Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

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
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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”

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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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April 8, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Good News, Bad News & Good News On Website Annotation Tools

rap

Annotating websites can be an incredibly useful ability for students to demonstrate reading strategies, just as sticky-notes can do the same for reading on paper. There are tons of tools that provide that feature, but most require some kind of download or bookmarklet, which is problematic in many schools.

There are far, far fewer web tools that provide that capability and without downloading anything and, in fact, those sites tend to die quick deaths. I keep a very close eye out for them, and my Best Applications For Annotating Websites has become shockingly short as more enter the “dead pool” every month.

Today, Genius (formerly Rap Genius) announced a feature that lets you annotate any webpage by just putting “genius.it” before the web address.

That sounded exciting (and similar to other tools on the previously mentioned “Best” list), but then I tried it and found that in order to use it, you needed to register first at the Genius.com site. That requirement makes it useless for schools because no content filter is going to let Genius.com through, as I wrote in Rap Genius Expands Service, Changes Name, Adds Education Features – I’d Still Be Surprised If Teachers Use It.

But, then, as I was cleaning-up that “Best” list and surfing the net for new annotation sites, I discovered Hypothes.is. And it looks good.

Here’s a video about it that’s a lesson in over-hype, but it does provide an introduction to it:

Let me know if you know of other tools I haven’t already blogged about that might fit the bill….

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April 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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You Can Now Embed Images From Imgur With Automatic Attribution

View post on imgur.com

Imgur, the wildly-popular photo and GIF-sharing site, has now made it easy to embed the resources they have on blogs and websites, and the embed coded includes automatic attribution.

You can read more about it at this TechCrunch post.

Look forward to seeing more GIFs on this blog like the one above, which is perfect to show to English Language Learners and then have them describe what’s going on….

I’m adding this info to The Best Online Sources For Images.

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April 3, 2015
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’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:

Classmint is like a super Flashcard site. I’m adding it to The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards.

WriteReader looks like an intriguing iPad app. Here’s an Ed Week article about it, and a video. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users:

Render Forest is an online video-maker. You can learn more about it from The ASIDE Blog. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Meeting Words is online tool for creating documents collaboratively. You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

You can easily create games on your iPhone with Playr. Read more about it at TechCrunch. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

Amazon has opened its “Write-On” platform to everybody. You can read more about it at these two TechCrunch posts. I’m adding this info to So, You Want To Write A Book? Here’s The Best Advice….

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