Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

July 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Irony Alert! College Board Caves On Same Day Petitions Delivered To Recall School Board That Wanted Changes In AP History Class

You might remember the big protests protests in Colorado in the Jefferson County School District last year becaused The School Board wanted to change the Advanced Placement history curriculum to make it more “patriotic” (see The Best Posts & Articles On The Teacher & Student Protests In Colorado).

Today, leaders of those protests were successful in submitting petitions to force a recall vote on the three board members behind that effort (see the Washington Post story, In a county that tried to amend U.S. history course, a lesson in politics and the AP article, Colorado board’s history class review leads to recall effort).

In an unbelievable ironic coincidence, at about the same time the petitions were being delivered to recall those who, against the best interests of teachers, students and their families, wanted to change the curriculum, the College Board announced changes to that very same AP History curriculum, including ones that appear to mirror some of the changes those very same Board members wanted to make:

mentions of the word slavery have been reduced, and a new section on the concept of “American exceptionalism” has been added. Some names that were omitted from last year’s framework, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, have been added—a key sticking point for critics of the prior document, who objected to Founding Fathers being omitted and negative aspects in American history being more emphasized, they claimed, than positive periods.

That is an excerpt from the Newsweek article, Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism.

And here’s an updated Washington Post story on the change.

What do you think is the lesson to our students here?

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July 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“‘The New Teacher Revolution': An Interview With Josh Stumpenhorst”

‘The New Teacher Revolution': An Interview With Josh Stumpenhorst is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

I interview… Josh Stumpenhorst, author of “The New Teacher Revolution: Changing Education For A New Generation Of Learners.”

Here are some excerpts:

One-of-the-biggest

All-technology-use-in

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July 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Translate Announces Another Big Update Today

translate

Last January, Google Translate updated big-time with support for (not quite) real time voice translation and translation of text through camera images (see “Google Translate” Starts A Big Time Update Today).

Today, they announced another big update – adding a ton of new languages to the feature that translates images of text, along with what they say are improvements that will make the voice translation ability work better:

We started out with seven languages—English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish—and today we’re adding 20 more. You can now translate to and from English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You can also do one-way translations from English to Hindi and Thai. (Or, try snapping a pic of the text you’d like translated—we have a total of 37 languages in camera mode.)

I’ve embedded a cute video below where they’re showing off using the new languages in the visual mode.

I’ve found the real-time voice translation feature not very workable in classroom situations, but perhaps these new updates will mitigate those problems.

The visual text feature, on the other hand, has come in quite handy for some students. As the video shows, you just set the language of the text you want translated and the language you want it translated into, click the camera icon, point it at the text, and it shows you the translated image. As the video also shows, it works great with large text. It works well with small text when I’m using my iPhone 6, but students have found in the past it doesn’t work nearly as well with lower-end smartphones. I don’t know if this new update will fix that issue or not.

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation.

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July 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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The Best Tools & Lessons For Teaching Information Literacy – Help Me Find More

As a companion “Best” list to The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills, I thought it would be useful to create this one.

I’m using the term “information literacy” here to describe assisting our students developing critical thinking skills to evaluate both web and content in other media forms. I’ve seen the term used to describe broader skills, too. Let me know if you think I’m off-based with my definition.

So, using that definition, here is a beginning Best list, and I hope readers will contribute more:

Show Me Information Literacy Modules

Glean

Sarah Bolanos made a great suggestion – Education Resources For Web Literacy from November Learning.

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July 28, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Video: “Key & Peele – TeachingCenter”

The amazing Key & Peele team has produced this education segment that seems a little “off,” in my humble opinion, but its language is appropriate enough for me to share here (they’ve done some better ed-related ones that contained off-color language). Be sure to watch the last commercial:

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