Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

December 26, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Statistic Of The Day: Economic Inequality In The U.S. & The World

This statistic comes from The Washington Post:

The-US-ranks-fourth-in

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources About Wealth & Income Inequality.

Here are some more new related resources:

Fueled by Recession, U.S. Wealth Gap Is Widest in Decades, Study Finds is from The New York Times.

U.S. Wealth Gap Hits Record High is from The Huffington Post.

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame is from The Pacific Standard.

Six charts on the shocking rise in inequality is from The Washington Post.

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: The Importance Of Storytelling

Here are two new additions to The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations, which includes many resources on storytelling:


How to Tell a Great Story
is from The Harvard Business Review.

Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-Up is from The New York Times. Here’s how the article ends:

Its-that-simple-And-that

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Progress Report On My Annual “Best” Lists — 25 Down, 4 More To Go

It’s been a hectic month, but I have been able to compile and publish twenty-five of my annual “Best-of-the-Year” lists, and you can see them all here (and you can see all 1,400 of my categorized and regularly updated “Best” lists here.

That leaves four more left for me to do, but I’m not sure I’ll get them all done by the first of the year — one or two might have to wait til 2015.

Here’s a list of the remaining ones I have to compile (they’re in italics), followed by links to each of their most recent lists:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two (The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far)

The Best Infographics Of 2014 (The Best Infographics Of 2013 – Part Two)

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2014 (The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013)

My Favorite Posts Of 2014 – Part Two ( My Favorite Posts In 2014 — So Far)

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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ESL/EFL Teachers Can Get Great Free Online Prof. Dev. With “The Electronic Village Online”

tesol

Every year, TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section puts on the extraordinary Electronic Village Online where ESL/EFL teachers can get great free online professional development.

Registration is from January 5th to January 11th.

Here’s the introduction:

For five weeks in January and February, TESOL experts and participants from around the world engage in collaborative online discussions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development…and allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.

Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. It is not necessary to attend the TESOL Convention in order to participate. All you need is access to the Internet. Choose a session from this year’s offerings, listed below. And please inform your colleagues about this unparalleled professional development opportunity!

Nina Liakos
On behalf of the EVO Coordination Team

You might also be interested in The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development.

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Few More Christmas Resources

December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Wash. Post Publishes My Annual “Best and worst education news” Of The Year

The Washington Post has just published my annual Best and worst education news of 2014 — a teacher’s list.

My adding it to both The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2014 and to All My 2014 “Best” Lists — So Far — In One Place.

The Post will also be publishing my annual 2015 predictions within the next few days, too.

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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My Three Holiday Gifts To You!

'happy holidays!' photo (c) 2009, melissa brawner - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Here are three Holiday Gifts To Readers:

First, He understood not only what we did but what we were supposed to do is from The Los Angeles Times, and I think it’s the best newspaper story ever written about Christmas.

Second, here’s one of my favorite education-related video. It’s a great example of differentiated instruction. In the video, some ducklings were able to get over the curb on their own. However, several found that it was just too high. Look at how someone provides assistance to those having trouble, and how he doesn’t tell them what to do. Instead, he offers it as an option, as a choice they can make. It’s an example of an old community organizing axiom, “If you don’t give people the opportunity to say no, you don’t give them the opportunity to say yes, either.”


And, third,
several years ago I received a special Christmas gift from Mary Ochs, a good friend who gave me my first job as a community organizer thirty years ago and who was my mentor during my nineteen year organizing career.

It was an older copy of a very small book titled “Axioms For Organizers” by Fred Ross, Sr.

Fred Ross, Sr. was a legendary community organizer. While working for the Industrial Areas Foundation (which I worked for during most of my organizing career) he became Cesar Chavez’s key mentor and adviser. Ross was the author of an extraordinary book that is still available titled Conquering Goliath: Cesar Chavez at the Beginning. In fact, this year, he was selected for the California Hall Of Fame.

Even though the little book that Mary sent me is long out-of-print, a quick Internet search found that it’s still available on a free online PDF.

The book is directed towards organizers, but all of Fred’s axioms offer important advice to teachers, as well.

I’d encourage you to review the entire PDF, which is very short, and here are a few of my favorites:

Short-Cuts –Short-cuts usually end in detours, which lead to dead ends.

Social Arsonist –A good organizer is a social arsonist who goes around setting people on fire.

People – It’s the way people are that counts, not the way you’d like them to be.

Organizing Is –Organizing is providing people with the opportunity to become aware of their own capabilities and potential.

Questions –When you are tempted to make a statement, ask a question.

Enjoy the holidays!

