Student Links






Would you like to become a smarter student? Well, you've come to the right place. Similar to exercising your body to make it stronger and healthier, exercising your brain helps make you a more knowledgable and confident person. Here are some great resources broken down by topic. There are even educational games you can play. You've never had so much fun learning.  Make sure to get permission from your teacher to play these games in class. 

Do you have a favorite educational site that isn't listed here? Contact the Zachry / Taft / Comm Arts CIT with your favorite student sites. 

Remember... the more you know, the more you grow. Set your goals high.  Knowledge is power!!

Smart Phone Savvy Video:  Getting Smart Smart


Computer and Online Safety
Google Apps for Education (Gmail, Google Apps)
Search Engines
Special Resources
Audio, Music and Video Resources
Multimedia Creation
Educational Games


English / Language Arts
International Languages
Physical Education
Social Studies
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Computer and Online Safety

NS Teens

Make safe online decisions by going through the NS Teens videos and games. Browse videos on Internet safety, cyber bullying, e-mail and chat rooms, gaming, predators, how much info. to post and social networking. All the videos are relevant, up-to-date and informative. For middle and high school students, check out the real-life videos. They'll make you think!

OnGuard Online

How do you protect yourself from hackers who would love to steal your personal information, account information. This site provides useful information for you in the form of documents, videos and games. Give hackers the boot!

STOP Cyberbullying

What is cyber bullying? How do you protect yourself or someone who is being cyber bullied? Learn how to prevent it and what to do if you are a victim of cyber bullying. Check out this cyber bullying video from Channel One News.

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Search Engines


Created by Google, this is a safe search engine, where all irrelevant links are filtered out. This is a time saver for students and gives them "peace of mind" that searches are more focused.


NetTrekker is a trusted search engine for K-12 schools. As an all-in-one site, it saves valuable time when searching for info., pictures and more! See the librarian for login to use at home.

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Google Earth Tutorials

Google Earth is a free program you can download at home (with your parent's permission). Here's the site you can download it from.

Are you new to Google Earth or just want to learn something new about the program? Check out these tutorials for beginners all the way through the most advanced features.

If you are in Technology Applications (Computer Literacy) at Zachry MS, then you have a account. There's lots more for other subjects also. Have your teacher talk to the C.I.T. to set up cool tutorial lessons for you!

Visual Dictionary Online

This visual dictionary from Miriam-Webster allows users to associate words with pictures. This is especially useful for visual learners.

World Book Online (English + Spanish)

The premier online reference source--containing every article from the 22-volume print set plus thousands more. You'll find state-of-the art multimedia, editor-reviewed Web sites, and more! 

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Special Resources

Digital Media Fair

Do you have a cool school technology project from school this year? If so, entering it in the Kelly Smith Digital Media Fair may be for you! If your project is good enough, you'll compete against other NISD middle school or high school students, depending on which school level you are at. The deadline for entries is March 26, 2013. Please contact to your technology teacher or the C.I.T. at your campus for more information.

Texas Reality Check

Life is coming at you full throttle. Someday, you'll be out on your own. What will it cost to support yourself? Find out what careers are available and how much money you can expect to make. This is a great site to get a reality check and help you create a road map to your future!

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Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and Fair Use Policy for Students

What is Copyright? Why is it important to cite your sources, such as text, pictures, sound or video? Learn how much you can legally use in your projects and assignments. This PowerPoint slide show will help you make good decisions. Also, here's a video on what and how much you can use.

Landmark's Citation Machine

This useful site allows you to select the type of resource that you are using, fill in as many details as you can about the title, author, publisher, date, web address, etc. and Citation Machine will create a citation, based on the data you input. Then copy and paste the citation into your document or PowerPoint bibliography.

Click here for help.

Royalty Free Music

Through an agreement with Northside ISD, Royalty Free Music provides some of their most popular full length music for academic purposes only. Included is music for backgrounds, PowerPoint, documentary, meditation and hypnosis, classical, sports, children's, hip-hop, sound effects, acoustic, piano, specialty and jazz. Username and Password are available in S:/Templates folder. Enter the Username and Password in the Music Promo area half way down on the right of their web page. Username and Password are available in S:/Templates folder.


Get the best in free sound clips, royalty free sounds and public domain sounds.  In this site, you will find sound effects, sound clips and sounds, other than music.


Do you know how to use music for presentations and still stay within the copyright and Fair Use Policy? Soundzabound is the solution! Soundzabound gives Zachry Middle School students, faculty and staff full rights to use their music as per our subscription. Soundzabound has educationally safe content and includes a variety of music and sound effects. Soundzabound is now online and can be accessed at school or at home! Username and Password are available in S:/Templates folder.

Copyright Free Pictures*
*Remember to cite your source(s)!


Free Digital Photos

Lots of royalty free photos for use, broken down into categories.


