CHICAGO, IL, June 28, 2011 – At the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced the 2011 Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning. In its third year, the list of websites honors the top 25 Internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. The list is considered the “best of the best” by AASL.

CK-12 Foundation’s FlexBook site (www.ck12.org) was named to the list for the first time. CK-12 is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook,” CK-12 is pioneering the generation and distribution of high-quality educational content that serves as core text and provides an adaptive environment for learning (www.ck12.org).

The Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning were named so because they foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration. Other websites honored include: Aviary, Conduit, Digital Vaults, Dipity, Edistorm, Edmodo, Exploratorium, Geocube, iCyte, i-Earn, i-nigma QR codes, Kerpoof, Khan Academy, Lingt Language, Microsoft Tag Codes, Myths and Legends, Nota, PicLits, SpicyNodes, Symbaloo, Tagxedo, Yolink Education, You Are What You Read and Zooburst.
“These websites are creative, innovative and fun — and the most important— they support the integration of 21st Century skills into the curriculum,” explains Pam Berger, committee chair. “Together with the two previous year’s winners, educators have an effective, high quality toolbox of Web 2.0 tools to support inquiry learning and the AASL Standards for the 21 St Century Learner.”

The Top 25 are free, web-based sites that are user-friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. They also provide a foundation to support AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The sites offer tools and resources in content collaboration, content resources with lesson plans, curriculum sharing, digital storytelling, managing and organizing and social networking and communication. Each website is linked to one or more of the four strands of the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner – skills, dispositions in action, responsibilities and self-assessment strategies.
Updated annually, the Top 25 Websites is based on feedback and nominations from AASL members. School librarians can nominate their most used Web sites at www.ala.org/aasl/bestlist.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.
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About the Author:

Barb Schrader