Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New Resources On Race & Racism

December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2014

In what has become a tradition, my “Best and Worst Education News” of the year will be appearing soon in The Washington Post (you can see my mid-year edition here, and previous year’s round-ups here).

I’m putting the finishing touches on my piece, so let me know if you think there’s a big story that might not be on my radar.

But I’m not the only doing these kinds of education “year-in-review” posts.

Here are a few others, and I hope readers will share more in the comments section:

2014’s Best and Worst Players in Public Education is from NEA Today.

Five big education stories in 2014 is from Scholastic.

Top Ed-Tech Trends 2014 is by Audrey Watters.

I’m adding this post to All My 2014 “Best” Lists — So Far — In One Place.

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December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Decent Collection Of Geography Videos

I’ve previously shared different extensive collections of U.S. History and World History short videos that Glencoe has available for free on its textbook site. You can find those links on those “Best” lists.

I just realized, though, that even though I mentioned them, I didn’t actually have a direct link to all their geography videos on my The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography list.

Here is the link to the entire collection.

They’re sort of they stereotypical kind of school video that can make exciting subjects look boring at times, but they could definitely be usable at times.

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December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More

I had created a previous “Best” list titled The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween that I found very useful for my students, and thought I’d do the same for the holiday season.

I’ll be adding a link to this post over at The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa.
You can learn about ideas for using these videos in language-development activities at The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.

Please suggest ones I’m missing:

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December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Interesting & Useful Resources On “Homework”

December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Step Towards Star Trek’s “Universal Translator”

In May, I posted Star Trek “Universal Translator,” Here We Come?, where I reported on Microsoft’s efforts to create a simultaneous machine translator.

Today, they offered it in a limited release for use with Skype.

You can read about it in these articles:

Skype Translator Preview Going Live Today is from TechCrunch.

Skype’s new tool will let you translate your video call (almost) in real-time is from The Washington Post.

It’s got a long way to go before it becomes like Star Trek’s “Universal Translator,” but it seems like a pretty good start.

This video below shows it being used to foster communication between classrooms. I’ve got to say that it can, perhaps, be useful in some primary settings, but I’m skeptical about the logistics working out for middle and high school classes around the world considering time differences. For those older classes who want to communicate with international students, I think the strategy we use in our Geography class is more realistic.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty neat:

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December 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week

Each week, I publish a post containing three or four particularly useful resources on classroom instruction, and you can see them all here.

Here are this week’s picks:

Personalized Learning and Query Books is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Applying “Fed Ex Days” To Schools.

The great This American Life radio show has a series of lesson plans. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Find Free (And Good) Lesson Plans On The Internet.

I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Resources On Grading Practices:

I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Resources Sharing The Best Practices For Fruitful Classroom Discussions:

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December 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Supporting Student Engagement By ‘Building Community’”

Supporting Student Engagement By ‘Building Community’ is the final installment in my four-part series on student engagement and includes guest responses from Jennifer Fredricks, Aubrie Rojee, April Baker, Beth Donofrio, and Louis Cozolino. In addition, I share comments from readers.

Here are some excerpts:

Student-engagement-is-a1

Engagement-at-its

All-teachers-should-know

One-of-my-favorite

Student-engagement-can

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December 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Articles On The New E-Rate Increase

December 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Update On My Best Of 2014 Lists

As of today, I’ve published sixteen of my annual end-of-the-year “Best” lists, and you can see them all here.

I’ve got several more to go, and they’ll all be published by January 1st.

Here’s a list of the remaining ones I have to compile (they’re in italics), followed by links to each of their most recent lists:

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – Part Two (The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2014 – So Far)

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two (The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far)

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – Part Two (The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – So Far)

The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – Part Two (The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2014 – So Far)

The Best Infographics Of 2014 (The Best Infographics Of 2013 – Part Two)

The best and worst education news of 2014 (The best and worst education news of 2014 — so far)

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2014 (The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013)

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December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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December’s Infographics & Interactives Galore – Part Three

There are just so many good infographics and interactives out there that I’ve begun a new semi-regular feature called “Infographics & Interactives Galore.”

You can see others at A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics and by searching “infographics” on this blog.

