Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Research On Listening To Music When Studying

'Typical Teen' photo (c) 2011, Tyler-Adams - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve published a few posts about the question of playing background music in the classroom, along with info on the practice of listening to music when studying.

I thought I’d bring them together in one post, and invite readers to contribute their own ideas and experiences, too.

I’ll be adding this “Best” list to The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking.

Here goes:

This is a reprint of my first post on the topic. It’s worth looking at the original post because of the comments readers left:

A  study find that listening to music while performing a task can impair cognitive ability.

Researchers divided participants into three groups — one listening to music they liked, one to music they didn’t like, and one with no music:

The most accurate recall occurred when participants performed the task in the quieter, steady-state environments. Thus listening to music, regardless of whether people liked or disliked it, impaired their concurrent performance.

One of the study’s authors concluded:

“Most people listen to music at the same time as, rather than prior to performing a task. To reduce the negative effects of background music when recalling information in order one should either perform the task in quiet or only listen to music prior to performing the task.”

This reflects my experience in the classroom (and my own personal experience). I use music a lot with English Language Learners as parts of lessons, and use music in lessons with our mainstream English classes when studying Bob Marley and, also, New Orleans. But they are always specific parts of lessons. Any time I acquiesce to student pleas to let them listen to those music examples outside of those specific lessons — for example, if they are working on a group project or during silent reading, it becomes an obvious distraction and I usually turn it off relatively quickly.

However, there is an important caveat — I have found that a few students who face particular challenges actually work better if they are listening to their own mp3 player at times, and have made individual agreements to let students sometimes use them.

Several years ago, when I was teaching a particularly challenging class, having students close their eyes for a couple of minutes after lunch and listen to soothing music also worked well as a calming influence. But they did not have to perform any task other than calming down, and the study does point out that music can “very positive effect on our general mental health” in that kind of situation.

Another study has found that working in quiet is the best atmosphere for cognitive work, listening to music you don’t like is next, and listening to music you like creates the worst cognitive atmosphere.

Don’t Listen to Music While Studying is useful post from Edutopia.

Okay, I’m all ears. Please share if your experience agrees, or disagrees, with this research….

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April 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Learning About The Blood Moon

'Blood Moon' photo (c) 2010, Hanzlers Warped Visions - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A “Blood Moon” will be occurring tomorrow night, and I thought readers might find this list helpful.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Sites For Learning About A Lunar Eclipse

The Best Images Of The Ring Of Fire Eclipse

The Best Resources About The “Supermoon”

The Best Resources For “Moon Day”

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About The Blood Moon:

Total lunar eclipse, ‘blood moon’ to be showstoppers in sky is an infographic from the San Francisco Chronicle.

8 incredible images of lunar eclipses is from The Mother Nature Network.

‘Blood Moons’ Explained: What Causes a Lunar Eclipse Tetrad? (Infographic) is from Space.com.

Here’s a video from Space.com:

Here’s why you’ll be able to see a “blood moon” tonight is from Vox.

Here’s an “Explainer” video from TIME Magazine:

Goodnight, Moon: Why the Lunar Lights Will Go Out Tonight is from TIME.

‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse Distilled into a Nine-Second Animated GIF

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April 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Financial Aid Resources For Students Planning To Go To College — Help Me Find More

'College Fund' photo (c) 2012, Tax Credits - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve previously posted three “Best” lists related to students attending college:

The Best Sites For Encouraging ELL’s To Attend College

The Best Posts About Getting Our Students To Attend College

The Best Resources For Showing Students Why They Should Continue Their Academic Career

They all have a slightly different “take” on the topic. However, I’ve realized that, though some accessible financial aid related-resources are including in some of them, there is a lot more out there.

I hope readers will contribute many more.

Here goes:

Questions About Financial Aid? is from The New York Times.

What You Don’t Know About Financial Aid (but Should) is also from The Times.

Avoiding the most common financial aid application errors is from The Washington Post.

Applying to College With The New York Times

Comparing College Costs: A Primer is from The Washington Post.

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April 8, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Posts & Videos About Sugata Mitra & His Education Ideas

'Sugata Mitra' photo (c) 2012, Campus  Party Brasil - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Professor Sugata Mitra and is famous for his “holes in the wall” experiments where he placed computers in impoverished Indian communities and students “self-organized” their instruction. Professor Mitra was awarded the TED Prize last year, and expanded his work with that support.