You'll find thousands of low, medium and high resolution pictures by photographers that can be freely used.


Check out thousands of pictures taken by students, teachers and amateur photographers for use in projects.

Wikimedia Commons

As part of Wikipedia, over 12 million images, sounds and videos are available for free use. Users can search by topic, location, type, author, etc.

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Audio, Music & Video Resources

BrainPop*   BrainPop ESL

BrainPop GameUp (free)

If you love cartoons and want to learn at the same time, BrainPop is for you!  Join Tim and Mobi as they explain everything in easy-to-understand terms, with a touch of humor.  There are hundreds of videos on topics such as English, Math, Science, Technology, etc.  The movies are short, but informative and you can pause and rewind, if you wish.  You can even take an onlne quiz after the movie.

Love games?  Try GameUp.  These games help you learn about subjects and solve problems.  Play alone or with a partner... the choice is yours.  Have fun!

*Zachry MS has a paid subscription for staff and students. See CIT or librarian for username and password.

CommonCraft - Videos in Plain English

Wouldn't it be great if you could find videos that explain things in an easy to understand way? That's where Common Craft videos come in. Check them out on YouTube. If you are at school, these videos are blocked. See your CIT or librarian on how to view at school.

Discovery Education Streaming Video

KLRN is a digital video-on-demand service offering over 3,000 full=length titles and 30,000 video clips in all K-12 subject areas. KLRN and Discovery Streaming are excited to offer this service to enhance classroom lessons and to impact student learning. A student login and password are available from the librarian.


Created by NBC News, iCue is a new way to learn. iCue has hundreds of videos that include historic and current events. Users may view videos, collaborate with others, do research, play games based on events, take quizzes and compete with other users. The user is in control of what and how to learn!

The History Channel

Brush up on history with the History Channel web site. You'll find text articles, related video and audio clips, photos and TV listings related to historical topics. Click here for a list of videos by topic.

How Stuff Works

As part of the Discovery Company, there are lots of videos on hundreds of subjects. See how things work and how different products are made. This is a fascinating site!

Khan Academy

This is a great resource for students who are having trouble learning math, science, history, etc. With more than 3600 videos and 180 self-paced assessments, the Khan Academy can help students learn at home or at school. This site offers videos that are FREE and easy to understand, no matter what you're trying to learn. Click here for an overview of how it works for students.

National Geographic Video

Get the best of National Geographic with videos on topics around the world. Make sure to check out the tabs at the top, including Video Home, Nat Geo TV, Nat Geo Wild, Animals, Kids (NG Kids Videos), News and More!

NISD Digital Library

Northside ISD offers numerous audio books, eBooks, Music and Video collections for checkout. Students and staff members may checkout books with either their student ID or staff ID number. A free application, Overdrive Media Console needs to be downloaded for Audio books, Music and Video. Overdrive Media Console is available only for home download. For help, click here.

Royalty Free Music

Through an agreement with Northside ISD, Royalty Free Music provides some of their most popular full length music for academic purposes only. Included is music for backgrounds, PowerPoint, documentary, meditation and hypnosis, classical, sports, children's, hip-hop, sound effects, acoustic, piano, specialty and jazz. Username and Password are available in S:/Templates folder. Enter the Username and Password in the Music Promo area half way down on the right of their web page.


Do you know how to use music for presentations and still stay within the copyright and Fair Use Policy? Soundzabound is the solution! Soundzabound gives Zachry MS, Taft and Comm Arts HS faculty and staff full rights to use their music as per our subscriptions. Soundzabound has educationally safe content and includes a variety of music and sound effects. Soundzabound can be accessed at school or at home! Username and Password are available in S: / Templates folder.


Created by the co-founder of Wikipedia, this is a great one-stop resource that provides free videos for teachers, students and parents. Like a 24-7 tutor, this site provides additional resources for any topic students learn in school that are reliable and relevant. You can filter by age and / or topic.

Want to learn more? This video explains more about the site.

*YouTube videos are blocked by NISD at school.

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Multimedia Creation


Make professional looking presentations quickly to tell stories through video, which can also turn still pics into moving masterpieces. Add music to your presentations for a professional look and feel. Presentations up to 30 seconds each are free. Paid subscriptions offer more options.

Big Huge Labs

Create your own motivational, inspirational or humorous posters and print out for your classroom. Include digital pictures that you upload from your computer. Think of the possibilities!

Discovery Education for Students

This link is not the one to Discovery Streaming Videos. Here you will find great resources, including interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and lots of activities for learning. Come explore!


Create stunning online multimedia posters. They're easy to create and use. They can include text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, attachments and links.


Awesome PowerPoint templates for you to use and they're free! Each category has more templates, once you click on the category or search for a specific type of theme. On Indezine's home page there are tutorials and free add-ons for PowerPoint.


