Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Recent Skeptical Ed Tech Research

December 20, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Infographic: How Skype’s New “Simultaneous” Translation Works

Earlier this week, I posted about Skype’s new almost simultaneous translation system (see A Step Towards Star Trek’s “Universal Translator”).

Here’s an infographic and a video that provides a little more information about it (You can see a bigger version here):

skype

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December 16, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Step Towards Star Trek’s “Universal Translator”

In May, I posted Star Trek “Universal Translator,” Here We Come?, where I reported on Microsoft’s efforts to create a simultaneous machine translator.

Today, they offered it in a limited release for use with Skype.

You can read about it in these articles:

Skype Translator Preview Going Live Today is from TechCrunch.

Skype’s new tool will let you translate your video call (almost) in real-time is from The Washington Post.

It’s got a long way to go before it becomes like Star Trek’s “Universal Translator,” but it seems like a pretty good start.

This video below shows it being used to foster communication between classrooms. I’ve got to say that it can, perhaps, be useful in some primary settings, but I’m skeptical about the logistics working out for middle and high school classes around the world considering time differences. For those older classes who want to communicate with international students, I think the strategy we use in our Geography class is more realistic.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty neat:

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December 15, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Articles On The New E-Rate Increase

December 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Al Jazeera Article On Providing Students With Home Internet Access

jazeera

Al Jazeera has just published an article about New York City libraries providing free home internet access to low-income students and families.

I was interviewed by the reporter and you’ll find a couple of not-particularly-profound quotes from me talking about a similar project our school did with immigrant families.

I’m adding the article to The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students.

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November 28, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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What Are Your Top One-To-Three Mobile Apps For The Classroom – & Why?

I’ve been asked to write a short article listing the ten “best” mobile apps for the classroom.

I’ve got my ideas, but thought I’d invite readers to contribute their own, as well.

Leave a comment, or send me a tweet, with one-to-three of your favorite apps and, ideally, also write one sentence for each one saying why you like it so much.

I’ll publish everybody’s suggestion in a blog post here — of course, giving credit — and will also give you credit if your app makes my “top ten” cut.

I’d love to hear apps that can be applicable to as many content areas as possible, and am also interested in ones for math and science since I don’t know much either of those subjects.

Please let me know your suggestions by December 15th.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Mobile Apps For English Language Learners

The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me

The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users

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November 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Resources For Using Chromebooks In The Classroom – Help Me Find More

I’ve become increasingly disappointed with our District’s decision to not purchase Chromebooks and, instead, purchase far more expensive and far fewer MacBooks.

I did think, though, that readers might find a Chromebooks “Best” list useful and, perhaps, someday, so will I.

Before I share those links (and I hope readers will contribute more), here are a few other Best lists you might find useful:

The Best Resources On “One-To-One” Laptop/Tablet Programs — Please Suggest More!

The Best Advice On Using Education Technology

The Best Sources For Ideas On How To Use Technology With English Language Learners

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

The Best Good, Inexpensive & Simple Classroom Technology Tools

The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning

The Best Sites For Learning About The History Of Technology

My Best Posts For Tech Novices (Plus A Few From Other People)

The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users

The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me

Now, here are my choices for The Best Resources For Using Chromebooks In The Classroom:

Chromebooks beat iPads as top education device is from The San Francisco Chronicle.

30 Ways to Use Chromebooks in the Classroom is a useful slide presentation.

Using Chromebooks in the Classroom is from Reading Today.

Here’s a Live Binder created by Maureen Davis full of related resources.

10 Chromebook uses: How Google-powered laptops are enhancing classrooms is from Education Dive.

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

Six Reasons Educators Say They Are Choosing Chromebooks Over iPads, Netbooks And PCs is from Forbes.

Why Chromebooks Are Beating MacBooks is from Mashable.

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October 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Three Useful Posts About Ed Tech

Here are three recent useful posts on ed tech:

Why I Now Friend Students On Social Media is by Vicki Davis. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Teacher/Student Use Of Social Media.

15 Effective Ways to Use Google Docs in Class is from Ed Tech and Mobile Learning.

The Downside of Being a Connected Educator is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Connected Educators Month.

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October 4, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Many More Resources On Connected Educators Month!

September 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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New $15 Million XPRIZE For Learning Software To “Disrupt” Education — Call Me A Cynic

xprize

The XPRIZE organization has offered many big prizes for technological solutions to problem. Now, they’ve set their sights on education and want to “disrupt” it.

The prize is:

challenging teams around the world to develop tablet-based software solutions that can bring children who have little or no access to quality education to a higher level of performance in reading, writing and arithmetic in eighteen months. The winning team will create an independent learning environment for each child, empowering them to take control of their own learning and, ultimately, their future.