I’ve previously published some fairly popular posts about Professor Sugata Mitra.

The first post was one where I shared a number of concerns I had about his work (see Questions About Sugata Mitra & His “Holes In The Wall”) and then a guest post in response from Rory Gallagher. Both attracted many comments — particularly Rory’s — and Sugata Mitra also participated in the comment thread. You can find his TED video on the first one.

The third one was I’m Not Sure How Effective It Will Be, But Sugata Mitra’s New Online Tool Definitely Looks Interesting. It’s about his recently unveiled efforts to extend his ideas further.

A few days ago, he spoke at the International IATEFL Conference to ESL/ELT/EFL teachers. Here’s the video of his speech (I tried embedding it, but the embed code isn’t working).

Here’s a follow-up interview he gave to conference organizers.

He received a decidedly mixed response, which you can read about in How Sugata Mitra Annoyed English Teachers (& why I care) at 16 Kinds.

Sugata Mitra: The Ignorant School Teacher?
is by David Deubelbeiss.

IATEFL Harrogate Online: Sugata Mitra (part 2)
is from Blog EFL.

Marisa Constantinides has collected a number of posts about Sugata Mitra’s recent address to ESL teachers.

I’d be interested in making additions to this list, so please contribute them in the comments section.

You might be interested in my other 1,300 The Best lists, too…

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March 31, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

I Am Tired Of “School Reformers” Using The Civil Rights Movement Legacy To Support Their Agenda

deasy

Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy spoke today at USC on the Vergara lawsuit (see The Best Resources On California Court Case Attacking Teacher’s Rights).

Los Angeles Times reporter Howard Blume is not going to write a story about his speech, but he did send out these tweets:

This attempted appropriation of the Civil Rights Movement legacy as a “false dilemma fallacy” in support of a “reform” agenda is an insult to educators, students, families, and our communities. The choice is not one of either having “civil rights” for students or a “lower-quality teacher corps.” Teachers, and our unions, have been and will continue to be fierce fighters for the rights of our students.

More and more, this seems to be the real choice: One between educators who spend each day in schools and communities supporting their students and those with little connection to the classroom and who are backed by billionaires with even less interest in strengthening our system of public education.

Here are a few other articles on reformers and their misuse of the Civil Rights legacy:

Key flaw in market-based school reform: a misunderstanding of the civil rights struggle is from The Washington Post.

Beware of Education Reformers Who Co-Opt the Language of the Civil Rights Movement is by Denisha Jones.

Eva Moskowitz’s Shameful Misuse of Civil Rights is from The Huffington Post.

Does Tenure Violate the Civil Rights of Students? is by Diane Ravitch.

More-and-more-this-seems

What do you think?

Here are a couple of new additions — comments on this post:

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March 27, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
5 Comments

The Best Resources On Professional Development For Teachers — Help Me Find More

'Girl spleeping on desk' photo (c) 2008, reynermedia - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Even though we’ve been very lucky at our school to have great professional development, there have been times that I’ve had to attend absolutely terrible District-sponsored sessions. Unfortunately, terrible sessions are a common experience that many teachers share.

I thought I’d bring together a few potentially useful resources on the topic (including links to a number of related resources I’ve previously published) and invite readers to contribute more in the comments section:

I’ve got to start off with the recent infamous video clip from a Chicago Schools professional development session that I titled “Though It Seems Like A Parody, It’s A Real Professional Development Event.” I’ll reprint the entire post:

Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, sent this out:

 

Here is the video’s description:

This presenter was one of several consultants flown in from California and the United Kingdom for the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Strategic School Support Services’ special network. This is a professional development for teachers of Saturday ISAT preparation classes.

Yes, you can make a lot of things look bad taken out of context, but I don’t think a case can be made that this is appropriate for any professional development, or classroom, context….

Why most professional development for teachers is useless is an excellent piece by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.  She picked-up on my original post about the video, and followed-up with this one.

What Professional Development Should Be is by Nancy Flanagan.

Your Best Training Session Ever is by Daniel Coyle.

Lesson Study is an excellent post at Class Teaching about that well-known form of professional development in Japan.