I’ll still be publishing separate posts to individually highlight especially useful infographics and interactives, but you’ll find others in this regular feature.

Here goes:

How Your City Influences Your Spending shows the major ways people living in different cities spend their money. It’s from The New York Times.

Here’s a collection of Infographics and Lesson Sheets from Kids Discover.

What really happened in the Christmas truce of 1914? is an interactive from The BBC. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About World War I.

Biodiversity: Life ­– a status report is an interactive from Nature. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For World Biodiversity Day (& Endangered Species Day).

Here’s how democracy, autocracy and colonialism fared over the last century is an intriguing Washington Post infographic.

Frankenplace is a map-based search engine for Wikipedia. You can read more about it at Google Maps Mania.

I’m adding this next infographic to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures:

Here’s a useful infographic for IB Theory of Knowledge classes when they’re studying perception:

Ways Companies Use To Increase Sales

Designed by: http://alternativesfinder.com/ Author: Kate Stephens

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December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two

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It’s time for another of my annual end-of-year “Best” lists (you can see all 1,400 “The Best…” lists here).

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2014 – So Far


The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2013 — Part Two

All My 2013 “The Best…” Lists (So Far) On Education Policy In One Place

All My 2012 “The Best…” Lists On Education Policy In One Place

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2012 — Part One

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2011 — Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Polcy In 2011 — Part One

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy — 2010

The “Best” Articles (And Blog Posts) About Education Policy — 2009

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2008

The “Best” Articles About Education — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two (let me know what you think I’m missing):

The Los Angeles Times just published a great article headlined, Can collaboration between schools, unions fix failing campuses?

I Used to Think … That Experts Understood the World is by Rick Hess at Ed Week and he followed that post up with Wait A Minute...

Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School is the title of a new study at The National Center For Analysis Of Longitudinal Data In Education Research.

How to reframe the education reform debate appeared in The Washington Post.

Teachers Are Not Superhuman is by Walt Gardner at Ed Week.

Gates Scholar, Tom Kane, Continues the Fight to Prove He Is Right is by John Thompson.

Teacher Evaluations Need to ‘Support, Not Sort’ was one of my posts at Education Week Teacher.  In Part One of a three-part series, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel, and 2012 National Teacher Of The Year Rebecca Mieliwocki shared their thoughts on teacher evaluations.

What Education “Reformers” Do Not Understand About Teaching and Learning is by Daniel Katz.

Here’s an excellent video of Dana Goldstein discussing “As if teachers’ jobs aren’t hard enough, they’re asked to fix poverty, too”:

‘The Teacher Wars’: An Interview With Dana Goldstein is another one of my posts at Education Week Teacher.

The Original Charter School Vision is an excellent Op-Ed in The New York Times, written by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter.

Education Is Not ‘Moneyball’: Why Teachers Can’t Trust Value-Added Evaluations Yet is an excellent Ed Week piece by William Eger.

For Reformers: An Important Paper on Worker Compensation and Incentives is by Paul Bruno, and is a very important piece.

The Teach Like a Champion Paradigm is a very interesting post about Doug Lemov’s methods. It’s by Ben Spielberg.

Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers appeared in the Washington Post.

Teaching Is Not a Business is the title of David Kirp’s op-ed in The New York Times .

Educational Movements, Not Market Moments is an important post by Mike Rose.

Gary Ravani has written a great post that appeared in The Washington Post titled School reforms that actually work.

“Stupid, absurd, non-defensible”: New NEA president Lily Eskelsen García on the problem with Arne Duncan, standardized tests and the war on teachers is from Salon.

The New York Times published a column that highlights all of what is wrong about merit pay. However, they talk about it in the context of doctors and the medical profession and not teachers. It’s titled The Problem With ‘Pay for Performance’ in Medicine.

Do Students Learn More When Their Teachers Work Together? is an excellent post by Esther Quintero at The Shanker Blog.

The New Yorker, two months after publishing an excellent article on the school reform fiasco in Newark which made The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2014 – So Far list)  published an extraordinary feature on the Atlanta testing scandal — Wrong Answer: In an era of high-stakes testing, a struggling school made a shocking choice — by Rachel Aviv.

Lily Eskelen Garcia, the National Education Association President spoke at the American Federation Of Teachers Convention.

