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Top 50 Web sites for Teaching and Learning

The American Association of School Librarians 2009 and 2010 "Top 25" Web sites for Teaching and Learning have been combined to create a 50 site list.

2010 - Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More

Content Collaboration

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
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.
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.

debategraphdebategraph - 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.

mindmeisterMindmeister - Be creative -- think maps! Mindmeister and Bubbl.us are both online mapping tools: Mindmeister is better for middle and high school students, while Bubbl.us is for younger students. Both websites allow users to think visually, collaborate, and share ideas through concept maps. Effective tools for teams of students to collaboratively brainstorm what they know about a subject and what questions they want to research.

Poll EverywherePolleverywhere - If you want to get learners’ attention, then ask a provocative question. Poll Everywhere is a voting platform that can be used in classrooms and libraries to gather answers to a particular question. Participants vote by sending a text message via their cell phones or by voting on the web. Use this survey tool to involve and connect students to complex issues.

WikispacesWikispaces - This is the quintessential collaborative tool! This easy-to-use website allows anyone to write, edit and share content, depending on the permissions granted by the wiki owner. Students can use a wiki as a research journal, documenting their progress from beginning questions to finished products, as they receive feedback directly on the wiki from their classroom teacher and librarian.

zohoZoho - Zoho offers an all-in-one online collaborative package; it provides online tools from mail and presentations to notebooks and wikis, with many tools in between. Students can share their work and presentations on the web for fellow students, parents, administrators, and educators to view.

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Curriculum Sharing

CurrikiCurriki - Seeking new teaching strategies? If you’ve got an old lesson that you want to breathe new life into, Curriki can help. It is a free member website where educators share ideas and hear from others in the profession. If you have a lesson that you love to teach with your students, share it with others. Everyone can be successful if we all help each other to be better teachers.

exploratreeExploratree - 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 ProjectThe Jason Project - 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 LibraryNational Science Digital Library - 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!

Partnership for 21st Century SkillsPartnership for 21st Century Skills - What skills will our students need to be successful in the 21st century? Partnership for the 21st Century offers educators information, resources, and tools to understand, identify and integrate the 21st century skills of creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving skills and communication and collaboration skills. Here’s a great resource to help educators learn how to integrate 21st Century Skills into the curriculum.

Primary AccessPrimary Access - Capture your students' imagination with movie narratives based on primary sources. Primary Access is an online tool that allows students and teachers to combine text, visual, and sound elements, which are then combined to convey information about their chosen historical event or time frame. A library of Primary Access movies is available through a catalog by historical time period. Encourage active learning: have students choose a historical event or time frame to research and synthesize their information through a Primary Access movie.

S.O.S. for Information LiteracySOS for Information Literacy - Learn how to effectively incorporate information literacy into your lesson plans. S.O.S. for Information Literacy is a dynamic, collaborative web-based multimedia resource for educators, K to 16. This site links lesson plans and teaching ideas for information literacy through a comprehensive quality control system to ensure that lessons are high caliber. Create an account and build your own lessons or activities.

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Digital Storytelling

International Children's Digital LibraryInternational Children's Digital Library - 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.

JingJing - 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 - 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.

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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.

diigoDiigo - Need help in organizing your favorite websites? Diigo is a social bookmarking site that allows users to save websites, as well as tag them, add sticky notes and annotations, and share them with other users in various groups. Tip: Sticky notes are an effective way to start a virtual conversation among teams of students on the merits of a website.

EVERNOTEEvernote - 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.

Google ReaderGoogle Reader - Overwhelmed with all the information on the Internet? Google Reader is a tool for gathering, reading, and sharing all the relevant blogs and websites you read on the web. This easy-to-use tool constantly checks sites (blogs, news sites, and webpages) that have been selected by you, scans them for updates and new content, and then organizes them in the Reader for easy access. Reader is a great organization tool to keep current with educational trends, research and news! Tip: This is a great organizational tool for students to keep current on their research topics.

Jog the Webjogtheweb - 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.

LiveBindersLive Binders - 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.

 

Museum BoxMuseumBox - 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.

PageflakesPageflakes - 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.

SimplyBoxSimply Box - If you’re a visual learner, then this is the tool for you! Simply Box is a tool that allows users to capture, share, and organize anything found on the web into an unlimited number of "boxes" and then share with friends, groups, students, or the world. However, rather than saving lists of bookmarks, it allows users to capture just a part of a webpage, whether it’s a headline, a paragraph, a photo, or a video. Items can be saved and organized. Tip: As students collaborate on projects, this tool makes it easy to organize, cite and keep track of the individual resources culled from various websites.

weblistWeblist - 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.

