashing, and can then be shared on social media sites or via email.

Prezi this link 
goes to an external site
Getting tired of the old linear PowerPoint presentations? Then switch to Prezi and start to create fantastic, brain-friendly presentations. Use the "zebra wheel" to customize, non-linear creative presentations that can kept for online access or downloaded for personal or professional use. Include pictures, videos, and more. Free presentations for anyone and extended options for teachers and those in Education.

Professor Garfield this link goes to an external site
Are you looking to engage kids in a safe online setting and provide 21st century learning opportunities? Professor Garfield provides an environment where children can safely create, interact, read, engage, and express themselves through a variety of innovative online tools including an e-book reader and comics lab.

SchoolTube this link goes to an external site
This is the ideal place for teachers and students to share videos online. Create your own channel for your school or share videos with other students and educators. Instructions on how to load, create, and compress videos as well as how to create video contests and TV shows for your school. It’s all here in SchoolTube.

Scratch this link goes to an external site
Targeted to 8- to 16-year olds, Scratch allows students to create and share projects, presentations, stories and best of all – videos games! The emphasis is on multi-media and includes graphics, sound, music, and photos. Supported by National Science Foundation research, Scratch encourages creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration.

WatchKnow.org this link goes to an external site
Don’t let you students’ videos languish on your computer’s hard drive. WatchKnow is a free and easily accessible way to share educational videos with students and staff. Organized for easy searching, you can even search by age, and has the ability for you to download your own videos to share with others.

Digital Storytelling

International Children’s Digital Library this link goes to an external site
The largest digital collections of children’s book, ICDL contains over 4,400 books in 54 languages representing 64 countries with applications for the iPhone and the new larger screen, iPad.

Jing this link 
goes to an external site
Do you need to quickly snap a picture of your screen or record a video of an onscreen action? Jing is the solution; it’s free software that adds visuals to your online conversations. Include it in an email, Website, or IM.

Storybird this link goes to an external site
Do your students like to tell stories? Storybird will help them to create short, visual stories. You can save them, share them and (soon) print them. Use Storybird’s beautiful watercolor illustrations to tell your story.

Manage and Organize

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.2 – Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
  • 2.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
  • 3.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

Evernote this link goes to an external site
Tired of trying to keep track or find your various notes on taken throughout the day and want to be able to organize your thoughts from a variety of sources? Evernote will do this and you can access it from anywhere, even your iPhone.

jogtheweb this link goes to an external site
Do you want an easy and innovative way to guide students through the Internet? jogtheweb is a web-based tool that allows anyone to create a synchronous guide to a series of Websites. Its step-by-step approach of taking viewers through Websites allowing the author to annotate and ask guiding questions for each page is unique. Give it a try and start creating your own jogs.

Live Binders this link goes to an external site
This fun and easy-to-use site makes it easy to organize and share sources. Teachers can use it as a presentation tool, plan an interactive lesson, or engage with students on the research process.

MuseumBox this link goes to an external site
This site allows students to place items into virtual boxes; these items can include images, video, text, and sound. MuseumBox can be used across the curriculum and can help students to describe a person, place, thing, event, idea, or issue. The site facilitates description, debate, investigation, and exploration and development of ideas and issues.

Pageflakes this link goes to an external site
Create your own personalized homepage with Pageflakes. You can include all of your favorite internet sites and arrange them as you wish on your page. The "flakes" – small versions of the web pages you prefer – could include sites that focus on a specific hobby or interest, a particular subject area, a classroom study topic or current events.

Weblist this link goes to an external site
Weblist is a great way to gather and organize content based on a theme with the added feature of one URL. Your weblist can then be shared through social media networks or posted on a blog or Website. No time to make your own list, then search their playlist for subjects from music to science and everything in between.