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December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Recent Skeptical Ed Tech Research

December 25, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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BAM! Radio Redesigns Site – Listen To All Thirty-Three Of My Shows!

newbamradio

BAM! Radio, which hosts my weekly ten-minute conversations with guest who make contributions to my Ed Week teacher advice column, has redesigned their website and it looks great. You can even create your own playlists!

You can find all my shows here (well, most of them — the redesign has put them a little behind in posting shows, but I’m show all of them will be up by next week).

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Education Predictions For 2015

Along with multiple reviews of major education news from the past year (see The Best Education “Year-In-Review” Round-Ups For 2014), there are also various predictions being made for 2015. I thought I’d begin a collection here.

I usually do my own, and expect to publish it here or elsewhere next week. You can see my previous predictions and assess my qualities of foresight:

Nine educated education predictions for 2014!

10 education predictions for 2012

Education-Related Predictions for 2011

Here are ones I’ve seen so far for 2015 that are worth viewing:

Arne Duncan’s Edu-Predictions for 2015 is from Education Week. Needless to say, they didn’t including anything about stopping the Value-Added Measures attack on teachers.

Education thought leaders forecast 2015 trends is from District Administration. God, I hate the term “thought-leader.”

eLearning Trends to Follow in 2015
Courtesy of: TalentLMS

I’m adding this post to All My 2014 “Best” Lists — So Far — In One Place.

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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More Resources On Race & Racism

December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Quote Of The Day: Fast Food Bad For Student Brains

In a not very big surprise, researchers found that eating junk food means students do worse in school.

Here’s a quote from a story about the study:

Researchers-found-that

The Washington Post goes on to say:

Why exactly fast food could be blunting school children’s brains is unclear. A study conducted last year showed that nutrients like iron, which can be lacking in fast food, are essential for the development of a child’s brain. Diets high in fat and cholesterol have also been linked to poorer memory.

I’m adding this info to The Best Sites For Learning About Nutrition & Food Safety.

I have a lesson plan in my upcoming book on student motivation about this very topic, and this study reinforces it.

While I’m at it, I’m adding The New York Times interactive, What 2,000 Calories Looks Like, to the same list.

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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A Few Final Excellent Holiday Resources

Here are a few final additions to my already substantial The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa list:

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe is from NPR.

America’s Christmas Gift Lists, as Seen by Google is from The New York Times.

Teaching English has lots of great holiday lesson ideas for English Language Learners.

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Have Students See The World Through “Travel By Drone”

drone

Travel By Drone has thousands of videos from around the world that have been made through the use of drones. They’re searchable by geography through a search box, and they are also pins on a map.

I learned about it through an article in today’s New York Times, Seeing the World By Drone.

I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Learning & Teaching Geography.

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Six More Days Left To Contribute! What Was The Best Education-Related Book You Read In 2014?

As I’ve done every December for the past seven years, I invite readers to share what they think was the best education-related book they read during this calendar year. It doesn’t have to have been published in 2014 — you just have to have read it during the past twelve months.

In addition, please share no more than one or two sentences explaining why you think it was the best one. Please leave the info in the comments section.

You have until December 30th to contribute. As usual, I’ll post the final list, along with who contributed the choices, on New Year’s Day.

There are always a ton of books that get listed, and you can see the posts from previous years here:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

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December 24, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – Part Two

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This list focuses on sites that ELL students would use directly. Of course, many other sites on my other lists can also be used effectively with ELL’s.

You might also be interested in:

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – So Far

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2013 – So Far

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2012 — Part One

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2011

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2010

The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2009

The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2008

The Best Internet Sites For English Language Learners — 2007

The Best Web 2.0 Applications for ESL/EFL Learners — 2007

Here are my choices for The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students In 2014 – Part Two:

ClipDis a new web and smartphone app that lets you type in any sentence and then provides it to you in a short video with actors from popular movies speaking it. Even better, you don’t have to register in order to create one and be provided a unique url address for linking to it. Here’s one I made.

Incredibox, the incredibly easy music-creating site that’s been on The Best Online Sites For Creating Music list for years, has just announced its annual update. Version Four has even more sounds to mix, and will only make it more fun for students to use. I have my English Language Learners create their tracks and then describe — verbally and in writing — why they made their particular composition and what they want people to visualize when they listen to it.

Write About is a new site co-founded by educator John Spencer (his name may be familiar with readers since I’ve previously shared his work many times here). His co-founder is Brad Wilson. Write About provides many (and I mean many) images with writing prompts. Students can write their response and do an audio recording of it. Teachers can create virtual classrooms and provide individual written feedback to student writing. Student creations can be shared publicly or just with their classmates. Teachers can change prompts or upload their own photos. There’s a lot more, too. Plus, you can’t beat the cost (or non-cost):

Teachers can sign up and participate in the Write About community for free. Up to 40 free student accounts can be created with up to 3 posts each. Unlimited posts can be added with a Classroom account for $4.95/month. Teachers with multiple classes can add up to 250 students with unlimited posts for $7.95/month.

