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Look Way Up Dictionary/Thesaurus - RES Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate...more
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate word that is NOT the intended word. Students can download it to any web browser including those on cell phones. The dictionary itself is extensive; each item shows a series of definitions. Students can then click to see the word used in a sentence, synonyms, and related terms. There is also information on homonyms. Finally, definitions sometimes include a link to more information on the subject, including links to outside sources. The site can translate to and from German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Dutch. Note that there are Google ads on the page, so you will want to be sure that students know to avoid these. The necessary plug-ins for installation on other web browsers are included on the web page.

tag(s): homonyms (12), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Mark his site as a favorite on your classroom computer for ESL and ELL students who have problems looking up words in the dictionary. Make a game with this site: have students deliberately misspell words and see what they come up with. Give prizes to those who can find the worst guesses in the dictionary. Have them calculate how many times the dictionary actually finds the words they were looking for. This will help students understand how important context clues and contextual "does this make sense" strategies are. Students can also opt to sign up for "word of the second."

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Academic Integrity - Ryerson University

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This is an incredibly rich site for teaching and learning about resources, plagiarism, and writing a research paper. Although geared for Ryerson University students, all students can...more
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This is an incredibly rich site for teaching and learning about resources, plagiarism, and writing a research paper. Although geared for Ryerson University students, all students can access the animated "story" told in episodes and many of the resources discussed in the story. Particularly helpful for students are such resources as the Assignment Calculator, which helps plan when to do what, and reference sources to access online. The key draw to this site, however, are the stories which cover unintentional plagiarism, buying or borrowing coursework, cheating on tests and exams, forging/misrepresentation & unauthorized group work, and group work. All of the episodes use the same characters and teachers can download the scripts to preview or use at their discretion as supplemental. Note: the interactive quizzes offered at the end of the series are not accessible to non-Ryerson students. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): cheating (3), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Downloading the scripts would offer an opportunity for groups of students to act out the episodes, always a popular idea. Having 5 groups of students watch different episodes and then report on them is another way to use the site. You can also have students watch certain episodes as assignments or enrichment. Be sure to check out the additional resources shown at the end of each episode. Social studies teachers assigning research projects may want to make these tutorials available for reference at research time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), germany (28), italian (33), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Word Reference - wordreference.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up...more
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up in English, there are links to other dictionary pages where the word appears in a sentence. You can click on the audio button to hear the word spoken in both languages. This feature is only available in more commonly used words

There are also immediate clicks to other languages, so a student could check the same word in Spanish and French very easily. In addition to the translation dictionaries, there are also "English Dictionaries" (non-interactive) available in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic (coming soon). Many of the foreign language dictionaries will increase in volume as the site developers add more vocabulary.

Be aware: this site does include minor advertisements. There is a link to Language Forums. It is probably best to advise students to stay away from the forums.

tag(s): chinese (48), dictionaries (56), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers for use by ESL/ELL and foreign language students or for use when studying derivations and word families in English (compare the same word across several languages to see how close they can be!). Students can take an active role in vocabulary preview work by using this site in prior to reading. Be sure to list this site on your class webpage so students can access this information both in and out of the classroom.

If you are introducing new vocabulary words to your foreign language class. Have them use this site to find the appropriate translations. Then have the students work in cooperative learning groups to create online vocabulary guide books using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to keep the links for future students to use the guides, as well.

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A+ Research & Writing Step-by-Step - Kathryn L. Schwartz

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, ...more
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, or narrow the focus? Are you dreading walking your students through the citation part? This site enables students to go through the process of writing a research paper from choosing a topic through writing the paper, revising, proofreading, and final submission. What makes this site appealing is the use of great graphics and the very simple, one-step-at-a-time approach that makes paper writing less daunting. Links take students to college-specific sites for interactive organizational tools such as mapping and outlining.

In the Classroom

This site helps you help your students and them students to work at their own pace through the pieces that are difficult for them. Use the entire site as a guide for you research process or select different pieces of this site as models when you teach research papers so students can practice right then and there "how to do it." Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page so parents can support students as they approach deadline-panic (and you know some will procrastinate, no matter what you do).

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Bibme - team exibeans

Grades
6 to 12
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who ...more
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who don't remember all the information for the source you cited. BibMe allows you to search from a database of millions of entries to find your source and autofill in the information. If you have the source in front of you, you can enter your entries manually. BibMe also offers resources to help you cite your work properly in the 'Citation Guide' section. It offers examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago formatting, making it useful for a wide variety of schools. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" bibliographies.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

This is a great tool for students who are both learning to cite correctly and as a helpful tool for those who forget some of the "little" things that count when writing a bibliography. It offers a great example, too, of the difference between what is in a "Works Cited" page and what actually appears in the text as a citation. Teachers can use this on a Smartboard or simply through a computer lab or projector to demonstrate the correct way to cite as well as mistakes to avoid. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students finishing reports in the wee hours of the morning on the due date. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" example bibliographies. If you assign independent projects to your gifted students (or any student), be sure to make Bibme part of your instructions so they learn to organize their sources early on. If students are allowed to set up individual accounts, this tool is worth the time! They must be 13 or have parent permission.

