Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

January 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Two Nice Visual Collections Of Infographic-Creation Tools

Color Wheel | Color Poster Collection
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Ernesto Lago via Compfight

If you want to create an infographic, I have just about the most exhaustive collection you’re going to find of useful web tools at The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

However, it’s not a particularly “visual” post.

Two sites have recently published posts sharing lists of infographic-creation tools that aren’t as complete as my list is, but do share examples and tutorials about what you can create with them.

Here are the two posts:

How to Make Your Own Infographic from Razor Social.

14 Great Tools to Create Engaging Infographics and Images for your Social Media Posts is from Buffer.

I’ll be adding both to my list.

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January 28, 2014
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 , 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 2013):

Curriculet lets teachers assign what appears to be books in the public domain (though I might be wrong on that) and embed quizzes and questions into them. Here’s a video about it:

Curriculet Overview Demo from Curriculet on Vimeo.

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

Function Carnival is a new site that lets you set-up virtual classes, have students watch videos, and then have them create graphs based on what they see. I don’t really understand it, but it looks cool, Dan Meyer helped create it (which means it has to be good), and you can read more about it here. I’m adding it to The Best MATH Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

33 Digital Tools for Advancing Formative Assessment in the Classroom is from The Northwest Evaluation Association. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Formative Assessment.

Storehouse looks like a neat “visual storytelling” app for the iPad. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

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January 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“ClassFlow” Is Live, Available & Free

classflow

Last month, I posted about the upcoming unveiling of a new web tool called ClassFlow.

Here’s what I wrote then:

ClassFlow is a new tool being unveiled by Promethean in January. They say that “Beginning in January 2014, teachers will be able to sign up for a complimentary ClassFlow account.” It looks pretty interesting, though I’ve got to wonder what it’s cost structure is going to end up being. I suspect that Promethean isn’t going to make it entirely free forever, but maybe I’m just being cynical.

Today, they opened it up to the public.

I took it out for a “test drive,” and have to say it seems like a pretty easy tool for teachers to use to create multimedia presentations for the classroom and, apparently, provides a way for students to respond to teacher questions (I didn’t explore that feature). I also think it would a useful tool for students to use to create lessons that they would teach to their classmates.

I’m going to add it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Unfortunately, it also has one of the more annoying promotional videos I’ve seen for an education-related web too:

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January 22, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Trove” Is A New Personalized Newsreader With Promise

trove

Trove has just been launched by the previous owners of The Washington Post.

I’m not sure that it’s radically different from the other sites on The Best Sites For Creating Personalized “Newspapers” Online list, but it seems like it’s worth trying out — especially since my previous favorite tool (Trap.it) discontinued their service last week.

My primary concern about it is that — for now, at least — even though you can read Trove on the web, you can only create your own “troves” (updated news articles on the topic of your choice) using it as an iPhone or iPad app. I assume they’ll add that feature to its web version relatively soon.

You can read more about Trove at The New York Times and at TechCrunch.

Here’s a video description:

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January 11, 2014
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 , 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 2013):

Biteslide looks like a fairly easy tool to create slideshow-like presentations. It’s worth a look. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows.’

SchoolShape is an online “language lab” that is also worth a look. Some exercises are free, but most require payment. But it does look like an easy way for students to create online work (including audio recordings) for teacher review. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Questions Is A Video Q&A App That Wants You To Have Curious Micro-Conversations With Anyone is a TechCrunch post about an intriguing iPad app. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools is a post from Richard Byrne. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea.

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January 3, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Gibbon” Is An Easy Tool For Creating Internet Scavenger Hunts

gibbon

Gibbon lets you easily create what they call “flows,” which are basically lists of web resources with instructions written by the flow’s creator.

I think Gibbon has ambitious plans but, for teachers, it’s an easy tool for teachers to create Internet scavenger hunts for students and for students to create them for their classmates.

I’m adding it to The Best Places To Create (And Find) Internet Scavenger Hunts & Webquests.

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December 31, 2013
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 , 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 2013):

10 video calling apps to connect you with family and friends this Christmas is from The Next Web. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Curious.com lets you create, share and view video lessons. I’m adding it to the same list.

Vobok is an iPhone app that lets you easily record thirty second audio messages. You can read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle here. It might be a useful tool for English Language Learners, but I haven’t tried it out yet. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me.

