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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Some of my favourite online learning tools...

Some of my favourite online learning tools...

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Okay, here's a brief list of some of the ones that I'm playing around with at the moment: Prezi - great little slideshow software completely web-based. xTranormal - great fun text-to-speech application. Again, completely web based, though you do have to sign in. Dropbox - allows submission of work online! And I can't go past Google Docs, either. Great for collaborative writing. I tried to include some links, but it triggered the spam filter. Should be easy enough to find by doing a search, anyway.

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Debra Burns's picture

The folks at TeacherZone emailed me about their new summer math programs for grades 3-10. Going by the quality of videos on TeacherZone which was a FREE resource for teachers. Their math summer programs could just be the answer to help students avoid the crucial summer learning loss.

Check it out at - this one although is a paid program.

Donna Luna's picture

I was assigned to keep our students busy this summer by having fun activities to keep their skills sharp. I performed a search for free flash templates and foudn where you may create games of all types for students to play for review or just plain fun!

Also, for those of us who are working on publishing yearbooks and magazines for classes, there are two royalty free sites for clipart and backgrounds we may use:

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

I don't like advertising tools that you have to buy on Edutopia (mainly because there is almost always a better alternative that is open source) but a colleague of mine showed me this tool that he uses in class. You've got to pay for it, but I think it's brilliant.

Anyway, it's called Visual Thesaurus. Essentially, you type in a word, and it gives you heaps of synonyms for it in a kind of spider diagram format. I reckon you could use it in primary school demonstrating different synonyms for creative writing, for example. Have a look here:

Dominick's picture

These guys are going to be offering a free online LMS/CMS for educators and students soon. They just finished a project for Colonial Williamsburg called The Idea of America. As a parent (who has also taken online classes through blackboard) I welcome competition in the realm of online educational software.

Marcy Seavey's picture
Marcy Seavey
Program Director, Iowa Academy of Science

My favorite online resource is the GLOBE Program ( with over 10 million points of data collected by students in 110 countries over the last 15 years available to access as rew data, maps and graphs and activities to step you through using the data and collecting your own, this site allows students to ask questions about their local environment.

Sandy's picture

Love this resource for both students and teachers!

I use Bison Educational Systems to help my students practice for standardized state testing. What's great about this site, is that it allows you to choose what questions you want to put on your practice test according to State, Subject and Grade.

These tests were very successful in my classroom. I was able to see what subject areas students were struggling with. It was also great to know that they felt prepared!

Brenda's picture

Thanks so much for all of the awesom sites. They will be great for my second graders.

George Stern's picture
George Stern
Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

Speaking of great online learning tools, don't miss Edutopia's free giveaway this week: a one-year site license to Planet Turtle - Interactive math software for grades K-3. Planet Turtle is the first serious instructional system to use the same kind of technology that keeps children glued to their video games. If you enter by today, you could be one of five lucky winners that we will randomly select to win a one-year site license to Planet Turtle (a $1500 value!). So head over to our Edutopia giveaway page:

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

One of the greatest things about the 'net is the vast amount of information that is available on it; one of the most difficult things is sorting the good from the bad. I was flicking through all the posts on this discussion and there are so many excellent resources - I hadn't even hear of half of them.

A big thank you to everyone for contributing - keep it up!

And George - you must be the envy of all your friends - an internship at Edutopia! Wow!

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