Here are some of my previous posts related to professional development:

The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development

The Best Resources On “Instructional Coaching”

Great Story About Professional Development

“Professional Development in Action: Improving Teaching for English Learners”

Gates Foundation Makes Its Move In California — And It Looks Like Somebody Is Giving Them Good Advice

‘If only American teachers were smarter…’ is from The Washington Post.

Again, please feel free to contribute additional resources in the comments section!

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March 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources For Learning About Mudslides

'Mudslide II' photo (c) 2009, Todd Petit - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The terrible tragedy in Washington State happened five days ago, and the search for survivors continues.

I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not very familiar with danger of mudslides, and am creating this list and will add it to A Compilation Of “The Best…” Lists About Natural Disasters.

I’ll start off with this New York Times video on The Science of Mudslides.

Extent of the Mudslide is a map from The New York Times.

The Snohomish County landslide is an infographic from The Washington Post.

Which States Are Prone to Landslides — and How Can You Prepare? is from NBC News.

Before and After the Washington Mudslide is from The Wall Street Journal.

Anatomy of a mudslide is from USA Today.

Interactive: Anatomy of a Mudslide is from a Seattle television station.

A closer look at aerial image of Highway 530 mudslide is from The Seattle Times.

Hope for survivors of landslide dims as death toll rises as high as 24 is from CNN.

Here are some NBC News videos:

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March 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts, Articles & Videos On “Teacher Leadership” — Contribute More!

'Lead' photo (c) 2012, Ray Larabie - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“Teacher Leadership” is a phrase that’s used a lot, and to not always mean the same thing. It’s particularly important, I think, to talk about it now since Education Secretary Arne Duncan is kicking-off an initiative using the term (you’ll find commentaries on that effort later in this post).

I thought it might be useful to share a few of what I think are the best ones (or, at least, the ones that I think best convey what I think teacher leadership should mean).

To start off, here are two essential “Best” lists:

The Best Resources For Learning Why Teachers Unions Are Important

The Best Resources On Being A Teacherpreneur

Here are my other choices for The Best Posts & Articles On “Teacher Leadership”:

Will Arne Duncan leave a legacy of teacher leadership? is by Barnett Berry.

Does Duncan Believe in ‘Teach to Lead?’ is by Justin Minkel at Education Week.

Rick & Maddie on Sec. Duncan’s Earnest Call for Teacher ‘Leadership’ is from Rick Hess at Education Week. I think Rick Hess is right-on about Arne Duncan’s recent call for “teacher leadership.”

Check out Mary Tedrow’s blog post on the same topic.

Developing Teacher Leadership for the Long Haul is an article I wrote for Education Week Teacher.

Here’s a video presentation I gave as a Keynote at the K-12 Online Conference on the topic, “Developing Leadership in Classrooms, Schools and Communities”:

Leveraging Teacher Leadership is the theme of a recent ASCD Educational Leadership issue.

A Brilliant Management Insight Helps Chipotle Retain Its Best Employees is an interesting article from Business Insider that I think has applications for the development of teacher leadership.

I hope readers will contribute more resources!

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March 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Sites For Learning About Japan

March 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire

'Tie Straightened' photo (c) 2006, glindsay65 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I’ve worn a sport coat and tie everyday during my ten year teaching career (except for when we go on field trips to San Francisco and to Yosemite), and have explained my rationale for doing so in previous posts that have garnered many comments (I’ll link to them later in this post).

Recently, the topic of teacher attire has been in the news lately, and I thought it would be useful for me to bring those new articles together in one “The Best” list, along with my past ones. I hope you’ll share your own comments….

First, here are the new ones:


Ofsted launches new clampdown on scruffy teachers
is from The Telegraph.

Teachers condemned for being too scruffy – report is from The Telegraph.

Do Clothes Make the Teacher? is by Walt Gardner at Education Week.

Now, here are my posts — and you definitely want to check out the comments left on them, too:

A Question On Teacher Attire

Can An Educator’s Clothes Affect How He/She Teaches?

Study: Appearances Matter

I’d recommend you also read Dave Dodgson’s post, Suits you, Sir!

Let me know what you think….

