This article lists 10 websites I highly recommend for students and their parents. In parenthesis next to the URL is a label listing the site’s intended audience: parents, students, or home school parents.
1. Studystack: http://www.studystack.com (students, home school parents). My student’s test scores improved by 24% when I started using this website instead of study guides for tests. Studystack is a free web application that lets parents, teachers, or tutors create electronic flashcards (called “study stacks”) by typing a question into a box on the left and its answer in a box on the right. (I recommend creating about 20 study stacks at a time and then saving them.) Study Stack converts these into flashcards, games, and quizzes students can use to study. The games are easy and fun; my students loved logging on. Each study stack set has its own unique URL, so give students the specific name of the stack after saving it so they can find it.
2. Bubbl.us: https://bubbl.us (students, home school parents). This is a free, easy to use, web based bubble map application. Students can create an account and start creating bubble map graphic organizers quickly. There are plenty of colors to use to color code bubbles and show relationships between information. When they’re done, they can save the map and print it. Large maps print on two to four pages. A great way for visual learners to organize information and study.
3. Glogster: http://edu.glogster.com (students, home school parents). This is a section of Glogster especially for students and teachers. If you’re not familiar, Glogster is a web site where users create virtual posters that include text, other colored graphics, photos, and video. Students and teachers can create free accounts and use Glogster.edu to create virtual posters for projects and presentations. There is a gallery you can visit to see examples at the bottom of the home page (use the link above).
4. Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/ (students, home school parents, and parents). This is the best free word cloud creation application I have found. You do not have to create an account to make word clouds. Simply copy and paste text from a document, article, or book passage into the box, specify the fonts and font colors you’d like to use, and click “create”. This will create a “cloud” of the most used words in the passage you pasted into the box. Easy way for visual learners to find the main ideas in text.
5. The Teacher’s Corner Word Search Maker: http://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/word-search/word-search.php (home school parents). You do not have to create an account to use this free word search maker either. Specify the number or columns and rows you’d like in your puzzle along with the shape (diamond, square, etc.). After entering the words, it is easy to print the puzzle. I’ve used this web site more times than I can count!
6. Pete’s Power Point Station: http://www.pppst.com/ (home school parents). This is a free collection of Power Points for every grade and subject that home school parents can use in their lessons. Using the link above, navigate to their home page and you will see a list of subjects. Click on the subject you are looking for to see an itemized list of Power Points and the specific topic they cover. For example, after clicking on the “Science” link, users are taken to the Science home page where they can click the (rather long) link to see a breakdown of all Power Points available. This is an easy way for home school teachers to add variety to their child’s lessons. These Power Points are created by teachers and the information is reliable.
7. Book Seer: http://bookseer.com/ (students, parents, home school parents). This free website is great for everyone! Bookseer helps readers choose the next book they might want to read if they’re having trouble deciding. Use the link above to reach the homepage. From there, type the name of the last book you read on the designated line followed by the author’s full name. Click the arrow you see at the end of the author’s name. Bookseer will show you a list of books you might like based on the last book you read.
8. Vuvox: http://www.vuvox.com/ (students, parents, home school parents). This is a free media creation application. Users create a variety of media projects (such as film strips) to show their creativity. Teachers can use this as a creative way to present new material or summarize units/ textbook chapters. It’s very easy to use, too. There are three different tools to use - Studio, Collage, and Express - depending on the information you want to present and how you want to present it.
9. Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/ (students, parents, home school parents). This is another free website where users can create animated movies! With a free account you can create mini animated movies (“meme”) and save them online. It’s like having a small animation studio. Students and home school parents can use this program to create animations as a way to present content (example: these would be a great way to present book reports).
10. Livebinders: http://www.livebinders.com/welcome/home (students, parents, home school parents). This last web site is a free organization tool that anyone can use. Users sign up for a free account and can start creating online binders quickly and easily. Simply click to create a new binder, create and label tabs and subtabs, and start saving your web resources and documents to your binder. It’s an easy way to collect remember web pages, keep them organized, and include documents all in one secure virtual storage space. Follow this link to see sample binders: http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/featured. Visit this page to see some of the creative ways people are using Livebinders.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please take a minute to leave a comment, Like this post on Facebook, or Tweet the post via Twitter using the buttons on the right side of my blog page. If you have questions about whether a tutor is right for you or if you would like advice for your unique situation, feel free to E-mail me using the “E-mail Jeff S.” button on my Wyzant tutor home page.