Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Excellent English-Learning App Duolingo Now Takes On TOEFL & IELTS

duo

Duolingo, which is on a bunch of my “Best” lists as a language-learning app (my students love it!) have not made it official — they’ve just unveiled an English test they want to rival the TOEFL and IELTS, tests that international students need to pass prior to attending a university in most English-speaking countries.

You can read more about it at this TechCrunch post, and here’s a video:

I wouldn’t bet against Duolingo…

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July 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Seven Good “Reads” On Ed Tech

Here are several recent good pieces related to educational technology:

10 Things Every Teacher Should Know How To Do With Google Docs is from Edudemic.

Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers? appeared in The New Yorker.

3 Reasons Why Chromebook Beats iPad in 1:1 Programs is from edSurge.

My Flipped Classroom Experience is by Kenneth Headley. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Classroom Management and the Flipped Class is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to the same list.

Ed tech that needs nothing but a TV and VCR? is from The Hechinger Report.

Betting Big on Personalized Learning is from Education Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning.”

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July 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two New & Intriguing Efforts To Provide Home Internet Access To Students

I’ve written a lot about our school’s efforts and the efforts of others to provide home internet access to low-income students and their families (see The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students).

Two new and intriguing efforts have just begun — one by Facebook and the other by the New York City Public Library.

Facebook has started a pilot program to provide Internet access to students in a town where one of their data centers is located. It’s unclear if it will be expanded, but it would be nice if it was….

According to The New York Times, here’s with the library there is doing:

The library decided to try lending people a small box that plugs into a wall and provides wireless Internet service for up to five users at a time. To pay for the boxes, and a $10 monthly subscription, the library got a $500,000 grant last month from the Knight News Challenge, enough to equip 2,000 people. “We’re looking for another $1.5 million in private donations to get to 10,000 households in all five boroughs, and libraries in Kansas and Maine,” Mr. Marx said.

Interesting stuff…

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July 13, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Understanding “Personalized Learning”

When the last Race To The Top applications came out, its focus on the idea of “personalized learning” prompted me to create a The Best Resources On “Race To The Top” (& On “Personalized Learning”) list.

Now, though, I think it’s time to make the topic a “Best” list of its own…

I’ve got a number of concerns, and a fair amount of skepticism, about what’s passing as “personalized learning” these days, and this collection reflects it. Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments:

“Personalized Learning,” Race To The Top & Putting Even More Lipstick On A Pig

Another Good Take On “Personalized Learning”

Personalization is by Chris Lehmann.

Dan Meyer On Personalization is by…Dan Meyer.

‘Personalized Learning’ Varies for Race to Top Districts is from Education Week.

Quote Of The Day: Personalized Learning

The Soaring Promise Of Big Data In Math Education is by Dan Meyer.

Gates and Murdoch “Personalize” Learning with Larger Classes and Big Data Systems is by Anthony Cody at Education Week.

Rebirth of the Teaching Machine through the Seduction of Data Analytics: This Time It’s Personal is by Philip McRae.

This Time It’s Personal and Dangerous is by Barbara Bray.

 

The History of “Personalization” and Teaching Machines is by Audrey Watters.

Betting Big on Personalized Learning is from Education Week

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July 7, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video & Useful Tweets From #TeachDoNow Panel On Teachers & Social Media

Vicki Davis, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Tina Barseghian Matt Williams and I participated in a #TeachDoNow Google+ panel discussion on teachers and social media. Here is the video and some useful tweets sent during the hour event.

You can learn more about KQED’s #TeachDoNow online course here.

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July 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

“ABC Mouse” & “Vocabmonk” Are Two New Sites Where Teachers Can Create Virtual Classrooms

I’m adding two new sites to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress:

One is ABC Mouse, which — at this point, at least — only provides content for pre-K and Kindergartners, though much of it would also be accessible and useful for Beginning English Language Learners. Though it charges families, teachers can sign-up for their own virtual classrooms. It’s also accessible for free from public libraries.

The second is Vocabmonk, which focuses on building academic vocabulary. Teachers can also create their own virtual classrooms there, too.

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June 30, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Four Interesting Links On Educational Technology

Here are some recent pretty interesting posts/articles on ed tech:

Educational technology isn’t leveling the playing field is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools.

In Defense of Laptops in the Classroom is from Slate.

5 Things Researchers Have Discovered About MOOCs is from The Chronicle Of Higher Education. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s.

Striking a Balance: Digital Tools and Distraction in School is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Classroom Management.

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June 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Five Useful Ed Tech Articles & Posts

'Earning Degrees' photo (c) 2012, Michael Coghlan - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Here are some recent useful pieces on ed tech-related issues:

From Apple II to Touchcast, the evolution of computers in the classroom is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The History Of Technology.

Via Tablet or Smartphone, Learning With MOOCs is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s — Help Me Find More.

Three issues with the case for banning laptops is a thoughtful commentary from the Chronicle of Higher Education on a recent New Yorker piece advocating banning laptops in the college classroom (a link to the original piece is in the Chronicle article).

Don’t Personalize Learning is definitely a thought-provoking piece.

