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On-line Resources for Teachers

The Internet has a wealth of information and resources for teachers, and has become one the largest reference database in existence. No where else can you find so many resouces on so many topics all in one place. In this unit we will examine several on these on-line resources that are available for teachers.

Gateway Sites

Gateway sites are sites that provide useful links to other websites that provide services and or activities related to one specific topic. In the early days of the Internet, these were referred to as Links sites because they provided links to other websites but had very little, if any, content of their own. Some popular gateway sites are listed below.

Professional Associations

One of the largest professional associations for teachers of English as a second or foreign language is TESOL; however, there are many others. By using the Internet to access these orginiaztion's websites, it is easy to stay informed and updated of changes in the field of ESL. The links below are to several professional organizations that serve the ESL community.

Journals and Newsletters

Electronic journals and newsletters are widely available on practically any topic you can imagine. Electronic journals and newsletters can be used as a means of staying informed about topics of interest or as a source of entertainment. Many websites have newsletters that keep visitors to the website informed and updated. As discussed in class, Topica.Com is home to over 40,000 such newsletters. Here is a list of other journals and newsletters.

Newsgroups

Before the web as we know it existed there were newsgroups, which are networks of discussion groups that are openly accessible over the Internet rather than through e-mail. There used to be two networks that house newsgroups. One was USENET and the other was BITNET. Because the two networks were similar in nature and used by many of the same institutions, BITNET began posting their mailing lists on the Usenet in the bit.* hierarchy by the end of the 1980's. by 1996, it was clear that the Internet was providing a range of communication capabilities that fulfilled BITNET's roles, so CREN ended their support and the network slowly faded away.

Posting of messages to a newsgroup can be accomplished through the news feature of most browsers, or with sepcial software that is downloadable from the Internet. You also need a membership to a news server that carries the newsgroups. To see how newsgroups work visit Google Groups where you can post to and read almost all newsgroups in the Usenet network.

Academic Databases

Academic databases educational research articles on many topics related to teaching and education. The most popular educational database is the ERIC Digest. Other less well know academic databases include

Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias

On-line dictionaries provide quick and easy help when you need to find the definition of a word. Many on-line dictionaries even provide sound files that will help you with pronunciation of difficult words. One such dictionary is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

The resources listed on this page represent only a small fraction of those available on the Internet. It is not possible in a course such as this to discuss all the possible resources that are on the web. It is hoped that this brief introduction will inspire you to search for more resources and make them part of your teacher resource collection when you begin your teaching career.

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