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March 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The Best Sites For Learning About India

'Image taken from page 17 of 'A E I. Arabia, Egypt, India. A narrative of travel. With fifteen illustrations and two maps'' photo (c) 2013, The British Library - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/

We’re going to be studying India next week in my Geography class for English Language Learners.

I’ll be adding this to A Beginning List Of The Best Geography Sites For Learning About Asia & The Middle East.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About India (additional suggestions are welcome):

The Best Sites To Learn About The Hindu Festival Of Holi

National Geographic For Kids: India

TIME For Kids: India

Snaith Primary School: India

Mr. Donn’s India

Woodlands India

Primary Homework Help India

Fact Monster India

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March 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Resources On The Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane

'Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-400; 9M-MQI@HKG;31.07.2011/614nm' photo (c) 2011, Aero Icarus - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Its fate appears to be a mystery no longer: Jet Fell Into Ocean With All Lost, Premier Says is from The New York Times and here’s an update from CNN.

The missing Malaysia Airlines plane continues to be a mystery, and a tragic one. I can only imagine what the families of the passengers must be going through…

It can also be a a topic for classroom study — ranging from geography lessons to writing prompts.

Here are some useful related resources if you want to discuss it with your students:

Dozens of Planes Have Vanished in Post-WWII Era is an infographic from Bloomberg News.

Planes that vanished without a trace is an interactive from the CBC. Thanks to Peter Vogel for the tip.

The scale of the search for Flight MH370 is a Washington Post interactive.

Key moments emerge in tracking of missing Malaysia Airlines plane is from CNN.

Flight MH370: Claimed locations for the missing Malayasian Airlines plane – interactive is from The Guardian.

The Associated Press has an updated interactive.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Australia says possible objects in Indian Ocean is from CNN. You can find lots of other related multimedia at the same link.

Questions Over Absence of Cellphone Calls From Missing Flight’s Passengers is from The New York Times.

The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is a series of maps from The New York Times.

Expanding the search for Flight MH370 is a Washington Post infographic.

A Complete Timeline of the Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is from The Atlantic.

What Happened To Flight MH370? is an excellent interactive from The Washington Post.

A buoy, a fish, and a robot search for Flight 370 is an infographic from The Washington Post.

MH370: see how deep in the ocean the black box could be is from The Guardian.

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March 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

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I’ve been posting annual lists of The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers of ELLs for a number of years. In addition, I’ve also been publishing separate lists of The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students, which mainly focuses on self-access student sties.

I thought it would be useful for readers, my students, and me to review them all and identify my choices for the “all-time” best ones for teachers. I’ll be following-up with one for students, soon. Later today, I’ll also be publishing the first post in a series on teaching ELLs over at my Education Week Teacher column, and wanted to share this resource there.

I’ve begun creating a number of these “All-Time” Best list, with The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly being the first ; The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education second;  The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators third;  The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games was the fourth one; The “All-Time” Best Social Studies Sides was fifth; The “All-Time” Best Science Sites was sixth; and The “All-Time” Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators was number seven.

Look for quite a few more “All-Time” Best lists over the next couple of months.

There are nearly 1,300 Best lists now that are categorized and updated regularly.  You can see them all here.

I’ve included several of my “The Best” lists on this list.  Those lists mainly link to resources developed by other teachers.  For those topics, there are just so many excellent resources I just couldn’t pick one or two to highlight here.

Here are my choices for  The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners (These are not listed in any order of preference). Be sure to let me know what I’m missing:

I have to start by sharing what I think are the Best Three Sites On The Web For ESL/EFL/ELL/ELT Teachers. These three sites provide large quantities of high quality resources for teachers and students, and they’re free. They’re my “go to” sites that I check check daily, and typically more often, to see what’s new.

The Teaching English – British Council Facebook page. This site is probably the most popular — and deservedly so — site for ESL/EFL/ELL teachers in the world.  Ann Foreman does an extraordinary job inviting and sharing resources from teachers throughout the world.

EFL Classroom 2.0. I’ve posted countless times already about this site, and the great work by its founder, David Deubelbeiss.

Ressources Pour Le College En Anglais is another site I’ve mentioned often. Michelle Henry does an incredible job of curating resources for students and teachers.

