Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Resources for Teaching Digital Literacy

Search Tools

Search is the essential 21st century skill. Developing search literacy in students should be the priority of our education. Teachers and students need the ability, search tools and strategies to effectively mine for information,  evaluate and validate information.

FindingEducation, it’s for teachers to find best education resources on the web , backed by FindingDulcinea’s hand-selected and professionally edited education resource library. Teachers can manage, organize and share their links, and create web-based assignment their students. FindingDulcinea is the creator of sweetsearch for students, it’s also an excellent search engine for educators. SweetSearch has integrated Yolink, a tool that highlights keywords, showing where the term is used and in what context, so that anyone can quickly scan a search results page and easily determine which results will be most helpful for a particular task. See how quickly you can evaluate the full first page of 20 results! The search terms and surrounding context can then be saved, with one click, to a Google Doc (with the link included), EasyBib’s citation generator, or a social bookmarking service. So you not only can find what you’re looking for in seconds, but you can be sharing it with colleagues moments later. (from A search engine for educators

Check out this Web search tutorial called “Ten Steps to Better Web Research” by SweetSearch, this presentation provides background, reference material: Teaching the Ten Steps to Better Web Research.

WolframAlpha, it’s a real know-it-all, instead of sending users to another source for information, this “computational knowledge engine” answers questions as completely as it knows how. It’s particularly good at math problems, since the site is built on Mathematica, but it will take a stab at answering anything.

Twurdy is a search engine with readability index, it gives a color code for returned web pages that are keyed to reading difficulty, it also gives a reading score for each page, it’s an search engine aimed to provide web searchers with information that is most appropriate for them.

Yolink is an online research assistant, it helps you find relevant links within large amounts of text and deep links within search results, and by using its share and save features, you will always be able to give proper attribution and be a resource to others. YolinkEducation provides resources for teaching search literacy.

Twoogle lets you search multiple social sites and search engines from one page.

WorldWide Science is a search engine that hopes to make sharing scientific knowledge as easy as possible. Developed by the US Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), WorldWideScience is a simple website that combines national and international scientific databases and portals into a one-stop shop. It also enables real-time searching and translation of material from all around the globe.

The Infopeople Project is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.There are best search tools listing for different purposes, search tools comparison table, and more …

To find the best search tool for your information needs, this is a thorough list from NoodleTools.

The Link Directory for Google Custom Search Engines has hundreds of links to Google CSE web sites in all areas of interest, you can find search engines that are very specific to your topic for better search results.

100 Time-Saving Search Engines for Serious Scholars,  undergraduates and grad students alike. These search engines let them to find books, journal articles and even primary source material for whatever kind of research they’re working on and that return only serious, academic results.

Ref Seek is a search engine designed for academic use. Ref Seek seems to eliminate the advertising and paid links found on Google, Ask, Yahoo, and other commercial search engines. Ref Seek’s intention is to serve only search results that are academic in nature.

13 Alternative Search Engines that find what Google can’t, such as searching music, video, files, cooking recipes, tickets, local shops … Remember to check out this article from The Digital Shift (School Library Journal): Wary of Google? Try These Alternative Search Tools 

Top free resources for teaching and learning digital literacy is a portal to serve as a valuable resource to practitioners who are delivering digital literacy training and services in their communities. Jumpstarted by a federal interagency working group dedicated to spurring the advancement of digital literacy across all stages of learning, the Digital Literacy portal organizes content conveniently, enables valuable discussion and collaboration among users. Educators have their own dedicated link loaded with education resources.

Digital Literacy Resources from Cornell University is a great site covering privacy and internet, copyright resource, research guide, your right as an author, plagiarism resource and about academic integrity.

21Things for Students was created by a grant from the REMC Association of Michigan for the creation of an educational resource for educational technology for students. Members of the REMC Instructional Technology Specialists in Michigan along with teachers from the state, have created this site to provide project-based activities which are aligned to the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S), and the Michigan Educational Technology Standards for students (METS) as well as the Framework for 21st Century Learning identified by the Partnership For 21st Century Skills. was developed by the Rights Industry Forum, a working group of representatives from the licensing bodies that provide licences for the use of copyright material in the schools sector. The website allows schools to check the copyright permissions they need for a variety of activities in their school environment.

Partnered with Common Sense MediaConnectSafelythe National Consumers League, Google launched a new digital literacy portal called ThinkB4U. ThinkB4U combines “choose-your-own-adventure” style videos with expert advice from leading online safety NGOs and the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online resources.

Google Search Education Evangelism site offers  9 lesson plans for teaching search, along with master lesson presentations for each of the classes. It’s for middle school students to trained professionals. Google Search Education is a great educational resource from Google. The site has lesson plans and live training to help students, and teachers, learn how to search and develop critical and independent thinking skills. Google has developed an interactive curriculum on YouTube to support teachers in educating students on how to be safe, engaged and confident model netizens. Each lesson comes with guidelines for teachers and ready-made slides for presentation. There’s also a YouTube Curriculum channel where videos related to the project will be posted.

