Top Picks

October 15, 2010 2 min read
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Tracking Stimulus Spending

You can track spending of federal economic-stimulus dollars for education with a new online site created by the Education Writers Association. Ed Money features data on $62.1 billion in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including almost 40,000 grants to more than 12,000 school districts across the United States. The site’s database organizes and tracks grant money on a national map, allowing you to see how individual districts spend and use funds. There’s also a section on the site where users can upload articles and blog posts related to spending in their local districts. And the site’s main blog page is updated routinely by the EWA with news and information from Washington on education funding.

Ed Facilities

Created by: National Institute of Building Sciences
For: School district administrators
Features: This site has a “resource list” page that can help school districts aiming to build or expand facilities with technology in mind. The site offers links to national studies, reports, and journal articles about how to successfully integrate technology into classroom and school development projects. Categories are broken down by a number of focus areas, including preplanning, design, and financing. Each category links directly to articles that can be downloaded and saved, most commonly as a PDF file.

Online Testing

Created by: Quizinator
For: Teachers
Features: Quizinator is designed for teachers who need an online storage space for test and quiz questions that can be reused or repurposed in easy-to-print exams. By registering for a free account, instructors can assemble and build tests that ask true-or-false, multiple-choice, or free-response questions. After a question is created, it is saved and stored to a personal account. Then questions are categorized for quick reference to each by its subject, degree of difficulty, or answer type. Once all quiz questions are entered, users can format and print multiple tests in minutes; they can simply select which questions to include, in whatever order, and print out the finished product for test day. The result is a well-organized online space where a teacher can create and reuse test questions for many different classes.

Homework Hotspot

Created by: Homework NYC
For: Teachers, students, and parents
Features: Homework NYC introduces teachers and parents to the ways that their “digital natives” are learning in the 21st century. The site, an initiative of the City of New York and its public libraries, was developed after focus groups revealed that students rely heavily on the Internet and social networks for information about homework. The Homework NYC site serves two purposes. First, it seeks to educate adults, both parents and teachers, about how the Internet can be used to promote learning. And second, it offers a variety of applications, many of which are still in development, for students to use in their day-to-day homework. There are applications for Google and Facebook, and Homework NYC hopes to expand its selection of apps as the site emerges from its beta-testing phase.

Compiled by Tim Ebner
A version of this article appeared in the October 20, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as Top Picks


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