(By the way, I’m also adding The Verge at work: making perfect pictures on your iPhone to the same list)

Quiz Up looks like a neat iPhone game. You can read more about it in The New York Times. It’s similar to the games on The Best Online Games Students Can Play In Private Virtual “Rooms” list, except played on an iPhone.

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December 22, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Send A Personalized Google Maps Holiday Greeting

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It’s A Message lets you send a personal holiday message, along with images of snow falling on the address of your choices.

I’m adding it to The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa.

And, while I’m at it, I’m also adding these resources to the same list:

Here’s the EFL Classroom 2.0 Christmas page.

A Christmas Game Gap Fill

‘How to celebrate Christmas with Technology: 7 ideas& a lesson plan.’ is by Christina Martidou.

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December 21, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Web Tools For English Language Learners (In Other Words, The Ones My Students Regularly Use)

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I received a comment from reader Mark, who says he loves all “The Best…” lists, but would like to hear my top recommendations sometimes.

Of course, I have posted The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites, but even that is a pretty lengthy one.

So, I thought I’d begin a running list here of posts where I have described (and future additions will describe) the Web 2.0 tools that I regularly use with my English Language Learners. In addition, I’ve also included direct links to a few other great tools that my students regularly use for direct language-learning.  I thought this list might “narrow” things down a bit for readers.

I also hope that readers will contribute their own suggestions!

Here’s my list:

Web 2.0 Content Creation Tools:

Using “PixiClip” With English Language Learners

Geography Students Use “Stay.com” To Create Virtual Trips

English Language Learners Using Screencast-o-matic For Folktale Presentations

Having English Language Learners Use Cellphones To Identify High-Interest Vocabulary

Making Instagram Videos With English Language Learners

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

Terrific New Videos: Using English “Sister Classes” From Throughout The World In Our ELL Geography Class

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution (I’ve been using this each week and it works well as a formative assessment — check them out here).

Using “Dvolver Moviemaker” With English Language Learners

Student Accessible Language-Learning Tools:

FOR BEGINNERS:

Pronunciator has simple lessons for 60 different languages, and its most important feature is that it allows you to repeat and record what is being taught, and then “grades” your pronunciation. English Central pioneered this kind of capability over two years ago, and the is the first time I’ve seen another web tool try it, too.

Lingo Hut is an impressive site for beginning learners of many different languages, including English.

Using a drop-down menu, you can easily select your native language and the language you want to learn, and then progress through a well-designed series of exercises including reading, listening and speaking.

Spanish-speaking ELLs love Pumarosa.

I’ve long believed Henny Jellema’s online TPR Exercises to be not only one of the best listening exercises for Beginning English Language Learners on the Web, but one of the best ELL activities — period.

Language Guide has got to be the best online dictionary for ELLS on the Web. Plus, if you click on the “gear” symbol at the top, students can access all sorts of reinforcing interactive exercises. Too bad they don’t highlight that feature more prominently.

The Reading and Everyday Life activities from GCF LearnFree are excellent.

FOR BEGINNERS & INTERMEDIATES:

Can anything really beat English Central? I think not…

U.S.A Learns is an incredible website to help Beginners and Intermediates learn English. It’s free to use. Students can register if they want to save their work and evaluate their progress.  It’s a joint effort of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), Internet and Media Services Department and the Project IDEAL Support Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Bitesize Literacy from the BBC.

I’m looking forward to hearing reactions and your own suggestions!

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December 17, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Online Video Editor Stupeflix Launches iPhone “Animoto-Like” App

replay

Stupeflix, which is on Not The “Best,” But A List… Of Online Video Editors list, has just launched a free iPhone app called Replay that — at least to me — looks very, very Animoto-like. It lets you easily turn your photos into music videos.

I’m assuming there are lots of differences between the two, but I could only find two in my admittedly quick try-out of Replay, and both came out in Replay’s favor: one, the process appeared a lot faster than in Animoto’s app and, two, Replay appears to provide a number of features that Animoto requires you to pay (admittedly, not a lot) for…

Here’s a quick and short one I made of my ELL students sharing their vocabulary homework:

I’m adding this info to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

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December 16, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Stoodle” Could Be The Best “Virtual Corkboard” Site Out There

stoodle

There are lots of sites out there that let you create virtual “corkboards” and you can see them at The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”). Padlet (formerly known as Wallwisher) is probably the most well-known tool of this kind.