I’m obviously biased, but I think the weekly posts I write for the New York Times Learning Network on teaching ELLs are one of the best resources on the Web for both students and teachers.

ELT Chat and ELLchat on Twitter are excellent ways to learn from and connect with other English teachers.

Readers of our book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide, know that there’s a lesson plan in it helping students learn the qualities of a successful language learner and that they do a self-assessment as part of it. Part of that lesson includes use of The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner. Marisa Constantinides has created a quiz called Are You A Good Language Learner (completely separate from our lesson), which would be great to give to students. And the EFL Smart Blog has turned Marisa’s quiz into an interactive one that could be taken online. It’s an excellent activity to use on its own or as part of our lesson plan.

Kate Kinsella has a collection of hand-outs to assist in academic language instruction. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Developing Academic English Skills & Vocabulary.

English Agenda is a site from the British Council which offers a wealth of language-teaching research and online professional development.

Teaching English at the British Council features a “blog post of the month” from English teachers throughout the world. It’s a great collection.  The entire Teaching English site has a wealth of useful resources.

Maximising Learning in Large Classes and Teaching Large Classes are both from The British Council. I’m adding them to The Best Resources On Teaching Multilevel ESL/EFL Classes.

The Best Ideas For Using Games In The ESL/EFL/ELL Classroom

Alex Case has put together a list of his most popular blog posts/shared resources from the TEFLtastic blog.

The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons

Sean Banville has an “empire” of nine excellent free websites that have to be bookmarked by an teacher of English Language Learners. Check them all out here.

Get Organized Around Assets is the title of an article I wrote for  ASCD’s Educational Leadership. I think it’s the best piece I’ve written on teaching ELLs. It’s subtitled:

The steps community organizers use to help change people’s lives can help teachers improve English language learners’ reading.

The Best Resources For Adapting Your Textbook So It Doesn’t Bore Students To Death

The Best Sites For Free ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets

The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL

The Best Music Websites For Learning English

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March 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Resources On The Dangers Of Multitasking

'How to become a SocialMediaManager' photo (c) 2011, Urs Steiner - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’m beginning to prepare and short lesson on dangers of multitasking, and thought I’d bring together some of the resources I’ll be using for it. Additional suggestions are welcome:

You might also be interested in The Best Research On Listening To Music When Studying.

Don’t Multitask: Your Brain Will Thank You is from TIME.

Why Humans Are Bad at Multitasking is from Live Science.

12 reasons to stop multitasking now is from Fox News.

The Multitasking Mind is from BrainFacts.org.

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work is from Forbes.

How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn? is from Mind/Shift.

Here’s a video from Daniel Willingham:

What people know about the cost of multitasking is also by Dan Willingham.

Data shows kids shouldn’t multitask is by Dan Willingham, too.

Here’s an interactive on multitasking from Scientific American.

You can see all 1,300 of my “The Best…” lists here.

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March 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Video Clips & Full-Length Movies For Helping To Teach Persuasive Techniques (Help Me Find More)

'Asian Persuasion Food Track' photo (c) 2012, Mike Avila - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I have a ton of resources related to teaching persuasive writing (see The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays), especially to English Language Learners.

I decided it would be helpful to find video clips to supplement teaching this unit, which I’m doing right now.

I was surprised to find that several other sites have developed great collections of video clips that would be very helpful, which I’ll list in this post.

I’d love to hear more suggestions. I’m especially interested in hearing ideas for full-length movies that would be useful. I use Luis Rodriguez’s book It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way/No tiene que ser asi: A Barrio Story/Una historia del barrio as an example (talking about persuasion related to joining — and not joining — a gang), and it would be great to find a full-length movie that I could use similarly — gang-related or not.

Here are the collections of useful video clips I’ve found:

Best Persuasive Speeches in film history? is from Reddit.

Persuasion in movies

WingClips Persuasion

Watch Know Learn:Persuasive

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March 11, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The “All-Time” Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators

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I’ve been posting annual lists of The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators for a number of years. There are a number of ways to gauge “popularity.” I just view these lists as opportunities to check-out some new sites, and find it interesting to see which ones might be particularly “popular.”

I thought it would be useful for readers, my students, and me to review them all and identify my choices for the “all-time” best ones.

