Evaluating Websites

There were many excellent websites listed on the Resources page. Three in particular stand out as exceptionally useful for my content area and grade level.

CyberSmart

http://www.cybersmart.org/

According to their website, CyberSmart “fosters 21st century skills to increase student engagement and prepare students to achieve in today’s digital society.”

In order to deliver on this promise, the good folks at CyberSmart offer a full suite of professional development workshops, a complete K-12 curriculum and many additional resources, including posters and a toolbar with dozens of web 2.0 tools ready to go. Although many of the 9-12 lesson plans listed are “in development,” there are still ample resources for educators to use to teach digital literacy and other 21st Century skills. Rating: 5.

Voicethread
Voicethread is an online media presentation tool that allows folks to upload images, documents, videos and other presentations and to then comment – in 5 different ways – on the uploaded content. They offer a separate educational environment and I have an educators’ account which allows me to set individual accounts for each of my students and to moderate the comments. Students love using the audio and video comments and their peer review skills have greatly improved as a result of reviewing each others work. Voicethread is easy to use, comes with fantastic support and fully engages students.
Rating: 5.

Read Write Think

http://www.readwritethink.org/

This quote the homepage of ReadWriteThink is an excellent summary of the resources you’ll find on this site. Although the site is heavily geared towards language arts, most of the resources are applicable to other content areas, and as a secondary history, I’ve found numerous literacy tools and strategies that would  enhance the way my students interact with their history texts. In addition, the “Web Resources” page is a fantastic place to explore for more ideas and tools related to education in general as well as specific content areas. Rating: 5.



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