Richard Byrne recently shared about a new site that might end up being the best of the bunch. It’s called Stoodle.

Like the best of the other sites, you can create these bulletin boards easily without registering and you can collaborate with others to create them.

Two features, though, that Stoodle has but, as far as I can tell, others do not, are:

* the ability to search and find images on the Web within the application itself. With the others, you have to find an image in another tab and then paste the url address into the site. Stoodle gives you that option, too, but searching within the site makes it a lot easier.

* The chat feature between collaborators is text and audio. I don’t believe any other similar tool as the audio chat feature.

The only two negatives that I see are:

* unlike Padlet, you can’t embed a Stoodle board.

* Using Stoodle the first time isn’t as intuitive as Padlet. It would be nice if they had a short video or just some screenshares identifying how to use the icons. One can figure it out in a minute or two by playing with it, though. Just note that in order to move around the virtual “post it” notes, you have to first click on one of the icons on the left.

I’m also adding Stoodle to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

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December 16, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Using “PixiClip” With English Language Learners

xmas

Last week, I posted about the new web tool called “PixiClip” (see “PixiClip” Is A Neat Drawing Tool For English Language Learners). It’s a drawing tool that doesn’t require any registration and has a feature of letting you provide an audio commentary to your artistry. I explained that I thought it had a lot of potential for English Language Learners, and that I was going to give it a try this week and write about what happened.

As I’ve written in previous posts, I’ve been pretty aggressive this school year in trying out Web 2.0 tools with my ELL students. Our District has “lightened-up” considerably on its Internet content filters, and I’ve been taking advantage of this opening. You can see previous posts about the tools we’ve been using:

Geography Students Use “Stay.com” To Create Virtual Trips

English Language Learners Using Screencast-o-matic For Folktale Presentations

Having English Language Learners Use Cellphones To Identify High-Interest Vocabulary

Making Instagram Videos With English Language Learners

Using Freire & Fotobabble With English Language Learners

Terrific New Videos: Using English “Sister Classes” From Throughout The World In Our ELL Geography Class

Literably Is An Excellent Reading Site — If Used With Caution (I’ve been using this each week and it works well as a formative assessment — check them out here).

So, today, we tried out PixiClip….

It didn’t start-off well earlier in the day when an aide and I tried it out before school — even though the site wasn’t blocked, it appeared that our antiquated computers would only allow the “doodling” function and not let us record audio. That, of course, was the primary reason it was an attractive site.

After our lack of success using it in Firefox (it had worked at my home in that browser) and in Internet Explorer, we downloaded Google Chrome and were pleased to find that it worked fine there.

We began a unit on Christmas today, and my Beginner students wrote out a series of instructions on what to do with a Christmas tree (after learning the necessary vocabulary). We then went to the computer lab, and PixiClip worked like a charm. It was a great opportunity for a formative assessment, students got speaking practice, and they enjoyed it a lot.

Here are a couple of examples embedded below:

The only negative is that the videos seem to turn on automatically when you embed them.

I’ll definitely be adding PixiClip to my list of tools to regularly use!

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December 14, 2013
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 , 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 2013):

25 Sites For Creating Interesting Quote Images is from Edudemic. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Creating Visually Attractive Quotations For Online Sharing.

ClassFlow is a new tool being unveiled by Promethean in January. They say that “Beginning in January 2014, teachers will be able to sign up for a complimentary ClassFlow account.” It looks pretty interesting, though I’ve got to wonder what it’s cost structure is going to end up being. I suspect that Promethean isn’t going to make it entirely free forever, but maybe I’m just being cynical. Here’s a video overview of it:

Canva is a new tool for creating infographics. You can learn more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

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December 13, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“PixiClip” Is A Neat Drawing Tool For English Language Learners

pixiclip

PixiClip is a neat drawing tool I just learned about at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’d strongly encourage you to go there and read more details about the site and see his example but, basically, it lets you make a drawing and record either audio-only or a video to go along with it. It also lets you upload an image from the web and “mark it up,” but I think there are plenty of other web tools that let you do that easily enough — and let you grab images off the web with photo url addresses (PixiClip just lets you upload one from your computer) — so I don’t think that feature particularly stands out (you can see those other tools at The Best Online Tools For Using Photos In Lessons).

