July 14, 2010
By Elisabeth Grant
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has once again chosen “The Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning.” The sites they’ve chosen are all free and “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration.“
The top 25 they’ve selected are broken down into seven categories, including:
- Media Sharing
- Digital Storytelling
- Manage and Organize
- Social Networking and Communication
- Curriculum Sharing
- Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More
- Content Collaboration
Here we take a brief look at just a few of their selections.
Check out EDSITEment’s current featured lesson plan: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: Profiles in Courage. Also, pick out some summer reading from EDSITEment’s list of classics with corresponding lesson plans.
One of the AASL’s picks for its Social Networking and Communication category, is the TED Talks site, chosen for its ability to teach and share innovative ideas. Those who’ve heard of TED talks probably think they’re mainly about technology, and in fact the site lists “Technology, Entertainment, and Design” as its three main fields of focus.
But educators will be happy to hear that the site offers a wide and varied selection of talks. Historians may be interested in a number of history-related Ted Talks. For instance, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin speaks on what we can learn from past U.S. presidents. Steven Johnson explains the effects the London cholera outbreak in 1854 had on science and society. Peter Hirshberg takes a look at the history of media and technology in his talk from 2008. And, Marc Pachter discusses “The Art of the Interview,” after he spent time talking to individuals from “recent American history” for a National Portrait Gallery series he put together.
Within the AASL’s Manage and Organize category they chose a number of sites that allow students and teachers to “organize knowledge.” Museum Box allows organization in a visually interesting format. Put together images, text, audio, and more on a common topic, in one place. For example, check out the Thomas Clarkson Box. Clarkson was a figure in the Abolition movement, and Museum Box uses him as an example for how to use the site.
The National Archives’ Digital Classroom
Like EDSITEment, AASL chose the National Archives’ Digital Classroom as a winner in the Content Resources category. This site provides access to primary sources and lesson plans for teachers, as well as information and activities for students.
For example, the current featured lesson plan on the site centers on the U.S. Constitution. Teachers in grades 4 through 12 are provided with high resolution images of page 1 of the Constitution, a document from the 1930 census, and a letter to John F. Kennedy notifying him that he had been elected to Congress.
A complete list of The Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning, separated by category and listed with descriptions is available on the AASL web site.