Social Networking and Communication
  • 3.1.2 – Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners
  • 4.1.7 – Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information
  • 4.3.1 – Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

Creative Commons this link goes to an external site
Teach students and colleagues to collaborate as integral partners in the digital evolution as they discover and share content to use, re-purpose and remix with Creative Commons. Here you will find all the resources needed to learn appropriate use of Creative Commons licensing for written, graphic and multimedia content.

Learn Central this link goes to an
 external site
Connect with Steve Hargadon and an ever-growing number of educators on Learn Central, the social network for professional development that is ready when you are. Join free webinars and discussions in real time or participate with members asynchronously. Host a group of up to three participants for free. Develop networks with colleagues across town or around the world. Lifelong learning is just a few clicks away!

TED this link goes to an external 
site
TED is a remarkable Website sharing ideas from the world’s most innovative thinkers and experts related to technology, entertainment, design, business, science, and global issues. Watch, listen to, learn, discuss and spread TED.

Content Collaboration

  • 1.3.4 – Contribute to the exchange of ideas within a learning community.

  • 3.1.2 – Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

debategraph this link goes to an external site
Seeking diverse perspectives, interpretations or new understandings of topicsand issues impacting our world? Join debategraph, a browser based, wiki-style site, where students can synthesize, evaluate, expand, collaborate, contribute and substantiate their own thoughts and ideas to both sides of the issues. Debategraph utilizes visual depiction to deepen and enrich student understanding for a continuous and robust debate.

Curriculum Sharing

Exploratree this link goes to an external site
Create "thinking guides" using Exploratree’s endless options. You can fill in the guides online or print them out for student use–both options offer the option to save your work for future use. Thinking guides are divided into five broad categories for use by educators and students: map your ideas, solve problems, explore, analyse (they’re British!), and different perspectives.

The Jason Project this link goes to an external site
Are you looking for a way to connect your students with great explorers and great events in Science? You do not have to look any further than The Jason Project! Their free online curriculum is designed primarily for the middle grades but can be adapted to fit any grade level.

National Science Digital Library this link goes 
to an external site
The National Science Digital Library includes a variety of educational resources to further STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Browse the science literacy maps, short science refreshers, free multimedia downloads, or subject area collections to find just what you need to enhance student learning!

Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More

Edsitement this link goes to an external site
Check out this site for great educational material -suggested Websites and lesson plans – in literature/language arts, art/culture, social studies/history and foreign language.

The National Archives’ Digital Classroom this link goes to an external site
The National Archives’ Digital Classroom offers a multitude of resources for the use of primary sources in the classroom. With access to copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives of the United States, teachers can develop their own activities and lesson plans that make historical periods come alive for their students or choose from dozens of resources that have already been developed and are featured here.

 

Courtesy : American Association of School Librarians http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/bestlist/bestwebsitestop25.cfm

Filed under: Internet search tips

100 Useful Tips and Tools to Research the Deep Web

By Alisa Miller

Courtesy: http://www.online-college-blog.com

Experts say that typical search engines like Yahoo! and Google only pick up about 1% of the information available on the Internet. The rest of that information is considered to be hidden in the deep web, also referred to as the invisible web. So how can you find all the rest of this information? This list offers 100 tips and tools to help you get the most out of your Internet searches.

 

Meta-Search Engines

Meta-search engines use the resources of many different search engines to gather the most results possible. Many of these will also eliminate duplicates and classify results to enhance your search experience.

  1. SurfWax. This search engine works very well for reaching deep into the web for information.
  2. Academic Index. Created by the former chair of Texas Association of School Librarians, this meta-search engine only pulls from databases and resources that are approved by librarians and educators.
  3. Clusty. Clusty searches through top search engines, then clusters the results so that information that may have been hidden deep in the search results is now readily available.
  4. Dogpile. Dogpile searches rely on several top search engines for the results then removes duplicates and strives to present only relevant results.
  5. Turbo 10. This meta-search engine is specifically designed to search the deep web for information.
  6. Multiple Search. Save yourself the work by using this search engine that looks among major search engines, social networks, flickr, Wikipedia, and many more sites.
  7. Mamma. Click on the Power Search option to customize your search experience with this meta-search engine.
  8. World Curry Guide. This meta-search tool with a strong European influence has been around since 1997 and is still growing strong.
  9. Fazzle.com. Give this meta-search engine a try. It accesses a large number of databases and claims to have more access to information than Google.
  10. Icerocket. Search blogs as well as the general Internet, MySpace, the news, and more to receive results by posting date.
  11. iZito. Get results from a variety of major search engines that come to you clustered in groups. You can also receive only US website results or receive results with a more international perspective.
  12. Ujiko. This unusual meta-search tool allows for you to customize your searches by eliminating results or tagging some as favorites.