The Emoji Finder invites you to “Search for emoticons, then copy & paste.” I tried a number of words, and it came up with a variety of emoji icons for all of them. I wouldn’t make it a central tool for my teaching, but I could see inviting my Beginning English Language Learners to have fun with it sometime if we had a few minutes left in the computer lab.

The “You Say Potato” accent language map has people all over the world saying the word…”potato.” You can easily add your own voice to it.

Leap.it is a new search engine that portrays search results in a visually attractive way.  One feature that could come in handy for students doing research is that you’re supposed to be able to create something called a “perspective” which appears to just be your own personal collection of sites that could be shared with other. I like that idea, but couldn’t figure out how to make it work.

Thanks to a tweet from Barbara Sakamoto, I learned about site called Unite For Literacy. It has over one-hundred simple books in English that the reader can choose to have narrated in English or their choice of many other languages.

Breaking News is a current events news-reader designed in an intriguing way. You can type in whatever topic you want to read about — soccer, major news, refugees — and you’re provided with a list of headlines to stories about it. Clicking on the headlines will take you to the story. But the real interesting part of the site is that if you click on a globe icon on the upper right of the page, you’ll go to a world map showing you the location of the where the stories are originating. Clicking on the dots will also take you to the story. I’m adding it to The Best Visually Engaging News Sites, which I just completely updated and revised.

 

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December 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Tools For Creating “Word Frequency Charts” For Books, Articles & Movies

Google’s Ngram Viewer is the “granddaddy” of tools for creating charts showing the frequency that words are used over time in books. You can see lots of information about that particular tool at The Best Posts To Help Understand Google’s New “Books Ngram Viewer.”

Others now have been implementing their own versions. Here are three that began this year, and I assume more are on the way:

chronicle

The New York Times has created the Chronicle. It’s their version of the Google Books Ngram Viewer, which charts word use over the years in the books they’ve indexed. The Times, though, indexes word usage in its own history. The image at the top of this post shows the results of my charting “love” and “hate.” It looks like love is winning! The Chronicle is very easy to use and no registration is required. It, and the Ngram Viewer, can be used with English Language Learners and other students in a number of ways, ranging from just being a fun and simple way for them to play with words to being a tool to correlate certain word usage with political attitudes (as I did in a recent column at Education Week Teacher).

sacto

london

The same day The New York Times announced their own version of Google’s Ngram Viewer, the online review site Yelp unveiled their own. It’s called Yelp Trends and you can compare how often different words are used in reviews at cities around the world. It’s very easy to use and no registration is required. You can see two examples above that I created – comparing soccer, basketball and jogging in Sacramento and in London. Obviously, soccer isn’t going to be mentioned much in London since they call it football there. I wonder if I shared these with students how many would figure that out? Have students create their own and then challenge their classmates to explain the reason for the differences (after they figure it out themselves) could just be one fun way to use it in class — that is, if Yelp isn’t blocked by school district content filters. You can read more about Yelp Trends at Slate.

bookworm

Bookworm is another addition to this list. Despite its name, it focuses on word use in the movies, and operates in a similar fashion to the other sites I mentioned. Type in a word or phrase and it will search the dialogue in thousands of movies and TV shows and trace differences over the years.

I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

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December 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Friday Is The Tenth Anniversary Of The Indian Ocean Tsunami – Here Are Related Resources

Friday will be the tenth anniversary of the terrible Indian Ocean Tsunami.

I’ve added some new resources to the post I published on its fifth anniversary — The Best Resources To Learn About The Indian Ocean Tsunami.

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December 23, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Collections Of Infographics, Charts & Maps – 2014

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I still have to post my choices for The Best Infographics of 2014 but, in the meantime, lots of other people are publishing their own choices. So I thought I’d create a separate annual “Best” list of those collections (they also include some that try to explain the year in charts and infographics).

In addition to exploring these lists from others, you can check out my last from last year (which also includes links to those from previous years) — The Best Infographics Of 2013 – Part Two. You can also see A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics.

Look for my choices sometime next week.

Here are The Best Collections Of Infographics, Charts & Maps – 2014:

The Eighteen Best Infographics Of 2014 is from Fast Company/Co-Design.

Our Favorite Maps of the Year is from Wired.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014 is from Flowing Data.

14 Maps That Explain 2014 is from The Atlantic.

14 striking findings from 2014 is from Pew Research.

Four Charts That Defined the World in 2014 is from The New Yorker.

2014: The year in graphics is from The L.A. Times.

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