But the audio-plus-drawing capability could really come in handy for English Language Learners.

For example, my Beginners are studying the theme of “Home” right now. After doing some pre-planning for a rough “script,” I could see them doing something like the recording I’ve embedded below as a novel summative assessment and may try that out next week. If we do, I’ll post examples on this blog.

Here’s my model:

I’m adding this site to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

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December 12, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2013 – Part Two

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This list (a not particularly long one) brings together what I think are this year’s best ways to create online content easily and quickly — at least, the ones that have become available since Part One of this list was published six months ago. These web tools are excellent ways for English Language Learners, and others who might not be very tech-savvy, to have a good experience working with technology.

In order to make it on this list, web tools must be:

* accessible to English Language Learners.

* available at no-cost.

* able to be used to easily create engaging online content within minutes.

* willing to host user-created work indefinitely on the website itself.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* accessible without requiring registration.

In addition to Part One of this year’s list, You might also be interested in:

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — Part One

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2011

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2010

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2009

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly — 2008

A very small number of the applications that have made it on this list are viral marketing tools. You can read this article about how I use these in the classroom.

Here are my choices for The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2013 – Part Two (Not in any order of preference):

I’ve previously posted about Incredibox, and I continue to think it’s the easiest and most fun tool on the web for creating music. You can save your creation, give it a title, and share it. Last month, they announced that they completely updated the site (again), including giving it a new url address. Of course, it continues to be on The Best Online Sites For Creating Music.

On my The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration list, I have quite a few tools that let you create documents with others, including some that allow instant text chat.  Notepad is a new tool that has both of those features and, unlike most other sites, also provides an audio chat feature. No registration is required to use all its features.

Class Tools lets you easily create a Map “treasure hunt” with no registration necessary.

Make A Word Cloud is an easy word cloud generator.

This next one is a “runner-up,” but I thought I’d share it anyway:

Graffit Map lets you choose a Google Street View from anywhere in the world, draw graffiti on it, and then save and share the image. I think it could have been a useful tool for students studying geography or planning a field trip so they could label things, and it could also be helpful to English Language Learners for learning new vocabulary (sort of like a freehand “Thinglink” that doesn’t require registration. I say “could have been” because the brush size is too thick and unwieldy for labeling use — at least, it was for me. If you can figure out a way to make it more usable, please let me know.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at the 1200 other “The Best…” lists and consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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December 7, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013

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It’s time for my most popular post each year — the one on new Web 2.0 applications.

There are over 1,200 lists now that are categorize and updated regularly.  You can see them all here.

As usual, in order to make this list, a site had to be:

* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.

* free-of-charge.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* completely browser-based with no download required (I occasionally make an exception to this rule).

It’s possible that a few of these sites began in 2012, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2013.

You might want to visit previous editions:

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2012

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2011

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2010

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2009

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2008

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

(You might also find The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2012 — So Far useful,as well as Here Are All Of My “Best Of 2013″ Lists)

Feel free to let me know if you think I’m leaving any tools out.

Here are my fifty choices for The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013 (in the past, I’ve published a list ranked from top-to-bottom.  This year, however, it was harder for me to make that kind of selection.  Instead, I’ve posted a “top ten” — not in order — and then a second tier of thirty sites that I’ve divided into specific categories):

The Top Ten (not in order of preference)

Mosey lets you pick a location, easily choose places in the area that you’d like to “visit,” grab images off the web, shows the places on map, and lets you add notes. You’re then give a unique url address to your creation. It’s a good tool for geography class or for planning a real field trip.

I use Pinterest daily. However, in the vast majority of schools, it is never going to make it past Internet content filters for students. eduClipper is basically a Pinterest for schools (and I confirmed today that it is not blocked at our school — if it’s not blocked by our district, it’s unlikely to be blocked by most others). It has the potential of sort of being an “all in one” tool for the classroom, serving the same purposes as sites on The Best Social Bookmarking Applications For English Language Learners & Other Students list and on The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”) list, as well as serving other functions.

Haiku Deck, an iPad app which now has a Web version, may very well be the best tool for creating online slideshows that are out there. It’s  on The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows list. Now Richard Byrne has made a tutorial explaining how to use the web version. It’s not yet open to the public, but I received my invitation less than twenty-four hours after requesting one.

