Jenny Jongste » Digital Content Tool

Digital Content Tool

Digital Libraries Free Text

Search Engines


    • Global Gateway: Portals to the World offers in-depth information about nations and other parts of the world. The resources are authoritative and up-to-date, maintianed by specialists in each culture.
    • Global Gateway, home to “Portals of the World,” includes links, databases, and resources aspects of world culture. Live and recorded webcasts from the Library of Congress are available.

    • Nine Planets provides the history, mythology, and science of the solar system.

    • National Gallery of Art displays many of its collections on line with commentary in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. You can view these collections on-line as well as tour special exhibits. NGAKids section offers collections that would appeal to younger students.

    • Little Red Schoolhouse Library links to over fifty categories including biography, news, weather, history, science, poetry, world history, space exploration and math. Near the bottom of the page you will find links to sites with clip art.
    • Library of Congress On-Line Catalogues offers a wealth of information about the United States and the world. In addition to print information, it houses digital archives of photography and art.
    • The eText Pages is an annotated list of links to sites that offer digital text.
  • Children’s Literature
  • World History
  • American History
  • Science
  • Fine Arts
  • Cross-curricular

Read On-Line Only

Digital Text for a Fee

  • offers thousands of books; user pays a fee for each copy of a book that is downloaded. Many current titles are available.

Text-to-Speech Software
These are programs that read aloud the text on the screen. Some programs offer features that allow the words to be highlighted as they are read aloud; others only perform the function of reading.
Commercial Products

  • CAST eReader published by CAST, Inc.
  • Kurzweil published by Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc.
  • textHELP published by textHELP Systems Ltd.
  • WYNN published by Freedom Scientific.

Shareware text-to speech programs are available via the Internet from shareware sites such as Tucows. Some examples of shareware and freeware text-to-speech tools are:

  • HearIt, Macintosh freeware available from TUCOWS.
  • Speech10, Windows shareware available from

Free Text Readers

The following programs convert etext into synthetic speech (audio) and save it in MP3 format:

Scanning Books “How to Effectively Scan a Book” ( from Kelly Pierce, Adaptive Technology Specialist at eSight Careers Network ( offers a clear, accurate and easy-to-read recipe for each part of the digitizing process. Kelly offers useful and time-saving suggestions for maximizing the accuracy and usability of digital text scanned from a print source. He separates the procedure into three distinct stages – scanning, processing and correcting – and provides tips & tricks for insuring success in each stage of the procedure. Digital Images Free Images Some of the sites listed also include links to services that offer images at a low cost.

Fee for Use Images

    • Corbis is a popular stock photo resource.
    • Comstock is another stock photo agency with extensive holdings.
  • Stock Photo Agencies
  • Prices for downloading images vary according to intended use. See the details on each site for up-to-date cost informaiton.

Image Editing Software

  • Adobe® Photoshop® Elements is a scaled-down version of Photoshop available for under $100 dollars.
  • See TUCOWS for a list of freeware and shareware image editing programs.

Multimedia Presentations

  • Hyperstudio® offers a multimedia tool based on Hypercard®.
  • Microsoft’s PowerPoint lets the user add images and animations to presentations.

Organizing and Outlining Information

  • Inspiration®, and the version for K-5 students, Kidspiration®, are in a category by themselves. Both provide tools for you and your students to create graphic organizers with both text and images.

Drawing Software

  • Kid Pix® offers computer-based art tools that are easy to use.
  • Corel Draw Essentials® 2 is a scaled-down affordable version of CorelDraw.
  • See TUCOWS for a list of freeware and shareware image editing programs.
  • Software with Drawing Capabilities

    • For basic drawing, clip art, inserting text in images, the Drawing Toolbar of Microsoft Word— can be useful.

    Playing Sounds and Video

    • Download a free Real Player® for listening to audio or viewing viedeo.
    • Video can be viewed with Quicktime®, also free.

    Editing Video and Sound

    • Adobe Premiere® is a professional video editing program.
    • Macromedia’s SoundEdit is a popular commercial sound editing software.
    • Shareware and free programs video and sound editing programs are available from TUCOWS.
    • Another source of shareware and freeware is Shareware Junction.

    Sounds for Download Freeware

    • Pacific Digital Video is a small video development company offering over 100 sound effects for free download.
    • Acoustica is another source of free sound effects.
    • Sound America is a comprehensive source of sound effects.
    • Freebie List lists links for sound files in formats from MP3 to MIDI.

    Fee for Use The following sites are some that sell royalty-free video, music, sound effects and images. Note: Royalty-free does not mean at no cost. Royalty free sites do charge for downloading their material. Cost and terms are different on each site and may restrict usage of purchased media.

    • Framerate sells stock video footage, music, photos and sound effects. They do offer some freebies.

    Videos for Download

    • The Prelinger Archives offer over 45,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films. Since its beginning in 1983, its goal has been to collect, preserve, and facilitate access to films of historic significance that haven’t been collected elsewhere. The collection is open to all for free downloading and reuse but not sold.
    • Media Channel: Scroll down to the middle of this page to find and extensive list of links. Many, but not all, link to video clips. Some cannot be downloaded, but the items that are available cover a range of interesting current topics.
    • Exploration in Education offers Electronic Tutorials form a NASA supported program.
    • Apple Learning Interchange: Videos as well as the ways teachers have incorporated them into the classroom are scattered throughout this site. Lesson plans and study guides can be downloaded as well.
    • Perseus Project contains a video about the ancient Olympic games; also take a look at the other collections offered on this site.
    • Career Videos offers 360 captioned videos each about a different career.
    • edutopia online, the George Lucas Foundation site contains a Video Gallery where leaders in the field of education discuss topics relevant to today’s classrooms.

    Fee for Use As with sound, cost and terms differ among sites and use of purchased video may be restricted.

    • Sudy guides for Digital Videos available for download.
    • Library at UC, Berkeley offers an extensive list of sites and offers links to other sites with news footage — CNN, ABC, etc. — and stock footage.
    • Media Channel offers an extensive list of links at the middle of this page. Many, but not all, link to video clips. Some cannot be downloaded, but the items that are available cover a range of interesting current topics.

    Decompressing (Unzipping) Files Use these free tools to unzip or decompress files:

    Leave a Reply