Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 20, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 – So Far

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I use short, funny video clips a lot when I’m teaching ELLs, and you can read in detail about how I use them in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them). In short, there are many ways to use them that promote speaking, listening, writing and reading (including having students describe – in writing and verbally – a chronological description of what they saw).

I’ve posted a few of them during the first half of this year, and I thought it would be useful to readers — and to me — if I brought them together in one post.

I’m adding this list to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

I’ve also published quite a few during the previous nine years of this blog. You can find those in these lists:

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2015 – So Far

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

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2014 – Part One

The Best Videos For Educators In 2014 – So Far

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2013 — So Far

The “All-Time” Best Videos For Educators

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part Two)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2012 (Part One)

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2011

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2010

Part Two Of The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2009

The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2008

The Best Movie Scenes To Use For English-Language Development

The Best Funny Videos Showing The Importance Of Being Bilingual Or Multilingual — Part One

The Best Pink Panther Fight Scenes For English Language Learners

The Best Videos Illustrating Qualities Of A Successful Language Learner

The Best Sports Videos To Use With English Language Learners

The Best Video Clips Of Sneaky Critters

The Best Videos Showing “Thinking Outside The Box” — Help Me Find More

The Best Fun Videos To Teach Language Conventions — Help Me Find More

The Best Funny Videos To Help Teach Grammar – Help Me Find More

The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween

The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More

Okay, now here are my choices for The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 — So Far:

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites To Learn About Pandas:

Video clips of sneaky critters are great ones to show to English Language Learners to get them to describe — verbally and in writing — what they see. I also use them to in my IB Theory of Knowledge class for a discussion about if animals have ethics:

Astronaut Scott Kelly at the International Space Station filmed himself in a gorilla suit chasing Tim Peake:

The Present from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.

Desert Critters from Li Wen Toh on Vimeo.

A Small Escape from David Sandell on Vimeo.

Every Best Visual Effects Winner. Ever. from Burger Fiction on Vimeo.

The humor exhibited in this Darth Santa spoof would be a big hit for many teenage boys who are English Language Learners, and I suspect others would enjoy it, too (note that there are a few seconds showing him drinking). Students can watch it and describe verbally and writing what they saw:

June 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far

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It’s time for another of my mid-year  “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 “The Best…” lists here).

I’m adding this one to All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – Part Two

The Best Articles & Posts On Education Policy In 2015 – So Far

The Best Articles, Posts & Videos On Education Policy In 2014 – Part Two

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, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far (let me know what you think I’m missing) – these are not listed in any order of preference (I’m starting off with links to “Best” lists I’ve posted over the past few months that relate to ed policy):

The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act

The Best Resources On Student Absenteeism

The Best Resources For Learning About The Multilingual Education Act Ballot Initiative In California

The Best Resources For Learning About The Ins & Outs Of Reclassifying ELLs

The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning”

The Best Resources On Student Agency & How To Encourage It

The “Best” Lists Of Recommendations About What “Effective” Teachers Do

The Best Resources For Learning How The Every Student Succeeds Act Affects English Language Learners

The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2015

The Best Education Predictions For 2016

The Best Articles For Beginning To Understand Zuckerberg’s Announced $45 Billion “Charitable” Gift

The Best “Fair Isn’t Equal” Visualizations

Slate is published an impressive series of twelve long articles on race and schools – all in one week – and called Tomorrow’s Test. You can access all of them at the bottom of that introductory article.

Does Teaching Experience Increase Teacher Effectiveness? A Review of the Research is from The Learning Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Articles For Helping To Understand Both Why Teacher Tenure Is Important & The Reasons Behind Seniority-Based Layoffs.

Why so many people are worried about teacher diversity, in two charts is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to A Collection Of Useful Posts, Articles & Videos On Race & Racism.

Competing Strands Of Educational Reform Policy: Can Collaborative School Reform and Teacher Evaluation Reform Be Reconciled? is a new and important paper from The Shanker Institute. It raises more questions than provides answers, but they’re very important questions.

