AASL Announces 2011 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning
At the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced the 2011 Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning. In its third year, the list of websites honors the top 25 Internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. The list is considered the “best of the best” by AASL.
The Top 25 are free, web-based sites that are user-friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. They also provide a foundation to support AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The sites offer tools and resources in content collaboration, content resources with lesson plans, curriculum sharing, digital storytelling, managing and organizing and social networking and communication. Each website is linked to one or more of the four strands of the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner – skills, dispositions in action, responsibilities and self-assessment strategies.
Dazzle your project with these word clouds. Choose a picture or shape, then add your words and voila, a visually enticing display. Tagxedo can be used to demonstrate speeches, animal reports, or anything else you can imagine.
Explore, create, and design at Kerpoof. Make a picture, a movie, a drawing or a card by selecting a background and then dragging and dropping your selected additions. There’s a host of activities that you can do at Kerpoof.
Create logos, web templates, screen captures, edit your photos and more at Aviary. This site is full of online creation tools, get ready to explore and create with these applications that can be used with your web browser.
Connect, collaborate, and co-create in real time! Nota, a dynamic whiteboard wiki, allows multiple users to write and integrate text, paste photos and maps, add video and audio to make brainstorms, presentations, and scrapbooks in a snap.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then let this site provide the picture to inspire your words. Choose a picture from the gallery, and add text. Word choices are available or use your own. There is also an introduction to writing poetry using this tool.
Add a new dimension to storytelling, reports, and presentations with ZooBurst’s digital 3-D tool. In this safe and protected space, students create and customize pop-up stories; add their own voice to characters, upload artwork or items from a built-in database of over 10,000 free images and materials.
Myths and Legends
A site for those who enjoy stories and storytelling. Read digital myths, folktales and legends about the British Isles. Students and teachers can add to the stories and there are thousands of stories to choose from.
Spicy Nodes is a concept map presentation tool that allows the users to link and embed pictures, websites, and more into the overall presentation. Easy to use and fun to show, Spicy Nodes is whole new way to present your information.
Enhance your online presence with a toolbar and/or apps. This intuitive website makes it easy and fun to create innovative ways to expand access to your materials from anywhere and on any device.
Customize your own online start page with Symbaloo. Organize and access your favorites easily and quickly. Create your own personal internet desktop with Symbaloo.
Save all of your websites with iCyte. This Web 2.0 tool will keep all of your sites just as you found them. This is a research management tool that lets you save and annotate entire websites. It doesn’t just bookmark, but lets you annotate parts of websites for your citations.
3G Vision i-nigma
i-nigma lets users create Quick Response barcodes that will link users to website links, encoded messages, contact information, or text messages. i-nigma also has a QR reader that users can download for their computer, i-pad or mobile device. i-nigma can be used by 400 different devices to read QR barcodes.
Create and scan Microsoft Tags from this site. Users can edit tags, create categories, view reports on the usage and statistics of each tag. Similar to QR barcodes, Microsoft created their own tag. Download the reader for mobile devices from this site as well.
You Are What you Read
What five books have shaped your life? Who does your textual lineage connect you to? You Are What You Read brings readers together connecting Bookprints from around the world. Share your books, connect with other readers, build relationships through what you read. With this site you are what you read.
Edmodo is a secure social learning network for teachers and students. Edmodo gives libraries and classrooms a safe and easy place online to connect and collaborate, offering a location to share ideas and content, as well as access homework, grades and school notices.
Dipity lets students and teachers create free interactive timelines. Dipity’s mission is to organize the internet’s data by date and time. Users can create their timelines and link video, images, audio, social media, and more. Creating timelines has never been more engaging or fun.
Edistorm takes away the idea of sticky notes on a wall and makes it virtual. Brainstorm, think out ideas alone or with friends; plan out anything you like with Edistorm. Use virtual sticky notes in Edistorm to come up with a multitude of ideas all on one site.
Be a part of the network and join the global community! Through International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) and an Internet connection, students and teachers from over 130 countries can transcend linguistic, national, political, religious, and social borders to collaborate on meaningful educational projects in hopes of making a difference in the health and welfare of people and our planet.
Bring research into the 21st Century with Yolink Education by efficiently mining websites for information and enhancing the search experiences; cite resources seamlessly with Easybib; take notes and share with Google Docs.
This popular fast growing math library provides thousands of videos with alternative, engaging instruction in math, finance, and history. Constantly expanding and improving, this is a rich resource for instruction and learning.
Geocube calls itself the world of Geography at your fingertips. Geocube is based on the principle of the Rubiks Cube with six faces and 54 topics. Move the Geocube around with your mouse and explore the faces and topics. Learning about Geography has rarely been more fun.
Get your students speaking, in another language. Lingt Language allows students to practice their foreign language skills online by allowing teachers to build assignments online that use voice, video, images, and text with the Lingt online editor. Students can then interact with the assignments and respond.
Photos, documents, and popular media from the National Archives provide resources and interactive opportunities for users to access materials on endless U.S. historical topics and themes. The user can then organize the resources in any number of ways to relate to our country’s history and tell a story.
CK-12 Flexbooks is an organization with the plan to reduce the cost of textbooks for the K-12 market in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model CK-12 plans to lead the way in the distribution of high quality educational content through online textbooks.
Dive into a unique exploration of science, art, and human perception in the Exploratorium. Watch, view, experience, learn and play using hundreds of web pages and activities. Take a gross-out walk, dissect a cow’s eye, make your own petroglyph…the choices are endles
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.