I seriously cannot live without The WayBack Machine! (aka Internet Archive).
I use it CONSTANTLY!!
You can find it easily by just memorizing this URL: Archive.org
According to its homepage:
Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.https://archive.org/
So how is this site useful to homeschoolers, you may ask?
Well…how many times have you, as a homeschool parent, bookmarked an online resource, article, blog post, etc, meant to go back to it later and finally read it or use it…only to come back months or even years later and find the link broken?
Sometimes the link has just moved, sometimes the content is just completely taken down. Either way, it’s gone. (OR might take some doing to find it again.)
ENTER…THE WAYBACK MACHINE!!
This fantastic website has bots that regularly crawl the web and back up copies of just about everything. (NOT everything, mind you…but a whole heckuva lot!) MANY times when I think an extremely useful piece of info is lost to me…I am able to find the old archived info on the WayBack Machine! I just need to have the old URL.
I also find it fun to see how specific websites have evolved over time…you can pop in the URL of any site, and if it’s been archived over many years, you can take a peek back in time to see old snapshots of what they used to look like. I love to do this with my own websites and see how much I have changed them over the years! Take a look at the archives of my FresnoFamily website to see what I mean.
Also…sometimes websites have info on their old versions that they no longer have on their current ones and I can find some great stuff I was unaware of, just digging around in their old sites!
Recently I discovered an AWESOME tool to use with The WayBack Machine…
There is a Chrome extension, as well as a Firefox extension, that you can add to your browser to help you easily archive pages as you browse… to make sure that they have been saved for the future!
So now that I have this extension, whenever I find an awesome resource on the web, I use that extension to check to see if it has been archived recently. And if not, I can easily click a button and tell them to archive it! (Save now)
That way I know that in the future if that page goes down or moves, I can still access the info!
I’ve not yet taken advantage of all the other libraries on The WayBack Machine, but they have far more than just archived webpages…so I will have to check those out at some point as well! But for now, I am VERY HAPPY that this project exists and helps to keep a record of so much fantastic info on the web for generations to come!