Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

February 12, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

This Student Presentation Is An Example Of Why The “KnowMe” App Is Perfect For ELL Teachers


Last month, I wrote “KnowMe” Has Immediately Become The Most Useful iPhone App In My Classroom.

I’ve been using this free app a lot in my classroom since that time, and thought I’d share a short and simple video we made in the classroom today.

We’re working on a persuasive essay and, as part of the study, have studied advertising. This particular lesson came from The WRITE Institute, and students had to find ads using six different persuasive methods.

They made a poster of their findings, and then made a short presentation. Recording them with KnowMe was so easy!

All I had to do was first take quick photos of the posters with my Smartphone. Then, I went to the app, tapped the photo, and it recorded the presentation as long as I had my finger on the picture. I took my finger off it when the first group was done; then, tapped the photo of the second group during their presentation. I then immediately emailed the link to myself and within a minute was able to show it to the class. Later at home I saved the video to my computer to upload it to our class blog and here – and no hassle with YouTube Safety Mode restrictions!

And it’s super-easy to integrate video with photos if you want to!

January 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

You Can Now Live Stream From Facebook Via The iPhone


Today, Facebook announced that all iPhone users in the U.S. could live stream video content and make it public or private, and the video will be saved on your timeline. Just click on the icon shown in the above picture – it will show up when you go to post your status. You can also read more about it at TechCrunch.

It’s basically Facebook’s version of Twitter’s Periscope.

I’m more than a bit doubtful about how useful either Facebook’s new tool or Periscope will be to education, particularly because of privacy concerns, but I can certainly see how useful they are to newsgathering.

Others, though, are more optimistic than I about their use in schools, and you can read about how educators have been using Periscope at Periscope: Connecting Classrooms to the World and 5 things you should know about Periscope for education.

For lack of a better place, I’m adding this link to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

January 21, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“KnowMe” Has Immediately Become The Most Useful iPhone App In My Classroom


The free iPhone app KnowMe was released today, and I know that, starting tomorrow, it will become the iPhone app I will find most useful in my classroom.

You can combine photos from your phone with live video (f you want), easily add narration, and voila, you have an audio narrated presentation. You just hold down on the photo with a finger and talk.

Here’s a simple one I made using classroom photos, which I then emailed to myself.

It doesn’t have an embedding function, and doesn’t yet offer an immediate sharing to YouTube. However, with YouTube’s terrible Safety mode (see The Best Ways To Deal With YouTube’s Awful Safety Mode), I’m not sure how many of us educators are really uploading videos to YouTube these days anyway — most are just going to be blocked by their insane algorithm.

Shadow Puppet has been my favorite app up to know to let students provide audio narration of images, and I didn’t think it could get much easier than that, but KnowMe has proven me wrong.

You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

I’m adding it to several “Best” lists, including:

The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English

The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons

The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me

Here’s a video about the app:

Intro to KnowMe With Nev Schulman from KnowMe on Vimeo.

January 18, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Annotation Studio” Looks Like A Nice Tool For Online…Annotation


I’ve written a lot about tools that students can use for annotating documents online (see Best Applications For Annotating Websites). I’m primarily interested in tools that don’t require any downloads at all because that makes it problematic for use in schools.

I recently learned from InterCom about a tool called Annotation Studio. It’s free and is from MIT.

You can upload any document in PDF or Word, or copy and paste it in yourself, and then:

  • Annotation Studio offers a unique combination of easy-to-use features:
  • Multimedia Annotations – Students can link images, video, and audio to texts.
  • Multi-textual annotation – Annotations can be linked to multiple texts, allowing students to connect a single comment to an original document and its adaptation.
  • Social Annotation – Students can share their comments with individual students, small workgroups, or the whole class.
    Collections – Faculty and students can create collections of texts.
    Advanced Search – Users have multiple filtering mechanisms for texts, tags, and annotations.
    Tagging – Students can create and add tags to annotations, creating folksonomies.

It looks like it may have some potential.

January 16, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license:

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 2015). I also sometimes include tech tools that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

The online learning game Kahoot has a “ghost” mode that lets students play against themselves. You can read about it at Richard Byrne’s blog. It’s nice, though I still prefer other games that I share at The “All-Time” Best Online Learning Games.

ClassKick lets teachers create virtual classrooms with pre-made or original assignments. It’s free. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

The Learnia lets you create interactive video lessons. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

You might remember Xtranormal, which was a great tool for creating animations with narration. Now, a new company has acquired its software and rebranded itself as nawmal. It’s not free, but at least it’s available again.