This section contains something of a mixture, to try to collect together a number of sites which have a general usefulness, but which aren't necessarily easy to collect together in any other place.
Awarding Organisations such as City & Guilds, Ed-Excel and many others often have very good content relating to their qualifications, and related items, which can include practical advice, updates on syllabuses programme specifications and curriculum news, with much information readily downloadable. To find their location, go to the Teachernet site at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/teachers/Site_map
The Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion The site is comprehensive, and contains research reports, news and other items on areas such as Basic Skills and a good deal which is relevant to the post compulsory sector. The centre takes a critical approach, which is a pleasant change! The 'Knowledge Base' section for example is described as follows: http://www.cesi.org.uk/
Directgov is 'the place to turn for the widest range of government information and services.' This is a large, (and I mean large!) portal, and a brave endeavour, which does get you into masses and masses of government-related services, information, publication and statistics. I'd recommend you explore and see what you can find. (I went into the travel section, and there is an amazing journey planner there!) There are so many ways this could be used in teaching with a small amount of research and preparation. Start at www.direct.gov.uk
EROD, the US Education Resource Organisations Directory 'is intended to help you identify and contact organizations that provide information and assistance on a broad range of education-related topics'. This is a useful portal to a wide variety of relevant organisations and resources.
There is an a-z list at http://www.ed.gov/topicsaz/index.html
European Vocational Training Initiative - Training Village.
This is a well constructed and useful cross European site, with
interactive features, and the chance to contribute to discussion groups
and forums. http://www.trainingvillage.gr
Eurydice (The Information Network on Education in Europe). Describes itself as follows:
Eurydice is committed, first and foremost, to offering policy-makers and all those involved in the provision of education with information and studies geared to their needs. The Network boosts European cooperation in education by developing exchanges of information about systems and policies and producing studies on issues common to education systems.
The Excellence Gateway.
When you call your website an 'Excellence Gateway', you have a lot to live up to. What then is it really like?
The site draws together a large number of resources from diverse sources and web sites across the sector, including those produced by practitioners. This means there are many resources available but it is a bit of a challenge to find things which are really useful. There doesn't seem to be a very sophisticated way of searching, so you can end up with thousands of resources, and only a maximum of 30 per page displayed. A bit disappointing overall, but do have a look. It's at http://excellence.qia.org.uk/page.aspx?o=20
Higher Education Academy - Describe themselves as follows: 'Our mission is to help institutions, discipline groups and all staff to provide the best possible learning experience for their students.' Much useful and relevant content here for all teachers, particularly those working on HE courses. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/
Infed.org, the site for Informal Learning, is a comprehensive, accessible, absorbing and well designed site. In fact it's an absolute gem, with masses of excellent content. Make sure you take a good browse. http://www.infed.org.uk/
Joseph Rowntree Foundation. If you want to see examples of well organised and authoritative research on a number of key issues in society, this is the site for you. The site is well laid out and comprehensive, and has items relating to the social impacts and benefits of education among the many themes. http://www.jrf.org.uk
learndirect is UfI's portal to help you find a course that's right for you and provides information on the national network of learndirect centres. learndirect futures which is part of the same site provides helpful, online careers advice. www.learndirect.co.uk
Learning and Skills Council. Describes itself as follows: The LSC exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. We have a single goal: to improve the skills of England's young people and adults to make sure we have a workforce that is of world-class standards. We are responsible for planning and funding high-quality vocational education and training for everyone. Our vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England have the knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a fiercely competitive workforce. www.lsc.gov.uk
Lifelong Learning. The best government-sponsored general site about adult learning , which describes itself as follows 'Welcome to the leading web site for the encouragement, promotion and development of lifelong learning. Lifelong Learning is supported by the Access to Learning for Adults Division of the Department for Education and Skills.' One of the best bits is the 'key learning themes' section. http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/
Merlin helps students
MerlinHelpsStudents (MHS) is a leading student resource website. It was established in 2000 to provide a one-stop-information-shop for students studying in the UK. Reaching an average of 100,000+ users per month, MHS has grown rapidly over the last five years and is now the largest higher and further education portal in terms of content in the UK.
MHS distinguishes itself from its competitors via its range of services, information and advice. Additionally it recognises students' needs before, during and after higher and further education and prides itself on continually seeking to develop new features and services for its users. http://www.merlinhelpsstudents.com/
MERLOT - is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Links to online learning materials are collected here along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments. You are welcome to browse the collection or search for materials. Members may add materials, comments and assignments to MERLOT. This site is well worth a browse. http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm
NIACE - National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education - An excellent site of one of the key organisations relating to adult learning. http://www.niace.org.uk
Public Records Office Portal - The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from Domesday Book of 1086 to government papers recently released to the public. An extensive range of historical and other information, which could be used in many educational activities across all sectors. http://www.pro.gov.uk/
South West Skills and Learning Intelligence Module (SWSLIM) exists to bring information and intelligence on skills and learning to policy makers and practitioners across the South West. This is a comprehensive site, which is one of the key sources in the South West, and should be in everyone's favourites. http://www.swslim.org.uk/index.asp
UK Statistics Authority - described as the 'home of official UK statistics, Britain's economy, population and society at national and local level. Summaries and detailed data releases are published free of charge. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/
Census results - A Census is a survey of all people and households in the country. It provides essential information from national to neighbourhood level for government, business, and the community. The most recent Census was on 29 April 2001. This site takes you to its findings which are available to everyone free of charge. Plans are being made to hold the next Census in 2011. This is the site for England and Wales. There are similar sites for Scotland and Northern Ireland. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census
UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was established on 16th of November 1945. It has its headquarters in Paris, France and 73 field offices and units in different parts of the world. The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations. http://www.unesco.org/
This site has an amazing selection of information sources on it on a large range of themes and issues. It would take some time to browse it, but there are gems such as:
ALADIN - The Adult Learning Documentation and Information Network at http://www.unesco.org/education/aladin/
The UNESCO LIBRARIES Portal at http://www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_bib/
The World Higher Education Database at http://www.unesco.org/iau/whed-2000.html
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