Tonight after school I attended my first meeting of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee. Heather Moorefield, the committee chair, and the rest of the committee met in a Google Hangout to kick off the year of amazing work that is done every year.
I have been a fan of this work for the last five years...ever since their work started. This summer one of the best parts of the ALA Conference in Chicago was the announcement of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2013. I am very excited and honored to now be part of this committee as we work together throughout the year to find another group of best websites which will be announced at the ALA Annual Conference next summer in Las Vegas.
You cannot go wrong with any of the websites that are included on the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning list. Each year these are lists that I turn to often. It is also a valuable one to share with your students, teachers, parents, and others.
This incredible list of websites “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.”
Also, as the AASL website states,
“Best Websites for Teaching & Learning honors websites, tools, and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the American Association of School Librarians' Standards for the 21st-Century Learner
The websites are broken down into six different categories: Media sharing, digital storytelling, manage and organize, social networking and communication, content resources, and curriculum collaboration.
Within each category, the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner that are connected to those websites are listed. This is very helpful as we integrate these resources into our curriculum and schools.
Also, notice how a “TIP” is included at the bottom of each website description as well.
On the AASL website there are several resources and links that you will find useful and fun to share with your school community.
I love how they have created a Pinterest board entitled 2013 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning that anyone can follow.
And I also came across several Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Pinterest walls that my friend Melissa Jacobs Israel created.
It is so nice to have these all together in one place like on a Pinterest wall or Symbaloo webmix.
Each summer I also use the Bookmark that AASL has created and make lots of them to have available to the students, teachers and others in the library at Back-To-School Night and as school gets started. It is an awesome tool box to put into their hands as we start the year.
There is also a wonderful Press Kit filled with materials to promote the best websites. You can find the past years here as well.
As you can see this list is filled with websites that will bring creativity, collaboration, connectivity, conversation, and fun to the young people you work with in your schools. A lot of my favorites are included this year like BiblioNasium, Smore, EdCanvas, FlipSnack, and Padlet.
There are several I haven’t tried like Garbology, Marqueed, and LitPick....just to name a few. But I have already added these to our Symbaloo webmixes and shared them with the teachers and students at Van Meter.
I cannot wait to hear all of the ways all of you are using these websites too. Everyone has their own creative, unique way that they do.One of My Favorite Places To Find The BEST Websites....AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, first appeared in the "Shannon Shares" column within the monthly eMackin newsletter.
It was in the July 2013 edition of eMackin, along with other awesome articles and resources.