There are plenty of excellent online research resources, guides, and tutorials on the Web, and in print. Here are a select few that you may want to consider before starting your next project.
Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology: A Practical Guide for Teachers by Teachers , by Justin Reich and Tom Daccord. Chapter 4 - Guided Inquiry and Chapter 5 - Open Research discuss online research frameworks, tools, and strategies in much detail.
Noodle Tools is a suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with online research. Among its free tools are "NoodleQuest," designed to develop the optimum Web-based search strategy for your research topic. Fill in the short form and NoodleTools will suggest a research direction. Furthermore, "Choose the Best Search" provides helpful search strategies based on an analysis of your topic. In table format, it provides concise but detailed information literacy search strategies. Other free tools include "NoodleBib Starter," a free and simplified MLA version for students grades 1-5, ESL, and "NoodleLinks," a way to browse bibliographies written by researchers around the world on hundreds of topics.
Refseek is an academic search engine that makes academic information on the Internet easier to access than with typical search engines. Refseek cuts down on the overload of non-academic search results by eliminating sponsored links and most commercial web sites.
WolframAlpha is a unique, computational search engine. The Search results are data driven, which makes it especially uses for searching socioeconomic data, geographic and demographic data, economic data, and other topics.
SweetSearch is a search engine for students. It searches far fewer web sites than Google, but only lists websites that have been reviewed by its team of educators. It also provides social media tools that enable you to send your results to others.
Internet Archive: Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public to billions of web pages stored in the Internet Archive's web archive. Great tool for seeing what web pages contained months, or years ago. Collections include Web, Moving Images, Texts, Audio, and Software.
Center for History and New Media
The Center for History and New Media resources are designed to benefit professional historians, high school teachers, and students of history.
LiveBinders is an interactive resource for teachers to quickly research websites related to topics they are teaching that otherwise would take them much longer using Google or other search engines. A LiveBinder is a compilation tool made up of several websites related to one specific topic of the LiveBinder. For example, under the category of History LiveBinders, there is one based on the Battle of Guadalcanal. Within the binder, there are roughly ten websites relating to and describing the battle from different perspectives. Although it is much faster than navigating a topic on a search engine, LiveBinder still retains many of the drawbacks of searching for a topic online. While many websites go through a filter before they are added, the reliance of some of the websites can waver depending on who posts them. As long as this recognition is understood, LiveBinder is a generally good resource for teachers to use in their lesson plans and assignments.
TrackStar is a starting point for online lessons and activities for multiple disciplines. Simply collect websites, enter them into TrackStar, add annotations for your students, and you have an interactive, online lesson called a “Track.” Create your own Track or use one of the hundreds of thousands already made by other educators. Search the database by subject, grade, or theme and standard for a quick and easy activity.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: Critical Evaluation Surveys
Kathy Schrock is the Administrator for Technology for the Nauset Public Schools in Massachusetts, but is better known as the creator of Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators. She is a highly acclaimed educational technology guru, and her articles, web sites, and books have helped countless teachers, students, and educators. She has a helpful series of web site evaluation guides for students that we and many other educators have made great use of.
Jog the Web
Jog the Web is a web-based tool that allows anyone to create a synchronous guide to a series of web sites. Its a step-by-step approach to taking viewers through web sites, allowing the author to annotate and ask guiding questions for each page.
Public Domain Images
To help you avoid infringing on copyright protection, EdTechTeacher has prepared an extensive list of Internet sources for public domain images, with an eye towards the humanities. Please check individual images you find at these sites to determine if there are any restrictions on usage.