Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Skype’s Amazing Simultaneous Translator Adds Arabic – Now Supports Eight Languages

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I’ve posted a lot about Microsoft’s version of Star Trek’s “Universal Translator,” and they’ve just added Arabic to its ability (along with English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, and Portuguese (Brazilian)).

You have to download the free Skype Translator Preview in order to use it. I believe its only available for use on the desktop version – I don’t think the Web version of Skype enables it yet.

You can see my previous posts on this tech at The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation.

Here’s a somewhat older video of it in action:

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

March 1, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The New Yorker Features Ed Tech Run Amok

The same day the NY Times Reports On Social Emotional Learning Run Amok, The New York ran a big piece on ed tech running amok.

Learn Different:Silicon Valley disrupts education is about AltSchool, a $30,000 a year series of elementary schools that wants to revolutionize education through a terrifyingly omniscient use of technology.

You can read more about what they are doing in this article from last year: AltSchool, Media Hype, & the Dilemma of Innovation Stories by Alexander Russo.

A lot of the concerns I voiced in the SEL piece can be applied to AltSchool and their use of tech, which is why I’m adding this to The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech.

Here’s an excerpt from the New Yorker piece:

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February 24, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Docs Expands Voice-Typing Ability Expanding Language-Learning Possibilities

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Last September, Google introducing the ability to type by voice to Google Docs, and I wrote about its possibilities for language learning (see The New Voice Typing Feature In Google Docs Is Great – I Wonder If ELLs Can Use It For Pronunciation Practice?).

Today, Google announced an expansion of those features, and you can read about it at TechCrunch’s post, You Can Now Edit And Format Your Google Docs By Voice.

You can also see the official list of available commands at Google.

February 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Kids Without Internet & What Can Be Done About It

I’ve written a lot about the challenges facing low-income families without high-speed Internet (see The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students).

The New York Times has just covered the topic in an article headlined Bridging a Digital Divide That Keeps Schoolchildren Behind.

Here’s a statistic from the article that will be no surprise to many teachers:

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February 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Translate Announces Addition of 13 Languages For A Total Of 103

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Google Translate made a big announcement today:

In 2006, we started with machine learning-based translations between English and Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Almost 10 years later, with today’s update, we now offer 103 languages that cover 99% of the online population. The 13 new languages — Amharic, Corsican, Frisian, Kyrgyz, Hawaiian, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona, Sindhi, Pashto and Xhosa — help bring a combined 120 million new people to the billions who can already communicate with Translate all over the world.

Pretty impressive!

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation.

January 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Google Expands Its “Expeditions” Virtual Field Trips For Schools

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I’ve previously written posts about Google’s “Expeditions” program for bringing virtual reality field trips to schools (see Google’s New “Expeditions” Looks Like An Insanely Cool Way For Students To Take A Virtual Field Trip  and Google Rolls-Out The Coolest Way – Ever – For Students To Take Virtual Field Trip.

Today they announced a further expansion. Here’s how TechCrunch explains it (read their post for more info):

Google is expanding its Expeditions program, the company’s effort to bring virtual reality-based field trips to the classroom, with the launch of a dedicated Android application for schools and educators who want to take their students on virtual adventures by way of mobile devices. Additionally, Google says it’s rolling out two more “Expeditions” – that is, the virtual experiences enabled by the program: the Great Barrier Reef and Buckingham Palace.

I think it’s particularly cool that Sir David Attenborough designed and produced the Great Barrier Reef trip.

You can visit the Google Expeditions site for more information and to register for the program and gain access to the new app.

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