Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 20, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Quizizz” Is A Great Game-Playing & Game-Creating Site For Classes!

pizazz

I’m a big fan of sites that let you create virtual private rooms where students can compete against each other in learning games and see their constantly changing results. Of course, for these to be successful learning experiences, you have to have helped create a culture that everyone feels like they’re winners. In my English Language Learner classes, I’m pretty confident that we have this kind of environment and students realize that much of people’s success in the classroom is primarily due to how long each person has been studying English — not because anyone is “smarter” than anyone else.

Unfortunately, because of relatively recent changes in our District’s Web filter, most of the sites that I’ve used before and which can be found on The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms” list are now blocked.

Today, though, thanks to The Edublogger’s Weekly Round-Up, I learned about Amy Kincaid’s post talking about Quizizz.

Quizizz, which is free, lets you access tons of previously-created learning “quizzes” and also lets you create your own. Once you as the teacher joins, which takes seconds, you pick a quiz; are given a code for a virtual room; then give the code to your students, who just log in with the code and a nickname (they don’t have to register with the site). When all your students are set, you click “start game.” You see the leader board as do the students as they’re progressing through the quiz.

In a number of ways, it’s similar to Kahoot. However, the key advantage that Quizizz seems to have over Kahoot is that with Quizizz, students see the questions, answers, and their leaderboard on their devise. With Kahoot (and please correct me if I’m wrong), students’ devices only show the answers and they have to look at an overhead to see the questions. In antiquated computer labs like the ones at our school (and, I suspect, at many others), we don’t have the capability of projecting a screen for students to see it.

I’m hoping that Quizizz is not blocked for students when I try it out tomorrow at school.

I’m adding this post to the previously-mentioned Best list on sites where students can play in private virtual rooms, as well as to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

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May 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Breaking News Generator!” Is The Latest Tool From “ClassTools”

news

 

I’ve written about Russel Tarr’s site ClassTools many times, including featuring it in a post titled This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students.

He has just released another tool to join the many he has already. It’s called the Breaking News Generator!.

You can see a sample image at the top of this post. Like his other tools, it’s free and simple to use. Students can create their own version of screenshot from a newscast.

Coincidentally, yesterday I assigned my English Language Learner World History students homework to create a “who, what, where, when, how, why” lede for a newspaper story about an event leading up to World War II. Since we’re going to the computer lab today, Russel’s new tool should be a great opportunity for them to create a TV news version of their story.

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May 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Deekit Is A New Tool For Collaboratively Creating Online Whiteboards

deecut

Deekit is a new tool for collaboratively creating online whiteboards

It’s similar to other whiteboard tools on The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration list, though it does appear to have more bells and whistles.

It’s free — at least, for now — and you can read more about it at TechCrunch.

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May 3, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Edueto” Has Got To Be One Of The Best Teacher & Web 2.0 Sites Of The Year

edueto

Thanks to Ana Cristina’s post, which I learned about through TEFLgeek, I discovered the new site Edueto.

It’s got to be one of the best Web 2.0 sites of the year, and perhaps the most useful one for teachers and students.

And it’s free.

Teachers can create exercises in any of the forms listed in the above screenshot and assign them to a virtual class they create. Students can do the activity and teachers can track their progress.

You can also access a library of exercises created by other teachers that you can assign “as is” to students or edit.

The exercises are very easy to create, and each has a short instructional video (I have to say that I wish the videos didn’t move quite so fast, though).

One of the particularly important features it has, unlike some quasi-similar automatic activity creators out there is that, for example, teachers can strategically place the blanks to be filled in the “gap-fill” exercise, instead of just having an algorithm choose them.

It’s a wonderful site. I did write to its owners, though, wondering if in the future they could create a feature allowing students to create exercises for their classmates. That would be a great learning activity!

