Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

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
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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

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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

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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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