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Useful resources for all teachers

21st century learning

  • Galileo Educational Network - Calgary's Galileo Education Network is dedicated to improving student, teacher and leaders learning through creating and researching 21st century learning environments. Explore their classroom exemplars of inquiry-based studies, many of them award-winning.
  • Inquiry-Based Instruction- In this brief video, author and professor Jeffrey Wilhelm discusses whether, and why, teachers are using inquiry in classrooms now.
  • Universal Design for Learning - A comprehensive website about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which provides a framework for understanding how to create curricula that meets the needs of all learners.
  • Kindergarten- The Globe and Mail's series examining the effects on students on full-day, play-based kindergarten as implemented in Ontario.

Evidence-based practice

  • Best Evidence Encyclopedia - Provides reviews of research-proven educational programs to help decision makers chose among the many available programs. It will answer questions like 'Does the Reading Recovery Program work, and for which students?'
  • What Works Clearinghouse - From the United States Department of Education, the intent of this website is to to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. Includes practice guides.
  • Teaching and Learning Toolkit - A British online toolkit, based on a review of the best educational research, to help teachers and schools identify the most promising and cost-effective ways to support disadvantaged pupils.
  • How Youth Learn - Focuses on adolescents - what relevant research says, what students say, exemplary practices in schools and educator resources - all from the •What Kids Can Do."

Good lesson plan sites

  • Understanding by Design - And overview of UBC and their design template, but this document also shows examples of how lessons can be re-worked to the UBD model.
  • Intel Education Idea Showcase: Unit Plan Index - Examples of very complete units that use a project approach to to engage students in authentic work and develop 21st- century skills of collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking. See also their tabs for project design, thinking skills etc.
  • Project Exchange - An online workspace to share best examples of project-based learning design and implementation,. Although created for teachers in "Envision Schools", a non-profit high school charter school organization in San Francisco, it is open to all teachers to learn from and contribute to. Many projects are cross-curricular, most integrate arts and technology, and all are driven by important questions.
  • Lesson Planet - Find lesson plans related to the Alberta curriculum by typing 'Alberta curriculum" in the search box. In advanced search you can narrow by subject as well as grade. There is an annual fee for this service, after a free trial period.

Diversity in the classroom

  • Diversity Toolkit- University of Calgary Education Professor Darren Lund's toolkit to assist teachers, students, scholars or any activists who wish to promote equity and the acceptance of differences within schools and communities.
  • First Nations, Metis and Inuit Collection - Developed at the University of Lethbridge as a resource for integrating FNMI into all subjects, at all grade levels. Search for either lesson plans or resources (but it's worth viewing the video about searching first)
  • Bullying- From the the Alberta Civil Liberties Association.

Online educational videos

  • Annenberg Media Teacher Resources - Annenberg Media funds and distributes educational video programs for use in K-12 classrooms or for the professional development of teachers. Many of their excellent videos are available to view free 'on demand' through this website.
  • National Film Board of Canada - Hundreds of NFB films are available to view here. Free for personal use and on a subscription basis for schools and institutions (check to see if your school division has a subscription)
  • PBS Learning Media - An online library of more than 16,000 free media resources, including almost 4,200 video clips (plus interactives and lesson plans) from U.S. public television. Click on 'browse all subjects' to access menu that allow you to choose by type of media, grade, subject etc.
  • Internet Archive: Moving Images - This library of free movies, films, and videos contains thousands of digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to cartoons and concerts. Many of these videos are available for free download.
  • TED Talks - Videotalks by the fascinating speakers and world-renowed experts invited to the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference. Almost all provide something new to think about
  • Academic Earth - Videotaped lectures from leading professors at six major U.S. universities (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton. You may not want to show whole lectures in your classroom, but a great way for teachers to increase their own background knowledge.
  • CBC Digital Archives - Digital archive of CBC TV and Radio Programs, going back as far as 1949, with a section specifically for teacher use in the classroom.
  • Australian Screen: Education - Clips from Australian documentaries, feature films, television and even home movies, going back to the 1890s. The Education section is designed by Education Services Australia to help teachers and students make the most of the resources of the site.
  • Khan Academy- Particularly known for its extensive collection of online math videos, but has a growing collection of science videos as well as some history.


  • Interactives - Online interactives that can enhance and improve students' skills in a variety of curricular areas: math, science, language arts, history and arts. From Annenberg Media.
  • The Virtual Piano - Too cool not to include! A virtual instrument on which you can play melodies with your mouse, chords, using the number pad on your keyboard, and transpose too. An alternative version, that may especially work even better for good typists is at Virtual Piano
  • Sheppard Software - Cool games and quizzes in science, geography, biology, chemistry, astronomy, vocabulary and more.

Pictures (and sounds) for classroom use

  • - Teachers and students can browse through a collection of over 2400 royalty-free and cost-free images by category or search by keyword (just press the images button, instead of the sites button. Many are chosen for connections to the Alberta curriculum.
  • Pics for Learning - A copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students, organized into topic areas and also searchable.
  • Creative Commons Search - A convenient gateway to identify media sources for content you can share, use and remix: including Fotopedia, Open Clip Art, Jamendo (music) etc. Look carefully in each source to find out what the use restrictions are on your selection; eg. in Flickr right click on the selected picture to see the permissions.Find
  • Flickr: The Commons - View copyright free photographs from the world's public photography archives, including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, the McCord Museum etc. Best to use advanced search where you can limit to Creative Commons material.
  • Sound Snaps - Browse and listen to over 200,000 sounds effects. There's a cost for downloading, but you can play them from the website free of charge.
  • Howjsay - A free online talking dictionary of English pronunciation.

Sites for student and teacher research

  • - Five different sites for students (divided by grade level grouping) provide links to websites selected for relevance to the Alberta Curriculum.
  • K-12 Instructional Media Center - Links to over 2,100 carefully selected and annotated resources, in curriculum subjects but also for professional development and using technology in the classroom.
  • Kidsclick - A site created by librarians concerned to direct young people to reputable sites on the internet.
  • IPL Kidspace - A collection of 'kid friendly' links organized by the Internet Public Library.
  • WolframAlpha- For older students this 'computational knowledge engine' offers many possibilities from doing mathematical or scientific calculations to generating maps, to finding statistics on almost anything.

Games and Activities

  • It's All Kids Play - A Canadian site developed by a mother/writer primarily for parents of bored children, but some of the activity and arts and craft ideas might be useful to classroom teachers as well. Contains lots of recipes for various 'ooey gooey' materials.

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