Semantic Search Tools and Databases

Semantic search tools depend on replicating the way the human brain thinks and categorizes information to ensure more relevant searches. Give some of these semantic tools and databases a try.

  1. Hakia. This popular semantic search engine only accesses websites that are recommended by librarians.
  2. Zotero. Firefox users will like this add-on that helps you organize your research material by collecting, managing, and citing any references from Internet research.
  3. Freebase. This community-powered database includes information on millions of topics.
  4. Powerset. Enter a topic, phrase, or question to find information from Wikipedia with this semantic application.
  5. Kartoo. Enter any keyword to receive a visual map of the topics that pertain to your keyword. Hover your mouse over each to get a thumbnail of the website.
  6. DBpedia. Another Wikipedia resource, ask complex questions with this semantic program to get results from within Wikipedia.
  7. Quintura. Entering your search term will create a cloud of related terms as well as a list of links. Hover over one of the words or phrases in the cloud to get an entirely different list of links.
  8. [true knowledge]. Help with current beta testing at this search engine or try their Quiz Bot that finds answers to your questions.
  9. Stumpedia. This search engine relies on its users to index, organize, and review information coming from the Internet.
  10. Evri. This search engine provides you with highly relevant results from articles, papers, blogs, images, audio, and video on the Internet.
  11. Gnod. When you search for books, music, movies and people on this search engine, it remembers your interests and focuses the search results in that direction.
  12. Boxxet. Search for what interests you and you will get results from the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, and more. Type in your keyword and in addition to the latest news on the topic, you will also receive search results, online collections, and more.

General Search Engines and Databases

These databases and search engines for databases will provide information from places on the Internet most typical search engines cannot.

  1. DeepDyve. One of the newest search engines specifically targeted at exploring the deep web, this one is available after you sign up for a free membership.
  2. OAIster. Search for digital items with this tool that provides 12 million resources from over 800 repositories.
  3. direct search. Search through all the direct search databases or select a specific one with this tool.
  4. CloserLook Search. Search for information on health, drugs and medicine, city guides, company profiles, and Canadian airfares with this customized search engine that specializes in the deep web.
  5. Northern Light Search. Find information with the quick search or browse through other search tools here.
  6. Yahoo! Search Subscriptions. Use this tool to combine a search on Yahoo! with searches in journals where you have subscriptions such as Wall Street Journal and New England Journal of Medicine.
  7. CompletePlanet. With over 70,000 databases and search engines at its disposal, this is an excellent resource for searching the deep web.
  8. The Scout Archives. This database is the culmination of nine years’ worth of compiling the best of the Internet.
  9. Daylife. Find news with this site that offers some of the best global news stories along with photos, articles, quotes, and more.
  10. Silobreaker. This tool shows how news and people in the news impacts the global culture with current news stories, corresponding maps, graphs of trends, networks of related people or topics, fact sheets, and more.
  11. spock. Find anyone on the web who might not normally show up on the surface web through blogs, pictures, social networks, and websites here.
  12. The WWW Virtual Library. One of the oldest databases of information available on the web, this site allows you to search by keyword or category.
  13. pipl. Specifically designed for searching the deep web for people, this search engine claims to be the most powerful for finding someone.