School Funding Maps:  Hot on the heels of NPR publishing an impressive interactive on school funding across the United States, The New York Times unveiled one that looks even more impressive. Go to their Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares page, pop in the name of your school district, and it will vividly demonstrate how students in that district compare with others in academic achievement, school funding, and ethnic make-up of the student population.

Advancing Deeper Learning Under ESSA: Seven Priorities is from Stanford. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Deeper Learning.”

When School Districts Get Deliberate About Desegregation is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About School Desegregation (& Segregation) – Help Me Find More.

Another Flaw In Using Value-Added Measurement For Teacher Evaluation is a post I wrote about an important recent study.  My blog post itself is not really worthy of inclusion in this list, but the study combined with the little context I give is important.

The Harvard Business Review – of all places – has published what I think is the most thorough and devastating critique that I’ve seen of performance pay – see Stop Paying Executives for Performance. It’s targeting executive pay but, with a few minor changes in wording, the article can be applied to teacher pay and evaluation, as well as student assessment. It’s short, and definitely worth the read.

“Throwing money at the problem” may actually work in education is from The Washington Center For Equitable Growth. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

A Community Organizer’s Definition Of Leadership – How Can It Be Applied To Education? (Part One) is a post I wrote that people might find useful.

Stop Humiliating Teachers is a great new essay at The New Yorker. I’m definitely adding it to The Best Articles Providing An “Overall” Perspective On Education Policy.

Comparing Paper-Pencil and Computer Test Scores: 7 Key Research Studies is an important article over at Education Week (Report: Kids who took Common Core test online scored lower than those who used paper is a similar one at The Washington Post).

Stop repeating nonsense about ‘bad’ teachers. Just. Stop it. is from Icing On The Cake. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Chicago Public Schools teachers and students need more than loveis by Ray Salazar.

Help wanted: California school districts scramble to hire teachers is a nice article by reporter Diana Lambert appearing in The Sacramento Bee today. It features how our school supports student teachers (created by Jim Peterson and Ted Appel), and you can read more about it at thethree-part series at my Education Week Teacher column on…how to support student teachers.

Ranking Is Not Measuring is by Peter Greene. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

New Study Suggests That Teacher Observations Should Focus More On Teacher Inputs, Less On Student Outcomes is a post I wrote that is on this “Best” list primarily because of some of the context it provides to links in it.

New Report: Does Money Matter in Education? Second Edition is from The Shanker Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools.

New Study Finds Big Results From Ethnic Studies Classes

Statistic Of The Day: How Much Do Teachers Spend Out Of Their Own Pockets For Supplies?

Video: Jonathan Kozol On Savage Inequalities

The Myth of Unions’ Overprotection of Bad Teachers: Evidence from the District-Teacher Matched Panel Data on Teacher Turnover is a new research paper I learned about through The Shanker Institute. Here’s an excerpt:

The data confirms that, compared to districts with weak unionism, districts with strong unionism dismiss more low-quality teachers and retain more high-quality teachers. The empirical analysis shows that this dynamic of teacher turnover in highly unionized districts raises average teacher quality and improves student achievement.

Study Finds Teachers Whose Students Achieve High Test Scores Often Don’t Do As Well With SEL Skills

June 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

All Mid-Year 2016 “Best” Lists In One Place

All-MidYear-2016-Best

As regular readers know, I’ve begun publishing my annual mid-year “Best” lists.

I thought it it would be useful for me to begin to collect all of them in one place. I’ve got quite a few to go, and I’ll continue to add links to them in this post:

The Best Videos For Educators In 2016 – So Far

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016 – So Far

My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2016 – So Far

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016 – So Far

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2016 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles, Videos & Posts On Education Policy In 2016 – So Far

The Best Fun Videos For English Language Learners In 2016 – So Far

My Ten Best BAM! Radio Shows In 2016 – So Far

The Twenty Most Popular Posts In 2016 – So Far

The Best Articles (& Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2016 – So Far

The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – So Far

The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2016 – So Far

This Year’s Most Popular Q & A Posts!

