Tag Archives: Best of 2011

HD_Links: Best of 2011 Lists

Duke University Researchers Teach Kids About Cartilage, Joints and Arthritis
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The end of the year is a time to reflect and there’s no better way to reflect on the best a given year had to offer than the all-important list. So, here’s a list of… well… lists of the best in education, technology, and educational technology for 2011. Cheers!

Education and Educational Technology:

What lists or resources would you add to our list? Which resources have been the most helpful to you in 2011?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.


HD_Links: Best Resources of 2011

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Yesterday, we shared the best online tools. Today’s post will provide the best resource links. Happy Hanukkah!

Brooke Higgins:

The Future’s Channel (http://www.thefutureschannel.com/) and Thinkfinity (http://www.thinkfinity.org/) are tow of my favorite resources to share with teachers. Both sites offer email newsletters to keep up on what they are offering at different times.

The Future’s Channel has free, short, authentic videos that focus on science, math, technology, and innovation all centered around specific jobs people have in our world today. They have accompanying lesson plans that, with a bit of tweaking, could become engaging IBL lessons. Videos can also be purchased for instant access.

Thinkfinity, which is sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, has thousands of free lesson plans, student interactives, games, classroom resources, games and tools to support all subject areas to be used in the classroom. They also offer some professional development resources and also parent resources.

Debbie Perkins:

This one is easy. One of my favorite online resources has to be EduTecherhttp://edutecher.net/. That’s because I’m always on the lookout for new ed tech web tools, and that’s exactly what EduTecher provides. You can search site links by subject and/or grade level. When you find a web tool you like on EduTecher, add your own notes or comments for future reference, or just bookmark it right on the EduTecher site. For a brief history of technology in education or a tutorial on how to use Qwiki (http://www.qwiki.com/), go to EduTecher TVhttp://www.edutecher.net/tv.php. Oh! And if you want to connect with other EduTechers, share links, or form a PLN, you can do that on EduTecher too! Of course this site also meets my first favorite resource requirement: EduTecher is completely free to all teachers, educators, and parents. By the way, I first discovered EduTecher by downloading their app on my iPhone. It’s a must have!

Carmen Marty

One of my favorite online resources is Diigo Educator’s Group (http://groups.diigo.com/group/diigoineducation) You can browse the links from the site or join the group and each day a list of educational links will show up in your inbox. I love the variety of articles and topics posted to this group. I find many interactive websites along with great blog posts and new tech tools. I spend the first 15 minutes of each day learning through the links on the list. After I have looked through the ideas, bookmarked the things I want to save for later, I delete the email and move on with my day. As a life long learner, I value this group as part of my PLN.

Amy Blades

For the classroom as a science teacher I have always used


Jc-schools has resources for all subject areas and much more. Great tool!

I also love Lee Summit’s Technology Integration website….next to eThemes this is always my second look to for resource.


What have we missed? Where do you go for resources for your students and yourself?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tools: Best of 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I asked our readers and eMINTS staff to submit their favorite online tools of the year and here’s what they had to say:

Carmen Marty, eIS

I have several favorite online tools, but I recently became a fan of Pinterest. Through the creation of “boards”, you can share and organize ideas of all types. There are many classroom ideas, organizational ideas, and ideas for personal hobbies. It is a fun brain break in the day. It is easy to use and helps me feel creative!

Carla Chaffin, eIS

I have been trying out a new tool to access websites. Tizmos allows you to create a thumbnail of websites you access on a regular basis. You have quick access to preselected websites for research, practice, games or news. The thumbnail is a picture of the page and links directly to the site. It is free! Check it out!

Brooke Higgins, eIS

My new favorite site of the year has to be Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com . Social visual booking at it best let’s a user create “boards” to “pin” images with links back to the original site the image was found on. Users can follow other users or just a board they are interested in and can create collaborative boards others can pin to. Teachers are busy pinning pictures of things they want to try in their classrooms, links back to sites they will use during lessons, and links back to resources their students may might be interested in and so much more. Be careful…it can be very addicting.

