Sites To See And Books To Read
Helpful Web Sites
These education-related Web sites offer a wide variety of services, such as e-mail, chat rooms, and links to other useful education links. Some even offer programs to help you build a site.
Offers Homepage Maker and other Web-site services. Created by Tony Bott, a 5th and 6th grade teacher in suburban San Diego, along with Bob Reap, a bank vice president, it includes a Lesson Exchange, links to helpful Web sites, a JobAlert listing, and a very busy chat room. "Teachers.Net is a communications channel, allowing teachers to get involved in technology," says Bott. "I don't think every teacher wants to master the Internet. They just want the practical skills to help them become better teachers."
This site features a database of more than 4,000 K-12 schools with sites on the Web, including some that have been graded by Internet experts. It also offers educational resources, an educator-oriented engine to search the Internet, and a database of teachers interested in on-line projects.
American School Directory
A collaboration of Tennessee-based Computers for Education, IBM, Apple Computers, and Vanderbilt University that is billed as "the largest K-12 Internet project ever accomplished." The site offers pre-designed school and teacher Web pages, as well as links to other education sites, on-line curricula, and on-line yearbooks.
Web66/International WWW School Registry
A project of the University of Minnesota, the site offers information about Web pages around the world and access to many other useful links through regional and global "home rooms."
Here are a few sites you might want to visit as you map your own Web strategies. Some have been singled out for praise by authoritative Web-watchers.
Professional Cartoonists Index: Teacher's Guide
Splashy, colorful, easy, and fun. The teacher's guide offers detailed lesson plans that help students use editorial cartoons in their learning. Activities are listed according to grade level. It was created by Peg Cagle, a teacher at Lawrence Middle School in Lawrence, California, and her freelance artist husband, Daryl. Most of the teachers' guide was built using off-the-rack software called Adobe PageMill. "The whole thing took about six weeks," Peg says.
Hello Dolly: A WebQuest on Cloning
First, cloned sheep. Next, humans? To spark a debate on cloning, students are assigned roles, such as cloning technologist, theologian, U.S. senator, and animal-rights activist. They are expected to use the Internet to find research that supports their arguments for or against this controversial scientific breakthrough. The site is the brainchild of San Diego-area educator Keith Nuthall. Nuthall's not a biology teacher, so he worked with two biology teachers to come up with ideas for the project. Building the Web pages took him about a day.
The Incredible Art Department
Easy to search and crammed with lesson plans, art news, art-related job opportunities, cartoons, and more. You'll never think of Mona Lisa in quite the same way again. Ken Rohrer, principal of Paragon Elementary School in Paragon, Indiana, and a longtime art teacher, launched the site in early 1995. "Originally, I put it together as a site for my own classroom, with all my students' artwork on it," he says. But as time went on, he changed the emphasis. "It went from the local classroom to a classroom for the world."
To see more great sites, check out Pacific Bell's Blue Web'N site at www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn.
A Teacher's Project Guide To The Internet, by Kevin Crotchett. (Heinemann, $26.50.) Crotchett, a Portland, Oregon, public school teacher, has written a useful and accessible guide for the Internet novice, with plenty of simple yet enticing projects, including setting up your own site. Comes with a disk for direct access to Web sites of interest to teachers and students. Also see his classroom Web site at www.teleport.com/kevcro.
The Non-Designer's Web Book, by Robin Williams and John Tollett. (Peachpit Press, $29.95.) An intelligent, well-organized, and humorous guide for the beginner. Might be the best of the bunch.
Web Publishing With Netscape For Busy People, by Christian Crumlish and Malcolm Humes. (Osborne, $22.95.) Somewhat technical but includes a very good chapter on planning a Web site.
Creating Web Pages For Kids & Parents, by Greg Holden. (IDG Books, $24.99.) This is from the publishers of the "for Dummies" computer series, so it's clear and logical, not too flashy. Includes a CD-ROM with a PageMill tryout, a Claris home page demo, and other goodies.