Using Online Resources

5 05 2009

There are loads of websites that you can use with your students. I am sure that you know a lot of good online resources, but sometimes you don’t know how you can use them with your class.

The web sites can be employed for individuals, small groups or the whole class, depending in what you are trying to achieve. Or you may want to structure an entire session around one single site.

Here is a list of extremely useful online resources that are valuable for teaching and learning.

National Gallery


The National Gallery offers very good resources for educators and potentially helpful in adult education. The site contains detailed notes for teachers about particular paintings and suggestion for learning activities, facility to browse and access the whole collection, zoomable pictures, as well as biographies of several leading artists.

BBC Learning


This web site is a considerable resource to help learning in a wide range of subjects, such as health, study skills, history, geography, English, foreign languages, maths, computers…

There are several online courses, as well as information and other forms of content.

Tate Modern Gallery


The Tate website offers the opportunity to view their contents in several languages as well as BSL. This facility offers a wealth of opportunities for language classes.

The podcasts are also very good learning resources and they also offer a free online level 1 course Introducing Learners to Art.

Virtual Tour


Several websites provide access to online simulations, as for example science experiments, demonstrations of products and virtual tours.

10 Downing Street’s web site offers an opportunity of taking a virtual tour of the building. It allows one to explore the different rooms and read about their history. It also provides information about the government’s structures. This could be quite useful for teaching Citizenship, History or ICT navigation. You could set up a class discussion by projecting the tour on the interactive whiteboard and use it as a whole class resource.

Multimedia presentations


The Money matters to me site provides a series of interactive workshops, including a simulator of a cash machine or an electricity meter.

There are also loads of utility bills, case studies and interactive activities.

As this site offers a structure based on an individual’s life changes, learners can explore different financial issues relevant to their lives, which could be motivating and meaningful for them. As a tutor, in this case, you should only support your students instead of controlling what they are learning.


There are also various sites that offer resources in a variety of forms. For example:Images that you can use for educational purposes,


The NASA website offers access to 300.000 images linked to space exploration and related subjects. It is free to use their images for educational use.



This web site offers free mathematics resources. It includes discussion forums, puzzles and reviews of calculators, free software and books. This could be handy for class preparation or use of the interactive exercises.

Arts and Humanities


This site offers hundreds of links to newspapers, journal articles, book reviews and extracts, essays, periodicals, TV and radio stations and organisations. You can use this resource for preparation of discussions on philosophy, literature, language, culture, history, music or art; current affairs, media studies and international relations.

Tools and Aids

You can find an automatic translation service on the Alta Vista or Google search engine. This facility translates text from one language to another.

You can also select a whole webpage to be translated on


Google Maps is excellent for getting hold of maps as well as Multi Map and Ordnance Survey.


The Met office web site besides giving weather forecasts also has a section for teachers, even though it is primarily aimed at young learners, there are many different resources you can use and adapt for adults.


The best tips to use online learning content is by involving learners, allowing them to create their own knowledge, basing activities on “real-life” issues, varying methods, using simulators to practise something that is intimidating, thinking of your learners’ needs and contexts, integrating online resources with traditional methods, making learning fun and interesting, encouraging peer support, using the internet for specific topics to demonstrate the richness of resources and making your learners become internet confident users.


Source: Online Resources in the Classroom by Alan Clarke and Claudia Hesse, NIACE




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