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Visuwords - Paul R. Dunn

Grades
6 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls...more
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls it information from Princeton's WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. A WORD OF WARNING: because the source of the words is a university, where speech is completely open, there are word included in this "dictionary" that are NOT classroom appropriate. Use it only under teacher monitoring.
The color-coded word "entries" display like a mind-map or graphic organizer, showing parts of speech in different colors and showing related words and phrases, as well. Be sure to look at the color key at the bottom to understand all the information presented. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (56), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Introduce new vocabulary before reading or starting a new unit, using this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The distinctions, examples, and relationships the site features for new words will help students build better connections and understanding as they read and study the words in classroom context. English teachers will love this as a learning tool for teaching distinctions between similar words. Just remember to use it in a monitored situation (see above).

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Research 101 - University of Washington

Grades
9 to 12
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research...more
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research questions, as well as how to select, search for, find, and evaluate information sources. This site teaches kids HOW to research so it works with ANY subject matter.Teaching kids how to research and the differences between kinds of sources can be challenging. This site makes it a little easier for you and simpler and more fun for them!

In the Classroom

What is terrific about this site is its interactive capability-- so you can introduce it on a projector or whiteboard at the beginning of class, then let them continue by themselves as you go around and check on individual issues. After each section there is a "review quiz" that students can take right there and get their score immediately. Require them to raise a hand to report a score--or they risk a zero!

This site is a must for your teacher web page during research season.

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Internet Detective: Wise up to the Web - Emma Place, et.al. Intute Virtual Training Suite

Grades
8 to 12
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We can't stop kids from using internet sources for research, but we CAN teach them how to distinguish the good sites from the bad. Here is a site that shows ...more
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We can't stop kids from using internet sources for research, but we CAN teach them how to distinguish the good sites from the bad. Here is a site that shows them step-by-step how to determine the authenticity and reliability of any site. While it is geared to college students, it is easily adaptable and user-friendly for younger students with guidanca. The 5 sections include:
What's the Story? - understanding internet skills
The Good the Bad and the Ugly - see why information quality is an issue on the web, especially for academic research. Learn how to avoid time wasting on Internet searching, scams and hoaxes.
Detective Work - get hints and tips that help to critically evaluate the information you find on the Internet.
Get On the Case - try out your Internet Detective skills with these practical exercises.
Keep the Right Side of the Law - be warned about plagiarism, copyright and citation.

tag(s): critical thinking (108)

In the Classroom

You can break this site down into pieces and discuss on a projector with follow-up on laptops or lab computers as you work with students on using the Internet for research. There is quite a smorgasbord to be taught as a unit or broken down throughout the year as you approach different parts of the activities.

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H2O Playlists - Berkman Ctr for the Internet and Society, Harvard Law School

Grades
9 to 12
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Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project....more
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Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project. A "playlist" is a set of links with explanations and tags that you (or students) can use to initiate self-directed research or that students could use to prepare or present content. Have students make a "playlist" on a research topic, such as the Vietnam War, displaying and speaking about the resources in a class presentation on a projector. You can monitor the progress of collaborative research by checking their playlists-in-progress. Students who have Internet access at home can add to the playlists from any computer. Playlists can be published and shared. You can also find other playlists with the same tags, extending the reach of your research.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

The site requires a log-in, so you may want to set up a single account and password based on your "extra" email account (always recommended for joining all these great web-based tool sites). When your students are finished with their projects, you can simply change the password. Skills needed to use this tool: join site (free), copy/paste links, create tags (keywords), reorder list items, start new lists (all very easy by clicking on text links). TeachersFirst Ede staff strongly suggest that you create a sample playlist to start and model the process to your students. They will catch on fast. You will also need to prevent them from altering profiles or creating unmonitored accounts and profiles, for safety reasons.

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Online Etymology Dictionary - Douglas Harper

Grades
6 to 12
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in...more
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in time when a word entered into usage the way we know it-- or to find out what it used to mean, such as in Shakespeare. Use the richness of these historical meanings to understand literature or to illustrate the living nature of language.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in the Favorites on classroom computers or in links on your English teacher web page. Feature a word a week on a projector before you start your lesson to help students think about the evolution of language.

