Really Useful Websites (July 2008)

  1. CCleaner – This is a great (and free) download that will erase unused files on your computer, and clean up your system.  It will protect your privacy by doing things like clearing your browser history.  It is really quick.
  2. Shareware.com – this site has some nice things.  I like the fact that they tell you if something has been tested and is spyware free.  I like the range of things available there and the fact that they include reviews.  They also tell you if the “free” part is simply a trial period.
  3. The Franklin Institute Resources for Science Learning – What a fantastic site! I particularly found the part on the brain interesting; it includes some exercises you can do to help retain your mental acuity.  There is a section for learners and one for educators.  Under the section for learners, you will also find information on careers in science and technology, recommended links, information on the earth, time, and other things.  Looks like a great site to spend some time exploring!
  4. Puzzle Games from RinkWorks – There is an old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”  It is a good idea to do routine things differently from time to time, to do puzzles, to problem solve – all to stretch your mind a bit and break out of the routine that most people find themselves in.  Here is a site with some puzzles and links to other sources as well.  I love one of their other sites: Computer Stupidities, which is GREAT for a laugh.
  5. Gamequarium – this site has some interesting links to various games, puzzles, and the like on subjects like oceanography, animals, natural disasters, matter, electricity, and the human body.  I only took a few minutes to look into it but it looks like it would be a good educational/fun resource for kids.  Of course, I did notice on one page that it said the links had been verified in 2006, so I’m sure some are outdated now.
  6. Smithsonian Education – I can’t imagine not being able to recommend a Smithsonian site. This one is fantastic. It has sections for educators, families, and students.  Each one has great qualities.  For teachers, there are lesson plans, a way to search for resources, and information on state standards of learning.  You can also find Smithsonian photos in Flickr for the classroom!  For families, there are activity sheets for kids, help in planning a visit to the Smithsonian, and information on child-friendly exhibits in the Smithsonian, DC, and in other places.  For students, there are ways to explore by topic, quizzes, and a section called Smithsonian Kids.
  7. Education Portal – I haven’t had a lot of time to check this site out but it appears to have a good deal of information about online courses and the like all in one place.  I cannot say how reliable it is, but I would say that it is certainly a good place to start if you are looking for information on free online courses or online education in general.
  8. MITOpenCourseware – I believe I may have mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating if so.  MIT offers a large number of courses online for free.  You can also get a monthly update of courses and news.  The courses “May include syllabus, lecture notes, problem and answer sets, labs, readings and reading lists, videos, special features, more” (from their site.) What an incredible opportunity for those who aren’t actually attending!
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