Websites I liked this week:
Least helpful reviews on the net (mostly Amazon).
Favorite reviews so far (people who missed the forest for the trees and accidentally burned them all down).
These next sites want to help stamp out reviews like those above:
The National Repository of Online Courses. http://www.montereyinstitute.org/nroc/nrocdemos.html It's a free (my favorite word) site with online courses. My ninth grader is working on the Civics course this week, and it's terrific. Well organized, well written, easily understandable so the student can work alone, and the student sets the pace. There are a ton of really excellent educational lectures and courses, for high school and beyond, but most of them are not free.
I am thinking of subscribing to this one :http://educator.com/ , also for the ninth grader. It's only thirty five dollars a month, and the courses look pretty good. Thirty five bucks is pretty damn reasonable, especially in light of some online schools which are hundreds of dollars by the time you've worked through the course load.
This next site http://www.powa.org/ is dedicated only to writing, and my daughter and I have only just started to explore the site, but so far it looks very practical, helpful, and well organized. It's an interesting concept. I am having a really difficult time trying to teach my ninth grader how to develop writing skills beyond the basic essay, and I am hoping this site can help us.
One more site with various web listings that claim to be free (I haven't spent much time looking through the individual courses yet);
Two websites that I hear advertised on NPR all the time but I'd never bothered looking up till this week:
http://www.edutopia.org/ (funded by George Lucas) and http://www.learner.org/index.html (the Annenberg Foundation). These aren't school classes so much as resources for educators. The resources seem to be free, the classes for credit are not.
One last site that I used this week with the ninth grader: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/index.html. I love this site. I love that NASA is trying really hard to combat all this Doomsday nonsense, I love that they are spending time and money to educate people, especially young people, and I love the list of websites under 9-12 grade learning.