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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

animotoAnimoto - Create a video in five minutes – no kidding! Using Animoto, educators and students can create videos that contain photos, graphics, music, text and more! It is only limited by your imagination. A great resource for visual learners! Instead of the typical book report, challenge your students to create a dynamic Animoto to capture the essence of their favorite books.

GlogsterGlogster - 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.

MasherMasher - 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.

Our StoryOur Story - Create your story! Our Story permits users to develop and save collaborative timelines that can be personalized with annotations, photos, and videos. Stories (timelines) can be printed in book format, archived on DVD, or even sent as postcards. Teach your students to develop content-specific timelines that are linked to the teaching of research and information literacy skills.

PreziPrezi - 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 GarfieldProfessor Garfield - 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.

School TubeSchoolTube - 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.

ScratchScratch - 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.

Teacher TubeTeacher Tube - What could be better? You Tube – just for teachers and students! Teacher Tube offers videos solely for the field of education. Videos are created by teachers and students to be shared with other teachers and students. A great way to have students share their work with parents and for teachers to share with other teachers, peers, and administrators, both on-campus and off.

voicethreadVoiceThread - The end of the boring slide show! VoiceThread allows users to share images, documents, and videos with added narration by the authors and others. Bring oral history to life in the classroom, as students narrate a series of images that relate to the skills and ideas they have learned in a particular lesson.

WatchKnowWatchKnow.org - 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.

WordleWordle - Do you like to play with words or create visual poems? A "Wordle" enables you to create a word "cloud," visually depicting the relationship between words based on their frequency of use. You can tweak your word "clouds" with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Teach students to create a Wordle to express their reading interests or their favorite book.

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Social Networking and Communication

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
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.

Classroom 2.0Classroom 2.0 - Do you find it difficult to keep up with the latest Web 2.0. technologies? Join Classroom 2.0 Ning, a social network for educators who are using or want to use Web 2.0 in their libraries and classrooms. Look at the Classroom 2.0 weekly webinars, featuring leading Web 2.0 educators - a great way to learn for both the novice and experienced educator.

creative commonsCreative Commons - 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.

edublogsEdublogs - Do you want to blog? Edublogs, created especially for educators, is a resource where teachers and librarians can create their own blogs with templates and help from other educators. Blogging is a good strategy to help students develop their own voices in writing.

facebookFacebook - Facebook is a popular social networking site that allows users to share with friends and colleagues. The key is sharing information and Facebook allows you to set personal and professional limits on the information you share. Use Facebook to engage students and support the curriculum: a team of students are challenged to create a Facebook page for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

goodreadsGood Reads - A social network for book lovers! Members can keep track of the books they have read, make recommendations to others, vote on book lists that are posted, see what their friends are reading and recommending, and form book groups. Teachers can develop a reading group for their students where discussions can develop, suggestions for new material can be found and lovers of particular genres can find each other.

learncentralLearn Central - 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!

ningNing - Create your own social network for your classroom, your school group or your library. Share your ideas, pictures, and plans. Choose the features, a forum, a blog, members' pages, RSS feeds - whatever you would like to share and collaborate and control the membership. Classroom or library nings give students opportunities to learn how to effectively and safely be members of an online social network.

skypeSkype - Can you hear me? Skype is a basic and easy-to-use service that offers free voice, video calls, conference calls, instant messaging and group instant messaging. Download the software; connect to the Internet and you're good to go. Invite an author or a content expert to Skype with your students.

TEDTED - 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.

twitterTwitter - What are you doing? Twitter, a website for communication among friends and colleagues, is based on this question. Everyone who is connected to your account can know what you are doing at anytime, just send a "tweet." This is a way for everyone to keep track of everyone else. Students working in research teams, designate secretaries to keep the instructor and librarian up to date on how the group is doing throughout the project.

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Virtual Environments

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
2.1.5 - Collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions, and solve problems.
3.1.2 - Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners
4.3.1 - Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

RezEdRezED - Learn about virtual worlds in a safe, supportive environment with other educators. RezED is the hub for learning about virtual worlds, providing practitioners with access to the highest quality resources and research in the field. Check out RezEd’s monthly podcasts, online webinars, virtual chats, and discussion groups.

second lifeSecond Life - Create an avatar and join other educators in Second Life to explore virtual reality, a world where you, the user, can participate in professional development, meet colleagues to explore and discover and create new understandings about learning in virtual worlds. Meet with people from all over the world without having to leave your classroom , library, or home office.

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"Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning 2009," American Library Association, June 04, 2009. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/bestlist/bestwebsitestop252009.cfm
(Accessed February 25, 2011) Document ID: 545179

"Top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning," American Library Association, June 27, 2010.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/bestlist/bestwebsitestop25.cfm
(Accessed February 25, 2011) Document ID: 591095