Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 19, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Wealthiest Person In World Unveils Online Learning Platform

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This week, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim unveiled his new Spanish-language online learning program called App-prende. You can read more about it at Quartz’s article, One of the richest men on Earth is paying for the poor to learn carpentry and art history online.

I spent a little time exploring it and, overall, it obviously has a lot of potential, but there is a long way to go…

He previously funded the Khan Academy to create Spanish-language versions of their videos, and those are on this new site, too. I didn’t spend time, though, trying to figure out if there is any difference between what he has on App-prende and what Khan has on their Spanish-language site. Those videos can be very helpful to English Language Learners, especially in the context of the Preview, View, Review instructional strategy.

I think the health videos could be useful to parents of our students.

Though it’s limited, I was intrigued by the site’s section on professional development for teachers. It included sections on how to apply project-based learning, for example.

I found the section on history surprising disappointing, with only images of historical documents. The table of contents for the culture section appeared much more interesting, but none of the links worked.

I’m assuming the site will be considerably beefed-up in the future. It will be interesting to watch its development.

May 17, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Star Trek “Universal Translator” Gets A Little Closer To Reality – Maybe

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I’ve previously written a number of posts about Skype’s desktop version of Star Trek’s “Universal Translator” (see Skype’s Version Of Star Trek “Universal Translator” Now Available To Public).

Now, a business called Waverly Labs has unveiled their own mobile version.

See it in action here:

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

April 28, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

New Study Finds One-To-One Device Programs Can Be Effective

Does learning improve when every student gets a laptop? is the headline of a Science Daily summary about a new study finding that, yes, learning can improve…

Here’s an excerpt:

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Of course, the important qualification is that such programs:

can improve educational outcomes when there is teacher buy-in, suitable technical support and professional development for teachers, and appropriate implementation with the curriculum.

As we all know from high-profile failures (see A Very Beginning List Of The Best Articles On The iPad Debacle In Los Angeles Schools), districts don’t always provide that kind of support — for tech and non-tech initiatives alike.

I’m adding this info to:

The Best Research Available On The Use Of Technology In Schools

The Best Resources On “One-To-One” Laptop/Tablet Programs — Please Suggest More!

March 11, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Amazon Is Setting Up A Free Site For Educational Resources – Here’s Where You Register For Access

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Amazon is getting into the educational resource sharing game, and they say the site will be free forever.

You can read more about it here:

Amazon Education to Launch New Website for Open Education Resources is from Ed Week.

Amazon eyes up education, plans a free platform for learning materials is from TechCrunch.

You can register for the wait list here.

There’s no telling how useful it will be, or if it will be superior to other resource-sharing sites that already exist.

But, considering the muscle behind it, it will certainly be worth a look…

March 10, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

New “Volley” App Looks Like A “PhotoMath” For…Everything

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Mark Zuckerberg just put a bunch of money into a new app called Volley (you still have to sign-up for alpha-testing it).

Here’s how TechCrunch describes the photo app:

Once students take a photo of the work they’re struggling with, Volley analyzes the text and imagery in seconds to determine the precise topics at hand and lets the user choose the right one from a list. It can then point them to chunks of Khan Academy courses and Wikipedia articles, but also little-known reference PDFs uploaded by a teacher on the other side of the country that they’d never be able to find by Googling.

In some ways, it sounds like it might be similar to the controversial PhotoMath app that can do math equations (see PhotoMath & Reactions To It From Around The Web and PhotoMath Is Now Available For Android). I’ve never tried PhotoMath, but it sounds like it does all the necessary calculations. Volley, on the other hand, appears to provide targeted guidance, without actually doing the work.

I’m looking forward to trying it out…

March 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Skype’s Amazing Simultaneous Translator Adds Arabic – Now Supports Eight Languages

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I’ve posted a lot about Microsoft’s version of Star Trek’s “Universal Translator,” and they’ve just added Arabic to its ability (along with English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, and Portuguese (Brazilian)).

You have to download the free Skype Translator Preview in order to use it. I believe its only available for use on the desktop version – I don’t think the Web version of Skype enables it yet.

You can see my previous posts on this tech at The Best Sites For Learning About Google Translate & Other Forms Of Machine Translation.

Here’s a somewhat older video of it in action:

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

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