Friday, February 15, 2013

Best of the Web

I recently put together a list of web pages for a library program called "Best of the Web."  The program is meant to point out fun and useful web sites.  We talk a little about search strategy and where to find the really good stuff online, since search engines are a crap-shoot on what's really quality information, not to mention you have to know what you're looking for.

In putting together the program, I started going through my Delicious links.  I have a lot of old, dead links that need to be cleared out.  I was also reminded of some really fun and interesting web sites that I had forgotten about.  Here I will highlight some of the "Best of the Web."


Create your own Picasso-esque head! Choose from differently-shaped faces, eyes, noses, lips, etc.  You can even add a signature to the picture.  Fun!

National Geographic Animals 

I mean, it's National Geographic!  The animal portion of the NatGeo site is filled with beautiful pictures, fast facts, videos, and articles about every possible creature.  Animal lovers can browse to their heart's content, and students will find all kinds of useful information for reports and homework.

Eyes on the Solar System

This site requires a plug-in for your browser, but it's really, really, REALLY cool.  You can set course for a planet, or the sun, or some other spot in the solar system, and zoom in to see features like craters, landscape, etc.  You can ride an astroid or watch the solar system move in real time. The images are from real NASA mission data.

Story Time for Me

Choose a character, such as Ben the Mouse, Fern the Fox, or Flame the Dragon.  Then choose a story.  The story is read aloud, and the words are highlighted as the voice goes along.  The pages turn like real book pages.  There are 17 different stories just in the Fern the Fox series, and they're nice, cute little stories.  A child could be entertained for a while on this web site, completely free.

Playbill Vault

Find original playbills!  The example screenshot (left) is from West Side Story at Winter Garden Theatre in 1959.  You can search by play title, performer, theater, playwrite, musicians, and more.  For example, a search for "Leonard Bernstein" results in a list of his plays with links to original playbill images.  Very cool!

Other Goodies:

Learn many, many languages FREE with interactive drills, audio, and more.

Bug Guide

Poster Street
Free to use anywhere!

Quiz Hub

The Vega Science Trust Videos

Michigan Online Legal Self-Help Center

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