Happy International Internet Day!

International Internet Day

On this day in 1969, a message was sent from one computer to another, thus marking the birth of the Internet.

Computer programmers Robert Taylor and Larry Roberts established a connection between two computers, one at UCLA and another Stanford Research Institute. Says one witness of the event:

“‘We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI …’, Kleinrock … said in an interview: ‘We typed the L and we asked on the phone,

‘Do you see the L?’
‘Yes, we see the L,’ came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, ‘Do you see the O.’
‘Yes, we see the O.’
Then we typed the G, and the system crashed …

Yet a revolution had begun…” (Wikipedia)

It didn’t go perfectly, but it made history!

Conclusion: Connected Educator Month

For our last Connected Educator Month guest post, Mike Grant has a challenge for you all.

For our final Tech Tuesday during Connected Educator month, I have no links or tips but more of a challenge. So far we have given you a lot of ways to connect to other educators so you can receive all kinds of great tips and tricks from them. Now your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to contribute back to your network by posting your own tips or tricks and having conversations. Good luck in your mission.


EdTech Cheat Sheet

I discovered this treasure thanks to my PLN (Professional Learning Network). I follow ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) on Facebook, and they post some really great content.

There are a lot of EdTech (educational technology) buzzwords that float around. Many of them describe similar or overlapping concepts, and it’s hard to keep up! Thankfully, there is now a cheat sheet to clarify it all!

EdTech Cheat Sheet

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Teaching Blogs and Freebies

Here’s another post from our Connected Educators Month series. I have two great teacher blogs to share with you: What the Teacher Wants and Teaching Resources. Both blogs post several times daily, with great lesson plans, free handouts, and creative classroom ideas.

Here’s the Connected Educator part: I follow these two blogs through their Facebook pages. That means that all of their content is delivered straight to my Facebook feed, something that I check daily. It’s a great way to keep up with the wonderful ideas these two teachers are posting about, and to stay connected to what’s going on in the greater world of education. In addition to great ideas and lesson plans, many teaching blogs (these two included) have “freebies,” worksheets, class signs, and activity packets that you can download and use in your own class.

Bonus tip: Both sites frequently feature content available on Teachers Pay Teachers. TPT is a big deal these days: it’s a website that is chock full of handouts and lessons available for a small fee. There is so much content there, but it can be overwhelming, so I love how the blogs I follow feature certain content that they’ve hand-picked as high quality.

A New Look for Encyclopaedia Britannica

Hopefully, you’re all already aware of the amazing resource we have at our fingertips: Encyclopaedia Britannica School Edition. Britannica is the gold standard for encyclopedias, and its online content (available through the Applewild library website) is the perfect starting point for any and all research projects. The site has recently undergone quite the facelift, though, so I thought I’d point out a few things.

The Home Page

Home Page

It’s pretty easy to spot this change: the home page has been refined and simplified. It’s now so easy to choose a level and search from the home page. Hovering over each level reveals a search box, so you don’t even need to click through to start searching! The middle level replaces what used to be Compton’s Encyclopedia.


Tabbed Search

Search results and articles are now tabbed, so even if you selected the elementary level (level 1), you can still see what comes up for middle (level 2) and high (level 3). This is really handy, because if you’re reading the middle level entry on Halloween and finding that it doesn’t quite cover what you need, one click will take you to the more detailed Halloween entry in the high level.

Content Types

Content types

There is now a sidebar that allows you to sort your results by content type. If you’re specifically looking for images, this is where you can easily narrow your search. This new sidebar also highlights a feature that was always there, but got little attention: the “Web’s Best Sites” feature. In addition to having its own content, Britannica has curated several outside websites that have good-quality content. Selecting this content type will give you a list of non-Britannica websites with content related to whatever you’re searching.



Britannica always had a built-in dictionary, but now it’s even easier to use. Simply double-click on a word, and a definition (from Merriam-Webster dictionary) pops up.

Table of Contents button

Table of Contents

To help with navigation, each heading within the article is accompanied by a button that will display the entire article’s contents, so students can easily skip to another section.

In general, the new layout has much less “noise,” so students should have a much easier time finding what they’re looking for. All the content in each article displays on one page, so students no longer have to click through several pages to find what they’re looking for (or neglect to see the multiple pages and miss out on lots of content). The interface is cleaner and more modern, and the content really shines through.

A great improvement! Go check it out!

National Park Service for Teachers





Update: Shortly after I posted this, the NPS did, in fact, shut down all its web content, as well. Sad! So bookmark this one for another time. Thanks to Anne D. for discovering this.


National Parks Service

So you can’t visit National Parks in person due to the government shutdown. Thankfully, there is still lots of great content available online via the National Parks Service to take you on a virtual field trip!

The NPS website for teachers offers distance learning, videos, and materials lists. Their lesson plans are searchable by grade level and subject, so you can easily find standards-aligned lessons on everything from wild horses to Ben Franklin.

There’s lots of content here, and I love the idea of learning about history, biology, and ethics through the lens of our nation’s landmarks.