June 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Science Sites Of 2016 – So Far

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Here’s my latest my-year list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Science Sites Of 2015

The Best Science Sites Of 2014 – Part Two

The “All-Time” Best Science Sites

The Best Science Sites Of 2014 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2013 – So Far

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part Two

The Best Science Sites Of 2012 — Part One

The Best Science Sites Of 2011

The Best Science Sites Of 2011 — So Far

The Best Science Websites — 2010

The Best Science & Math Sites — 2009

The Best Science & Math Websites — 2008

The Best Science Websites For Students & Teachers — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Science Sites Of 2016 – So Far (not in any order of preference):

The Best Videos Explaining Gravitational Waves (In An Accessible Way)

Videos & Lesson On Rube Goldberg Machines From Our School’s Physics Teacher

The Best Resources On The Recent “Discovery” Of A Possible Ninth Planet

Who isn’t going to see “Finding Dory”? So, it’s likely that by the fall, many educators and students will have viewed it at least once, and will be more than eager to see it – or scenes from it – again when it comes out in DVD or streaming a few months later. Disney has published an extensive “Finding Dory” Educator’s Guidethat looks like it could be useful. It’s science-oriented, though I suspect there will be some opportunities to connect Social Emotional Learning to the film, too. And, speaking of Nemo and Dory, Film Education has an equally extensive series of science-based lessons for the original “Finding Nemo,” and Teach With Movies has a broader teaching guide.

bioGraphic is a “new-to-me” site from The California Academy of Sciences. It has great collection of accessible science articles and multimedia, and appears to be regularly updated.

Ice and Sky is an interactive describing the history of climate change. It’s a good complement to A Journey Through Climate History, a site I’ve previously shared.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change.

Apollo 17 is a multimedia interactive letting you experience – in real time – that moon-landing mission.

Mawahtale is an interactive on Ebola.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Ebola Virus.

How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2015? is a new NY Times interactive that shows how recent temperatures in over 3,000 cities compare with historical highs. I think it would be a better resource if the differences were displayed a bit more clearer than they are, but students should be able to figure it out with a little teacher guidance.

NBC Learn has created excellent free video resources for quite awhile. Their new resources are series on the Science of Innovation andMysteries of the Brain. But the new one I think will be really be useful is their new ten video collection titled When Nature Strikes: Science of Natural Hazards.

The Online Star Register takes you a virtual tour of outer space. It’s pretty impressive, especially if you click “Take A Tour” at the top. I like it better than Google’s Sky site.

The Curious Engineer offers free monthly video animation “explainers” about different topics.

Here are four free online science textbooks which all have lots of interactives that I added to The “All-Time” Best Science Sites this year:

CK-12, which I’ve described in a previous post (see “CK-12” Has Free Resources In All Subjects & Individual Student Progress Can Be Easily Tracked).

Science Book

Open Educational Resources from UEN, which also has a separate page for online science interactives.

Scott Foresman Science

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites To Learn About Trees, which I’ve also just revised and updated:

Lines Of Thought: Discoveries That Changed The World is a new online exhibit from the Cambridge University Library. You can read more about it at the NBC News article, 600-Year-Old Cambridge Library Offers Rare Glimpse of Collection, and watch a short video about it below:

I’m adding this info to The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of History’s Most Influential People, Events & Ideas.

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites For Learning About Human Evolution, which I’ve also just updated and revised:

When we study science in IB Theory of Knowledge, one of the ideas we consider is that not all scientific breakthroughs come through rigidly following the scientific method. NPR recently did a short series of videos examining just this: “modern examples of serendipity in science – happy accidents/mistakes/coincidences from the last few years that have led to discoveries and insights.” They’ll be useful in TOK class, and here they are:

Fig. 1 by University of California is a YouTube Channel offering short, accessible science animations with closed-captioning. Here are some samples:

Lines Of Thought: Discoveries That Changed The World is a new online exhibit from the Cambridge University Library. You can read more about it at the NBC News article, 600-Year-Old Cambridge Library Offers Rare Glimpse of Collection, and watch a short video about it below:

I’m adding this info to The Best “Lists Of Lists” Of History’s Most Influential People, Events & Ideas.

