So I have been wading through the vast resources on the Internet looking for great educational sites for teachers, parents and students. The selection is virtually unlimited but some are certainly better than others. I managed to come up with a list of sites which I thought would be very helpful for teachers, parents and students. I have used each of these sites and am quite impressed at what they can offer to the education community. I can only hope one day I can give back as much as they do.
According to the operators of this site themselves: “Thinkfinity is the Verizon Foundation’s free online professional learning community, providing access to over 60,000 educators and experts in curriculum enhancement, along with thousands of award-winning digital resources for K-12 — aligned to state standards and the common core.” (www.thinkfinity.com).
After using the site I can see exactly what the owners and operators mean, it is an amazing place to collaborate and share ideas with other educators through discussions and sharing of resources in groups. It is a virtual online Professional Learning Community! Very cool!
What can I say about education world? It has been one of my favorite education sites for many years. It is full of resources for parents, teachers, students and administrators. There are lesson plans, resources, articles on professional development, forums, blogs…the list can go on. It has virtually everything. Very impressive and has really stood the test of time.
Until I started my own blog recently, I had never even heard of Edutopia. Through my blog work I have found them and am extremely impressed. This is an excellent website that empowers and connects teachers, administrators, and parents with innovative solutions and resources for a better education. They have a core belief that education is the key ingredient for human society and as such have dedicated themselves to encouraging, promoting and advocating for positive changes in education. They really do back up what they stand for. Among many sections which support educator Professional Development, there are resources and guides as well which are extremely helpful and eye opening.
4. http://www.goorulearning.org/#discoverAccording to the founders of Gooru themselves: “Gooru is a free search engine for learning that makes it easy for teachers to discover educational content, organize it into learning playlists, and teach and share it with students to study”. (http://about.goorulearning.org/product/overview/) So to be very truthful, Gooru is something else I had never even heard about until I started my blog. When I decided to give it a try I was amazed that I had not heard of it before. This is an educational K-12 search engine for education. It is not just that however, it allows content to be organized into playlists and is another site which acts as a facilitator for online professional learning communities. It also allows students to access classbooks and other resources. You honestly have to try it to truly see how much potential this has. The only thing I cannot figure out is how I could have missed it all this time!
This is a great site for parents students and teachers. It is self- described on its site as: “Starfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL).” (starfall) I have used this site for my students in the past and have found it to be quite useful, particularly for my ESL learners.
Since we are on the topic of sharing and collaboration, Kubbu is another great site that performs this service. Essentially, educators go on the site to create, share, exchange ideas, and make them accessible to students. This is great for the educators, students and parents alike. I have found it is a great way to locate and share resources. I have also discovered that the students love it and the parents even more so. This is how information technology is supposed to be used!
This is another amazing site which makes collaboration and social networking amongst teachers, parents and students increasingly easier. “Edmodo can be incorporated into classrooms through a variety of applications including Reading, Assignments, and Paper-studying. Current uses include posting assignments, creating polls for student responses, embedding video clips, create learning groups, post a quiz for students to take, and create a calendar of events and assignments. Students can also turn in assignments or upload assignments for their teachers to view and grade. Teachers can annotate the assignments directly in Edmodo to provide instant feedback.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmodo) We actually use this in our school with great success. It is primarily utilized by my junior level teachers and they sing its praises in terms of using it to provide instant descriptive feedback to students as well as parents. This is an application which can go a long way to keeping everyone on the same page and on the same team!
Moodle is another application which can be used in a variety of ways to create amazing interactive learning sites which are extremely valuable to the educator. It can essentially be used to deliver content, provide descriptive feedback, collaborate with students and parents participate in forums and provide blended learning at its best. This is something else my older grades use with great success.
Considering my strong anti-bullying beliefs, I had to add this great site. It contains a series of activities which teach students how to properly use social media sites. It also focuses upon self-esteem and self-worth and promotes empathy within. There are multiple activities available for teachers and they are categorized by ages. Also, as students complete activities they are given “safe” certificates and even digital badges. I truly wish there were more sites like this one. A great job on their part.
And now some a quick list of some great freebie and pay resource sites for teachers:
This is a great site for teachers and is full of lesson plans, newsletters, freebies and writing prompts among many other resources. They are neatly categorized into areas of interests and subjects. Great site!
EdHelper provides teachers with an abundance of resources such as lessons, worksheets, printable items.
Teachers Pay teachers has become an incredibly popular site. It is a virtual open marketplace of resources for educators. There are opportunities to buy resources as well as sell and share. Something which was unheard of when I first started teaching! It is quite nicely organized and going through the lessons and resources shows a quality of information which are designed with the best interests of students at heart.
This site has freebies, lesson plans, rubrics, teacher tools and theme pages. It is also all broken down into grade categories. Very neatly done.
This is a relatively new site from someone I follow on Google+. I have enjoyed following him and he shows a unique dedication to the field in his posts. His site is called Resources4teaching where educators can buy and sell lessons and educational resources. He also created the Resources4teaching forums where educators can discuss education. It is no easy task creating forum groups and I admire his dedication as he attempts to connect educators in online professional learning communities. He will even visit schools and educators. Great job!
This website has helped me in a variety of ways. Great practical strategies.
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