Academic Search Engines and Databases

The world of academia has many databases not accessible by Google and Yahoo!, so give these databases and search engines a try if you need scholarly information.

  1. Google Scholar. Find information among academic journals with this tool.
  2. WorldCat. Use this tool to find items in libraries including books, CDs, DVDs, and articles.
  3. getCITED. This database of academic journal articles and book chapters also includes a discussion forum.
  4. Microsoft Libra. If you are searching for computer science academic research, then Libra will help you find what you need.
  5. BASE – Bielefeld Academic Search Engine. This multi-disciplinary search engine focuses on academic research and is available in German, Polish, and Spanish as well as English.
  6. yovisto. This search engine is an academic video search tool that provides lectures and more.
  7. AJOL – African Journals Online. Search academic research published in AJOL with this search engine.
  8. HighWire Press. From Stanford, use this tool to access thousands of peer-reviewed journals and full-text articles.
  9. MetaPress. This tool claims to be the "world’s largest scholarly content host" and provides results from journals, books, reference material, and more.
  10. OpenJ-Gate. Access over 4500 open journals with this tool that allows you to restrict your search to peer-reviewed journals or professional and industry journals.
  11. Directory of Open Access Journals. This journal search tool provides access to over 3700 top "quality controlled" journals.
  12. Intute. The resources here are all hand-selected and specifically for education and research purposes.
  13. Virtual Learning Resource Center. This tool provides links to thousands of academic research sites to help students at any level find the best information for their Internet research projects.
  14. Gateway to 21st Century Skills. This resource for educators is sponsored by the US Department of Education and provides information from a variety of places on the Internet.
  15. MagBot. This search engine provides journal and magazine articles on topics relevant to students and their teachers.
  16. Michigan eLibrary. Find full-text articles as well as specialized databases available for searching.

Scientific Search Engines and Databases

The scientific community keeps many databases that can provide a huge amount of information but may not show up in searches through an ordinary search engine. Check these out to see if you can find what you need to know.

  1. Science.gov. This search engine offers specific categories including agriculture and food, biology and nature, Earth and ocean sciences, health and medicine, and more.
  2. WorldWideScience.org. Search for science information with this connection to international science databases and portals.
  3. CiteSeer.IST. This search engine and digital library will help you find information within scientific literature.
  4. Scirus. This science search engine moves beyond journal articles and also includes searches among such resources as scientists’ webpages, courseware, patents, and more.
  5. Scopus. Find academic information among science, technology, medicine, and social science categories.
  6. GoPubMed. Search for biomedical texts with this search engine that accesses PubMed articles.
  7. the Gene Ontology. Search the Gene Ontology database for genes, proteins, or Gene Ontology terms.
  8. PubFocus. This search engine searches Medline and PubMed for information on articles, authors, and publishing trends.
  9. Scitopia. This "deep federated search" brings the best information from the fields of science and technology.
  10. Scitation. Find over one million scientific papers from journals, conferences, magazines, and other sources with this tool.

Custom Search Engines

Custom search engines narrow your focus and eliminate quite a bit of the extra information usually contained in search results. Use these resources to find custom search engines or use the specific custom search engines listed below.

  1. CustomSearchEngine.com. This listing includes many of the Google custom search engines created.
  2. CustomSearchGuide.com. Find custom search engines here or create your own.
  3. CSE Links. Use this site to find Google Coop custom search engines.
  4. PGIS PPGIS Custom Search. This search engine is customized for those interested in the "practice and science" of PGIS/PPGIS.
  5. Files Tube. Search for files in file sharing and uploading sites with this search engine.
  6. Trailmonkey’s Custom Search Engine. This outdoor adventure search engine will help find information such as trails, maps, and wildlife around the world.
  7. Rollyo. "Roll your own search engine" at this site where you determine which sites will be included in your searches.
  8. Webhoker.com. Use this custom search engine to find information about Northern Ireland.
  9. Figure Skating Custom Search Engine. Use this search engine to learn about figure skating. The more this search engine is used, the better the results become.
  10. Custom Search Engines. There are three custom search engines here, two of which may be relevant for anyone interested in Utah constitution or juvenile justice.
  11. Go Pets America Custom Search Engine. This search engine will help you find information on pets and animals, their health and wellness, jobs in the field, and more.

