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… If you do research either as a teacher or an older student, the this program may just be what you need.  I am a big fan of free software and there is a tremendous amount from which to choose in a variety of subjects but, until now, I had not seen a well thought out program for collecting research notes beyond using either the old index cards or an electronic version thereof.  Enter ZOTERO!  A free add on for the Firefox Web Browser which I might add is also free.   (I have used MS Explorer, Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome and both Mozilla’s Opera and Firefox.    I keep them all installed on my computer so that I can check any HTML or web design to insure that my work is readable on the widest variety of browsers.  After using all of them I prefer Firefox for browsing, but I digress.)  Let’s get back to ZOTERO.

ZOTERO is written by researchers for researchers and even though the target audience is the hardcore research community, one 5 minute perusal of the programs capabilities via their ZOTERO Demo will likely convince you that it this tool has applications in the homeschooling community as well.  It could serve for lesson preparation particularly for unit studies but more likely the older students will find it a great tool for research projects and papers they are required to write.  College bound students?  I WISH I had this program when I was in college!

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I have been a Google fan for many years and have used their search engine almost exclusively. Then one day I stumbled upon, well StumbleUpon.  It is pretty popular but in case you have missed it, it is a browser plugin that allows you to quite literally stumble around the internet based on a subject or subjects that you choose.  The sites that are offered up in each category have been included in the Stumbled Database because someone like you or me was looking for a particular item and after having found it, decided to share it by submitting it to the folks at StumbleUpon so they could add it to their database and serve up the site to the rest of us.

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