Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Leap.it” Could Be A Useful Search Engine For English Language Learners

leapit

Leap.it is a new search engine that portrays search results in a visually attractive way (see the above image and compare it to the image below from Google searching the same topic: Christopher Columbus).

I don’t really understand how — apart from the display — that it’s different from Google or Bing, but TechCruch explains it in this post, though after reading it I still don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

One feature that could come in handy for students doing research is that you’re supposed to be able to create something called a “perspective” which appears to just be your own personal collection of sites that could be shared with other. I like that idea, but couldn’t figure out how to make it work.

Nevertheless, because of the display itself, I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners.

colum

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August 13, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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If You Don’t Have Teacher Access To YouTube At Your School, Then This Search Engine is a “Must”

'Video Flag' photo (c) 2008, Cliff - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Richard Byrne has created a nice list of 47 Alternatives to YouTube.

Yes, it’s nice and useful. However, the killer part of what he’s done is create a custom search engine for those 47 sites.

If you don’t have teacher access to YouTube at your school, you’ll definitely be using this search engine a lot.

Richard has also created a helpful guide for anyone to create their own custom search engines.

I’m adding this info to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

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July 10, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Qwant” Search Engine Has Unique Useful Feature

Qwant is a search engine that offers a unique useful feature: With a click of your mouse, it lets you save, tag, and organize sites into public or private lists.

This can be useful for students who are researching information on the Web (I’m particularly thinking of my IB Theory of Knowledge students). It can also be useful for any of my students who are creating “picture data sets.” That’s an inductive learning activity where they have to collect and write about images, which they then organize into categories. Virtual corkboard sites are ideal for that activity, but Qwant could be another option.

I’m adding it to The Best Social Bookmarking Applications For English Language Learners & Other Students.

Thanks to Robin Good for the tip.

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July 17, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Mobento Lets You Search For Words In Videos

Mobento is a new site that lets you search for words spoken in videos. For now, they have indexed ones from Khan, TED and Stanford, and plan a lot more.

It’s pretty straightforward — you type a word into the searchbox, and it shows you the videos where it has appeared. click on the video, and under the screen there’s a mark where the word is spoken. Click on each mark, and you hear it and its context.

It could be useful, especially as they expand their collection.

You can search the videos without registering, but have to sign-up if you want to leave a comment.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

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June 5, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Qwiki Is Back! (Though It Never Really Went Away)

Qwiki has been on a number of my “The Best…” lists — it’s sort of a multimedia search engine that provides audio support for text, and it’s very engaging.

I was “bummed-out” last month when I read in TechCrunch that they were changing their focus and instead were going to emphasize themselves as a new platform to create presentations. I then went to the usual Qwiki link, and found that yes, they were now a presentation platform. It wasn’t open to the public yet, but you could request an invitation.

So, I went to some of my “The Best…” lists and removed Qwiki from them.

I just received an invite to try out their new service, and wasn’t that impressed (though Richard Byrne has a more positive take on it). Just as I was going to click-off, though, I saw a small line at the bottom of the site asking “Looking for Qwiki Reference?”

I clicked on it, was brought to a new url address and there it was — the old excellent Qwiki (the url is now http://www.qwiki.com/reference).

So, now, that site goes back to being on The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites and The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners lists.

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May 16, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Announces “Knowledge Graph”

Today, Google announced a new feature they’re calling “Knowledge Graph.” I’m still having a little bit of a hard time understanding why it’s such a big deal. Basically, it seems that if you search for a popular topic (like “George Washington”), a window will pop up to the right of the search results with basic info on it. It also doesn’t work with many topics.

You can read more about it at The New York Times and watch the video below.

I’m more interested, though, in a comment a Google engineer made in a BBC article on Knowledge Graph:

The next step, Mr Singhal said, is to look at how the site can answer more complex questions, such as “What are the 10 deepest lakes in Africa?”

In doing so the search engine would need to draw on multiple sources and factor in many different criteria.

Now that would be very useful to students, since search engines offer very mixed quality results for that kind of “semantic search.”

You might also be interested in The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners.

 

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January 16, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Oolone Is A New Visual Search Engine

Oolone is a new search engine that shows you large images of search results instead of text. Those kinds of visual results have obvious advantages for English Language Learners.

There are other search engines the provide similar results, including Google if you hover on the text. Because of that, even though I’m adding Oolone to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners, who knows how long it will be able to survive?