Take a journey beyond PowerPoint slides to the world of Prezi. This program allows you to create slides, zoom in and out, keep focus on each idea and tie ideas together. It's fun, easy and powerful! And... it's free!


Need a puzzle? Then this is the site for you! Puzzlemaker is a puzzle generation tool for teachers, students and parents. Create and print customized word search, crisscross, math puzzles, and more using your own word lists.


Similar to Wordle, this site lets you turn words into a shape - either from their site or upload your own image for words to be shaped into.  You can customize the look including layout, font, color.  Check out the link "101 Ways to use Tagxedo".  Click the Create link to start your very own word cloud in Tagxedo.


This fun and free tool for student use. Users create cartoon characters, called "avatars", add voice and post them to a blog, web site or profile. They're easy to create. What a cool idea!


Create word clouds with or for your students. Include topic words to summarize units or see how many times a word is used in a passage, magazine article or poem. Change the font, color or layout easily. It's lots of fun!

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Student News Sites

Find out what's going on in the world and how it affects young people in America.

CNN - Student News

CNN Student News is a daily news program for middle and high school students. Produced by journalists and educators, this 10 minute newscast reports the daily news, commercial-free.


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Educational Games

Discovery Game Central

At Game Central, you can check out games, quizzes, puzzles and interactives to test your knowledge and skills. See what you can discover!

Free Rice

Work on your vocabulary skills and earn rice to fight world hunger at the same time. At the top of the Free Rice web page, you can choose the subject you want to be tested on.


Take tests on your computer, tablet or smart phone.  Here, you will find free timed math tests for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and mixed operations.  Students and teachers can select tests with 25, 50 or 100 problems.  Scoring is done with percentage correct, lists incorrect answers and time taken to complete the test.

These math games are specially designed for middle school students. Choose the topic that interests you from math jeopardy, math millionaire, algebra games, fraction games, money math games and much more!

National Geographic Games

Everyone loves National Geographic. Find cool games and interactives here that deal with science and history. What can you discover??

Sheppard Software

Lots of educational games, activities, quizzes, articles, etc. You'll find everything from Animals to World Geography here!

Smithsonian Games

Want to test your knowledge? Try Smithsonian Games and Puzzles. There are lots to choose from, including the Great American History Puzzle, U.S. Presidents, Toy Hall of Fame, Crossword Puzzles, Sudoku and tons more.

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English / Language Arts

the Beehive - MS English Help

This site has links to help students in English for grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing. These sites are interesting, fun and easy to understand

Internet4Classrooms - Lang. Arts

No matter whether you need help with grammar, diagramming sentences, writing a book report, or improving your vocabulary, you'll find tons of useful links here to improve your skills.

This is a free site for K - 12 students, teachers and virtually anyone who would like to learn new vocabulary words. Each session has 3 levels x 12 words each = 36 new words. There are also lots of activities and puzzles.

More than a dictionary, this web site helps you improve your vocabulary and has an adaptive learning system.  You'll be taught useful words and becuase of the Adaptive Vocabulary Instruction, the site focuses in on words you don't know, instead of ones you do.  You'll also be given hints and explanations to help you learn.



This whole site is dedicated to poetry. Even if you have never written a poem before, here you will find some great ideas to help you to give your words power or just have fun with writing.

Word Scramble

In this game, the letters are scrambled.  Your job is to rearrange them in the right order as fast as you can!

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International Languages


Would you like to learn a new language or get some extra practice in for your language class?  Try Duolingo.  It's a free site that is set up like a game.  You earn hearts for doing well within lessons and get points for completing lessons.  Charts can be viewed to keep track of your daily progress.  You start with the basics and eventaully get into phrases, foods, etc.  Currently, you can choose between 16 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Irish, Ukrainian, Russian and more.  Be careful... it's addictive!

There's even an app for that! :-)

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This site provides information about the preservation of the world's species. Included are photos, videos and fact files with lots of biology topics. All resources may be used by students and teachers in lessons and presentations.

NASA for Kids

Geared towards middle school students, this site has activities, homework help, dictionary of space terms, career corner and lots of pictures and videos. You can even create your own podcast with NASA video and audio clips!

National Geographic - Kids

Awesome articles from National Geographic, written for kids. These include historical events, lots of Science, homework help, activities and games, maps, photos, videos and more.

Science Buddies

Find free science project ideas and help in all areas of science. Whether you are doing a Science Fair project, just wanting to do a science experiment or looking into a career in Science, this site has it for you!

Science News for Kids

Check out the latest science news stories and features. There's also suggestions for hands-on activities, books, articles and web resources. Interested in some science competition. See what's out there for you to enter.

Smarter Every Day

Want to get excited about Science?  Destin Sandlin, mechanical engineer, has created some great (out of the ordinary) YouTube videos, dealing with the scientific method.