Edmodo created  a new resource for educators, the “Digital Citizenship Starter Kit,” which includes a series of activities and lessons designed to introduce digital citizenship concepts right in Edmodo. All lessons are based on Common Sense Media’s free K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum. (details in this post)


These are resources suggested from Focus on Effectiveness :

November Learning provides an online resource that helps you teach your students how to establish the validity of information on the Web.

Finding Information on the Internet is an online tutorial from the University of California, Berkeley Library. It includes recommended search engines for different purposes.

The SouthEast Initiatives Regional Technology in Education Consortium offers Internet Search Tools Quick Reference Guide for students and teachers.

The Internet Archive allows teachers and students to analyze how a Web site has changed over time.

This site allows you to identify the owner of most Web sites, which may be an important tool for discovering who or what is behind the information.


Professor Garfield provides an environment where children can safely create, interact, read, engage, and express themselves through a variety of innovative online tools including an e-book reader and comics lab. (Top 25 websites selected by ALA in 2010)

Bing Critical Thinking ebook – ready-to-use curriculum resources for teaching, including detailed lesson plans, student worksheets, and class demonstrations. – lesson plans to teach informal logic and critical thinking in 21st century classroom

TregoED – aiming to improve critical thinking and decision-making skills among students and educators through collaborative online tools and workshops

Wolfgram Memorial Library: Evaluating Webpages – tutorials and exercises on recognizing the kinds and quality of web information

The Common Sense Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum – Designed to teach 5th–8th graders ethical behavior in a digital world and mapped to ISTE Digital Citizenship standards. Lesson plans use interactive content and role-play to teach living a responsible digital life, managing privacy online, building respectful relationships online, expressing yourself while protecting your reputation,and respecting creative work.

NewsTrust for Teachers – Resources for teaching students how to recognize good journalism. Includes overviews, tutorials on reviewing news articles, and teacher guides.

The News Literacy Project is an innovative national educational program that is mobilizing seasoned journalists to help middle school and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age.The project’s primary aim is to teach students the critical thinking skills they need to be smarter and more frequent consumers and creators of credible information across all media and platforms.

Information Literacy Portal by University of Idaho, for 21st century classroom

Evaluating Web Pages : Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask by UC Berkeley

Free online  tools and resources from “Partnership for 21st century skills“- an organization formed by department of education, businesses and orgnizations to advocate 21st century skills education for students, the skill framework and detail skills description for different ages are available

Creative Commons – in here you will find all the resources needed to learn appropriate use of Creative Commons licensing for written, graphic and multimedia content

ConnectSafely – a comprehensive directory of online safety resources for teaching in 21st century classroom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that has no government affiliations of any kind. Its purpose is to provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias. It’s dedicated to research the pros and cons of social networking and controversial issues.

Teaching Copyright – a project of Electronic Frontier Foundation, it provides lessons and ideas for opening your classroom up to discussion, letting your students express their ideas and concerns, and then guiding your students toward an understanding of the boundaries of copyright law.

Web 20.11 is an online resource for educators in the areas of media literacy, Internet safety, Web. 2.0, presentation tools, and blogs from education experts, it’s provided by Discovery Education. This resource will let teachers talk and teach web2.0 tools and technologies in no time.

The Media Education Lab at Temple University is one of a small handful of research university programs that focuses specifically on the intersections of media studies, communication and education. They collect free teaching resources of media literacy here.

The Media Spot integrates media literacy education through digital media production in schools, classrooms, afterschool programs, and other educational settings

Plagiarism Checker can help you find out whether a student’s paper has been copied from the Internet, it’s free

Information Literacy Weblog – it brings you news, reports, resources about information literacy around the world

The Carnegie Cyber Academy is an interactive game designed for fourth and fifth graders that teaches Internet safety and computer security in a safe, fun setting. Created by Carnegie Mellon’s Information Networking Institute and Carnegie Mellon CyLab, the game is a free download from this website, provided as part of the university’s outreach project for cyberawareness called MySecureCyberspace.

Easybib –  The Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Maker, Create a Works Cited instantly in MLA, APA, or Chicago!

BeSeen is provided by Carnegie Mellon University and Web Wise Kids to teach youth how to be responsible in social networks by securing their private and personal information, protecting their online reputation and defending their peers. This online safety mobile application is a single-player game(iPhone App) that simulates a social networking website.

ThinkQuest – A learning platform where teachers and students create learning projects and collaborate online. Over 7000 websites have been created by students for students. The projects demostrate sophistications of digital literacies and extend learning in 21st century classroom beyond the walls.

Bookmark :

Open content: Share, Remix, Learn – from K12 Open Ed


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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