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January 14, 2012
by Larry Ferlazzo
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2Lingual Could Be A Very Useful Search Engine

2Lingual is a bilingual search engine. You type in your search term and then choose two languages. Search results will show-up side-by-side in both languages.

It could come in very handy for English Language Learners in content classes, as well as for their teachers who might be looking for materials in a second language that they could offer to their students for extra support. I was quite pleased with the searches I did, though I wish they had separate “tabs” for videos.

They provide bilingual searches for Google and for Bing, plus a voice search capability.

I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners and to The Best Multilingual & Bilingual Sites For Math, Social Studies, & Science.

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October 13, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Qwiki Revisited

Qwiki was the number-one ranked site on The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2010

It’s sort of a multimedia search engine that provides audio support for text, and it’s very engaging.

I recently discovered that not only have they vastly expanded the number of webpages they’ve indexed, but that they also have a daily “round-up” of the day’s news. I’ve now added it to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites.

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September 11, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Jawoco Could Be A Useful Search Engine, Especially For ELL’s

Jawoco is a new search engine that could be useful for ELL’s. After you make a query, in addition to the text links, it automatically shows a thumbnail image next to each item. It’s easier for ELL’s to see than in Google, where you have to scroll over each result in order to see a visual preview. Google’s preview is bigger than a thumbnail, of course, but if you scroll over a result in Jawoco, you can also get a much bigger preview.

Of course, the bigger question is if this slight advantage is going to enable Jawoco to make it over the long-term….

As long as it’s around, I’m adding Jawoco to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners.

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June 14, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
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ELL’s & Google’s New Voice Search For Computers

Google introduced several new features today, including a voice search for computers. I’ve embedded a short video about it below. If we’re working in the computer lab, and students have microphones on already, I could see it as an easy opportunity for pronunciation practice:

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May 29, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Askives” Looks Like A Good “Question & Answer” Search Engine

Askives is a new search engine that utilizes many of the question/answer sites that abound on the Web. Like another similar site, Kngine, though, it appears to be able to separate the good answers from the many useless and inaccurate ones that are out there.

I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners.

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January 25, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Qwiki Is Now Open To The Public

Qwiki, the number-one ranked site on The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2010, opened to the public today (you might want to check out TechCrunch’s post — Video Search Engine Qwiki Is Now Available To The Public).

Here is how I described Qwiki on the “The Best…” list:

I first read about Qwiki in Newsweek. Qwiki is described very accurately by TechCrunch:

Qwiki is somewhere in between a visual search engine and a highly interactive and entertaining Wikipedia. It assembles information on the fly for millions of topics, bringing together images and text in a truly magical way.

One thing that TechCrunch didn’t mention, and I learned when I snagged an invite, was that the text is not only very accessible, audio support for it is provided, too. Even though it’s not open to the public yet (but will be soon), I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners and making it number one on this list. Students are going to love it.

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October 22, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Qwiki Is Going To Be A Winner For English Language Learners (& Others)

I first read about Qwiki last week in Newsweek. Then, today, TechCrunch announced that they had a limited number of invites to check it out. The probably don’t have any left by now, but I’d strongly encourage you to go there and try, because Qwiki is definitely worth a visit.

Qwiki is described very accurately by TechCrunch:

Qwiki is somewhere in between a visual search engine and a highly interactive and entertaining Wikipedia. It assembles information on the fly for millions of topics, bringing together images and text in a truly magical way.

One thing that TechCrunch didn’t mention, and I learned when I snagged an invite, was that the text is not only very accessible, audio support for it is provided, too.

Even though it’s not open to the public yet, I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners. Students are going to love it.

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October 17, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Middlespot Search Engine Unveils A New Version That Looks Great

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….

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October 16, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

WAHchinga

WAHchinga appears to be some kind of personalized web feed, but I can’t quite figure out how that part works. What I can figure out, though, is that it appears to be a pretty easy search engine for social media.

Because of that, I’m adding it to Not “The Best…,” But “A List” Of Search Engines For Social Media.
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October 10, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo
3 Comments

Untabbed Is A Good Search Engine For ELL’s…For As Long As It’s Around

Untabbed is a new search engine that lets you see a large screenshot of any search result.

It’s very similar, though, to the system that Google began unveiling last week (see Google Search Has Just Gotten Better For English Language Learners). Given that the only difference I can see is that it offers a larger size screenshot of the site — which is a nice feature — there doesn’t seem to be any difference between Untabbed and what Google is rolling-out. In fact, Untabbed even uses Google search results.

I’m still going to add it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners list. I just don’t know how long it’s going to be around.

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