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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Inspirational Teaching: Resources You Can Access on the Web

Diane Demee-Benoit

Former Director of Outreach at Edutopia

Edutopia.org visitors have been suggesting Web-based resources for K-12 teachers and students. Here are just a few sites you may not know about. If you want to share your favorite Web site with us, tell us what it is and why you find it useful.


The Academy of Achievement

The Academy of Achievement is a nonprofit organization with a worthy mission -- to spark the imagination of students by telling the inspiring life stories of the great achievers of our time. From famous artists and eminent scientists to businesspeople, explorers, and public servants, students are introduced to people who have worked hard, persevered, and achieved both personal and professional success. The Academy of Achievement's Web site provides wonderful details for each recipient. Audio interviews focus on their childhood experiences, their mentors, and the paths they took to get to where they are.

In the Achiever Gallery, you can find a role model for almost every career imaginable. I especially liked the "Find Your Mentor" tool. Here, students find an achiever with similar interests (music, exploration, medicine, and so on), personality traits (for example, shy/introverted, curious, or analytical) and challenges (such as poverty, disability, and difficulty with school). The idea is that students might be able to develop their own road map toward excellence by studying what people with similar backgrounds did. The Achievement Curriculum section offers free curriculum for grades 4-12, as well as for postsecondary school students.


I Was Wondering . . . A Curious Look at Women's Adventures in Science

This project of the National Academy of Sciences, a great way to get girls interested in the sciences, highlights the accomplishments of today's women scientists.


Learningscience.org

This Web site is a collaborative project of Pennsylvania's Central Bucks School District, the science teachers in that district, and the College of Education at Temple University. Using the National Science Education Standards as its framework, the site highlights what the collaborative believes are the best new and emerging online tools for science education. They've highlighted some very cool tools such as real-time data collection, simulations, animations, interactive lessons, and imaging, among other things.


Teach with Movies

Lesson plans and other curricular materials for more than 260 Hollywood films allow teachers to introduce students to major historical events and people, literature, science, art, dance, ethics, and more. Free lesson plans are available for Gettysburg, Hamlet, October Sky, and The Wizard of Oz. Access to the full library of guides and plans is available for a $12-per-year subscription.


The Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being

A key mission of this interdisciplinary research center associated with the University of California at Berkeley, established as a leader in the scientific study of social and emotional well-being, is to get research into the hands of parents and teachers. The site includes articles, papers and research briefs, and links to organizations that actively put research into action.


TechSoup.org

This site is dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations take full advantage of technology. Though many of the articles, forums, and other offerings would be of interest to school-technology officers, classroom teachers and school administrators will also find lots to like about this site, including a listing of free online image banks and a spam-prevention toolkit.


The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War

A digital archive of thousands of original letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches, and civic records provides a rich perspective of life during this time.


Open Clip Art Library

This archive offers free clip art, and you can create and add your own or post requests for new images.

Diane Demee-Benoit

Former Director of Outreach at Edutopia
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