Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 21, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“StoryShares” Lets You Create Virtual Classrooms Where Students Can Read & Write Books

StoryShares lets teachers create virtual classrooms for free and offers a collection of books that students can read. Even better, there’s an option that provides audio of the text in a pleasing-to-the-ear-voice.

The best part of the site, though, is that students can also write and publish their own books to share.

Right now, students have to register by their own email. That’s pretty cumbersome, and I’ve suggested to them that they create an option that lets teachers add students, which is how similar sites operate. In addition, they don’t provide the ability for students to annotate text right now, but say they’ll have that up and operating in a couple of months.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.

March 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Type Your Text Into “SlideBot” & It Automatically Chooses Layout & Images For Your Slideshow

SlideBot lets you type the text you want to appear in each slide and then uses its software to design your slideshow in seconds.

It’s pretty neat, and they’ve just unveiled a free education version.

Unfortunately, if you want to be able to export it or use it in full-screen mode, it will cost $15. Those restrictions might make its use in education somewhat limited. However, I could also see some pretty major advantages, including eliminating the extensive time that some students spend on slide design. In addition, having students use SlideBot even a few times could be a good learning experience about good design of slides – its software appears pretty powerful based on my testing it out.

I’m going to purchase the $15 dollar license for myself because it seems to create slideshows that are a hell of a lot better looking than the ones I create manually.

In many ways, it’s a non-animated version of “My Simple Slideshow,” which automatically creates animations from text (see
Wow – “My Simple Show” Is An Extraordinary Tool For Creating Free Video “Explainers”).

I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows.

March 11, 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 Fifty Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

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

Story Friend is a new iPhone app that may have potential.  It lets you create slideshows (like a zillion other apps).  However, this one lets you include content from other social media accounts, too – sort of a like a mobile Storify tool.

Dotstorming is an online collaborative tool that allows groups to work together and vote on preferences. It’s like a bunch of other similar tools, though this one stands out because it lets you easily search for and post images.  I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

PortfolioGen lets students easily create online portfolios of their work.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Developing Student Portfolios.

Anchor is an easy tool for creating podcasts.  You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

March 2, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Duolingo Launches Web Version Of New Feature “Tinycards”

I’ve written tons about Duolingo, which is probably the best and most popular tech language tool for learning English (and just about any other language, too),

Awhile back, they offered a flashcard feature called Tinycards on their iPhone app, and today they made it available on the Web for the first time. Tinycards is for leaning any subject – not just a new language – so it includes Social Studies, health and other topics, too.

TechCrunch says it wasn’t a very popular mobile feature and it shows that by having a fairly limited selection (limited, at least, if you compare it to other tools on The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards best).

However, I’ve also got to say that its “create” function is one of the easiest I’ve seen of all the flashcard apps (including a super-easy image search ability).  This creates an exceptional opportunity for our English Language Learners to make useful resources for an authentic audience and that can help encourage motivation.

I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Create Online Learning/Teaching Objects For An “Authentic Audience.”

February 26, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Around The Web In ESL/EFL/ELL

Four years ago I began this regular feature where I share a few posts and resources from around the Web related to ESL/EFL or to language in general that have caught my attention.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources, Articles & Blog Posts For Teachers Of ELLs In 2016 – Part Two

Here are this week’s choices:

Kiddle seems like a very useful search engine for English Language Learners. The first few pages of each search only show very accessible sites. I’m adding it to The Best Search Engines For ESL/EFL Learners.

Why Group Work Could Be the Key to English Learner Success is from Mind Shift.

ELLs and Reading Fluency in English is from Colorin Colorado. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Reading Fluency (Including How To Measure It).

These Are Children, Not Bad Hombres is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Children Refugee Crisis At The U.S. Southern Border.

Advocates decry Fariña’s explanation of low graduation rates among English learners is from New York Chalkbeat.

February 19, 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 Fifty Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

QuizPedia lets you – or students – easily create…quizzes. You can learn more about it from Ed Tech For Beginners. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Tests.

I’ve written a lot about Zooniverse, the science and social science crowdsourced site (see “Zooniverse” Is One Of The Coolest Ed Sites On The Web – I Can’t Believe I’m Just Hearing About It!). One of their newest projects is having users look for planets. You can read more about it at this NPR article, Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet.

Sketchboard is an online whiteboard where users can draw collaboratively. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

Chart Accent lets you create charts and then annotate them. Thanks to Flowing Data for the tip.

February 13, 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 Fifty Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Google Maps lets you save and share favorite places with launch of Lists is a post from TechCrunch. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Plan Virtual Trips.

Pinup is the latest addition to The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”).

Qzzr looks like a fun place for students to create online quizzes.  I learned about it from Creative Language Class and am adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Tests.

Practical Ed Tech Handbook – 2017 Edition is another great resource from Richard Byrne.

February 8, 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 Fifty Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Stormboard, which is free for educators at least through July, 2017, is a nice new collaborative online “corkboard/bulletin board” where you can share “stickies,” including photos, videos and text. I’m adding it to the very popular The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”).

Creative Commons unveils a new photo search engine with filters, lists & social sharing is a TechCrunch post about a new…search engine from Creative Commons. I wouldn’t get too excited about it, though. It’s still pretty cumbersome to easily get attribution info – other tools on The “All-Time” Best Sources Of Online Images list let you access mostly the same images with much more automatic attribution appearing when you use the images. However, it was nice to learn this: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 375,000 digital works for remix and re-use online via CC0.

3 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR USING GOOGLE PHOTOS is by Sue Waters.

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