Ruth Henslee, eIS

I am a new fan of www. sweetsearch.com
I find it helpful for myself, teachers and especially students who are learning to search effectively. Here is a description borrowed from their site:

About SweetSearch

SweetSearch is a Search Engine for Students.

It searches only the 35,000 Web sites that our staff of research experts and librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved when creating the content on findingDulcinea. We constantly evaluate our search results and “fine-tune” them, by increasing the ranking of Web sites from organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and university Web sites.

SweetSearch helps students find outstanding information, faster. It enables them to determine the most relevant results from a list of credible resources, and makes it much easier for them to find primary sources. We exclude not only the spam sites that many students could spot, but also the marginal sites that read well and authoritatively, but lack academic or journalistic rigor. As importantly, the very best Web sites that appear on the first page of SweetSearch results are often buried on other search engines.

Cathie Loesing, eMINTS Program Coordinator

I have had so many “favorites” this year, it is difficult to choose just one. However, if I think only about the ones I use with students, my favorite would have to be Voicethread. I can use it with everyone from Kindergarteners through adults since they can post with a microphone, by typing text, or by phone call. I love the way I can post a picture, document, weblink, etc. and ask my students to post their responses to my prompt. Best of all, the teacher account allows me to use “identities” so that elementary students don’t need an account. There are a few glitches and there is a charge now for the full featured account, but it is overall it is a wonderful tool.

Debbie Perkins, eIS

I’m a big fan of Pinterest and Voicethread too, but those have already been mentioned, so I’ll go with SnackTools http://www.snacktools.com/. This very cool set of web apps will help you easily create and publish widgets for your blog or website. Want to share a pdf as a flipbook on your website? Use FlipSnackhttp://www.flipsnack.com/. Need a quick online survey or poll? Try their QuizSnack http://www.quizsnack.com/. Want to build a video playlist? Then TubeSnack may be for you http://www.tubesnack.com/. These are only three of the available SnackTools. You’ll also want to check out PhotoSnack, PodSnack, and BannerSnack!

How have you been able to use the tools above with your students this year? What online tools have we missed?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger with the eMINTS National Center.

Thursday’s Tip: What did you learn this year?

076/2011 big brother is watching
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For the last two days, I”ve asked readers and eMINTS staff to comment on their favorite online tools and resources of the year. Today, we often casino share a tip for teaching, technology, or both. Since tips are things we learn or even lessons, I thought I”d post the following question for today”s post:

What was the most important thing you learned about educational technology this year?

The answer could have to do solely with teaching or technology, but it could also connect both. So, in the comments, please share some insight you”ve gathered this year in educational technology. I”ll compile and post the responses

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next week. Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

HD_Links: What’s your favorite resource of 2011?

ReferenceUSA Phone Books Library
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Yesterday, as you might recall, we asked for your favorite online tools. Today, we’re wondering which resources are the most useful to you and your teaching.

What was your favorite online resource of 2011?

A great online resource is many things. Great resources are easy to navigate. In fact, some provide navigation that is downright inspired, making us think meta-cognitively about organization or our own thought processes. Some resources provide useful search options or pleasing design. Other resources might just be so flashy that they inspire us to take a subject even further. Of course, the best resources have the most interesting and useful content.

Feel free to identify your favorite resources in the comments. Resources can be a general place where one can find information on any topic or a site that gives very specific information about one topic. Whatever you consider a great resource, share in the comments.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: What was your favorite online tool of 2011?

Chocolate Tools
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As I sat down to write today’s post, I started looking back through the tools we’ve covered here at Networked Teaching & Learning so that I wouldn’t repeat any. This go me to thinking about my favorite online tool of the year. Then, I wondered what our readers and staff thought. So, I’m putting the question to you:

What was your favorite online tool of 2011?

For a list of what’s been covered here on the blog, look here. However, if there’s a tool we haven’t covered that is your favorite, feel free to share it in the comments. I look forward to seeing which tools deserve our attention.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.