Collaborative Information and Databases

One of the oldest forms of information dissemination is word-of-mouth, and the Internet is no different. With the popularity of bookmarking and other collaborative sites, obscure blogs and websites can gain plenty of attention. Follow these sites to see what others are reading.

  1. Del.icio.us. As readers find interesting articles or blog posts, they can tag, save, and share them so that others can enjoy the content as well.
  2. Digg. As people read blogs or websites, they can "digg" the ones they like, thus creating a network of user-selected sites on the Internet.
  3. Technorati. Not only is this site a blog search engine, but it is also a place for members to vote and share, thus increasing the visibility for blogs.
  4. StumbleUpon. As you read information on the Internet, you can Stumble it and give it a thumbs up or down. The more you Stumble, the more closely aligned to your taste will the content become.
  5. Reddit. Working similarly to StumbleUpon, Reddit asks you to vote on articles, then customizes content based on your preferences.
  6. Twine. With Twine you can search for information as well as share with others and get recommendations from Twine.
  7. Kreeo.com. This collaborative site offers shared knowledge from its members through forums, blogs, and shared websites.
  8. Talk Digger. Find information on the Internet based on what others are saying about it. Members discuss web sites, blogs, and specific topics here.

Tips and Strategies

Searching the deep web should be done a bit differently, so use these strategies to help you get started on your deep web searching.

  1. Don’t rely on old ways of searching. Become aware that approximately 99% of content on the Internet doesn’t show up on typical search engines, so think about other ways of searching.
  2. Search for databases. Using any search engine, enter your keyword alongside "database" to find any searchable databases (for example, "running database" or "woodworking database").
  3. Get a library card. Many public libraries offer access to research databases for users with an active library card.
  4. Stay informed. Reading blogs or other updated guides about Internet searches on a regular basis will ensure you are staying updated with the latest information on Internet searches.
  5. Search government databases. There are many government databases available that have plenty of information you may be seeking.
  6. Bookmark your databases. Once you find helpful databases, don’t forget to bookmark them so you can always come back to them again.
  7. Practice. Just like with other types of research, the more you practice searching the deep web, the better you will become at it.
  8. Don’t give up. Researchers agree that most of the information hidden in the deep web is some of the best quality information available.

Helpful Articles and Resources for Deep Searching

Take advice from the experts and read these articles, blogs, and other resources that can help you understand the deep web.

  1. Deep Web – Wikipedia. Get the basics about the deep web as well as links to some helpful resources with this article.
  2. Deep Web – AI3:::Adaptive Information. This assortment of articles from the co-coiner of the phrase "deep web," Michael Bergman offers a look at the current state of deep web perspectives.
  3. The Invisible Web. This article from About.com provides a very simple explanation of the deep web and offers suggestions for tackling it.
  4. ResourceShelf. Librarians and researchers come together to share their findings on fun, helpful, and sometimes unusual ways to gather information from the web.
  5. Docuticker. This blog offers the latest publications from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, and other similar organizations. Many of these posts are links to databases and research statistics that may not appear so easily on typical web searches.
  6. TechDeepWeb.com. This site offers tips and tools for IT professionals to find the best deep web resources.
  7. Digital Image Resources on the Deep Web. This article includes links to many digital image resources that probably won’t show up on typical search engine results.
  8. Federated Search 101. Learn about federated search tools in this article that will be helpful to businesses thinking about purchasing a federated search product.
  9. Timeline of events related to the Deep Web. This timeline puts the entire history of the deep web into perspective as well as offers up some helpful links.
  10. The Deep Web. Learn terminology, get tips, and think about the future of the deep web with this article.

Filed under: Internet search tips, ,

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