I – along with most other educators – have been receiving emails from online tools I and/or my students commonly use saying this:

From October 23, 2023, Google will restrict users under 18 from accessing third-party apps until your school/district-based Google Workspace admin has verified our platform.

Knowing our district, I’m not betting that that a lot of these verifications are going to be taking place in a timely period of time.

So, I’m preparing “fall back” sites that don’t require a Google log-in that my students can use if and when those verifications don’t happen this year (I’m assuming that sites unblocked by current filters but that don’t require log-ins will still be accessible – correct me if I’m wrong).  Yes, I know the work around is to create virtual classes within those sites/apps and have students log-in using their personal emails, and that’s what we’ll do if the district drags its feet for a long time on those verifications (which I’m betting is likely), but that will be a pain-in-the-butt.

One of those sites is LingoHut – it’s free, no registration is necessary, and it’s very engaging to ELLs and, really, to anyone who wants to learn any other language. I was surprised this year that it also allows users to record what they are learning.  It doesn’t give you AI-powered feedback evaluating your pronunciation, but you can compare what you say with the site’s audio.  Perhaps that feature has been there for a long time and I just noticed it!

LingoHut is on a ton of my “Best” lists and is one used regularly by my students.

So, today, in preparation for the potential major late October headache, I began going to some of the many sites that allow you to search for sites “similar” to the site you’re interested in and searched for ones similar to LingoHut.

And that’s how I found Loecsen, which offers free language training in many languages, including in English.

Like LingoHut, it, tool, lets you record what you hear.

But, better than LingoHut, it uses what I assume to be Artificial Intelligence to evaluate if your pronunciation is accurate.

Of course, sigh, the remaining question that’s outstanding is if it is accessible to our students or if it’s blocked by district content filters.  The answer to that one will have to wait until Monday.

But, even if it is, I’m hoping (fingers-crossed), they might unblock it.

We’ll see.

I’m adding this info to: