Thursday, March 29, 2012

22 of the Best Search Engine and Web Resources for Education

All of us use ordinary search engines, i.e. Google, Bing and Yahoo, for business or personal use, but they’re not always the best when looking for certain information. I have created a list of 22 search engines and web resources that can help you find educational resources quickly and efficiently so you can complete your project faster.
  1. Sweet Search - This "Search Engine for Students" searches only the 35,000 Web sites that their staff of research experts, librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved when creating the content on findingDulcinea.
  2. Wolfram Alpha - Introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers - not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.
  3. Google Scholar - Powered by Google, this search engine makes it easy to find papers, abstracts, citations and other scholarly literature.
  4. iSEEK - Designed specifically for students and educators, iSEEK is a non-commercial search engine that delivers editor-reviewed results from universities, government sites and other noncommercial providers.
  5. DMOZ - Although it's not technically a search engine (it doesn't index the whole Web), DMOZ, or the Open Directory Project, offers searchable access to millions of links that have been hand-picked by volunteers who are experts in their fields.
  6. Dogpile - Dogpile searches other search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask, to bring you the best of the web in one handy results list. You can also feel good about using Dogpile because the site donates portions of its revenue to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.)
  7. Yippy - Yippy is a unique meta search engine that delivers results in related clusters to help you find exactly what you need as fast as possible.
  8. MetaCrawler - This meta search engine searches Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, About, MIVA and others. You can use this engine to find information, images, videos, news, yellow page listings and white page listings.
  9. Mamma - Known as the 'mother of all search engines,' Mamma allows you to perform a general Web meta search like the above engines, or focus your results on Twitter, news feeds, images and video, local results and job opportunities.
  10. - returns results from everyone's favorite search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and About. The site also offers filtering for subjects like flights, jobs, multimedia, shopping and more.
  11. MsFreckles - There are tons of different ways to use MsFreckles. You can search the entire web, search Google blogs, search UK sites only, search specific domains, search for multiple websites, search definitions, search scholarly papers.
  12. Goofram - Goofram is a mash-up of Google Search and Wolfram Alpha search. Enter your search term(s) intoGoofram and it will display relevant results drawn from Google and Wolfram Alpha.
  13. OJOSE - The Online JOurnal Search Engine (OJOSE) is a search engine that can help you find, download or purchase scientific publications from over 60 different databases.
  14. Scirus - Scirus is another search engine focused on the sciences. It has indexed over 410 million scientific items, including journal articles, patent information, scientists' web pages and institutional repositories.
  15. Twurdy - Twurdy has been created to provide people with access to search results that suit their own readability level.
  16. Mashpedia - Mashpedia is a real-time visual board for millions of topics. It fetches online content from different web services and assembles them on the fly in a convenient interface. Mashpedia makes it easy to visualize, monitor, learn and explore digital contents about any topic.
  17. Fotopedia - is an free online photo encyclopedia where you can search for thousands of images.
  18. Open Culture - Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Their mission is to centralize content from Web 2.0, curate it, and to provide the content whenever and wherever you want it. Free audio books, free online courses, free movies, free language lessons, free ebooks and other enriching content — it’s all there.
  19. Blinkx - Users can search more than 32 million hours of video on Blinkx by keyword or category.
  20. Picsearch - This image search engine puts 3,000,000,000 pictures at your fingertips.
  21. Whos Talkin - a social media search tool that allows users to search for conversations surrounding the topics that they care about most. can help you join in on the conversations that you care about most.
  22. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence - allows you to research learning resources from goverment agencies.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now I Know - Gaining Insight from Entrepreneurs

Now I Know is a series of videos produced by Sprinkle Lab that features discussions with entrepreneurs concerning their successes, failures, and lessons learned. I've watched several videos at this point and found them to be quite informative. I also think the videos could be a great resource for students, especially those involved in career and technical education.

The embedded video below features features Linda Avey, founder of 23 and Me, talking about educating yourself in today's world.

All of the videos are three minutes or less and some of the notable interviews include Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) discussing his thoughts on when to lead and when to get out of the way and Halle Tecco (founder of RockHealth) gives her perspective on perseverance.

What about having your students create something similar by interviewing members of your local industry committees or by interviewing each other about their classroom experiences?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Introducing TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

Have you seen TED-Ed?  It's a great new resource that utilizes crowd-sourcing paired with top notch animators and video editing.  It can be accessed both at YouTube ( or on YouTube EDU (not usually blocked by firewalls).

According to TED-Ed:
TED-Ed's mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. A new site, which will launch in early April 2012, will feature these new TED-Ed Originals as well as some powerful new learning tools.

