January 24, 2022

AASL Announces 2011 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

From ALA:

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.

Here’s the 2011 List (Annotations by AASL)

Media Sharing

Tagxedo external link icon
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.

Kerpoof external link icon
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.

Aviary external link icon
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.

Nota external link icon
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.

Digital Storytelling

PicLits external link icon

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.

Zooburst external link icon
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 external link icon
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.

Manage and Organize

Spicy Nodes external link icon
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.

Conduit external link icon
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.

Symbaloo external link icon
Customize your own online start page with Symbaloo. Organize and access your favorites easily and quickly. Create your own personal internet desktop with Symbaloo.

iCyte external link icon
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.

Social Networking and Communication    

3G Vision i-nigma external link icon
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.

Microsoft Tag external link icon
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 external link icon
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 external link icon
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.

Content Collaboration

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.

Curriculum Sharing    

Yolink Education external link icon
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.

Khan Academy external link icon
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 external link icon
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.

Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More

Lingt Language external link icon
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.

Digital Vaults external link icon
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 external link icon
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.

Exploratorium external link icon
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

Direct to 2011 List

Lists From2009 and 2010 are Also Available

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.