Seeking a treasure trove of diverse, rich resouces and web apps that are safe and accessible for your classroom? The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) Portal may be your answer. This highly useful service is provided free to all teachers in Santa Barbara County.
The SBCEO Portal does just what its name says, providing a portal through which teachers can find resources without having to scour the entire web. What's more, many of the sites and services available are normally subscription-based, but using the Portal, SB County teachers have free access.
Useful for all grade levels, its tools include access to thousands of classroom-approved videos through California Streaming, multiple versions of WorldBook Encyclopedias-- some geared for lower grades, other for upper grades, and one in Spanish. You can create safe social media spaces for your classroom through Moodle, introduce new concepts or reinforce old with interactive teaching videos through HippoCampus and Khan Academy, or explore geography through Rand McNally's software. Looking to reinforce English or math skills? Try the Digital Math and Digital English programs. The list of features goes on and on. Better yet, students have their own accounts too, making this a valuable resource for learners both in the classroom and at home.
As well as purchasing resources, they also vet and evaluate many freely available resources and link to those as well. Writing and literacy-specific resources linked to include the Poetry Archives, the Purdue Online Writing Lab, Scholastic Story Starters and Starfall.
There are also resources geared specifically for teachers, including Chalkboard--a professional teaching community for SB County teachers to communicate--and Lesson Planet, a search engine that quickly finds lesson resources for specific grade levels and subjects. The Portal's friendly and enthusiastic manager, Kristen Walker, is also more than happy to work with you one-on-one to discover tools that might fit your needs. She'll even come into your classroom to conduct trainings for your students.
If you work in Santa Barbara County and haven't checked been using the Portal, it's high time you put this invaluable tool to use. Visit http://www.sbceoportal.org/ to get started. Contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to set up a training.