Smithsonian Kids

Smithsonian Kids is a great place to find out information about museums, zoos, research and cultural centers, exhibitions, events, collections and news. You could spend hours learning cool stuff here!

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Brain Teasers

Here you will find links to many brain teasers to challenge your skills, mostly in math.


Who said math can't be fun?? Here are plenty of lessons and games to help you love math. Note... at school avoid playing non-math games through this web site.

Fact Monster

As part of the web site Information Please, this site has useful links on Math. You'll find information on numbers and formulas, factors and fractions, measurement and money. Check out the Just for Fun area and play some math games.

Math Playground

Lots of math games, logic games, practice and word problems for you to exercise your brain with. There are even math videos to check out.

Manga High

Your teachers can set up an account for you and track your progress at Manga High. The cool thing is that you are having fun and learning at the same time.

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No matter whether you sing or play an instrument, this site can help you along your journey with music. You'll find lessons, exercises and music tools. Everyone has the power to make beautiful music!

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Physical Education

PE Central

Here are some great web links to help you log your physical activity, take online quizzes, and other sites for running, basketball, health and more!

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From the Library of Congress, classic books in digital format, author webcasts, booklists about history and geography topics and the presidents.


Scholastic provides great reading resources. There are interactive online learning activities, podcasts and more!

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Social Studies

America's Story

From the Library of Congress, this site is kid-friendly, with interactive mediums (quizzes and videos) and information about time periods, general history, important figures, etc.

CIA: The World Factbook

Information is provided for 256 countries throughout the world, including flags, maps, people, history, government, economy, military and much more.

Fact Monster

As part of the web site Information Please, this site has useful links on the Social Studies. Look for additional links on Geography and History. There are cool quizzes and games you can play and you're learning at the same time. You've got to try US Presidents hangman!

Historical Newspapers

As part of ProQuest, you can find articles from major newspapers dating back as far as 1851. These include the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor and many more. See what life was like during the Civil War, World War I and II. For more information, here's a video on how to use this great resource.

The History Channel

Brush up on history with the History Channel web site. You'll find text articles, related video and audio clips, photos and TV listings related to historical topics. Click here for a list of videos by topic.

Maps 101

Maps 101 has over 6000 maps in a variety of formats. You'll find current event information for countries around the globe, educational games and puzzles, and reference atlases. For teachers, there are hundreds of imbedded lesson plans. Whether you are planning a lesson or just looking for a place to visit, you'll find lots of great geographic information at! This is a paid subscription at Zachry / Comm Arts / Taft. Please see the librarian for username and password.

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Adobe CS5 Photoshop Tutorials CS

Learn how to edit and manipulate pictures like the pros do.  All school computers have either Adobe CS4 or CS5 on them, which includes Photoshop.  Here are some great tutorials that start out with the basics and work into more and more advanced techniques.  THESE are 21st Century skills for students!


CNET reports on the latest and greatest trends in technology, including news, reviews, videos, podcasts, downloads (not available at school - check with your parents) and more.

Digital Photography Review

Looking to buy a great digital camera? Dare to compare. Catch all the latest news on digital cameras, including reviews, a buying guide, sample images, camera specs, lenses, printers, software, forums, galleries and challenges.

Graphics Software

Do you need a graphics program to help you create or edit pictures? Here's a list of raster and vector graphics programs available. Look at the features and find one that's right for you. Some are freeware and some you have to pay for.

Freeware you may find useful includes Picasa, Pixia, Gimp, Dia, SketchUp and Inkscape, among others.

Note: at school we use Adobe Fireworks CS4 or CS5 and Adobe Photoshop CS4 or CS5. You can use a search engine and find tutorials for each of these programs.


Would you like to learn how to take better pictures? Kodak has numerous tips and tricks for you, including the top 10 tips, photographing animals and people,nature, holidays and events, and much more. There's something for everyone from beginners to advanced photographers.

Microsoft Office 2010

As a student, you can buy Microsoft Office 2010 much cheaper than you can at an electronics or office supply store. It is sold as a single license or you can buy a 3-install license.

Microsoft Office How-to Guides

Are you frustrated because Office 2007 and 2010 looks and works completely different than Office 2003? Try this link. You will be taken to a web site that lets you use the old way to do a Word Command and then shows you the new 2007 ribbons and exactly where to go to do the same thing! When using, click on Run rom here.

Microsoft Office Images

There are literally thousands of pieces of clip art, photos, animations and even sounds for you to use at this site. It is constantly being updated with new images. There's a search box where you can type in what you're looking for and then simply copy and paste it into your Office document.

Open Office Software

This is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. It includes software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. What's more, you can read and write files from Microsoft Office.

PC Magazine

PC Magazine offers reviews, how tos and tips, an encyclopedia, downloads (not available at school - check with your parents), editor's choice, shop and compare prices, news and opinions. This is a great place to keep up with technology trends.

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