It’s definitely worth watching:

Donna Brazile announced the formation of Democrats For Public Education at the American Federation of Teachers Convention in Los Angeles. It’s designed to support effective and teacher-supported education efforts.

You’ve got to watch this video of her speech at the Convention:

The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”

Gates’ Excuse for Poor Results of Educational Technology: “Unmotivated Students” and A Question for Bill Gates: How Can We Motivate Students When Their Futures Are Bleak? are both by Anthony Cody at Ed Week.

We Need Teachers of Color is from Education Week.

The Best Resources For Learning About Balanced Literacy & The “Reading Wars”

Ten Reform Claims That Teachers Should Know How to Challenge is by Jack Schneider at Ed Week.

America’s Unspoken Education Issue: Black Kids Need Black Teachers is by Melinda Anderson.

When Educators Understand Race and Racism is by Melinda D. Anderson.

Accountability vs. What We Want for Our Children is an excellent post at Education Week. It’s written by Marc Tucker at his Top Performers blog.

Pedro Noguera Defends Teacher Tenure in Wall Street Journal is from Diane Ravitch’s blog.

There Is Probably No “Crisis” In American Education is by Paul Bruno.

How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution is from The Washington Post.

The Best Posts & Articles About OECD’s Survey Of Teacher Working Conditions

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December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week’s “Round-Up” Of Useful Posts & Articles On Ed Policy

Here are some recent posts and articles on education policy issues that I thought were worth sharing:

Charter Schools’ Arbitrary Rules Can Have Dire Consequences is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

If teachers know best about professional learning… let’s follow their lead. is by Barnett Berry. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers.

Charts: Common Core Implementation By The Numbers is from This Week In Education. I’m adding it to A Collection Of My “Best” Lists On The Common Core.

How L.A. Unified got its iPad contract is from The L.A. Times. I’m adding it to A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools.

What Students Do (And Don’t Do) In Khan Academy is by Dan Meyer. I’m adding it to The Best Posts About The Khan Academy.

Big Drop In Students Being Held Back, But Why? is from NPR. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both.

Burdensome, restrictive, flawed: Why proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs are a cause for concern is from The Hechinger Report.

Obama’s Race to the Top loses all funding in 2015 omnibus spending bill is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “Race To The Top.”

F.C.C. Increases Money for E-Rate Program for Internet in Schools and Libraries is from The NY Times.

Did Rudy Giuliani just link Eric Garner’s death to teachers’ unions? is from The Washington Post.

Another Educated Guess about Philanthropy and School Reform is by Larry Cuban. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

An Educated Guess about Donor-Driven School Reform is also by Larry Cuban. I’m adding to the same list.

Teacher Pay Is Poorly Understood is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles About The Importance Of Teacher (& Student) Working Conditions.

Is Teaching More Like Baseball Or Basketball? is from The Shanker Blog.

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December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Today Is The Second Anniversary of The Newtown Massacre — Here Are Related Resources

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I’m sure we all remember that terrible day two years ago.

Here are some relate resources:

A Collection Of Resources On The Sandy Hook Shooting (a post I published near the time of the killings)

The Best Resources On The Sandy Hook Tragedy (a post I published on the first anniversary)

The Best Resources On Talking With Children About Tragedies

For Whom The Bells Toll is from Slate.

Developments in Newtown 2 Years After Massacre is from The Associated Press.

“Personal reflection” marks 2nd anniversary of Newtown school shooting is from CBS News.

Newtown debates how to stop a gunman as it builds secure new school is from The Guardian.

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December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Al Jazeera Article On Providing Students With Home Internet Access

jazeera

Al Jazeera has just published an article about New York City libraries providing free home internet access to low-income students and families.

I was interviewed by the reporter and you’ll find a couple of not-particularly-profound quotes from me talking about a similar project our school did with immigrant families.

I’m adding the article to The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students.

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December 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Five Most Popular Posts Of The Week

Here’s the latest edition of this every-weekend feature . These are the posts appearing this blog that received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they have originally been published on an earlier date).