And they’re doing this because:

The traditional model of education is no longer scalable or sustainable. We simply can’t build enough schools or train enough teachers to meet the need.

For all I know, some decent learning software might come out of this effort. Unfortunately, though, they’ve drunk the “kool-aid” of all the high-tech folks who know little about education and want to create a technological magical solution.

Granted, there certainly are substantial challenges to education in developing countries. But having good, plentiful schools with quality teachers is “scalable” and “sustainable” with a broad-based political push to make it happen.

Some nice software will not…

As legendary organizer Fred Ross, Sr. once said:

Short-cuts usually end in detours, which lead to dead ends.

Here’s a video on the new Prize (this is where I got the quotations):

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September 18, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Three Skeptical Posts About Ed Tech

Here are few interesting recent skeptical posts on ed tech issues:

Why I’m Asking You Not to Use Laptops is from The Chronicle Of Higher Education. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech.

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away is by Clay Shirky. I’m adding it to the same list.

iPads for Young Children in School is by Larry Cuban.

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September 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Time For Comcast To Step-Up & Provide “Net Access For Poor”

I’ve had a keen interest for years in helping low-income families obtain Internet access, including helping to lead our school’s internationally recognized effort with immigrants a few years ago. You can read about that, and other programs, at The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students.

On that “Best” list, you’ll also be able to read about Internet Essentials, a program begun by Comcast as a way to get mergers approved. It offers low-income students low-cost Internet access, but has been plagued with problems (you’ll also see articles on that list describing them).

Today, in The Sacramento Bee, Delaine Eastin, California’s former state Superintendent of Public Instruction, details those issues in Make sure Comcast provides low-income Internet access as part of merger.

Here’s an excerpt:

I am joining with California leaders, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County officials, to ask the FCC to closely review Comcast’s performance in implementing Internet Essentials. If regulators are inclined to approve the [Time Warner] merger, they should require:

• Internet Essentials include all low-income households.

• Comcast be held accountable to meet specific subscription goals.

• Comcast capitalize an independently managed fund to support nonprofit broadband adoption programs and coordinate with states.

• The FCC establish an advisory oversight committee.

• Comcast offer Internet Essentials as a stand-alone service, not bundled with other services.

The California Public Utilities Commission in its filing to the FCC also recommends the FCC closely review Comcast’s implementation and administration of Internet Essentials to ensure if the program has met the company’s commitments as to the public benefit of the transaction.

What has your experience been with Internet Essentials.

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August 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Is Sure Interesting: “Google May Start Handing Out Gmail Accounts to Kids”

Google May Start Handing Out Gmail Accounts to Kids just appeared in the Atlantic.

Here’s how it begins:

Google may be going kid-friendly. The tech giant is allegedly planning to offer accounts to children under the age of 13 for services like Gmail and YouTube, according to reports.

The unprecedented move would allow children to navigate fully online (without doing so anonymously or lying about their ages, as many have done on sites like Facebook), and allow Google access to the lucrative education market.

The company would also be wading into controversial waters. If the search giant were to open its doors to children under 13, it would have to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which currently mandates that Internet companies storing data on children must first seek parental consent, and controls how that data is used for targeted advertising. In other words, Google will have to insert parents into the fold in the rumored initiative.

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August 8, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Six Good Ed Tech Links

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

Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads is from The Atlantic. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On “One-To-One” Laptop/Tablet Programs.

Why a New Jersey school district decided giving laptops to students is a terrible idea is from The Hechinger Report. I’m adding it to the same list.

How can teachers get devices for blended learning? is from Edutopia. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

The NAEP has started having students write essays online. Though they are not the Common Core tests our schools will have to be taking, its experience is useful to know as our students begin to take standardized tests online this year. Here are some articles about it:

4th Graders Struggle With Icons, Directions on Computer-Based Tests is from Education Week.

The End of Paper-and-Pencil Exams? is from The Atlantic.

I’m adding them to The Best Resources For Learning About The “Next Generation” Of State Testing.

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August 1, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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TIME Chooses Its 50 Best Websites Of The Year & There Is One Gem On The List

time1

TIME has just selected their 50 Best Websites of the Year.

You’ll know most of them, and most of the others that you don’t know you don’t really need to know.

However, usually I find one or two gems on their annual lists, and today is no exception.

Quotacle is that gem, and here’s its description:

It’s early days for this site, which lets you search for classic movie quotes along with the relevant video clip. But we’re hoping it quickly expands beyond its current catalog of 143 movies — and that Hollywood doesn’t get antsy and try to shut it down.

I’m adding it to The Best Places To Find Quotations On The Web.

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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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