Sometimes I don’t know how I ever found any information before the Internet. Granted, you have to know how to sift through all the garbage that’s out there in order to uncover the quality resources that the Internet has to offer. This can be especially difficult in education, as there is an endless number of sites claiming to have great lesson plans or professional development resources. It’s difficult for new or novice teachers (or teachers new to teaching with ICT) to judge which resources are actually good and which are mere imposters.
To help with your planning for next year, we thought we’d provide a list of our favourite teacher web sites from the UK, US and Canada. All of these sites contain vetted, high-quality resources, even though they may not be “traditional” education sites. We hope this list both inspires you and saves you some time in your planning.
National Geographic The folks who brought you the classic magazine full of stories and photos from around the world now have a UK-specific education site with loads of lesson plan ideas, games for students and other resources for teachers.
BBC Teachers The BBC has what looks like a beta Teacher site at present, providing resources separated into subject area and Key Stages, as well as more than 3,000 clips from BBC programmes that you can use in your class.
Discovery Channel The UK version of this site is full of videos, games and videos from their “How Do They Do It?” series, where they explore things like how the stripes get into toothpaste and why plasma screens are flat. If you go to the US version of the site, you can find links to the other partner channels, such as Animal Planet, The Learning Channel (TLC), and more.
The History Channel (the last in my “television” series of recommendations) has great interactive maps, GCSE and A-level revision prep, and safe moderated discussions on different topics in history. (All posts to discussions are reviewed and approved by a moderator before they are posted to the discussion).
Edutopia is the web site for the George Lucas Education Foundation. I’ve mentioned this site in passing in another post, but you should visit or – better yet – sign up for their newsletter for more information about education discussions, lesson plan ideas, project-based learning resources, and much more. Note that this is a US-based site.
NASA (The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has a dedicated area of its site for teachers that allows you to take advantage of all of their fantastic resources in your classroom. There is also a separate area of their site for your students.
The remaining two sites I’ve mentioned in earlier, more detailed posts.
Thinkfinity is run by the Verizon education foundation in the US, and includes thousands of resources that are posted by the major education standard bodies in the US. I blogged about it last September.
Taking IT Global is a global education community for young people, focused on connecting youth all over the world who are actively working to improve their communities. The site has a great area for educators, called TIGed, which provides resources for teachers to help them use the vast resources of Taking IT Global in their classrooms. The Canadian-based site is described in detail in an earlier post.
This is just a short list of what we like – tell us what you’re using!