Educational Websites Directory

Topmarks is a mine of information for teachers, parents and pupils alike. The search engine features only the best educational resources carefully selected by teachers. It has a keyword search option as well as the facility to browse by age group and/or subject. Topmarks prides itself on keeping 'dead' links to a minimum through regular checks of featured sites. The Teachers' Area provides opportunity for Internet interaction with other schools both in the UK and further afield. Practitioners can also use the Teachers' Forum to share ideas. The Parents' Area provides advice and information on preparing children for school to give them the best start, together with a useful selection of sites to help make sense of educational jargon. The site is clearly laid out and is easy to navigate, enabling children and those not so familiar with the World Wide Web to use the Internet effectively, especially as a homework helper.

Kevin's Playroom is a unique multi award winning web site produced by children for children, listing all school subjects with hundreds of approved links to curriculum based information. The site is aimed at children from pre-school (working with parents) to primary, junior and secondary pupils to assist with class work and homework tasks. It also has a big kids section which is proving very popular with teachers and pupils for project work, as here you can compare the different mobile phone tariffs, find comparative costings for holidays and flights etc. all without leaving the classroom.

Schoolzone: The Schoolzone website is based around an educational search engine designed to help you find good material on the internet. Set up by parents and teachers in 1996 there is no charge for usage and content is arranged into three areas: students, teachers and parents. The Schoolzone site indexes and has in searchable format: 40,000 UK teacher reviewed educational resources; educational events all around the UK; schools database; school suppliers database; software reviews; links to on line games, free downloads and shareware; homework helpers; revision guides; educational news; exam boards; fundraising ideas and competition listings.

Teaching and Learning: The Teaching and Learning section of TeacherNet is a gateway to the very best educational resources currently available on the internet. From this page you can access more than twelve hundred lesson plans, tap into the support services of museums, libraries and charities and ensure that you are making the most of the educational activities that your local community has to offer. You will also find comprehensive directories for Community Learning Grids, teaching unions and other affiliated bodies.

WWW Virtual Library: The WWW Virtual Library is the oldest directory on the web and is still one of the best for finding educational material on the Internet. Started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web itself, it is run by a collection of volunteers who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they have expertise. A small number of people at Stanford University administer the main catalogue pages and provide the links to the individual indexes on different servers all over the world. As the directories are being maintained by expert enthusiasts lists tend to be comprehensive and provide links to high quality educational materials.

Learning Websites: David Levin, the Director of the Library Media Centre at Rich Central High School, Olympia Fields, Illinois, has created one of the most useful websites for students and educators on the Internet. The material is organized by departments. As well as the traditional school subject areas there are also categories such as Social Workers' Office, Library Media, Guidance/Counselling, Vocational Technologies, Multicultural Resources, Field Trips and Professional Development. Websites are reviewed and awarded symbols that illustrate the quality and quantity of the educational content.

Needle in a CyberStack: The Needle in a CyberStack is an interesting directory website produced by John Albee, a teacher from Davenport, Iowa. The listed websites cover a wide range of subjects and has been designed to help people find their way around the net. Although most of the websites included on Needle in a CyberStack are based in the United States, Albee attempts to maintain a worldwide perspective and includes many links to useful resources for British students and educators.

Education World: In 1996 a group of people with a background in education in the United States decided to produce a website that would make the Internet easier for educators to use. The result is Education World, a resource that includes a search engine for educational websites, a place where educators can find information without searching the entire Internet; original content, including lesson plans, practical information for educators, information on how to integrate technology in the classroom, and articles written by education experts; website reviews; daily features and columns; teacher and principal profiles.

Search Engine Watch provides up-to-date information on all the major search-engines. A recent report published by Forrester Research argued that search engines are the leading way people locate websites. Google currently carries out 130 million searches a day. Other important players include Inktomi (80 million), Alta Vista (50 million), Direct Hit (20 million), Fast (12 million), GoTo (5 million) and Ask Jeeves (4 million). Google also has the largest database of web pages indexed (2000 million). Others include Fast (625 million), Alta Vista (550 million), Inktomi (500 million), Excite (380 million) and Northern Light (390 million).

Web 100: With reviews of sites and ratings by users, Web 100 makes it easy to locate the Internet's top sites. Rather than overwhelming you with listings of hundreds of thousands of Web pages, the Web 100 provides an easily accessible selection of 100 sites in areas such as education. Web 100 compile ratings and rank the sites from 1 to 100. The programs also select a featured site each hour and provide a tally of statistics, such as the sites getting the most votes and those moving up and down in the rankings.

