Online "concept mapping"

Teachers are very familar with the popular program Inspiration.  I think this program is really great, easy to use and surprisingly versatile.  However, it is (relatively) expensive and sometimes too much.  Here are three web-based versions of something similar (including a fantastic version by Inspiration *bias alert*).  My pros and cons are based on very limited use (read: first impressions).  If I'm wrong about any of them, please let me know.  Also, I imagine the developers will constantly be adding functionality to these (at least I hope so) and so some of the cons may disappear!


  • PRO: everything you love about inspiration... only online

  • CON: no offline mode, user account required, makes me wonder how they will sustain their pay version, so good I wonder what the catch is :-)

Webspiration - [Family Photo Collage]

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

  • PRO: Looks good, easy to use, no sign-up required to create (but you will need one to save), free, prints nicely, collaborative functionality

  • CON: No outline feature, no "clip art", no font control | Home

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


  • PRO: easy to use, offline mode, some font control, simple graphics

  • CON: for-pay version has more functions, less "organized" (i.e. more linear) for younger users

Mind Map: Creating a video - MindMeister

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Alltop - Your Internet "magazine rack"

alltop defined

You know how you browse through a magazine rack at a bookstore and read the headlines until you find one that grabs your eye... then you pick up the magazine to read the article. Well, there is a website that does the same kind of thing. Alltop pulls headlines (and links to the articles) from many of the top websites and blogs on the internet. Since they are all categorized, it makes it really easy to find just the topics that interest you. Try out alltop Education, alltop ADHD, alltop Celebrities, and alltop Green for examples. I've used alltop for some time now and I really like it. They constantly add new topic areas and it is a neat place to find out new things in a minimal amount of time.

Top 100 Tools for Learning

So, a week or so ago my principal signed up for a account. I'm really happy about that, honestly, I could not keep my online links organized without delicious. Apparently, lots of other people think the same way. Delicious recently topped the list of the top 100 tools for learning (narrowly beating out Firefox). I use 7 of the top 10 all the time but this list has plenty of new places for me to explore. You should too.

Office 2.0

Office 1.0

You know, Office 2.0 is one of those places you stumble on and realize how cool the Internets are. It is really staggering how many quality, free products are out there that, if you a) know about them, and b) have enough time to play around with some of them, can really make your life more productive and fun. Fortunately, the site Office 2.0 is dedicated to taking care of #a. So, pull up the Office 2.0 Database and take a look around.

I would really like to know what anyone out there thinks of any of these sites? Do you use any of them? Do you know of something different and/or better?

Math Time!

There are some excellent math websites out there. I wanted to stay away from the "drill and kill" game sites (you can find those on your own) and look for sites that promoted critical thinking and problem solving skills. Enjoy.

All of these sites will open in a new window.

* Bess may filter these... but they should work from home.

Let's Organize

There are a ton of resources out there dedicated to organizing links, information, news, music, pictures and more. Below is a list of some of the ones that I use all the time. What is great about these is that you can use them to share stuff, you can tag content so you can find it again later, and they are all fairly easy to use (at least I think so). Check them out and let me know if you would like to learn more about any of them. I will be happy to show you how they might enhance or expand your teaching (or personal productivity).