Breaking through the wall with widgetsIn many schools IT departments control the software available and the tools that users may add to browsers. An excellent way to point to students to resources that can often otherwise be added as toolbar extras, is to provide them with a range of widgets. Widgets expose both students and staff to tools they may not regularly use, or indeed they be unaware of their existence.
Two categories of widgets that I find particularly useful are Search and Dictionary widgets. Many of these come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Once you have selected the look you want, simply copy the code and paste into your website.
Database widgets are prolific and depending on which ones your school subscribes to, can also be easily adapted for your needs.
SearchThe newest widget in the pack is an Instagrok widget.
Of course no reference to search boxes would be complete without Wolfram Alpha who provide a wonderful range of customised widgets in addition to basic search boxes.
Blekko also has a range of useful tools including this embeddable searchbox.
Trove searches Australian content
This widget provides access to Oxford Dictionaries
If you have a preference for Cambridge there is a Google widget or a HTML version of this widget.
Merriam-Webster have a variety of 13 different search boxes for their dictionaries and thesauri such as the Learner's Dictionary below, suitable for younger students.