MarcoPolo, the beneficent behemoth of free lesson sites, took the clear lead in where to find educational gold on the Web. Its search engine scours the online lesson plans of MarcoPolo's partners, including the National Geographic Society, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Next came DiscoverySchool.com, which features lesson plans, online seminars, and the savvy Kathy Schrock. Four sites shared a tie for third: Education World, the New York Times Learning Network, PBS, and Scholastic Teacher.
We've compiled a list of our own favorite cyber-spots for lessons and materials -- some free and some pricey, but each worth the treasure trove of resources. Some highlights:
This service of Discovery Education provides 4,000 videos and ten times that many video clips, plus quizzes, writing prompts, and foreign-language videos. Annual cost: $1,495-$1,995 per building.
Goofy animated characters lead the way in more than 500 animated lessons for grades K-8 on multiple subjects. Annual cost: $150-$1,500.
This free site from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning provides links to lesson plans, professional-development resources, tips for integrating technology, and tools to create online multimedia quizzes.
The noted educational-technology consultant holds forth on topics ranging from animal diversity to interactive math.