Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Disappointing New TED-Ed Video & Lesson On Henrietta Lacks

As regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of TED-Ed videos and lessons – if you search this blog, you’ll find 145 posts sharing them.

For any organization with such a prodigious output, there are going to be some hits and misses, but TED-Ed has maintained a very high standard.

Which is why I was very surprised and disappointed at their newest video and lesson on “The immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks.”

You probably are somewhat familiar with the story of the young African-American woman whose cells were taken from her (without her knowledge) and are now used around the world for medical research and which have generated huge profits for drug companies. Shockingly, the video only spends seconds on these issues and the lesson itself only briefly touches on those ethical and racial issues.

Check the video and lesson out and let me know if you think I’m over-reacting. Below the video, you can find additional resources on the issue that can be used to help students learn more…

Henrietta Lacks’s cells were priceless, but her family can’t afford a hospital is from The Guardian.

Ethical Justice, But No Financial Rewards, For The Henrietta Lacks Family is from Forbes.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel is from The New York Times.

Henrietta Lacks: the mother of modern medicine is from The Guardian.

February 6, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Five Videos Demonstrating The McGurk Effect

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The McGurk Effect demonstrates how we can “hear with our eyes.”

It’s perfect when teaching Perception in IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

Here are some articles and videos talking about it – you can never have too many videos because of District Internet content filtering:

This simple illusion shows that you can literally hear with your eyes is from The Washington Post.

When Your Eyes Hear Better Than Your Ears: The McGurk Effect is from Slate.

February 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Videos & Lesson On Rube Goldberg Machines From Our School’s Physics Teacher

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As regular readers know, I’m a fan of Rube Goldberg Machines (see The Best Resources For Learning About Rube Goldberg Machines).

Earlier this week, I saw some of my IB Theory of Knowledge students showing videos of machines they had created in Physics class, and thought they were pretty neat.

I asked our school’s talented Physics teacher, Arthur Sisneros, if he would mind writing a description of his lesson, and also invited teachers to share their videos.

Here’s Arthur’s description, along with a few student videos (I’ll be adding more as students remember to send them to me!):

The Rube Goldberg project is meant to be a summative assessment for my first semester. Like most physics classes, my first semester of physics is dominated by motion (kinematics, forces, momentum, and mechanical energy). I introduce the Rube Goldberg project at the end as an engineering project. We talk about engineering vs. science (defining problems and solving problems as opposed to asking questions and developing explanations). I also require them to include a theme and to be creative. After the project is built, I require them to isolate a few of the events, measure them (distance, time, mass, or whatever they need to measure), and use those measurements to calculate various quantities (average velocity, acceleration, force, etc.). On the presentation day, I have students do a gallery walk to see the other projects, and I conduct group interviews where I delve a little deeper into the understanding of the major physics topics.

 

December 18, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Let The “Online Star Register” Take You On A Trip To The…Stars

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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.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Planets & Space.

Thanks to Flowing Data for the tip.