Best of 2003

Best of 2003

Imagining that I was asked to create a virtual time capsule representative of the state of the educational Internet circa 2003, I chose the following five sites. I gleaned them from the hundreds of sites I reviewed this year, which in turn, were picked from thousands of sites visited. As always, it was a nearly impossible task. The following where chosen because I liked their range of subject and audience.

Best of 2003 Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Ansel Adams at 1005 stars

This outstanding multimedia exhibit from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art focuses on seven important Adams works. With every click, there is something beautiful to explore: a photo, an idea, an audio clip, a video, or an interactive activity. To enlarge the thumbnail photos, use your mouse to manipulate the orange "Zoom" and "Pan" controls. Unfortunately the size of the photos is limited by the fixed size of the exhibit browser.

Explore Invention5 stars

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation is part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Jumpstart your exploration by clicking on CenterPieces, a collection of interactive study units, such as The Quartz Watch, The Electric Guitar, and Whole Cloth ("Discovering Science and Technology through American Textile History.") Teachers will appreciate the classroom curriculum found under Short Cuts, and everyone will like the Windows and Macintosh screensaver that features toys invented by Jerome Lemelson.

Figure This5 stars

"When you back up from a small wall mirror, do you see more of yourself?" Figure This! is chock full of eighty printable math challenges and answer sheets for middle schoolers. You can use the challenges online by scanning the Challenge Index or Math Index for intriguing topics, or download them in batches in PDF format for printing and offline use. Parents and teachers will find tips on using the challenges in Family Corner and Teacher Corner, respectively.

Tolerance.org5 stars

Tolerance.org is a project of The Southern Poverty Law Center. It is a winner because it has a kids section (listen to an ancient Turkish folk tale,) a teen page (start a Mix It Up Dialogue at school) and resources for teachers and parents. There are excellent tools and activities behind every click, but of particular interest to me was Hate on the Internet, an annotated tour of real-life hate sites. You'll find it listed under Parents/Online Activities/Age 14 and up.

Up to Ten5 stars

Up To Ten stands out from the crowd because of their originality, variety, bright colors and great sound effects. Over the span of my coloring career, I have come to expect the pictures I am coloring to be still. So, imagine my delight upon discovering animated coloring pictures! Each picture colors a little differently (some require mouse clicks, and others operate with drags) and learning how to color each one is part of the fun. Up To Ten is a must-see site for artists of all ages.

Best of 2003 Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

History of Televised Presidential Debates

PBS Ancestors

Reef Education Network

VRD Learning Center


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Best of 2003." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 31 Dec. 2003. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/best03/ >.


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By . Originally published December 31, 2003. Last modified December 31, 2003.