The Missing Guide for Google Hangout Video Calls is very helpful. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning What Google+ Is All About.

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May 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech

'hackNY 2011 Spring Student Hackathon' photo (c) 2011, hackNY.org - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Most readers know that I’m a big proponent of using technology to help students in their learning process.

In fact, you can see a collection of applicable articles and related “Best” lists at The Best Advice On Using Education Technology.

Most readers also know I’ve got a lot of misgivings about how tech is being used in education, particularly in ways that seem to prioritize profit over learning (though that’s certainly not the only reason it’s being misused).

I thought I’d bring together a number of those kinds of “Best” lists, along with specific articles, and encourage readers to also contribute their own.

Here they are:

The Best Posts About The Khan Academy

The Best Posts & Articles On MOOC’s — Help Me Find More

The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays

A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools

Audrey Watters has written too many excellent posts to count on this topic at her blog, Hack Education.

Marketing Technologies in U.S. Public Schools is by Larry Cuban.

Framing the School Technology Dream is also by Larry Cuban.

Adaptive Learning Is An Infinite iPod That Only Plays Neil Diamond is by Dan Meyer.

Mind the Quicksand: A Word of Warning to EdTech Investors is from The Education Scientist.

Quotes: When Vendors Calls Themselves “Partners” is from This Week In Education.

I’ve written a fair amount about Internet Essentials in The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students. It’s Concast’s program to provide online access to low-income students. I have mentioned some skepticism about the program, but I was amazed about how much more skeptical we all should be of it. Read about it at The Washington Post, Why Comcast’s $10 a month Internet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and at Quartz, Comcast promised poor Americans cheap internet, but most of them didn’t get it.

The History of “Personalization” and Teaching Machines is by Audrey Watters.

OPINION: A Distemperate Response to Silicon Valley’s ‘Edtech Revolution’ is from Ed Surge.

Bill Gates Is an Autodidact. You’re Probably Not. is from Slate.

What am I missing?

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May 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Star Trek “Universal Translator,” Here We Come?

'New CGI version of Star Trek's USS Enterprise' photo (c) 2006, Purple Slog - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’ve previously posted about experiments made by Microsoft to create the capacity for simultaneous translation (see The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation) and about Word Lens, an amazing mobile app that translates images of signs (see The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me).

Well, there has been big news recently about both tools.

Microsoft has made new advances and, as The Atlantic reports, Microsoft’s Skype Will Soon Be Able to Translate Voice Calls in Real Time. They’ll release it later this year. You can read more about it at The Guardian’s article, Microsoft’s ‘Star Trek’ voice translator available before the end 2014, and see this video demo:

In terms of Word Lensthey’ve just been bought by Google, who intends to integrate their features into Google Translate. Before that happens, though, they are making their app free for a limited time. In case you didn’t see their video when they first unveiled it, check it out:

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April 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“One-To-One Technology ‘Is Really About Building Effective Relationships’”

One-To-One Technology ‘Is Really About Building Effective Relationships’ is the title of my new post at Education Week Teacher.

Alice Barr, Mark Pullen and Troy Hicks will share their suggestions on how to successfully implement a one-to-one technology program.

Here are some excerpts:

Theres-no-question-that

Its-easy-to-use

By-focusing-on

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April 9, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Three Useful Posts On The “Flipped” Classroom

March 27, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

Virtual Reality & Education

I-think-the-hope-is-that

Facebook’s recent purchase of a virtual reality company has been in the news this week. I have to admit I hadn’t been paying much attention to it until I heard this segment on the PBS News Hour, Facebook invests in a virtual reality future with $2 billion Oculus Rift acquisition.

I’ve embedded the video below, and you can read the transcript at the link, but the line I highlighted at the top of this post really struck me.

Might this be the real future of technology in education, as opposed to MOOC’s and all their shortcomings?

What do you think?

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March 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My New BAM! Podcast: What Are The Benefits & Challenges Of A One-To-One Program?

onetoone

My latest nine-minute BAM! Radio Podcast is on What Are the Real Benefits of a 1:1 Program? What Are the Biggest Challenges?

Educators Alice Barr and Troy Hicks share their thoughts, and they are also among contributors to one of my future Education Week columns on the topic.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “One-To-One” Laptop/Tablet Programs.

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March 6, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool” Is My New British Council Post

edtech

Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool is my latest post over at Teaching English-British Council.

Here’s how I start:

There-are-countless

You can see all my British Council posts here.

I’m adding this most recent post to The Best Advice On Using Education Technology.

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February 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

New Helpful Resources For Google+

'How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus!' photo (c) 2012, Brian Hawkins - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Here are some new helpful resources that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning What Google+ Is All About:

12 Reasons Google+ Isn’t As Bad As You Think is from The Huffington Post.

The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google is from The New York Times.

10 Growing Google+ Communities In Education is from Teach Thought.

28 Google+ Ed-Tech Communities for Educators, Instructional Designers and Technologists is from Ed Tech Magazine.

ESL Teachers is one Google+ Community.

English Language Teaching is another Google+ Community.

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