Some time ago, I attended a workshop on using "Marco Polo Education" website resources in the classroom. It was a terrific resource for locating quality lesson plans and information for teaching and learning. The MCI Foundation launched the Marco Polo Education Foundation (MPEd) in 2002, and when WorldCom went into bankruptcy, Marco Polo was in danger of disappearing. Long story short, it is now known as "Thinkfinity.org" and is funded by Verizon:
This free, comprehensive digital learning platform is built upon the merger of two highly-acclaimed programs well-known to educators Verizon MarcoPolo and the Thinkfinity Literacy Network. Thinkfinity is designed to improve learning in traditional settings and beyond the classroom by providing high-caliber content and professional development needed to improve student achievement anytime, anywhere, at no cost.
Thinkfinity partners with great content providers such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of English, National Geographic Society, and soon the Smithsonian-National Museum of American History, just to name a few.
Especially of interest is the free professional development provided to help educators make the most of the resources. The success of the program relies on a "train the trainer" model in which educators attend face-to-face sessions, and then facilitate workshops in their schools or districts. I'm looking into workshop opportunities offered in Lake or Northern Cook County. In the meantime, check out the "self-guided" tour, which takes about 20 minutes.