Here they are:

1. The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2014

2. The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2014 — Part Two

3. The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part Two

4. November’s Infographics & Interactives Galore — Part Six

5. The Best Comic Strips For Students & Teachers In 2014

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December 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2014

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This list (a not particularly long one) brings together what I think are this year’s best ways to create online content easily and quickly. These web tools are excellent ways for English Language Learners, and others who might not be very tech-savvy, to have a good experience working with technology.

In order to make it on this list, web tools must be:

* accessible to English Language Learners.

* available at no-cost.

* able to be used to easily create engaging online content within minutes.

* willing to host user-created work indefinitely on the website itself.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* accessible without requiring registration.

You might also be interested in:

The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2013 – So Far

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — Part One

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2011

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2010

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2009

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2008

Here are this year’s choices (not listed in order of preference):

ClipDis a new web and smartphone app that lets you type in any sentence and then provides it to you in a short video with actors from popular movies speaking it. Even better, you don’t have to register in order to create one and be provided a unique url address for linking to it. Here’s one I made.

ClassTools has created Twister, which lets you create fake tweets. You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog, and I’ve added it to The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning.

Class Tools lets you easily create a Map “treasure hunt” with no registration necessary.

The Rand McNally Trip Maker easily lets you design a trip anywhere in the United States, and you can add sites of interest along the way.

As mentioned earlier, I have a fairly popular The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning list. The fake “stuff” I’m referring to includes newspaper articles, sports “trading cards,” iPhone conversations, Facebook pages etc. These can be used for conversation practice, to create reports on historical figures (or on natural disasters or on just about anything) and for numerous other learning activities. Simitator is another one I’m adding to the list. It lets you create “fake” Facebook pages, Twitter threads and more. Unfortunately, though, you have to download your creation — it won’t let you link to it (most of the other tools on my Best list let you save them as Web pages.

Incredibox, the incredibly easy music-creating site that’s been on The Best Online Sites For Creating Music list for years, has just announced its annual update. Version Four has even more sounds to mix, and will only make it more fun for students to use. I have my English Language Learners create their tracks and then describe — verbally and in writing — why they made their particular composition and what they want people to visualize when they listen to it.

The New York Times has created the Chronicle. It’s their version of the Google Books Ngram Viewer, which charts word use over the years in the books they’ve indexed (see The Best Posts To Help Understand Google’s New “Books Ngram Viewer”). The Times, though, indexes word usage in its own history. The image at the top of this post shows the results of my charting “love” and “hate.” It looks like love is winning! The Chronicle is very easy to use and no registration is required. It, and the Ngram Viewer, can be used with English Language Learners and other students in a number of ways, ranging from just being a fun and simple way for them to play with words to being a tool to correlate certain word usage with political attitudes (as I did in a recent column at Education Week Teacher).

The same day The New York Times announced their own version of Google’s Ngram Viewer, the online review site Yelp unveiled their own. It’s called Yelp Trends and you can compare how often different words are used in reviews at cities around the world. It’s very easy to use and no registration is required. You can see two examples below that I created – comparing soccer, basketball and jogging in Sacramento and in London. Obviously, soccer isn’t going to be mentioned much in London since they call it football there. I wonder if I shared these with students how many would figure that out? Have students create their own and then challenge their classmates to explain the reason for the differences (after they figure it out themselves) could just be one fun way to use it in class — that is, if Yelp isn’t blocked by school district content filters. You can read more about Yelp Trends at Slate.

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Transitmix lets you easily create a mass transit system for any city or town in the world, including how much it would cost to run. No registration is required, and you’re given a link to your creation. You can read more about it at Gizmodo.

Sketch Toy is a simple and useful online drawing tool.

Thanks to Katherine Schulten, I learned about the Hemingway app, a fun site that will evaluate your writing and tell you how to change it to Hemingway’s style.

It’s A Message lets you send a personal holiday message, along with images of snow falling on the address of your choices.

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December 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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ELLs Will Love “ClipDis”! It’s Text-To-Speech With A Twist

clipdis

ClipDis a new web and smartphone app that lets you type in any sentence and then provides it to you in a short video with actors from popular movies speaking it. Even better, you don’t have to register in order to create one and be provided a unique url address for linking to it.

Here’s one I made.

One of my most popular annual Best lists compiles tool that lets you create web content without registration (see The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly) and ClipDis will certainly be on this year’s list when it gets published.

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