For those who can't wait that long, we're pleased to announce the official launch of TED-Ed's YouTube channel featuring all of our new videos. Also, we are happy to extend an open invitation for the nomination of educators and animators and the suggestion of lesson ideas.

Thanks to Debi Crabtree at Hamilton County Virtual School for sharing TED-Ed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Great Resource for iPad Features and Shortcuts

40+ Super Secret iPad Features and Shortcuts is a great resource article written by Joel Bankhead in iPad.AppStorm. I can't say that more than a few of these are truly "Super Secret" to me, but there are some great reminders for the experienced iPad user and an even better resource list for those who are new to the iPad.

I've posted a few of my favorites below, but you can access the rest of the iPad features and shortcuts by clicking HERE:
  • Remotely Secure Your iPad - If you’re worried that your iPad has been left in mortal peril, you can use the online iCloud site to remotely set a passcode. For ultimate privacy protection you can press the figurative self-destruct button and erase all of your data!
  • Find Definitions - Ever wondered what a word meant and used the app (others are available) to find out? Took you several taps and half a minute, didn’t it? Just tap and hold to select the word and tap Define, the built-in Dictionary is at hand!
  • Take a Screenshot - Let’s start gently, taking a screenshot is one of the simpler things on this list. However, it can be invaluable when you grab a particularly smashing high score and need to immediately gloat on your social network of choice…Simultaneously hold down both the Home button and the Lock button for almost a second, and voila! A screenshot appears in your camera roll.
  • Quick App Switch - Again using a four-fingered swipe, this time left or right, you can quickly switch between apps. It takes a second before the app you’ve selected is fully active, but it’s a very useful way to go back and forth between apps.
  • Pinch to Home - This one of my absolute favourite gestural additions in iOS 5 – never use the Home button again! Simply pinch with five fingers to return to the Home Screen, enjoy…
  • CAPS LOCK - To enable Caps Lock you merely double tap the shift key. Tap once to turn it off. Couldn’t be easier than that!
  • Split the Keyboard - Now this I can see being useful. Follow the instructions as above, but select the Split command – your keyboard will divide in two, shrink, and move up slightly. This allows you to type using both of your thumbs!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Building Education from Ground Zero: Joplin, MO

I just read an article on Edudemic that I wanted to share with you entitled, "How A Tornado Inspired Innovation In Joplin, MO Schools."

I can't even begin to imagine the devastation to the city due to the EF5 tornado on May 22, 2011, but the article describes what is so great about the human spirit. It's the ability to survive, adapt, create, and to meet any and every challenge in the worst of times that creates a sense of hope and excitement within myself.
Joplin was left with no school buildings, no books, no lesson plans, and no technology and 86 days before school was to reopen for the next academic year. The article describes the challenges and processes that the school district went through from the IT perspective and it's amazing what they were able to accomplish in such a short period of time.
After reading the article, I began to ask myself how I would envision school if I had 86 days to create whatever I wanted. How would the brick and mortar buildings be designed to meet today's and hopefully tomorrow's technology needs? What would my instructional design be? Would it be more of a hybrid model (combination of traditional teaching methods and online) or would I also offer a fully online educational model? And what about teaching methods and lesson plans? Could I incorporate the elements of a Socratic method (a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas) and still meet the requirements of mandated testing? Or would this be the time to just flip the classroom and adopt Sal Khan's approach to education where lectures are watched at night by use of technology and the homework is done during the school day? 
I hope you will read the article and and ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How would you design your educational system if you could start from ground zero?
  2. Is this where we should be?
  3. What are the challenges/obstacles that impede our progress?
  4. How do we get there?
I wish things like the Joplin tornado would never happen, but unfortunately they do. I can only hope that we can all learn from those horrible tragedies and admire the resiliency of the human spirit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Write Effective Multiple Choice Questions

The CareerTech Testing Center has created, "The Secret of Writing Multiple-Choice Test Items." 

We believe these "secrets" can help any instructor or test developer, at ANY level of instruction, develop more effective test instruments. We hope you take a look and apply these methods to improve your test development process and be sure to tell us what you think.

You can download the document for FREE from Yudu and share it with your colleagues!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jing - a Free Tool to Capture Images and to Record Video

I wanted to introduce a free tool that I use all the time to capture screen shots.

Jing allows you to instantly capture images and to also record video on your computer—then share them with anyone through Facebook, Twitter, etc. The Jing sun sits nicely on your desktop (wherever you decide to place it) and then it's ready to capture your screen (a window, pane, or region with just one click).

I frequently use Jing to capture a screenshot or portion of a screen, paste it into my photo editing software and save it as a jpeg or gif. It's as simple as that and you can download it for free from TechSmith by clicking HERE.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...