Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Middlespot Search Engine Unveils A New Version That Looks Great

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Earlier today, I shared a new application that the Middlespot Search Engine folks have developed to easily create online books and reports (see “Simple Booklet” Is A New Tool Many Teachers Will Want To Use).

Just now, they shared with me a new beta version of their search engine, which is even better than their present one (which is ranked number one on The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners).

Their new version is like an even easier and embeddable Wallwisher. In other words, it’s a virtual bulletin board with virtual “stickies.”

If you’re searching for an image, website, or video, though, you don’t necessarily have to copy and paste their url addresses (though you can) — if they are in the search results you just click on it to go into your “mashup” and it goes to it automatically. No registration is necessary, and you can collaborate with others.

The new version makes it even more useful for higher level thinking skills like categorization. I describe how to use applications like Middlespot for this purpose in The Best Social Bookmarking Applications For English Language Learners & Other Students.

Remember, though, it’s still in “beta,” so it may have a few bugs….

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Hello Larry! Thanks for all your great posts. That is a nifty feature that Middlespot has introduced. Have you seen our new search engine, SweetSearch4Me? ESL/ELLs of all ages should find it very useful, as it is the only search engine that prominently features high quality Web sites created for emerging learners. I’d invite you to do a side-by-side comparison of the quality of the search results on SweetSearch4Me vs any other search engine, on any academic topic; I compared results for Middlespot and SweetSearch4Me for Industrial Revolution, War of 1812 and Shakespeare and found Middlespot’s results dominated mostly by Wikipedia or its offshoots and “passion sites” that lack academic rigor. All of SweetSearch4Me’s results are high quality; it includes some University sites, but these are all primary source sites that an ESL learner should appreciate (note that SweetSearch4Me actually conducts two searches – first, it offers up to 3 links from sister site findingDulcinea, which themselves may be the best resource for an ESL learner, and then it show results from 35,000 carefully curated Web sites). While SweetSearch4Me may not be as visually appealing as Middlespot, it is enhanced by Yolink, so users can browse 100 or more words around their search term, without even opening the search result. I believe offering 100 extra words of context around a search term is more valuable than offering a picture of the home page. The Yolink enhancement also enables users to bookmark selected links, or segments of links, save them to a Google Doc for collaboration, and save or share them via email, Diigo, Delicious, Twitter, Evernote, etc. Lastly, SweetSearch4Me often returns results from its sister site, encontrandoDulcinea, which offers Spanish language narrative guidance to the best Spanish and English language links for thousands of topics. For example, a native Spanish speaker studying the Gettysburg address would be well served by reading this in Spanish, and then the companion version in English:–Presidente-Lincoln-pronuncia-el-Discurso-de-Gettysburg—.html

    Best regards, Mark Moran

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