The Concord Consortium Collection
The Concord Consortium Collection consists of hundreds of interactive digital resources. They span across subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and contain materials appropriate for students ranging from elementary grades through higher education. These resources are all highly interactive, involving models, simulations, or the use of probes and sensors to collect and analyse real-time data in the classroom. They have been developed with the highest care for scientific accuracy and research-based pedagogy. All are open source and distributed free of charge.
The Concord Consortium a not for profit educational research and development organization whose work has the objective to stimulate large-scale, technology-based improvements in teaching and learning. Indeed, in other sections of the same website the current projects, research and publications are presented.
Interactive Sites for Education
Interactive Sites for Education is a website that groups together tens of different K-5 online interactive educational games and simulations for many school subjects such as Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Music. Each of these sections contains a number of subcategories. Each subcategory directly shows the linked snapshot of external websites. No review, evaluation or other type of data are available. The linked games are generally very entertaining and engaging. It is also possible to suggest new games.
The two sections “Art” and “Teacher Tools” are presently empty: content will be uploaded soon.
Other games can be found in the sections dedicated to Typing, Holidays and Brainteasers.
Ptable is an interactive Web 2.0 periodic table. It provides dynamic layouts, property trend visualization, orbitals, thousands of isotopes, and 5 writeup sources. The application uses no Flash or images, giving all the scalability and accessibility of a normal web page (it can be viewed on any kind of computer and device).
The layout, unless differently specified by the user, automatically switch to fit the width of the screen. Using the check boxes at the top of the page allows to dynamically switch between various configurations (simple, with names, with electron configuration, and inline inner transition metals).
In addition to Wikipedia descriptions in all languages, write-ups, photos, videos, and even podcasts are offered in the first tab's dropdown. Write-up windows can even be torn off or docked to the edges to allow simultaneous use of the table while reading.
Data is acquired from primary sources and curated libraries. Layout and presentation were reviewed by the world's foremost periodic table academic, Eric Scerri. Translations and non-English element names, however, should be considered no more reliable than Wikipedia.
Search (into the box at the top right) can be performed by name, symbol, or atomic number. Advanced searches work, for example, on the atomic weight, number of orbitals, etc.
Most browsers, tablets, and phones can store the site and its data for use offline. Firefox prompts you with a notification bar at the top while Chrome and Safari directly save it.
Full descriptions in 40 languages from Wikipedia.
TeachersFirst is a free website for teachers that contains reviews of external resources as well as own original resources. All the resources are reviewed by teaching professionals with relevant experience. Reviews point out any safety or policy concerns for the tool and offer links to management tips for each concern. The own units and lessons have been developed for actual classrooms, in consultation with practicing professionals or by the teachers themselves.
TeachersFirst is written and edited entirely by experienced, professional educators.
Becoming a member gives access to many additional functions.
- weekly update via email
- TeachersFirst Edge: reviews tools on the Edge, with specific ideas for using them safely and effectively in teaching and learning.
- TeachersFirst Exclusives include ready-to-go, projectable classroom activities, lesson and unit plans, special topic collections and professional pages.
- TeachersFirst’s Classroom Resources area includes over 12,000 educator-reviewed web resources ready to be used with students in the classroom.
PaperRater.com is a free resource, developed and maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students to help students improve their writing. It analyses documents in real-time and provide in depth analysis. Some of the features include:
• Plagiarism Detection
• Auto Grader
• Spelling and Grammar Check
• Style and Word Choice Analysis
• Readability Statistics
• Title Validation
• Vocabulary Builder tool
The service does not keep track of submitted papers so its plagiarism detection does not rely on past submissions. This is a web-based service: all processing takes place on the server and the results are displayed in the user’s browser.
The premium version, now in development phase, will offer improved accuracy in plagiarism detection, additional grammar checks and an increased max length for documents.
WriteCheck is designed for students to check grammar, style, usage, mechanics, spelling and originality of their works. The aim is to help them to improve and check their writing abilities and to ensure that they are not unintentionally plagiarizing.
WriteCheck presents users with easy to interpret results showing which sections of a paper appear to be unoriginal and that the writer should verify as properly cited, summarized or paraphrased. The plagiarism checking engine searches and compares papers against a database of more than 20 billion current and archived web pages, 200 million student papers and 110 million periodicals and scholarly publications. The grammar checking engine uses machine learning and natural language processing.
The service is not for free.
Turnitin is an effective online technology for improving student writing. It is used by educators worldwide (over 60 million papers were processed in 2011) to check students' papers for originality, to enable web-based peer review and for digital grading of student work.
Its most used and famous feature is OriginalityCheck, the plagiarism prevention tool. It ensures original work by checking submitted papers against billions of web pages, millions of student papers and leading library databases and publications. Originality Reports provide a summary of matching or highly similar text found in a submitted paper.
Another important tool, GradeMark, allows an instructor to edit and grade student papers online. The instructor can add comments within the body of the paper, point out grammar and punctuation mistakes, evaluate the paper against qualitative or quantitative rubrics, etc.
A third tool is PeerMark: Instructors can create and manage PeerMark assignments that allow students to read, review, and evaluate one or many papers submitted by their classmates.
Turnitin integrates with more than 50 Course Management Systems, including Blackboard, Moodle, Instructure Canvas, Desire2Learn, Pearson Learning Studio, and Sakai.
Share My Lesson
Share My Lesson is a big web portal for high-quality teaching resources. Its database contains over 254.000 free teacher-created resources in a variety of formats (images, web pages, pdf’s, music, text files, etc.) for every level of education from kindergarten to high school and with a section for students with disabilities.
The portal provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other. The members of the community can download and share user-generated resources free of charge.
Veritasium is an interesting video blog (hosted on a youtube channel ) containing more than 100 first rate educational videos about science that can be used to support effective science teaching and learning. The videos cover a variety of scientific topics (Chemistry, Physics, biology, astronomy, etc.). It’s mission and inspiring principle, as the same author Derek Muller defines it, is “to deliver the most interesting science videos as is humanly possible”.
Udacity is a digital university providing free courses mainly focusing on Mathematics Phisics and Computer Sciences. The courses are divided in three difficulty levels and are “open enrollment”, meaning that users can sign up at any time and complete the course at their own pace without homework or quiz deadlines. Users can enroll in as many classes as desired.
Udacity’s "hexamesters" are 7 weeks long. After each hexamester there is a one week break before the release of the next round of courses. Each class consists of 6 week-long units. The seventh week will have some bonus material and a final exam. Each unit is composed of many videos. Most are about 2 or 3 minutes long, and they are usually followed by a quiz or programming assignment. All videos in the courses have captions and each course also has a wiki that contains the course content in written form.
Completing a class, students get a certificate signed by the instructor. These certificates are recognized by major technology companies who are actively recruiting from the Udacity student body.
In addition to providing free higher education for students around the world, Udacity is also poised to connect students with job opportunities. Udacity's Career Placement Program connects students to the partner employers directly.