And it is, indeed, pretty amazing. It was shot in one take.
I thought it might be particularly timely, given the tragic events in that city this past week. Even though I’ve never been there, I suspect this video give a more accurate portrayal of the essence of Grand Rapids than yesterday’s tragedy.
Even though the song’s lyrics are probably not the best for English Language Learners, the video itself would make a great one for students to use in any of the video activities I describe in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been functioning for the past year or two. I should rephrase that — you have been able to draw and paint with it for that time, but it hasn’t been able to save your creation. However, I recently checked it, and it all seems to be working again, and paintings are saved — each one is given a unique url address.
There probably aren’t many people out there not familiar with Google’s famous Les Paul “Doodle” yesterday that let you compose music, record it, and then gave you a link to your composition. It was pretty darn neat (though, I also have to say, pretty distracting to students in the computer lab )
ArtFinder is a new web tool that lets you discover new art and build your own virtual collections. You can take a survey identifying pieces of art you like and it will help you discover more like them. You can read more about the site at Read Write Web.
Art Through Time: A Global View examines themes connecting works of art created around the world in different eras. The thirteen-part series explores diverse cultural perspectives on shared human experiences.
Lyrics Gaps lets you choose a song and the language you want it sung in and then gives you the option of seeing/hearing it in different modes — karaoke, beginner, intermediate, expert. Apart from karaoke mode, you’re then shown a YouTube video of the singer, along with the lyrics on the side including blanks (fill-in-the-gap).
I especially like the beginner mode, which provides several options to chose to complete the sentences. The higher levels don’t give any hints.
is a new service that lets you search for pretty much any song and then plays it for you online. You can also create a playlist. It meets my “Raffi Test” of having most of Raffi’s songs available. In my experience, that usually means you can find lots of useful songs for English Language Learners.
I certainly wouldn’t place any bets on YouTube getting through most school district content filters anytime soon, if ever. But they’ve just announced a great new ability to make videos and animations on the YouTube site itself using GoAnimate, Stupeflix, or Xtranormal and then posting it there.
I can see myself using it sometimes to illustrate a concept for a lesson, or pointing out the idiocy of the latest school reform fad. But I suspect that it’s a super-cool tool that, outside of the two ideas I mentioned and potential use in adult ESL classes, won’t have much K-12 impact.
Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it. The lay-out is very “clean” and it replaces Batlyrics as my favorite place for music videos and lyrics.
Last year, I posted about the Starbucks Love Project. Starbucks was raising money to combat AIDS in Africa by having people from around the world sing “All You Need Is Love” and post it on the site (maybe they were contributing money everytime somebody sang it on the site? It wasn’t quite clear to me how that fundraising part worked). It was a fun excuse to get English Language Learners and other to sing.
Here’s an embedded version of both songs from Playing For Change:
You can do a fun sing along in class with Batlyrics. It shows the lyrics on the side while playing a YouTube video of the song at the same time. Now that we can access YouTube, it’s great to use. Instalyrics is a new site that shows you the lyrics to any song very, very quickly, along with a music video that goes along with it. The lay-out is very “clean” and it replaces Batlyrics as my favorite place for music videos and lyrics.
Here are two videos I’m adding to this list. The first is a trailer for documentary that looks good (thanks to Michelle Henry for the tip). The second is from The Biography Channel. That one looks a little dry, but it is freely available:
About two months ago, our District changed its policy and allowed teachers to access many previously-blocked site, including YouTube. It really expands learning opportunities for our students in so many ways. I wanted to share two great music sites we can now use with our students. I’m adding both to The Best Music Websites For Learning English.
One is Lyrics Training. It shows YouTube videos of the latest popular songs, and provides subtitled “clozes.” In other words, it will show the words as they are sung, but it will periodically show a “blank” where a word has been removed. The video will stop at the end of that line, and listeners have to type in the correct word that they heard. The “blank” also shows how many letters there are in the missing word. You’re given the option of watching the video with a few blanks, more blanks, or none (which is great after you complete the whole song). It’s great to project it up on the screen and then have students — either individually or in small groups — use small whiteboards to write down their answers. It’s simple to use — no registration is necessary — and you can learn more about it at Teacher Training Videos.
John Lewis Harmony lets you either choose your favorite song, or create your own with your keyboard, and watch different parts of a virtual house light-up to its beat. If you choose to create your own song, you’re given a link to share. No registration is required.
English Language Learners could have fun by creating their own tune and then writing words that go along with it. Or they students could post their creations on a blog, and other students could comment on what they like about them.
John Lewis Harmony will certainly be on the next installment of how to “make online content easily and quickly.”
Font de Music lets you type in a message, choose music to go with it, adjust the font and color, and then it turns your letters into a bouncing, live performance. In addition, and most importantly for English Language Learners, it also lets you write a message that goes along with it, in addition to giving you the url address of your creation. It can be posted on a student or teacher blog or website.
It will certainly be on a future “The Best…” list.
Richard Byrne has done it again, finding another online tool that has a lot of potential.
Little Bird Tales lets you easily make slideshows where you can add text and, more importantly for English Language Learners, provide an audio narration. On nice touch is that you can virtually paint/draw artwork in addition to uploading images (unfortunately, the site doesn’t have the ability to grab photos off the web by url addresses). It’s free to use, but I’m unclear on if there will be an eventual cost to use the site. It appears to have an upper limit on the number of shows you can produce.
The 9/11 Memorial Foundation has created an interactive website called Lady Liberty.
After 9/11, someone placed a replica (not full-sized, of course) of the Statue of Liberty outside a New York City firehouse, and people began attaching messages, photos, and art to it. At the website, you can explore the messages. A teacher’s guide is also available for free.