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Citation Machine - David Warlick and the Landmark Project

Grades
8 to 12
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) ...more
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) and the software will show what the entry ought to look like. This is a helpful tool when writing a paper or properly documenting sources fro a student-made PowerPoint show. The directions are in small type in the main column of information. The basic idea is to select the type of style (MLA, Chicago, etc) you want at the left, enter information, and generate the citation.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Be careful that all entries look as you instructed students to do them. the only caution with this site is that there are sponsored sites on the right-hand side that students can click on to buy term papers. Show them the site in class and warn them that you can see these sites, too, and they are better off not even trying. The citation site itself is too good not to use as a tool.

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One Look Reverse Dictionary - Doug Beeferman

Grades
5 to 10
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Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link ...more
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Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link to other dictionaries. Although the list of definitions is extensive, the tool reminds the user that the first words found are the most useful.

tag(s): synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Customize search results to meet your classroom needs! Make this site available in your Favorites for ESL/ELL students to access as needed.

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The Cook's Thesaurus

Grades
6 to 12
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This online encyclopedia provides definitions, pronunciations, descriptions, and uses for nearly every imaginable ingredient and kitchen tool - beyond the most basic - that students...more
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This online encyclopedia provides definitions, pronunciations, descriptions, and uses for nearly every imaginable ingredient and kitchen tool - beyond the most basic - that students may encounter in a cooking class. Viable substitutions are also discussed. Use this site as the basis for a recipe-specific Web hunt before turning them loose in the kitchen. Search by keyword or category.

tag(s): cooking (34)

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Internet Picture Dictionary - pdictionary.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This visual dictionary available in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian is a gem of a site for ESL or world language students. Visitors can choose a topic, view the ...more
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This visual dictionary available in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian is a gem of a site for ESL or world language students. Visitors can choose a topic, view the associated words and pictures, then test themselves using the activity links on the left side of the page. Interactive practice options include flashcards, fill-in-the-blanks, "stinky spelling" (fix the mistakes), and more.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station. Have students complete the activity individually, allowing students to better pace themselves and not rely on a partner. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Reflection is always a great way to reenforce a lesson in student's minds.

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Search Engines

Grades
6 to 12
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This handy tool helps clear up the search engine confusion. It clearly and simply matches research needs with appropriate online resources. Point your students to this site before starting...more
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This handy tool helps clear up the search engine confusion. It clearly and simply matches research needs with appropriate online resources. Point your students to this site before starting them on a research project.

tag(s): search engines (65)

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Citation Maker - Secondary - Oregon School Library Information System

Grades
6 to 12
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Secondary students will appreciate this user-friendly bibliography helper. They still have to do the work of collecting all of the necessary information, but after entering it into...more
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Secondary students will appreciate this user-friendly bibliography helper. They still have to do the work of collecting all of the necessary information, but after entering it into the site, a citation with correct MLA format and punctuation is created for them. The citations can then be copied and pasted into a word processing document.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Have a student demonstrate how to use this tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this link on your class web page for easy use any time students have a research project. Model ethical use of resources by using it yourself to cite sources on handouts, etc.

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Finding Information on the Internet - UC Berkeley

Grades
8 to 12
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This online tutorial provides students, teachers, and parents with guidance and up-to-date information on understanding search engines, using search strategies, evaluating Web sites,...more
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This online tutorial provides students, teachers, and parents with guidance and up-to-date information on understanding search engines, using search strategies, evaluating Web sites, and citing resources. There is A LOT of information here, but it is organized into manageable subdivisions that teachers and librarians will find useful. It's fairly high-powered content, so sift through it to isolate those specific gems that your students will need before they jump into a research project.

tag(s): search strategies (30)

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Word Central - Merriam Webster

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter the hallways of Word Central for an unforgettable online dictionary experience. In addition to finding correct spellings and definitions, you can look for the daily Buzz Word...more
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Enter the hallways of Word Central for an unforgettable online dictionary experience. In addition to finding correct spellings and definitions, you can look for the daily Buzz Word and listen to the pronunciation, or create poems in a snap with Verse Composer. Then walk up to the second floor to the Build Your Own Dictionary room and Computer Lab coding chamber.

tag(s): poetry (228)

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Ask a Librarian - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
If your local library just can't help, try this online service that puts you in contact with Library of Congress research librarians. Live chats are available for some topics. Other...more
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If your local library just can't help, try this online service that puts you in contact with Library of Congress research librarians. Live chats are available for some topics. Other inquiries will receive a response within 5 days. Be sure to read the Reference Correspondence Policy at the bottom of the home page for directives on how this resource should be used. This is an "adult" reference tool, not a student's homework assistance hotline!

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

Have students use this as a resource while working on a research project. Just check with your school technology policies and make sure it's acceptable to use the live chat option.

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