I’ve begun creating a number of these “All-Time” Best list, with The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly being the first ; The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education second;  The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators third;  The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games was the fourth one; The “All-Time” Best Social Studies Sides was fifth; and The “All-Time” Best Science Sites was sixth.

Look for quite a few more “All-Time” Best lists over the next couple of months.

There are nearly 1,300 Best lists now that are categorized and updated regularly.  You can see them all here.

Here are my choices for  The “All-Time” Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators These are not listed in any order of preference):

What We Watch:a geographic exploration of popular YouTube videos is from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and lets you use a map to see and compare which YouTube videos are most popular in countries around the world.

Google hosts “Top Charts,” which show the top things that people are searching for in multiple categories on a monthly basis.

Here are a couple of examples:

USC Rossier Online, associated with the University of Southern California,  has a rating system for education blogs that they call The Teach 100.

The YouTube Trends Map shows which videos are popular in different regions of the United States and in many countries of the world, along with further filtering by the age of viewers.

The Internet Map shows you the most popular websites in the world, and in each country.

Amazon has a feature called “Most Highlighted Passages Of All Time.” Here’s how Amazon describes it:

The Amazon Kindle, Kindle for iPhone and Kindle for iPad each provide a very simple mechanism for adding highlights. Every month, Kindle customers highlight millions of book passages that are meaningful to them. We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. We show only passages where the highlights of at least three distinct customers overlap, and we do not show which customers made those highlights.

BBC News has a neat Live World Map that shows what news is popular in what part of the world at anytime. Here is a good explanation about how it works.

Richard Byrne has described “Ten By Ten” perfectly. So I’m going to quote from his post, and I would encourage you to go there to read his ideas on how to use it with students: “Ten by Ten is a unique program that links images with news stories. Every hour the top 100 news stories from around the world are linked to images on a ten by ten grid. The stories are ranked.”

Most Popular Educational Videos – All Time comes from a site called eduTube. It looks like there are some pretty interesting ones in the mix.

Again, please let me know what sites I’ve missed….

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March 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Sites For Learning About The 2014 World Cup In Brazil

'soccer ball' photo (c) 2013, Jordan Arenas - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve published two posts at The New York Times for English Language Learners that focus on soccer: one on Lionel Messi and the other on a Mexican girls soccer team.

The 2014 World Cup begins on June 12th in Brazil.

I created a very long “Best” list for the 2010 World Cup, and have selected sites that would be useful this year and added them to this new list. Of course, I’ll be adding a lot more as time goes on, and I hope that readers will contribute many.

You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About Brazil.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About The 2014 World Cup In Brazil:

As Brazil Gears Up For Olympics, Some Poor Families Get Moved Out is from NPR.

Fox Sports has a special section on this year’s World Cup.

Of course, there’s the official World Cup site.

Brazil World Cup 2014 stadiums: Interactive Guide is from The Telegraph.

Interactive: World Cup 2014 draw
is from Al Jazeera.

ESL / EFL Lesson Activity on Brazil World Cup is from News English Lessons.

TES Connect has a collection of related lessons.

World Cup Tech: Fine-Tuning the Beautiful Game is from Gizmodo.

Best Soccer Documentaries is from EFL Classroom 2.0.

Learn about The Birth of The World Cup.

A Brief History Of The World Cup is a TIME Slideshow.

The Evolution of The World Cup Ball is a NY Times infographic.

The BBC has nice visual tutorials on playing soccer.

FIFA World Cup 14
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

You might also be interested in my other 1,300 “The Best…” lists.

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March 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Posts & Articles On The Florida Teacher Evaluation Fiasco

'Map of Florida' photo (c) 2011, Boston Public Library - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The state of Florida has just released the Value-Added Assessment scores of teachers to newspapers.

It’s a fiasco.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation.

Here are some posts on what’s going on — feel free to suggest others in the comments section:

The most meaningless teacher evaluation exercise ever? is a Washington Post piece on the public release of insane teacher evaluations to local newspapers in Florida.

Confused by Florida’s teacher scoring? So are top teachers
is from The Tampa Bay Times.

Gates Foundation opposes release of teachers’ VAM scores in Florida is good, but as this tweet says:

I’m One of the Worst Teachers in My State is a great post about the Florida fiasco.

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March 2, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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