It's a new school year and I'm discovering a host of new, fun, creative sites and applications to play with. Today I found DifferenceBetween.net and I love it already. It's a simple, online site. Click to the home page and enter a single term or two words that you know are related. DifferenceBetween will give you an explanation of either the two terms you entered or the one you entered and a word or concept that is close in meaning to the search term. This is a pathway to critical thinking right at your fingertips!
For example, I showed it to a 3rd grade teacher today whose immediate response was, "Does it have map versus globe?" Yes, it did. And this teacher was thrilled with the explanation. She could see right away that with her computer handy she could answer questions and prompt discussions without missing a beat.
The vocabulary in the site is somewhat challenging. The 3rd grade teacher I showed it to said she would probably need to paraphrase a few things but, on the other hand, it would prompt her to introduce some new vocabulary that immediately related to the students' question and exploration. For independent reading it probably applies to middle school aged students and older.
DifferenceBetween is a wiki in the sense that they take contributions from readers but they do filter everything before it goes up. They will sometimes pay for submissions.
This is a great way to study or explore words or topics of interest to you!