Top9: This is the Internet's first Search Directory to use consumer intelligence to comprehensively rank the most popular websites by industry category on a monthly basis. The rankings are compiled by PC Data Online and are based on surveys with over 120,000 home users on the Internet. Currently in the Education Resources section the top nine are Spark Notes (2,647 unique users), Thinkquest (1,852), Pink Monkey (706), Blackboard (680), School Notes (457), Grade Saver (402), UMI (328), Educate (317) and Planet Papers (238).

BBCi Web Search: The BBC has launched its own online search engine. The new service allows users to search the entire web from within the confines of the BBC website. The search-engine, developed in-house by the BBC in conjunction with Google, is designed to be particularly useful for those new to the web. Ashley Highfield, the director of BBC New Media argues that "the BBC, with its 80 years of know-how and editorial expertise, is ideally placed to provide a UK-focused search engine that will not be tainted by paid-for results."

Google Answers: Everybody has questions. In most cases, Google search is an incredibly fast way to answer them. But some questions are trickier or more time-consuming than others. To help users over those hurdles, Google has launched Google Answers, a service powered by human researchers with search expertise. When you post a question, you say what you're willing to pay and how quickly you need a reply. To spread the benefit around, your answer is posted to the Google Answers site. Google Answers boasts a research team with expertise in areas from biochemical engineering to public policy.

Search Engine Ratings: NetRatings has began releasing figures showing the total number of people performing searches at popular search engines and portals, along with the average time spent by these searchers at these sites. Figures are for users in the United States. At the top of the list in search hours is Google, where users spent nearly 13 million hours searching during March 2002. In second-place was Yahoo with 5.4 million search hours, followed by MSN Search with 4.9 million search hours logged. According to StatMarket, Google accounts for more search referrals than any other search engine. According to this research, based on worldwide traffic measurements in April 2002, Google was responsible for 47 per cent of search referrals worldwide, followed by Yahoo at 21 per cent, then MSN Search at 8 per cent and AltaVista at 6 per cent.

Ask Jeeves attempts to understand the precise nature of the question by using a question-processing engine. Using natural language processing technology, Ask Jeeves determines both the meaning of the words in the question (semantic processing) as well as the meaning in the grammar of the question (syntactic processing). Ask Jeeves's answer-processing engine provides the question template response (that's the list of questions that users see after they ask Jeeves a question). When the user clicks on a response, the answer-processing engine retrieves the answer template that contains links to the answer locations. The Ask Jeeves knowledge base contains links to more than 7 million answers, which contain information about the most frequently asked questions on the Internet.

Computer Active Web Guide: The best website guide available and it only costs £4.99. Sections include Arts & Literature, Food & Drink, Music, TV & Radio, News, Reference, History, Finance, Cars & Bikes, Computers, Travel, Science & Nature, Kids, Education, Health & Fitness, Leisure & Hobbies, Home & Garden, Sport and Portals. There is also a CD that contains all the website reviews and directory listings. In addition, all of the URLs on the CD form clickable hyperlinks.

Best of History Web Sites: Designed for history educators and students, Best of History Web Sites is a useful portal that provides convenient access to many of the best history resources online. The portal provides descriptions and ratings of hundreds of excellent history-oriented web sites, all organized into ten main categories: Prehistory, Ancient History, Medieval History, US History, Early Modern European History, 20th Century History, World War II History, Art History, General History Resources, and Maps. There are also three special categories: Lesson Plans/Activities, Multimedia, and Research. Best of History Web Sites also contains a special informative section on Teaching With Technology that offers articles and advice about integrating computers in the classroom. In this section you will also find links to dozens of useful resources on educational technology.

Mr. Flack's Ultimate Educational Resources: Jim Flack of Lancaster, Ohio, has produced a resource website encompassing all curriculum areas. Listed as a Yahoo! K-12 Teaching Web Directory and a winner of the USA Today "Best Bets For Educators" award. The website has 10,000+ active links and and has been visited by over 75 countries.

Kids Net: A search engine designed for children. The site, based in Australia, contains over 20,000 child safe sites, and over 4000 categories. Categories include: Arts, Computers, Directories, Entertainment, Games, Health, News, People and Society, Pre-School, School Time, Sports and Hobbies, and Family. Kids Net contains sites and categories that are of direct interest to children, in this regard the site is a niche search engine for children.

HERO: Higher Education and Research Opportunities - is the official national portal into Higher Education in the UK. The purpose of the site is to provide a comprehensive, clearly annotated and easily navigable body of links to all relevant HE related bodies and activities and to effectively highlight the world-class work carried out within the sector.

Google: In 1937 H. G. Wells travelled around the world promoting his World Brain scheme. His plan was to create a vast repository that contained every piece of knowledge in the world. He argued that the World Brain would be freely available to everyone and would therefore eliminate the ignorance that sustained tyranny. His scheme never got off the ground but some observers have claimed that Google is on the way to becoming this World Brain. A recent report by OneStat reveals that Google now carries out 53.2 per cent of all web searches. Yahoo!, the second largest, has only 20.4 per cent. This is followed by MSN Search (9.1), Terra Lycos (3.7), AOL Search (2.9), Altavista (2.8) and Ixquick (2.2).

