Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 4, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two New Sites Where Teachers Can Create Virtual Classrooms & Monitor Student Progress


Sites that let teachers create virtual classrooms and then monitor student progress can be very helpful. Here are two new ones that I’m adding to various “Best” lists:

Zearn is focused on math, and was suggested by reader Lynn. I’m adding it to The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

AlfaTyping looks like a nice tool for students to develop typing skills, and you can read all about it at Richard Byrne’s post. I’m adding it both to The Best Eleven Websites For Students To Learn About Computers (where you can find other typing sites) and to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

December 4, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Statistic Of The Day: Chromebooks Are Number One In Schools

This probably won’t be a big surprise to most people, but Chromebooks are now the number one device used in American classrooms.

Here’s a statistic from NBC News, Education 101: Google Chromebooks Multiply in U.S. Classrooms:


I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Using Chromebooks In The Classroom – Help Me Find More.

November 9, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Google To Expand Virtual Reality Project To Schools In Several More Cities


Last month I wrote about Google’s new program to provide virtual reality “field trips” to students (see Google Rolls-Out The Coolest Way – Ever – For Students To Take Virtual Field Trip).

They now just announced an expansion
to schools in Alexandria, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.

You can sign-up here.

October 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Ways To Deal With YouTube’s Awful Safety Mode


The use of YouTube’s Safety Mode by school districts has made the lives of many teachers more difficult – it’s not very “smart” and so blocks a zillion useful classroom videos.

Here are a couple of posts I’ve written in the past about dealing with it:

Update: School District Filters Using Awful YouTube Safety Mode

Our District Just Activated Awful YouTube Safety Mode – What’s Been Your Experience?

Here’s a new resource that could be useful: How to Download YouTube Videos from PC Magazine.

I’ve also had good luck downloading YouTube videos with SaveFrom.Net

Richard Byrne published a post about new Google features that might help teachers deal with YouTube’s awful Safety Mode. If you look at the comments section at Google, though, it looks like there is still a long way to go.

My favorite method now is downloading the videos and adding them to my Dropbox.

Any other ideas out there?

October 13, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

Knewton Is Free & Lets Teachers Create Virtual Classrooms – But Is It Good?


Knewton is a free online learning site that lets teachers create virtual classrooms and monitor students work. Yes, there are plenty of other sites that let you do the same thing (see The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress).

Knewton, though, is supposedly different because it uses “adaptive learning” – as NPR describes it:

the platform presents video and a variety of written content and then asks multiple-choice questions. Based on student responses, and patterns of responses from other similar students, the next piece of content is served up.

It offers English, math and biology courses.

Sign-up and student registration is easy. I’m going to have a few students try-out the fourth-grade English course today to see what they think. It definitely seems pretty hard to me – beyond what I would expect of a fourth-grader. We’ll see what my English Language Learner students have to say about it.

Knewton may or may not be a useful supplement. I suspect, though, that it’s not going to be the “magic pill” its finder claims it that it will be. You can read more about it at that NPR article, headlined Meet The Mind-Reading Robo Tutor In The Sky.

I’m still going to add this post to the previously-mentioned “Best” list, as well as to The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

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