- Edutopia (edutopia.org) - Notice that smart use of the word ‘utopia’ in the website’s name? The portal itself is an absolute haven for knowledge seekers, proving that the name is not a marketing gimmick to attract web visitors. Parents have the option of interacting with academic instructors through this website, and the latest developments and trends from the field of academics are highlighted here. For students who like to blog, there is a wealth of resources to be found on Edutopia.
- Slideshare (slideshare.net) - Powerpoint slides on a vast array of topics can be accessed and viewed/downloaded on this immensely popular website. For certain presentations, slide transcripts and additional notes are also provided below. Students can, of course, upload their own PPT files on the site, and get feedback and recommendations from peers/seniors/teachers. There is a tendency among certain students to download others’ PPT files and pass them as their own though - and that needs to be discouraged!
- Rate My Professors (ratemyprofessors.com) - Does your favorite teacher encourage the use of laptops, interactive boards and educational mobile apps for kids? If yes, visit this site, look up his/her name (you would almost surely find it - for the database comprises of over one million professor names), and rate his or her teaching methods. The website offers a fairly reliable review of the teaching expertise of each of the listed instructors. Students can easily refer to Rate My Professors, before deciding on which classes they should enroll.
- Math Playground (mathplayground.com) - For K-6 level students, this website offers a fresh, fun way of improving mathematical skills. There are many engaging math puzzles on the site, chalked out in the form of interactive games. The database of maths exercises on Math Playground is regularly updated. Kids can try solving the stock of logical games present on the website as well.
- Starfall (starfall.com) - There are select alphabet-learning apps for kids, but Starfall boasts of a much wider portfolio of English-learning options (particularly for ESL students). Launched in 2002, the website has witnessed rapidly increasing traffic figures over the years. The focus on phonics and phonemics lend a ‘complete’ feel to the learning exercises for kids. From first and second-grade students, to kids who are being homeschooled - Starfall serves as a valuable resource for them all.
- Project Gutenberg (projectgutenberg.org) - With well over 35,000 ebooks available for download, Project Gutenberg has emerged as a one-stop portal for digital texts and reference material. Even relatively rare, out-of-print books can be accessed, in the matter of a few clicks, on this website. The texts on Project Gutenberg are available in multiple file formats, and can be stored in your smartphone and other handheld devices as well (apart from PCs and laptops).
- Scribd (scribd.com) - In the context of online reading and text-downloads, Scribd is one of the best virtual buddies of students, from all over the world. All the digital texts (there are more than 300,000 of them!) are neatly arranged according to their categories - ensuring quick and smooth user-navigation. Student members need to upload files/documents from time to time as well - it would be unfair if one could only grab hold of books and journals here, without having to give something back, right?
- Half (half.com) - This website operates as a subsidiary of the eBay portal, and allows students to purchase relevant books and references - without having to request their parents to shell out the big bucks. All the educational material has extremely competitive price-tags, and knowledge-seekers can simply punch in the IBN or UPC of the texts they are looking for, to find it in seconds. Half.com is popular among the international teaching fraternity as well.
- WebStories (storiesfromtheweb.org) - This storehouse of online stories is particularly focused towards tech-savvy young children - many of whom probably have already started reading stories from mobile storytelling apps for kids. There is a separate art gallery and a writing gallery on the site too, to encourage the creative instincts of young readers. Subscription to WebStories can be done via many public libraries in the UK.
- StudyMode (studymode.com) - For getting an idea about the template of essays, term papers, dissertations and academic presentations - this is the website students from all over the world arrive at. The available resources on StudyMode make the task of creating project citations easy as well. Whatever might be the subject on which a student is planning to write a paper, chance are high that (s)he will find plenty of references on it, at StudyMode.
- Thinkfinity (thinkfinity.org) - Thinkfinity enjoys popularity among K-12 level students and teachers alike. Most of the digital texts, notes and references available on the portal have earned positive reviews from renowned evaluators - underlining their value for young learners. Students and teachers can seamlessly collaborate with each other on Thinkfinity too - making it a perfect virtual learning platform.
Easy Bib (easybib.com), TimeMagazine (timeforkids.com) and A+ Maths (aplusmath.com) are some of the other valuable educational websites for students. For cross-checking facts and figures, many learners head over to Ref Desk (refdesk.com). Modernized education technology is not only about flipped classrooms and mobile apps for kids, and the potential value to be derived from the World Wide Web is indeed immense.
Ross Smythe is the chief concept developer at Teknowledge Mobile Studio. He regularly writes on the web as well, on various topics related to education technology.