I’ve been hunting widgets. My aim in doing this was to create a companion piece to my recent More than 100 Free Places to Learn Online posting. In the spirit of that posting, I went out to see what sorts of learning-oriented widgets I could find in relatively short period of time. My conclusion is that there is still a lot to be done to add great widgets to the world of learning online, but nonetheless, there are some pretty good things out there.
Caveats, disclaimers, and brief observations follow, but those who prefer can jump straight into the list with the following links:
- General Knowledge and Trivia Widgets
- Society and Culture Widgets
- Health, Fitness, and Beauty Widgets
- Environmental Widgets
- Food and Drink Widgets
- History Widgets
- Business Widgets
- Lifestyle and Travel Widgets
- Art, Music, and Literature Widgets
- Math and Science Widgets
- Language and Vocabulary Widgets
If you know of other widgets you would like to see here, or if you find any of those above especially helpful, I welcome your comments.
Caveats, Disclaimers, and Brief Observations
Just a few:
- I stuck specifically to Web-based widgets in my hunt. So, no desktop widgets, meaning a lot of great things from Apple are not here. I also went only for things that are not confined to a specific platform, like Facebook.
- I ruled out games, unless they were specifically educational in nature, productivity tools, and pure news feeds. That decision alone probably excludes 90% or more of the widgets our there. I also tended to stay away from widgets that are purely a miniature version of a Web site or a blog, though I let a few of these through.
- While I did do some general searching on the Web, the majority of these were found through major aggregators like WidgetBox, SpringWidgets, and Google Gadgets. (I consider a “gadget” to be a widget.) I did a lot of general browsing in these sites, but also did searches that included terms like “learn” and “education.” I found in many instances where I was doing general Web searching or browsing that many widgets have not been described or tagged well by their creators, thus making them harder to find.
- All of the descriptions below come from the sites on which the widgets were found, other than the italicized description for the Election 2008 widgets, which I provided.
- As with the 100 Free Places posting, my goal with this is not to create a resource site–though if it serves that purpose for anyone, that’s great. I’m more interested in the possibilities that the widgets here suggest. Certainly, if you are an organization that needs to educate the general public or potential customers, or perhaps provide ongoing knowledge support for members or employees, widgets may have a place. And for the individual learner, they are just one more example of the growing array of free learning tools available out there.
Have fun with these!
Random Wikipedia Article
Flip through random articles from Wikipedia in your favorite language.
This widget lets your blog/profile visitors learn something new every day, by serving up three how-to videos randomly, and allowing to search for more how-to videos. Give your blog an intelligent twist with the free how-to videos widget.
Things to Ponder
Random Things to Ponder. Very Funny!
Mental Workout – Word Exercises
Mental exercises to help you maintain an alert mind and concentration
Q Challenge << Add a question, pass it on! >>
Add a question before you send and this will grow to be the largest IQ Challenge ever!
Did you know?
Trivia factoid updates each time page is viewed or renewed. Small and light, it loads fast and is an ideal spot filler. NO ads, NO spyware.
Learn about USA via this interactive quiz. Add questions in the wiki multimedia editor. Win prizes. Share with friends & grow sticky traffic and social community style traffic. Add your knowledge with images, video & even sound files. Test & challenge yourself & others.
Answerbag Ask & Answer Widget
The latest questions and answers from the community on Answerbag.com!
The Simpsons Quiz
How Much Do You Know The Simpson’s? – Take the Simpson’s Quiz and Test Your Knowledge.
A number of widgets from the Washington Post can help you stay on top of who believes what and who is doing what in this year’s presidential election.
Do Something NOW!
Find volunteer opportunities near you from a database of thousands of youth friendly charities (from VolunteerMatch)
America’s first president followed these patterns all his life. A fascinating and helpful set of guidelines even today – from the first rule to the 110th “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience”. Your visitors are not forced off your site as they view the rules. A simple, fast, image-free widget.
Health Tip of the Day
Follow these simple daily health tips and improve the quality of your life.
Calorie calculator, a simple way to monitor you daily calorie intake, easily manage your diet and meals. Use the calorie calculator to see each meal’s calorie details and sum up your daily total. Use the settings to see your recommended average daily intake
Body Location Disease Search – VisualDxHealth
Search visual/skin diseases based on body location. Enter your gender and body location and see a list of matching diseases including pictures and self care information.
March of Dimes – Pregnancy Daily Tip
Tips for a healthy pregnancy.
NutritionData Food Search Widget
Download a nutrition search widget for your website or blog to find food facts and analysis, and see healthy eating facts.
ADHD (ADD) TV is all about information and resources for People who have or are interested to understand Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. The produced content is streamed live.
Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score shows you a map of what’s nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any address.
Global Warming TV
Global Warming TV is about the changing environment and what we can do to help preserve it.
Save the Earth Quiz! Add to it & Share it!
Learn about global warming & our very sensitive environmental issues. Have fun with this interactive quiz format & join the community forum. Share the fun with friends. Easily add questions and answers to the wiki-like quiz format & pass it on. Act Locally!
K-12 Green Ed Resources
Environmental education info and resources for teaching students about being a global citizen.
Today’s Daily Wine Picks from Wine Spectator Online.
Food Wishes Video Recipes
The best free video recipe clips on the web. Almost daily posts on a wide variety of culinary topics. Fun to watch and easy to make recipes presented in 5 to 7 minutes clips. What’s your food wish? Let me know!
Recipes and articles from an MD who’s also a chef, showing you ways to prepare delicious meals and dishes together with the latest medical information on what’s good for you and why.
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses
Displays each of the 95 Theses in random order or as user selects. All shown in a single panel so your visitors are not forced off your site.
A simple, fast, image-free widget.
Today in History
Today in History (UNIX Calendar)
Tips, articles and advice to help you with your business strategy and strategic planning.
Gives you the possible names of a chord. Simply place the fingers position by clicking on the guitar neck, click play to check the chord. The chord names are automatically shown on the right.
VideoLyrics Trivial is a questions & answers game about music. The player answer questions during 60 second to get the high score possible and reach the first position in the ranking.
This widget lets you display interesting science question in your website or blog. The questions change each day. When your site visitor answer the questions correctly, they will be automatically included in our prize draw. All questions are chosen to be appropriate for kind in the age group of 8-12 years. All questions come with appealing visuals and stunning animations.
Word of the Day
Word of the day from thefreedictionary.com. Also says the word so you know how to pronounce it.
Match Up Word Game
Matching game designed to test your knowledge of synonym pairs. Play it for fun and to improve your vocabulary. Updated daily.
Audio Word of the Day – requires FlashPlayer
Language – Selections from Encyclopaedia Britannica
Quickly and easily explore key people, places and topics associated with language via the world-renowned Encyclopedia Britannica
Transparent Language Word of the Day
China-8 Chinese Lessons – Beginner
This China-8.com widget gives you complete access to China-8.com’s beginner lessons including dialog, audio, vocabulary, grammar and notes.
Chinese Audio Word of the Day I, II, III, IV
Learn Chinese with both traditional and simplified characters. These words are selected and ranked according to the frequency of their appearance in Chinese publications.
This is designed to be used with the Rikaichan plugin that works with Firefox. It’s for people studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and those who just want to study Japanese language. Each time you return to iGoogle, you’ll get a random selection of words.
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posted on March 19, 2008
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