I’m adding this video to The Best Sites For Learning About Human Evolution, which I’ve also just updated and revised:

When we study science in IB Theory of Knowledge, one of the ideas we consider is that not all scientific breakthroughs come through rigidly following the scientific method. NPR recently did a short series of videos examining just this: “modern examples of serendipity in science – happy accidents/mistakes/coincidences from the last few years that have led to discoveries and insights.” They’ll be useful in TOK class, and here they are:

Fig. 1 by University of California is a YouTube Channel offering short, accessible science animations with closed-captioning. Here are some samples:

June 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2016 – So Far

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In addition to the thousands of posts I’ve written in this blog (and in my parent engagement blog) over the past nine years, my eight books, my weekly posts for Education Week Teacher, and  The New York Times , and my monthly pieces for the British Council, I’ve also written  one-hundred-and-fifty articles for different publications.

You can access all of them here.

You can also see what I think are The Fifteen Best Articles I’ve Written About Education.

Here are The Best Articles I’ve Written In 2016 – So Far:

June 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2016 – So Far

The-Best-Online-Learning

Time for another mid-year ”The Best…” list.

As usual, In order to make it on this list, games had to:

* be accessible to English Language Learners.

* provide exceptionally engaging content.

* not provide access to other non-educational games on their site, though there is one on this list that doesn’t quite meet this particular criteria.

* be seen by me during 2016. So they might have been around prior to this time, but I’m still counting them in this year’s list.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2015 – So Far

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2014

The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2013 — So Far

The Best Online Learning Games Of 2012 — So Far

The Best Online Learning Games — 2011

The Best Online Learning Games — 2010

The Best Online Learning Games — 2009

The Best Online Learning Games — 2008

The Best Online Learning Games — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Online Learning Games Of 2016- So Far:

Disaster Detector is an online interactive game from the Smithsonian that looks like it would be an excellent game for students to play who are learning about natural disasters, and it seems surprisingly accessible to English Language Learners. Players have to plan what they think would be the most effective defenses for a community facing various natural disasters and then see how effective they are when the hurricane, earthquake, etc. hits.

Google Feud and PhotoBomber would be fun games to play with English Language Learners.  In the first one, you’re given a phrase and have to guess the ten most likely words to complete it in a Google search.  The downside, however, is that it’s possible you might end up with something inappropriate.  The second one is a sister site.  It would work for advanced ELLs – you’re given a combination of pictures and words and have to guess the common expression it represents.

Earth-Picker is a new online geography game that works similar to a number of other games on The Best Online Geography Games.

Saints and Sinners is a new National Geographic game where players role-play being a Pilgrim. It’s has some elements of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game, along with other “role-playing” features.

Triventy is an online learning quiz-game site I recently learned about through Teacher’s Tech Toolbox. It’s very similar to several other games on The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games list (especially Quizalize and Quizizz ) — students play an online quiz together, and a “leaderboard” is shown after each question is answered (I talk about the benefits and challenges of this kind of feature at the “Best” post).  As with those other sites, you can create your own quiz or use one that has already been made.

Fantasy GeoPolitics has potential has an online game for Social Studies classes.

Mission US has created several “choose your own adventure” games related to U.S. History. I thought its first one, about the American Revolutionary War, was quite good. However, they seemed to lose their way with subsequent insensitive ones on slavery and Native Americans (seeThoughtful & Important Critique Of Slave Simulation Game).

This year, they unveiled their latest one, called City Of Immigrants. It seems, at least to me, that they might have taken some of the criticism they received to heart and it seems okay (let me know if you disagree).

