Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

March 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Our District Just Activated Awful YouTube Safety Mode – What’s Been Your Experience?

safety

Our District has just activated YouTube’s Safety Mode, and it’s just awful. Teachers are up-in-arms because so many videos are blocked. Just today, I found videos that I often used in class like newsreels from the Spanish-American War, clips from movies about the Battle of Waterloo, even Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” silent film are now blocked.

I put this question out on Twitter today, trying to find out if other district’s have been able to just activate it for student accounts but leave teachers free from the restrictions. Here’s one response I received — any other ideas?

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March 12, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Digital Learning Day Is On March 13th – Here Are My “Best” Lists On Ed Tech In One Place!

digitallearningday

 

 

Here’s how The California Writing Project describes Digital Learning Day:

Organized by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Digital Learning Day celebrates effective teaching and learning practices powered by technology. Each year, hundreds of thousands of teachers and education leaders, and millions of students from all fifty states and the District of Columbia join this grassroots movement in schools nationwide. From classroom activities to district-and statewide initiatives, Digital Learning Day events are diverse and unique and share the goals of encouraging innovation, supporting teachers, and spreading best practices for the use of technology in schools.

You can learn more about it at the Digital Learning Day site and/or at The California Writing Project.

Here are my best “Best” lists related to ed tech:

The Best Advice On Using Education Technology

The Best Sources For Ideas On How To Use Technology With English Language Learners

The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning

The Best Posts On The NY Times Ed Tech Article

“A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Using Technology To Help Engage Parents”

The Best Posts & Articles Highlighting Why We Need To Be Very Careful Around Ed Tech

The Best Places To Learn Computer Basics & How To Fix Tech Problems

The Best Eleven Websites For Students To Learn About Computers

The Best Sites For Learning About The History Of Technology

My Best Posts For Tech Novices (Plus One From Somebody Else)

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

The Best Good, Inexpensive & Simple Classroom Technology Tools

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2014

The Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly In 2014

The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education

The “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly

The Best places to learn Web 2.0 basics

The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites

My Best Posts Related To Twitter

The Best Guides To Figuring Out Pinterest

The Best Resources For Learning What Google+ Is All About

A Beginning List Of The Best Resources For Learning About Facebook

You can find even more by reviewing my regularly updated collection of over 1,400 “The Best” lists.

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March 7, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Writing Challenge For Kids” Could Be A Nice Change-Of-Pace For Students

writingchallenge

I’ve previously written several posts describing activities that I’ve been having my Beginning and Intermediate English Language Learners do in pairs or small groups, with the Intermediates in more of a “teaching” position, but where they can learn, too.

Another exercise that fits into that category is a collaborative story lesson that I’ve posted about at A Good & Simple Collaborative Storytelling Lesson. I won’t repeat the steps here, but, basically, I give prompts and students work in groups to write and illustrate a story together. It’s a lot of fun, and I can adapt the prompts to the thematic unit we’re studying at the time, current events, student interests, etc.

Today, Edudemic wrote a very clear and positive review of an iPad/iPhone app called Writing Challenge For Kids (if you get it, make sure you get that version and not the one for adults). I’d encourage you to read it. The app basically does the same thing, but with automatically generated prompts, and uses a timer.

I’ve purchased (for $1.99) and downloaded it on my iPhone. It seems to operate just as Edudemic says it does, and I plan on putting it under my document camera this week and using it as a “change-of-pace” from the “manual” collaborative storytelling process I referenced earlier. I’m confident that the “manual” way is a better one, but, as in many situations, a tech version can often be used in place of an “old-fashioned” way to occasionally liven things up. As lots of research shows, novelty works wonders in teaching and learning.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts On Writing Instruction.

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March 6, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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Google Announces Big Online Conference For Educators

goog

Google has announced a free online conference for educators called Education On Air that will take place on May 8th and 9th.

They don’t mention any names of presenters or speakers, and they’re pretty vague on the topics to be covered. They say a schedule will be released next month. They are also inviting people to send in suggestions of what should take place.

Those days are a Friday and Saturday. It’s the middle of testing season, so I wonder how many teachers will be able to participate in the first day.

It will be interesting to see what Google comes up with…

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February 26, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Digital Learning Day” Is On March 13th – Here Are Related Resources

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I regularly learn how much I don’t know, and today was another example. I had never heard of Digital Learning Day before I received an email from The California Writing Project today. Here’s what it said:

Organized by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Digital Learning Day celebrates effective teaching and learning practices powered by technology. Each year, hundreds of thousands of teachers and education leaders, and millions of students from all fifty states and the District of Columbia join this grassroots movement in schools nationwide. From classroom activities to district-and statewide initiatives, Digital Learning Day events are diverse and unique and share the goals of encouraging innovation, supporting teachers, and spreading best practices for the use of technology in schools.

You can learn more about it at the Digital Learning Day site and/or at The California Writing Project.

You might also find some useful resources at The Best Resources For Connected Educators Month.

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January 29, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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From The NY Times: “English Grammar Aids for Both Native Speakers and Students”

The New York Times has just published the above video along with an article reviewing apps useful for English Language Learners.

It’s titled English Grammar Aids for Both Native Speakers and Students.

I’m adding it to The Best Mobile Apps For English Language Learners.

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January 14, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
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“Google Translate” Starts A Big Time Update Today

googletranslate

A few days ago I posted about an exciting upcoming update to Google Translate that would provide simultaneous verbal translation.

They begin rolling it out today. In addition, the update will also enable translation of images.

Here’s how The New York Times explains it:

In this version, the app is supposed to pick up who is talking based on the language being spoken. So, say you wanted to order a slice of chicken pizza in Spanish. Using the app, you could walk into a pizza parlor, and, with your lips at an awkward proximity to the phone’s microphone, make your request, after which a robotic voice would spit out the question in Spanish.

Then let’s say the guy behind the counter asks if you want extra cheese. He could ask you that question in Spanish, and the phone would relay it in English. Respond “Yes” or “No” in English, and out comes Spanish again.

You can also read more about it at TechCrunch’s post, Google Translate Now Does Real-Time Voice And Sign Translations On Mobile.

I’m looking forward to trying it out. It could be a big help for teacher of English Language Learners who receive very early Beginners in their classes, and for some limited teacher/parent communication.

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

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