I periodically post “most popular” lists of websites (and books) that I think educators might find useful. Of course, there are a number of ways to gauge “popularity.” I just view these lists as opportunities to check-out some new sites, and find it interesting to see which ones might be particularly “popular.”

I’ve made quite a few posts that fit into this category, and thought I’d highlight which ones I thought were the best and most useful for educators.

Here are my choices for The Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators — 2009 (not listed in order of preference):

ANIMAL VIDEOS: I’ve found that short funny animal videos are great to show to English Language Learner students and then — together — we write about what we saw. In addition, I”ve used an exercise called “back to the screen” (see The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL for more information on how it works) with these types of videos.

Animal Planet is a great source for these kinds of videos. They have a page where you can see their most-watched videos of “all time.” You can see videos of “talking birds, water-skiing squirrels, and multi-talented dogs…”

NEWS: BBC News has a neat Live World Map that shows what news is popular in what part of the world at anytime. Here is a good explanation about how it works.

Richard Byrne has described the second resource in this category perfectly. So I’m going to quote from his post, and I would encourage you to go there to read his ideas on how to use it with students: “Ten by Ten is a unique program that links images with news stories. Every hour the top 100 news stories from around the world are linked to images on a ten by ten grid. The stories are ranked.”

EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Most Popular Educational Videos – All Time comes from a site called eduTube. It looks like there are some pretty interesting ones in the mix.

EDUCATION BLOGS: This category is a bit tricky. There is, of course, The Edublog Awards list. PostRank also has their own list of the “most engaged” blogs in the education category. There’s controversy about their rankings (see Sue Waters’ blog post Latest Statistics Say My Blogs Are……?), but I do think it’s a nice place to visit now and then to learn about new blogs, especially for people new to the education blogosphere.

EDUCATION WEBSITES: A site called eBizMBA compiles a monthly ranking of websites in various categories, including:

Top 55 Reference Websites

20 Most Popular Health Websites

Top 20 Science Websites

EDUCATION ARTICLES: ASCD SmartBrief is on The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current Education Issues. This very widely-circulated daily newsletter is published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a national organization of educators. It consistently provides thought-provoking articles from around the country. You can see a regularly updated list of its “most-clicked-on” stories here.

MUSEUM WEBSITES: Here’s a list of the two hundred most popular museum websites, including links to them.

ZOOS & THEIR WEBSITES: Check-out this list of USA Top Zoos & Favorite Parks.

Feedback is always welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 400 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.