A seemingly simple question

This seems like a seemingly simple question for teachers:

Could you identify 10 excellent web sites for your grade level / subject area?

Ideally, of course, teachers would know 10 or so excellent sites for each unit, not just for the overall course that they’re teaching. After all, the Internet has been around for most people for at least a decade now and there are an incredible number of valuable resources on almost any topic.

And yet I’m guessing that many (most?) teachers would have trouble answering even the simple question above.

13 Responses to “A seemingly simple question”

  1. Want to have fun?

    Compare the ten websites teachers come up with the ten websites students come up with.

    Which would be “better”?

  2. Some corollary questions: How long ago did you find that/these sites and when did you last look for some new ones? When was the last time you shared and compared good sites with a teaching peer?

  3. I have to give an unsolicited plug here: Those who cannot give ten could find them quickly among teacher-reviewed resources at http://www.TeachersFirst.com. Sorry to give a plug, but TF is non-profit (read, non-income).

  4. So, where is a site/wiki to post 10 sites for each grade level/unit?

  5. I agree and I guess we should be shocked but isn’t more about knowing how to use a search engine to find information you need quickly rather than memorizing 10 useful sites (which may have moved, been removed, or gone out of business by the next time you get to that unit)?

  6. interestingly, nothing comes up when you search ‘computer’ or ‘technology’ at middle school level on teachersfirst.com.

  7. I can tell you about good websites until you are sick of listening to me, but this question is way too broad. Best for what? Best for lesson planning? Best for things to show/do with the whole class? Best for students to use for exploration? Best for students to use for practice/review? Best for finding videos or pictures? Best for inspiring new ideas? Best for explaining concepts?

  8. Yeah, I can’t name ten. So what does that mean?

  9. For me it is all about knowing how to find what you need. However, it is not just about search engines. The staff often asks how I find the things I find and the answer is my network…Diigo, twitter, RSS….The information comes to me.

  10. Mark Whitson, Lebanon High School Publications, Lebanon, Oregon Reply April 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    One class activity (ongoing) I use is to have advanced students write ‘reviews’ of various website sites, articles, and tutorials. We have a growing body of these developed over the last few years. And, no, they are not on a website yet- just old tech- a Word doc.
    However, it meets a number of constructivist needs for my Publications and Photography program- students teaching students and following/developing their interests, and multiplying our learning/exploring power. It helps take me out of the ‘expert’ position and move my students into that role.

    Good question, and I can tell by some responses that it struck a nerve…



  11. Kia ora Scott

    Okay, I can’t name ten, but I warrant that if I could, at least two of them would be no longer current or now charges on account or has shifted its emphasis since the last time I checked them out.

    I’d find it more comfortable to name 4 or 5 excellent sites. I can do that.

    For a site to reach ‘excellence’ status in my view, it has to meet certain rigorous standards. It wouldn’t be excellent otherwise. Six points:

    1 – it has to be updated regularly,

    2 – it has to be non-commercial or at least minimal in commercial junk advertising,

    3 – it has to be factually accurate at the level it’s pitched at,

    4 – it has to be engaging – a nebulous criterion, I know, but I also know what I’m looking for,

    5 – it has to be subject broad enough to cover the majority of needs in a section of that level,

    6 – it has to be written in a language and with a pictorial layout commensurate with the level.

    So I’d say your question is not necessarily a test of the teacher, but more a test of the availability of excellent sites.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  12. I thought this was a good challenge, so I’m taking it on myself to find ten internet resources for every unit I teach, and post them to my blog, http://www.gravitysgrace.net every week on Sunday.

    This week is Canossa, the site of the meeting between Hildebrand/Pope Gregory VII, and Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV in January AD 1077.

    I decided I’ll structure these lessons around the basic premise that kids need some visual images to hang an abstract idea upon, so the first several links this week are connections to images, while some of the later ones are to primary sources.


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