Tellagami is neat iPhone/iPad app that lets users quickly create virtual characters that can speak audio that’s been recorded or use text-to-speech. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English and to The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me.

EDpuzzle is a new innovative site that lets you take just about any video off the web, edit it down to the portions you want, add audio notes and questions for students, and create virtual classrooms where you can monitor individual student work. For free. Though I’m not a big fan of the flipped classroom (see The Best Posts On The “Flipped Classroom” Idea), I would imagine the site might be an ideal tool for that strategy.

You can see a quick example I created here (unfortunately, the videos are not embeddable).

For my own classroom, I see it less useful as a creation vehicle for me, and potentially much more useful as a tool that students can use for creation. For example, I think both my mainstream and English Language Learner students could watch a video and annotate them using the same kind of reading strategies they use with a “regular” text (ask questions, make connections, evaluate, etc.). Common Core talks about “multimodal texts” and videos, especially if they’re subtitled, would certainly fit into their category.

Huzzaz lets you create video collections that you can embed in your website. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Video Playlists.

UTellStory is sort of a streamlined VoiceThread that I think is easier for both teachers and students to use.  You can make slideshows with your own images or grab ones off the web and easily add a audio you record, as well as text, to it. You can make them private or public, and they’re embeddable. You can also let your slideshows be re-used and mixed by others.

buncee lets you easily create simple multimedia creations — almost like an extended virtual postcard. You can grab media off the web and add text.

emaze is a new slideshow creation tool that looks neat and pretty darn easy. TechCrunch says it hits the “Sweet Spot Between PowerPoint And Prezi.”

Sketchlot lets students…sketch and draw online. Teachers sign-up and can create a class roster letting students log-in, and drawings are embeddable.

 

The Rest (Not in order of preference)

VIDEO SITES:

MashMe TV lets you create a free video conference with up to ten people. In addition, you can all watch a video and/or draw together.

Wideo is a new tool for making online animations.  I wouldn’t say it’s as intuitive to use as some others on The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations list, but it does seem decent.

HapYak lets you annotate any YouTube or Vimeo video with text (including url addresses) or freestyle drawing. The Adventures With Technology blog has an interesting lesson plan using HapYak with second language learners.

Reflap is a free tool for online video chats. You can have up to five people on the same chat.

COLLABORATIVE ONLINE WHITEBOARDS:

RealtimeBoard is an online whiteboard that is a good tool for real-time collaboration. It’s easy to use, and lets you upload images from your computer or by its url address. They’ve had a limited free plan for everybody, but they recently announced a free “Pro” account for educators. It’s easy to register for it here.

COLLABORATIVE ONLINE WORD PROCESSING:

Quip is a new online word processing tool that is free to non-business users, adapts its look to the kind of device you’re using (tablet, desktop, smartphone), and lets you collaborate with others on your document. You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

Editorially lets you collaboratively create documents.

On my The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration list, I have quite a few tools that let you create documents with others, including some that allow instant text chat. Notepad is a new tool that has both of those features and, unlike most other sites, also provides an audio chat feature. No registration is required to use all its features.

Draft is a new free collaborative word processor that looks pretty useful. You can read a lengthy post about it at TechCrunch.

Editorially lets you collaboratively create documents. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

SITES TO CREATE ONLINE  GAMES & TESTS:

GeoGuessr is one of my favorite games on The Best Online Geography Games list.  It’s now gotten even better. You can now create your own GeoGuessr game at GeoSettr.

Quizdini is a simple and free tool for creating multiple-choice or “drag-and-drop” quizzes. There is no way right now to monitor student results, but they are working developing such a system.

I learned about BrainRush from Eric Sheninger. Right now, it only lets you create flash card activities, but it has plans in the near future for several other learning activities. What’s really nice about the site is that you can create virtual classrooms and monitor student progress. You can assign students activities you or other users create. I personally prefer to also have students make their own interactives on sites like this and then have classmates try them out

Image Quiz lets you easily grab images off the web (or upload your own) and create quizzes with them. No registration is required to create or take them, and there are quite a few already there.

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of having my English Language Learner students play online video games as a language development activity (see POINTING AND CLICKING FOR ESL: Using Video Games To Promote English Language Development).

Escape The Room games are one of my favorite game “genres,” where players have to…escape from a room by clicking on objects and using them in a certain way and/or order. Most of these games also have a text component.