Here’s how one reviewer describes it:

It is 1907. You are Lena Brodsky, a 14-year-old Jewish Immigrant from Russia. In your hometown of Minsk, the forces of the Tsar have pushed your family off their lands, and the violence of the pogroms looms large. Your brother Issac was the first to cross the Atlantic to seek a new life in the land of America, and you have followed in turn: a fourteen day trip across the entire world. You hope that you will prove yourself worthy of entering America. You hope that you can earn enough to send for your mother and father. You hope for a better future. There will be many obstacles in America, and many choices to be made. But it is, they say, the land of opportunity…

June 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016 – So Far

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Here’s one more in my series of mid-year “Best” lists (you can see all 1,600 of the lists here).

You might also be interested in these previous posts:
The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2015 – Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2015 — So Far

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2014 — Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2014 — So Far

The “All-Time” Best Social Studies Sites

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2013 – Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2013 – So Far

All My 2013 “The Best…” Lists (So Far) Related To Social Studies In One Place

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2012 — Part Two

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2012 — Part One

The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2011

The Best “The Best…” Lists Related To Social Studies — 2010

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2010

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2009

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2008

The Best Social Studies Websites — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Social Studies Sites Of 2016— So Far (the beginning of the list contains links to several related posts I’ve published this year):

Muhammad Ali, R.I.P. – Useful Resources To Teach About His Life

Sites On Economics My Students Will Be Using In Their Virtual Summer School

The Best Resources For Using Primary Sources

Part 11 – Best Resources For Learning About Flint Water Crisis (this post includes links to all previous editions, too)

Here’s How My Students Taught Their Classmates A Social Studies Unit – Handouts Included

The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”

The Best Teaching & Learning Resources About Harriet Tubman

Excellent New Books & Booklets On Community Organizing

Great Word Clouds From Democratic & Republican Debates

The Best Sites For Learning About The Marshall Islands

Smithsonian’s “Our Story” Is A Valuable Resource For Teachers & Parents

The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections

The Best Resources On The 2016 Rio Olympics

New ELL History “What If?” Projects

Simple Exploration Project With ELL History Class

The Best Resources For Using “Object Lessons” In History

All My “Best” Lists On Race, Racism & The Civil Rights Movement – In One Place

The Best Geography Sites For Learning About Greece – Help Me Find More

Mission US Unveils New Immigration Game – Is It A Winner Or A Loser?

The Best Resources For Geography Awareness Week

A Collection Of “Best” Lists Related To International Terrorism

The Best Resources For Teaching & Learning About The Paris Attacks

Part Two Of Best Teaching Resources On Paris Attacks

Documents That Changed The World

Best Resources For Teaching About Rosa Parks & 60th Anniversary Of The Montgomery Bus Boycott

The remake of “Roots” premiered, and the History Channel has a good supporting website that includes a visualization of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

What History Teaches Us About Walls is a good New York Times photo gallery. However, it doesn’t quite deliver what its headline promises. The photo selection is excellent, but the commentary is far more limited than I would liked to have seen. Nevertheless, I’m still adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Walls That Separate Us.

It appears that the Voice Of America has recently begun creating very short “Explainer” videos about current events.

Blue Feed, Red Feed lets you choose from a number of topics, including the different Presidential candidates, abortion, ISIS, etc. It then shows a side-by-side comparison of what your news feed on Facebook would look like based on how you have interacted with the site. You can read more about it at The Wall Street Journal’s new tool gives a side-by-side look at the Facebook political news filter bubble. It would be useful to use when studying Perception in IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

Metrocosm has created a nice interactive visualizing immigration to the United States over the past two hundred years, including showing countries of origin. Unfortunately, it only shows people who “obtained lawful permanent resident status,” so neither slaves from Africa who were forced to come or undocumented immigrants from other countries are not included. It seems odd that they wouldn’t point out that omission.

Once-or-twice a year, The Washington Post publishes an intriguing collection of maps. You can see links to those previous collections at The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography. Six maps that will make you rethink the world is their latest one.

