As I come across educational links, I'm always trying to think how my classroom teachers might utilize the resource--as well as myself. We are very fortunate as every classroom at my two schools is equipped with a SmartBoard. My media centers have a projector and whiteboard but I use an Airliner/Smart Tablet as my wall space didn't allow for easy reachable access for either students or myself. It has worked pretty well for my applications and PPT presentations with my information skill lessons.
Vocabulary is a big item in our testing criteria. A few years ago, I shared a site with my teachers called "Visual Thesaurus" (once free but for purchase now). Just recently I came across a very similar resource that is free called Visuwords http://www.visuwords.com/. I think that it would be a great resource for teachers to use as they introduce new vocabulary. Additionally it provides experience in reading graphic organizers.
Another free site to promote vocabulary is the Visual Dictionary Online http://visual.merriam-webster.com/ which is based on images rather than words--it features more than 6,000 images with 15 major themes that span from Astronomy to Sports. The site features diagrams that label important parts of the item with a short definition provided as well.
Sometimes a helpful way to introduce new concepts or vocabulary is to compare it with a term the students already know. For a quick search with uncomplicated information, Diffen http://www.diffen.com/ allows you to "compare, contrast and find the difference between any two things." I hope this might be a helpful resource for my first grade teachers when they discuss the concepts of "living" and "nonliving." If you request a search and come up without results, you can request a search article on your topics; however the site does not indicate how long until your request will be made available.
Back to my Web 2.0 quest:
Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day has organized a list of 25 Tools: A Toolbox for Learning Professionals 2009 http://janeknight.typepad.com/pick/2009/06/another-milestone.html) --many are free online resources and several include tutorials. Here's the link to the full directory which includes over 3,000 entries and where 3/4 of items are free http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/Directory/
It does take time to locate and test some of these sites but it is so amazing what is available for free online!! I hope this blog helps to promote some of these sites to other librarians and educators--if I can use them, so can you!!