Are you even aware of what’s available on the Web?
The good new and bad news of the Web: There is so much innovation, so many resources, such a wealth of content and now millions of participants to connect with and pay attention to, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact that the global database is being added to every moment of every day and ironically making it tougher to find stuff.
Besides some of the obvious-to-my-tech readers directories like Go2Web20, a listing of Web 2.0 hosted applications (2,294 listings as of Thursday, April 17, 2008), the Open Directory project, Sourceforge listing of more than 174,000 open source packages or even such more narrowly focused sites like one for content management systems (OpenSourceCMS), it’s the acceleration of content repositories that stun me and yet finding them is more challenging than ever.
At issue is the amount of energy investment required to seek and find what you need. Here’s one example: I have a friend in need of access to huge numbers of photos for his K-12 education initiative. Of course, these need to be unrestricted-license images so kids and teachers can use them with abandon. Besides some of the obvious education offerings from key providers, I’ve placed 19 links to sites I hadn’t heard of before (click on ‘Continue reading…’ below) but finding them took me nearly two hours of trolling to discover and this list is FAR from comprehensive.
This illustrates my point: Without considerable time invested coupled with some searching competence, it’s tough to find all of the great stuff that already exists on the Web and is being added to daily.
This is one reason that I’m cautiously optimistic about the semantic Web summed up thusly: “Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “cat”, reserving a library book, and searching for a low price on a DVD. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.“
My hope is that one day, any of us will be able to perform one search, computers will take on more of the tedious task of determining what’s relevant, and every single reference to “free education photo” offerings that meet my criteria will appear in a way that a human-directed listing now can.
Public Domain Pictures, Free Photos, Royalty Free Stock Images
Easy Stock Photos Ã¢â‚¬“ Royalty Free Stock Photos, Pictures, Images, Information, Public Domain
PDClipart.org Ã¢â‚¬“ Public Domain Clip Art
Uncle SamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Photos Ã¢â‚¬“ Stock Photo Collections
everystockphoto Ã¢â‚¬“ searching free photos
PicFindr: Free stock photo and image search
SPFFY.COM (BETA) Ã¢â‚¬“ Searching one billion stock photos, footage and video for licensing
Pics4Learning and Tech4Learning
American Memory from the Library of Congress Ã¢â‚¬“ Home Page
KidsClick!: Image Search Tools
TemplateÃ¢â‚¬”Teachers @ Work Ã¢â‚¬“ Mark Teadwell
Multimedia Resources for Educators and Students Ã¢â‚¬“ Utah Education Network
PD Photo Ã¢â‚¬“ Free Photos And Pictures (public domain, stock pictures, wallpaper, royalty free, clip art, etc)
stock.xchng Ã¢â‚¬“ the leading free stock photography site
BUBL LINK: Internet resources by type
Images of the world
Internet Classroom Assistant Ã¢â‚¬“ Internet Resources
Copyright Free Sites
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.