Chatty Maps visualizes twelve different cities from around the world through sound. That’s right, you don’t actually “hear” the sounds themselves, but they have color-coded and analyzed sounds from most streets in those cities to “map” them. You’ll want to read this description from the Washington Post about it, Fascinating maps reveal what our cities sound like. I’m adding it to The Best “Sound Maps” & Webcams For Teaching Geography, which I’ve also just revised and updated.

Unfiltered News, which only works in Chrome, provides visualizations of the most popular news stories in each country. In addition, you’re provided a list of less popular stories that you can click on to see where they’re being most covered.

Census Names Explorer lets you find when and where a name was popular, or unpopular, over the last one hundred years. It really provides a number of possibilities, including trying to be a detective to identify the reasons for a name’s popularity during a specific era. For example, I discovered that my name, Larry, was extremely popular in the late 1940’s, and I wonder if it had anything to do with The Three Stooges back then? When I explored names like Jose, I found a huge increase over the past thirty years, likely connected to the overall Latino population numbers.

The US News Map is a cool interactive created by The Georgia Tech Research Institute that lets you track specific word usage in historical American newspapers. It’s like a Google Ngram for old newspapers. Slate has an excellent article on it, and how it can be used.

Perspecs is a new free app that gives you three different perspectives on the same news topic: Here are more details:

Perspecs is a new free app that curates the top news stories from a variety of established regional, national and international news sources. Unlike traditional aggregators and news curation services, Perspecs goes a step further and offers readers 3 polarised opinions of the same story.

How these opinions are categorised can vary. For political stories this could be in the form of ‘left’, ‘background’, ‘right’. For review items the categories could be ‘negative’, ‘neutral’, ‘positive’.

World Population History has a very impressive interactive that traces the world’s population over the past two-thousand years. It not only highlights where population decreases or increases occurred, but also provides explanations behind the changes.

The Waypoint, from the Washington Post, is an amazing interactive. It examines the journey of refugees to the Greek island of Lesbos, and is a pretty impressive piece of work. I think it would be an ideal tool to open just about any lesson on refugee crisis.

The British Museum and the Google Cultural Institute have combined to create the online Museum of the World. It’s a cool representation of key artifacts from the museum, grouped thematically and with a timeline. Clicking on the artifact brings you an accessible “box” with added information and audio. Unfortunately for English Language Learners, though, though the audio pretty much says the same thing as the text in the box, it doesn’t exactly repeat it. I’ve found that in a number of online museum sites, and have never understood it — either just repeat what the text says or share some additional new info! Also, unfortunately, there doesn’t seems to be a way that museum “visitors” can “save” certain artifacts into an online collection. Despite these shortcomings, it’s still a neat site….

There are a lot of pretty cool interactives at The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States. And Vox has just created a new one: Watch how immigration in America has changed since 1820. The title is self-explanatory.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a joint project of the Library of Congress and WGBH in Boston. It has tens of thousands of hours of programming from local public radio and TV stations across the country. It has a few organized sections, including one on the Civil Rights Movement (which includes interviews with major Civil Rights leaders) and also a very friendly search function. I was excited to see it contained several interviews and lectures by Saul Alinsky that I’m looking forward to exploring (see The Best Sites To Learn About Saul Alinsky).It also contains a number of interviews with Cesar Chavez. The sound quality of the shows I’ve listened to are excellent, too.

American Panorama is an “Atlas of U.S. History” from Richmond University. Right now, it has several interactive historical maps tracing historical trends over time, including ones for “forced migration of enslaved people,” “The Overland Trails,” “Canals,” and “Foreign Born Population.” They have plans to add several more. I think the one of “Foreign-Born Population” is particularly useful, and I’m adding a direct link to it to The Best Sites For Learning About Immigration In The United States.

Chronas is a new site that lets you used a time “slider” at the bottom to see how the world looked at pretty much any given date during the past 2000 years. If you click on the countries/regions/empires shown, then it will show you the appropriate Wikipedia entry. It’s still working out its kinks — it wouldn’t let me view it on a mobile device and, even though it says you can view it on browsers other than Chrome – I wouldn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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