A range of internet portal sites are helping teachers safely navigate the web and are being hailed as valuable time-saving resources. Several portals have cropped up in recent years, and though they are different in some respects, all basically promising the same benefits.

Among the companies offering portals to the K-12 market—as well as to students and parents—are INET Library, Electronic SchoolHouse, Family Education Network (FEN), Lycos, Lightspan Partnership, Copernicus Interactive, and ZapMe!

Most have partnered with or purchased publishers to offer high-quality content to users. FEN, for example, has acquired the online almanac and encyclopedia company Information Please, which will provide resources to TeacherVision.com. And Copernicus has partnered with USA Today and Encyclopedia Britanica to provide content on its Educational Gateway site (http://www.edgate.com).

While many of the portal sites are provided to educators for free, the trade-off is that they are likely supported by banner advertising, though the ads typically are more selective than they are on general web portals.