Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

May 16, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Google Launches New Collaborative Space Called…Spaces


Google unveiled a new collaborative space called…Spaces today. It appears to be a private space where invited users can share posts, photos and links.

I might be off-base, but I wonder if it’s Google’s attempt to create a Ning-like tool.

You can read more about it at TechCrunch, Google tries its hand at social again with launch of group chat app, Spaces.

I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Collaboration — NOT In Real Time.

April 23, 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:

Quizlet has released a new game-playing tool called Quizlet Live. It looks good, is free, and you can learn how to use it here. It seems somewhat similar to Kahoot and other like-minded classroom games, with the primary difference being that students can play in teams (however, Kahoot has just added that team feature – I assume, in response to Quizlet). You can read more about it at EdSurge and at Richard Byrne’s blog.

Speaking of Kahoot, The NY Times ran a story on them, Kahoot App Brings Urgency of a Quiz Show to the Classroom.

Participate lets teachers collect different learning resources.

Sean Parker relaunches Airtime, a video chat room for watching – together is a TechCrunch post about a new app that lets users create a virtual room. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

Snapchat Explained by Students to Teachers is from Richard Byrne’s blog.

It’s about time: a round-up of time-lining tools is from Joyce Valenza. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines.

April 5, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Webby Award Nominees Announced This Morning – Here Are Six Best Sites For Learning


Nominees for the twentieth annual were announced this morning (go here and click on “view all categories to see them). I think you have to kiss a lot of pigs before you find the princes, but there are a few excellent learning resources there that I haven’t already shared.

Here they are:

Ice and Sky is an interactive describing the history of climate change. It’s a good complement to A Journey Through Climate History, a site I’ve previously shared.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change.

Google Feud and PhotoBomber would be fun games to play with English Language Learners.  In the first one, which is a Webby nominee, you’re given a phrase and have to guess the ten most likely words to complete it in a Google search.  The downside, however, is that it’s possible you might end up with something inappropriate.  The second one is a sister site, though did not actually receive a nomination.  It would work for advanced ELLs – you’re given a combination of pictures and words and have to guess the common expression it represents.

Apollo 17 is a multimedia interactive letting you experience – in real time – that moon-landing mission.

Mawahtale is an interactive on Ebola.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Ebola Virus.

The Studio from Giphy lets you easily create GIFs and animated slideshows. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On GIFs — Please Contribute More, which I just updated.

Check out the nominees and let me know if you think I missed any!

March 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Snapchat In The Classroom?


The same day that NPR ran the story, 10 Seconds At A Time, A Teacher Tries Snapchat To Engage Students, about a college instructor using it with his students, Snapchat unveiled a “massive” update to their app (see Snapchat seamlessly combines video, audio, GIFs, stickers in “Chat 2.0” and A rant about why Snapchat 2.0 is no disappearing teen fad, both from TechCrunch).

I’m still trying to figure out if there is any value to high school educators. I used it once when a student had been absent and another student sent a Snapchat of me saying that we all missed him and wanted him to come back (it blew his mind and still talks about it), but I just don’t know if there is a “there” there for us teachers.

What do you think?

You might also be interested in AJ Juliani’s post, The Complete Guide to Snapchat for Teachers and Parents.

March 29, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Instagram Announces Plan To Increase Videos To One Minute – Great For Teachers, Students & Everybody Else


Today, Instagram announced that the length of the videos you can create with the app will increase from fifteen seconds to one minute. They said:

Longer video on Instagram begins rolling out today and will be available for everyone in the coming months.

I have students create Instagram videos both in my English Language Learner and IB Theory of Knowledge classes (you can see lots of examples at The Best Resources For Learning To Use The Video Apps “Vine” & Instagram).

Having the “stop motion” so easily available with its video app makes it a great tool, and the increased length of time only increases the educational possibilities!

March 23, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

At Second Look, Wizer Looks Like A Fabulous Way Create Virtual Classrooms & Track Student Progress


A couple of months ago, I shared the Wizer site as a one line piece in one of my Web 2.0 weekly “round-ups.” It looked like it had some potential, but it also didn’t seem very intuitive at first glance at figuring out how it worked, and I was pressed for time that week.

Then, Richard Byrne wrote a post about it and included a video showing how it worked. I finally got around to watching the video (well, at least its first three minutes — I’ve embedded it below) and then I got it!

I subsequently played around on the site, and watched a few minutes Wizer’s own video (also embedded below), and concluded that this is one helluva’ useful site!

Simply put, teachers can easily create online, multimedia online “worksheets” (even better, you can use or modify ones other educators have made), give students the url address to the “worksheet” (I’d just copy-and-paste it on our class blog), students quickly and simply register on Wizer, complete the worksheet, and, voila, teachers can easily see each students’ work.

In some ways, it’s like a somewhat less-sophisticated SAS Curriculum Pathways, which I think is the most useful site on the Web for teachers. There, though, only SAS creates the materials.

I’m definitely adding Wizer to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Here are the two “how-to” videos I mentioned earlier:

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