netwatch.jpg (4487 bytes) By Teachers
For Teachers

In this issue, we look at three sites that teachers will definitely want to bookmark for classroom use.

By Denys Gigučre

teacheasy.jpg (39542 bytes) TEACHEASY.NET ( has all it takes to be relevant to Ontario teachers – it is made in Ontario, by teachers, for teachers.

A visit to actually makes you feel like you’ve just entered a teachers’ lounge – a place where you can have frank discussions about the profession, test lesson plans and activities and give an opinion on the day-to-day classroom reality.

What is most impressive about this site is that everything here has an Ontario stamp on it. The downloads – some are free – meet Ontario curriculum standards, the links take you mostly to Ontario and Canadian sites and the store offers products geared toward Ontario teachers and students. You can even find a field trip planner that takes you from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to Wye Marsh in Midland.

If the reaction the site is getting from teachers in the comments section is an indication, this is definitely a site that you will want to bookmark. A word of caution, however – the weekly smile column may not be to all teachers’ taste.


studentlink.jpg (42153 bytes) STUDENTLINK.ORG ( is a web site available by subscription – some school boards already subscribe – designed to make Internet use and research more relevant for teachers and students. This is another example of a web site designed by teachers for teachers – Jim Finan of the Durham Catholic District School Board is the lead developer – and it is available for Windows and Mac.


The site includes material specifically put together for Catholic schools and public schools and covers Grade 1 to Grade 8 curriculum requirements. It lists more than 2,500 links updated monthly related to specific grades and Ontario Curriculum subjects.

A click on the Grade 7 page, for example, brings up a list of 15 subjects from language arts, mathematics and to reference tools and Computers and the Internet. A click on any one of them opens up a world of resources – all of them appropriate and relevant to the grade, making it safe for students. There are so many links you will have to be disciplined to avoid straying from the task you set out to do.

The strength of the web site resides in its relevance and up-to-date information. Its weakness may be its static visual appearance. This is not the most user-friendly site to navigate but the few extra steps are well worth it.


cbc4kids.jpg (47257 bytes) CBC4KIDS.CA

CBC4kids ( is a-one-of-a-kind web site that is designed for teachers and for children. A neat feature of this site is that it also has a section for parents, dealing with safety issues and the CBC’s advertising policy, providing information on CBC resources available to parents and explaining the system requirements to use the site to its fullest.

The section of the site designed for teachers offers do-it-yourself experiments, complete with over-view, purpose, preparation, lesson strategy as well as useful links to related sites.

The site also offers teaching strategies and tips, lesson plans, technical tips – how to build a web page, for example – as well as a staff room where teachers can join online discussions and share ideas about lesson plans. The CBC Educational Resources section is worth a visit – in particular the online media literacy lab Newzone which explains the inner workings of newsmaking.

The children’s section of the site is fun and instructive – it features games, quizzes, news, polls and useful resources like a guide to babysitting. There is also a Clubhouse accessible only by members. Membership is free and required to ensure the safety of the site.

A link is available from the CBC4kids web site to Radio-Canada Jeunesse, French CBC’s web site for kids.

The web has come a long way in just a few years and the computer is gradually replacing the TV for some kids. Fun and interactive sites like CBC4kids are part of the reason why.