Google-Watch: Daniel Brandt is founder and president of Public Information Research (PIR) and programmer and webmaster for the organization's several sites including Google-Watch, a website that monitors the activities of Google. Brandt argues that Google's "crawlers" (software which creeps daily through the web to monitor and catalogue new and changing websites) are prejudiced in favour of larger and older websites. Brandt suggests that Google is now so powerful that it should be registered like a public utility company.

Scout Report: Published every Friday, continuously since 1994, the Scout Report is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected publications. It offers a selection of new and newly discovered online resources of interest to researchers, educators, and anyone else with an interest in high-quality online material. Every day professional librarians, educators, and content specialists filter hundreds of announcements looking for the most valuable and authoritative resources available online. Information about the best of what we've found is then summarized, organized, and provided to the Internet community in various formats, including email and the Web. The Internet Scout Project is located in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Open Directory: The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors and is the most widely distributed data base of web content classified by humans. The Open Directory provides the means for the Internet to organize itself. The plan is for well-informed individuals to organize a small portion of the web and present it back to the rest of the population, culling out the bad and useless and keeping only the best content.

Education Index Web: This website, created by Hobsons, an international college and career publisher, claims to provides a guide to "the most useful education-related sites on the Web." The website can be browsed by subject or by lifestage, from prenatal and infant all the way to college and continuing education. Since it went online in September 1996, the Education Index has grown to more than 3,000 sites in 66 different categories.

Google News Portal: A recent addition to the Google website is a news portal that will serious challenge market leaders News Now and Moreover. Everyday it groups together the interesting stories that are developing and then links you to the best news sites for those particular stories. At the moment the site searches 4,000 news sources but this will increase rapidly over the next few months.

NewsSeer: NewsSeer is both a straightforward news search engine and an adaptive tool that's constantly learning your interests to deliver personalized news tailored to your own needs. In addition to its search capabilities, NewsSeer will attempt to learn your interests by using several criteria from the material you select to view. This includes article selection, the text of the article, how long you looked at a story, the source of the material and the age of the story. This process is automatic. However, you can also choose to assist NewsSeer by rating your interest in the story.

The Internet Public Library (IPL): One of the most popular library sites on the Internet. IPL visitors can read online books, magazines, or newspapers; browse links to carefully selected websites for children and teens; and receive personalized assistance from an award-winning team of volunteer librarians. The website is operated by the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

WelshQuest: This search engine helps you find documents on this website and related sites (BritQuest, ScottishQuest, IrishQuest). You tell the search service what you're looking for by typing in keywords, phrases, or questions in the search box. The search service responds by giving you a list of all the webpages in our index relating to those topics. The most relevant content will appear at the top of your results.

Schoolzone School Search: Schoolzone claims that this is the UK's only complete listing of schools, colleges and LEAs (these organisations can amend or add to their details using a PIN). The Schoolzone website also has a collection of 40,000 educational websites, all hand picked for suitability and reviewed and categorised by UK teachers.

Journalist's Toolbox: This website features more than 17,500 Web sites helpful to the media and anyone else doing research. Use the pulldown menu or search engine to locate information from a variety of beats and news industry related topics. The Journalist's Toolbox E-Newsletter features search tips, new resources and other news and notes of interest to the journalism, research, academic and online communities.

HotBot: Since its launch in 1996, HotBot has been named the Number One search site on the Web in independent reviews from the top consumer-oriented computer and personal-finance publications in the United States. HotBot indexes every word, link, and media file on more than 160 million Web documents and refreshes its entire database of documents every three to four weeks. It also allows users to construct sophisticated search queries of its index without previous knowledge of complex search terms and methodologies. Instead, HotBot offers users a simple, point-and-click interface, intuitive pulldown menus, and the ability to use plain English terminology for constructing searches.

ilectric: The ilectric info portal is an online directory and metasearch engine. Created in September 2000 by Justin Schlecter, owner of UpsideOut Web Services, ilectric has grown into a robust suite of research tools. The website handles about 6,000 searches from 18,000 unique visitors every day. The portal is 100% standards compliant with the the World Wide Web Consortium's specifications for valid HTML and CSS to ensure that our pages are accessible to all. We update the site almost every day with new features and bug fixes.

Zap is a multilingual website for children and teenagers aged 8-14 with fun and educational activities. In addition to offering tips on netiquette and safe surfing, based on research into young people's behaviour and needs on the Internet. It is a fun and educational place for children and teenagers to learn more about school-related topics and at the same time gain Internet skills. There is also a safe search engine of quality-checked sites.

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