Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Students & Teachers Can Transcribe Ads From Former Slaves Looking For Their Families

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery is a site for genealogists and researchers where they and others can search through incredibly tragic and moving ads former slaves published looking for their lost family members.

Here’s their official description:

Last Seen offers genealogists and researchers a new tool for telling family stories of separation and survival during slavery, emancipation, and Civil War. The site offers easy access to thousands of “Information Wanted” advertisements taken out by former slaves searching for long lost family members. The ads taken out in black newspapers mention family members, often by name, and also by physical description, last seen locations, and at times by the name of a former slave master.

You can help bring this new powerful genealogical tool to life by transcribing these ads!

It seems to me that invitation to transcribe could offer a powerful opportunity for students to begin to grasp the human toll of slavery and, at the same time, contribute to a greater good.

In many ways, it’s similar to another site offering these kinds of crowd-sourced learning avenue – Zooniverse (see “Zooniverse” Is One Of The Coolest Ed Sites On The Web – I Can’t Believe I’m Just Hearing About It!).

Thanks to Clint Smith on Twitter for the tip.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Teach About African-American History.

June 18, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The Twenty-Five Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017 – So Far). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Raw Shorts lets you easily create…short videos. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites and The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

Word Wanderer is an intriguing tool that reminds me of a word cloud creator. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds.”

DataBasic “is a suite of easy-to-use web tools for beginners that introduce concepts of working with data. These simple tools make it easy to work with data in fun ways, so you can learn how to find great stories to tell.”

Some of my students have used Stop Motion Studio to easily make some nice videos. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Flipgrid: Giving All Students a Voice in the Classroom is a nice post from Teacher’s Tech Toolbox.

Soapbox – A New Tool for Creating Screencast Videos on Chromebooks is from Richard Byrne. I’m adding it to the same list.

June 10, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The Twenty-Five Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017 – So Far). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

We Transfer is a super-easy tool for sending large files to someone. My Theory of Knowledge students love it – when they have to create videos for an assignment, they can use the website or smartphone apps to easily send them to me. They find it easier to use than uploading a video to Google Drive.

I’ve previously posted about the Buncee tool that lets you compose multi-media creations (it’s on The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013 list). I’ve learned from David Kapuler that they’ve developed a feature for teachers to create virtual classrooms at a cost of $100 per year. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Richard Byrne now has 500 videos on his YouTube Channel teaching how to use different web tools. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn Web 2.0 Basics, which I have to revise and update one of these days.

Richard Byrne has also posted Six Types of Classroom Video Projects – And 18 Video Creation Tools. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Muro is a simple online drawing tool.  I’m adding it to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

Culture Street lets you make and save comic strips online. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online.

June 3, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Using “Google Story Builder” To Encourage Students To Study English Over The Summer

 

I’ve previously posted some of the activities I’ll be doing with my class of Beginning ELLs over the last two weeks of school:

Here’s What I’m Doing As A Final With Beginning ELLs,

Here’s What I’m Doing As “Part Two” For My ELL Beginner Finals

Today, I thought I’d share a third activity…

The last time I tried Google Story Builder, it was off-line.  That was a bummer – it’s always been a great tool.  Fortunately, however, it apparently was just a momentary blip because it’s back up and working!

This week, I’ll be asking students to use the app to create a dialogue between two or three people.  The purpose is to convince one of them to study English over the summer.

Here’s the model I created for students to watch.

I’m adding this post to The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong.

June 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The Twenty-Five Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017 – So Far). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

25+ Tools For Spicing Up Your Posts is from Sue Waters.  I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Advice For Teachers (And Others!) On How To Be Better Bloggers. I’m adding it to The Best Sources Of Advice For Teachers (And Others!) On How To Be Better Bloggers.

Google Sheets now uses machine learning to help you visualize your data is from TechCrunch. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

Kami is a tool that lets you edit PDFs. Watch a tutorial at Richard Byrne’s blog.

I’ve previously posted about Chalkmotion, a presentation tool that lets you add or draw simple stick figure like drawings onto slides. It seems to have become a bit easier to use, so I’m now adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows.

Quizlet Teacher account – worth it? is a post from ELT PLanning. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress – the post also discusses having students use it as a creation tool.

May 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

How My ELL Students Used Padlet To Create A “Picture Data Set”

I write a lot about the different ways I use inductive teaching and learning with both English Language Learners and English-proficient students (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching). It’s an extremely versatile instructional strategy that promotes higher-order thinking.

Inductive teaching and learning often involves categorizing, and Padlet is a perfect online tool for that purpose.

I’ve previously described in detail how my ELL students used it to learn about food vocabulary (see Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”).

Today, we began using it as part of our study of “signs” (by the way, the “Shelf” template works best). After doing some preliminary categorization in the classroom where we identified the primary categories of “labels/names; warnings; information; and instructions,” we went to the library and students began to expand their knowledge of signs by searching for Web images and put them on Padlets. Today, I only had four students begin to create them – they’ll teach other students on Tuesday. In addition to creating these categorized “Picture Data Sets,” they will also add a text description explaining the purpose of each sign.

Here’s the beginning of one:

Made with Padlet

You can see more here on our class blog.

There are lots of ways to use Padlet for this kind of exercise – transportation, for example (public, cars, sea). I think copying and pasting text for “text data sets” are still best in Word or Google Docs because they can be easily printed out and used. But Padlet is great for images.

What are other ways you have used Padlet with ELLs or English-proficient students?

May 24, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The Twenty-Five Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017 – So Far). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Edji lets you upload any text and have readers annotate it with comments. You can make all the comments public to readers, or keep them private. Thanks to Shelly Terrell for the tip.  Even though it only works with text and not websites, I’m still adding it to The Best Applications For Annotating Websites.

Prism also lets you just annotate text to upload, but in a very dynamic way.  Here’s a video describing it:

Timeline Storyteller is from Microsoft.  It seems useful, but not good enough to add to The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines.

TEN APPS TO HELP STUDENTS DEVELOP WRITING SKILLS is from The Edvocate. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools That Can Help Students Write An Essay, even though it doesn’t quite fit into that list.

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