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“If you really want to know about business, you should refer to Scott Steinberg.” -Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Technology for Teaching: Best Sites and Services

Educators may feel sometimes like they’re on an island with little help in sight. But as technology teaching resources go, it may encourage you to learn that there are a number of online solution available to help promote education from teaching reading basics to organizing classroom activities and encouraging civic involvement. Here are 20 of the  top sites and services every teacher should be using to help improve classroom learning, at least in this school speaker’s book:

Collaborize Classroom – A free online collaborative platform designed to complement classroom instruction with additional activities, assignments and discussions that can be accessed online.

Cool Math – A collection of games that are designed to be safe to use in the classroom, covering a variety of math subjects as well as reading, science and geography.

DoSomething.org – With a new call-to-action every week, DoSomething.org encourages teens to band together and work for positive social change.

Edmodo – An online collaboration hub that leverages the power of social media to provide customized classrooms for every teacher/student situation. Needless to say, it’s among this school speaker’s preferred solutions.

Exploratorium – As the website of San Francisco’s Museum of Science, Art and Human Participation, Exploratorium links to a variety of online activities that make science fun.

First In Math – A schoolwide resource that teaches kids as young as kindergarten basic math skills via online games. Kids are encouraged to keep playing by earning stickers and other rewards from their teachers.

Fun Brain – Online games portal that focuses on games that have educational value for kids. Teachers can easily find games, curriculum and even flash cards that are perfect for whatever subject matter they’re teaching.

Hippocampus– A project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, the goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge.

HowStuffWorks – Explains thousands of topics with video and illustrations so students can learn more about how everything works.

iCivics – Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in US democracy.

Melody Street– A musical world where instruments come to life, offering games, music and online videos to help teach kids about instruments, melody and more.

MyBackPack – Offers a way for teachers to communicate directly with parents and students by connecting administrative software and giving real-time updates on grades, schedules, attendance and more.

PowerSchool– Web-based information system that provides instantaneous updates on everything from attendance to seating charts, and it’s even accessible via iPhone and Android apps.

Raz Kids– A full curriculum of reading lessons presented as mini online books for a wide range of ages, allowing students to easily log in  and for teachers to monitor their progress.

Scholastic Kids Press Corps – Offers news for kids by kids, encouraging teachers to incorporate current events and reporting into their own daily teaching.

Schoology– Learning management system and social network that makes it easy to create and share academic content.

Scratch – A programming language from MIT that teaches basic concepts and invites kids to turn them into interactive stories, games, music and art.

Spelling City – Offers vocabulary, spelling, writing, parts of speech, handwriting and alphabetical order games to elementary, middle and high-school classes.

Starfall – Teaches young children to read with phonics via online games and interactive storybooks.

Weebly– Provides an easy way for teachers to create a classroom site and blog that can be used to communicate with students and parents, and includes a way for kids to easily create sites of their own.

And there you have it – 20 top teaching tools that made this school speaker’s rundown. Teachers: Which apps, online services and technology tools currently top your own list of favorites?

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