I’m adding Edueto to:

The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress

The “All-Time” Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of English Language Learners

Here’s an introductory video from the site:

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May 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Could “Microsoft Edge” Be The Magic Bullet For Annotating Websites?

edge

I’ve regularly lamented the absence of online tools for annotating webpages that don’t require any software download. On occasion, a decent one arises, only to go under after a short time of availability. Most of the annotation tools out there need some kind of download, and that’s problematic for most of us using school computers with archaic restrictions on what and who can download additional software.

I’ve always been puzzled by this dearth of web-based apps, since, in many ways, I think such site would almost be a “killer app.” It’s one that all teachers, even ones most tech-averse, could see value in using, and would be easy to apply. It would just be like using regular post-its to demonstrate reading strategies or taking other notes when reading paper, would reduce copying and, in a feature that some of the best annotation tools that are no longer in existence had, would allow students to see what their classmates are noting, as well.

I now wonder if the forthcoming Microsoft Edge, the web browser for Windows 10, might be perfect for this kind of work. It will have the ability to annotate built directly into the browser itself.

You can read more about the feature at this Read Write post, Microsoft’s Edge Will Let You Scribble On The Web—And That’s Awesome.

And here’s a video demonstrating how it works:

I’m adding this post to Best Applications For Annotating Websites.

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April 20, 2015
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’ve recently begin a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2014). I also sometimes include tech tools that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Parapara Animation is a cool new Mozilla tool. You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.

Growing the List: 50 Digital Education Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success is from Teach Learn Grow.

Hykoo is a new mobile app for creating a version of visual and text “haiku.” It could have some potential as an app, or just an idea to apply with paper and pen.

Edgee is a new site that says it’s between a tweet and a blog post. You can read more about it at TechCrunch. I don’t know – I think it’s more like a limited Padlet. You can add photos and video, as well as annotate them. You can check a very limited one I made in five minutes. Here’s a video about it:

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners

I just realized that I didn’t really have a “Best” list for the series of on-going posts I’ve been writing about Web 2.0 tools for Beginning English Language Learners.

Since the next post I’ll be publishing will be a compilation of all my “All-Time” Best lists, I figured I should include this series.

So, here are links to all my previous Web 2.0 tools for Beginning ELLs, and I’ll be adding ones to future posts in the series:

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Phrase.It”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Szoter”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Clyp.it”

This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Connect Fours”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Post It”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “My Storybook”

Here’s A Successful Music Lesson We Did With Beginning ELLs (Hand-Outs & Student Examples Included) (this post discusses using the “Canva” Web 2.0 too)

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April 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “My Storybook”

storybook1

This post is the eighth in a lengthy series where I will be sharing the Web 2.0 tools that I’m using with my Beginning English Language Learners, along with explaining how we’re using and sharing student examples of each one.
Previous posts in this series have been:

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Phrase.It”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Padlet”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Szoter”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Clyp.it”

This Is The Best Web 2.0 Site For ELLs & May Be The Best One For All Students

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Connect Fours”

Web 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners – “Post It”

Today’s post is about My Storybook, a free and easy tool for creating online, as well as printable, books. You can add text, grab images off the web, draw, etc. After you create your book, you register so you can edit it again in the future. You’re provided a url address to share, but the book itself is not embeddable.

My Storybook has been on The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online since it started.

We used it this week with our Beginner English Language Learners to create an A-Z book about animals. My extraordinary colleague Alma Avalos first created this research sheet for students to use. They then went to The Best Sites For Learning About Animals to find some facts about each animal they chose to write about.

You can see a number of them at our class blog (look at the comments section of the post). Yes, unsurprisingly, a number – though not all — of the short facts they wrote were just copied and pasted, but, as any teacher of ELL Beginners knows, that’s not uncommon. But the next step we’re doing addresses that challenge.

On Friday, students will be presenting their books to the class and using this planning sheet that Alma prepared. As you can see, among other things, they have to choose a few animals they will describe in their own words.

There are many free tools out there for creating these kind of free online books but, for now, I don’t see any ones that are better than My Storybook.

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