Now, a new free tool has come online, the Room Escape Maker, that lets anybody create their own….escape the room games. It requires a little more of a learning curve than I would like, but I think it has some potential.

PHOTOS:

Phrase.it lets you easily add speech bubbles with your text to photos. You can upload your own, or choose a random image from the site. You’re then given a link to your creation.

Stipple is another tool that lets you annotate photos with links to other sites or text. I’ve posted about others in The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons (Thinglink being the most prominent).

Photolist is a new tool that seems like a very easy way to make a slideshow (that’s also embeddable) and that lets you also add expanded captions.

Every Stock Photo is an impressive search engine for images and, what’s particularly nice about it, is that it provides the embed code with the necessary attribution for any image you pick.

CREATING ATTRACTIVE QUOTATIONS:

Pinwords lets you create visually attractive quotations and is especially nice because it’s web-based and lets you grab images off the web to use.

Quozio is another super-easy way to create visually attractive quotations.

OTHER:

Populr.me is an easy tool for creating websites.

Brainscape is a flashcard-creating site that lets you add images and allows you to record sound simply by clicking on the “Advanced Editor.” It’s easy to add both, and those features make Brainscape stand out a bit from some of the other flashcard sites out there.

Presenter is a new free online tool for creating online presentations, animations and — at least in my mind — most importantly, infographics. Most of the options on Presenter all look impressive but, for my technologically incompetent tastes, are just slightly more complicated than I would like (though I’m sure they all would be fine for most readers of this blog). I, though, particularly like their infographic tool.  Once you register and sign-on, you have the option to click on the Presenter tool or a tool to create websites. The Presenter tool is free, and the website one costs money. After you click on Presenter, you’re offered different features within it, including infographics. They only offer a few templates now, but I’m sure more will become available soon.

I Wish You To lets you easily draw and create your own Ecards, which you can post, embed, and/or send to someone — and no registration is required.

Map Tales is a pretty cool application that lets you create “map-based stories.” Students can easily use them to document historical eras, literary journey, even their own immigration saga. It’s very easy to use.

Dio is a new interactive tool from Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life (which, apart from hearing from people with physical disabilities that it was very helpful to them, I have yet to figure out its usefulness). Dio, on the other hand, allows you to create what is basically a public or private network that has a lot of interactivity. There is no shortage of social network sites that teachers can set up for their students to use (see Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Social Network Sites), but Dio seems to have a lot more engaging features.

Russel Tarr has created lots of great online learning tools, and I’ve blogged about many of them. His latest is called Brainy Box, and it lets you easily create a 3-D animated cube with any content you want to include in it. Students will love it.

Mighty Meeting is a free site that lets you create free online meetings where a slide presentation or documents can be shared. It seems to work quite simply, which is always a plus.

Zoho has unveiled a nice new survey tool called…Zoho Survey. The free version includes unlimited surveys and up to 15 questions and 150 responses per survey. You can read more about it at TechCrunch.

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

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December 5, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Another Great Web App Bites The Dust: Bye, Bye Trapit

Trapit has been my favorite “web crawler” to scour the Web each day for news that I’m particularly interested in (for example, “parent engagement” articles. Each morning, it received an email with links to great articles and resources that I would have easily missed.

Unfortunately, today it announced it was eliminating its consumer service to do something or other with businesses.

So, I’ve deleted it from The Best Sites For Creating Personalized “Newspapers” Online list.

And I’m returning to ICurrent, which I used formerly and which I hope has improved since that time…

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November 30, 2013
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 , I’ve recently begin a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” It’ll be a short compilation of new decent sites that are worth noting, but maybe not necessarily worth a separate post…:

I’ve previously posted about Haiku Deck, which now has a Web version and may very well be the best tool for creating online slideshows that are out there. It’s certainly on The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows list. Now Richard Byrne has made a tutorial explaining how to use the web version. It’s not yet open to the public, but I received my invitation less than twenty-four hours after requesting one.

Teacher Training Videos has an excellent video tutorial on how to create “Flipped” versions of Ted Talk lessons. I’ve previously posted about this subject at Using TED-Ed Videos.

Clip Choose is a new tool that lets you create YouTube playlists and have people vote for their favorite. Ozge Karaoglu has posted some good ideas on how to use it with students. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Subtext looks like a could be a useful iPad app for students to annotate text. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

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