Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

November 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Make An Amazing Number Of Different Learning Games With “GameBuilder”

GameBuilder lets you create lots of different types of learning games – see the screenshot above to see the options.

Once you create it, anyone with its url address can play. The site also has a large collection of games created by its users.

The site is sponsored by Wisc-Online, which “is a creation of Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges and maintained by Fox Valley Technical College.”

And it’s free!

I’m adding this site to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

November 15, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

 

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The 50 Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Creatubbles lets teachers create free virtual classrooms where students can share their “maker” creations. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.

LiveWorksheets lets teachers either create, convert, or borrow existing worksheets and make them “fillable” online. You can create virtual classrooms (called “interactive workbooks”) of assigned activities where teachers can monitor student progress. I’m adding it to the same list. Thanks to Nik Peachey for the tip.

Kialo is a simple online debate site. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Students To Create & Participate In Online Debates.

November 10, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

 

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The 50 Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Web Poster Wizard lets teachers create free virtual classrooms with student assignments, primarily for “web poster” reports on specific projects. I’m adding it to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Word It Out is yet another tool to easily create word clouds from text. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds”

Joomag lets you create interactive content, but you really want to go to Richard Byrne’s blog post to get a better understanding of what it is. It does offer a free education feature.

Apple updates its Clips video app with fancy selfie backgrounds and iCloud support is a TechCrunch post about the app I always recommend to my IB Theory of Knowledge students when they have to create videos for class.

Instagram now lets you add any photos or videos to your Stories is also from TechCrunch.

November 1, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

 

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The 50 Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Hangman.io has lots of hangman games.  More importantly, though, they make it super-easy for users to create their own.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Making Crossword Puzzles & Hangman Games.

Let’s Enhance is a photo-editing tool. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Online Photo-Editing & Photo Effects.

Gimlet is a new online tool for making Kahoot like quizzes. You might also be interested in The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

Pastel Pad provides images and clip art usable for personal or commercial purposes without requiring attribution.  I’m adding it to The Best Online Sources For Images.

I’m adding this tweet to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites:

October 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

“ActiveLit” Lets Students Play & Create Choose Your Own Adventure Games In Virtual Classrooms

 

I’m a big fan of Choose Your Own Adventure games (see The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories).

I just discovered ActiveLit (not to be confused with the excellent CommonLit site).  It lets teachers create free virtual classrooms where they can monitor student progress playing educational “Choose Your Own Adventure” games.

Students can also make their own games, though that process is a little more complicated than I would like.

It’s easy to sign-up and create the classrooms, and there is a huge selection of educational-related games.

I’m adding the site to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

October 22, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

This Week In Web 2.0

'Web 2.0 paljastaa' photo (c) 2011, Janne Ansaharju - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

 

In yet another attempt to get at the enormous backlog I have of sites worth blogging about, I post a regular feature called “The Week In Web 2.0.” (you might also be interested in The 50 Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017). I also sometimes include tech tools or articles about them that might not exactly fit the definition of Web 2.0:

Blended Play is a new free site that provides several types of games that teachers can add questions to and then display them on a computer projector for all-class play. I’m adding it to The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

One Chronicle lets many people upload images to the same slideshow, and they can be moderated. A tool like this can be useful when going on field trips. I’m adding it to The Best Web Applications That Lets Multiple People Upload Their Photos To One Place.

Stelum is a site that lets users write and read simple explanations of complex topics. I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”. Thanks to Richard Byrne for the tip.

Toonstar lets you bring cartoon characters to life thanks to facial recognition is a TechCrunch post about an intriguing new app. You might also be interested in The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.

October 14, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The 50 Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017

As regular readers know, I’ve begun posting my end-of-year “The Best….” lists. There are over 1,700 regularly updated lists now.  You can see them all here. You might also want to check out All Mid-Year 2017 “Best” Lists In One Place.

As usual, in order to make this list, a site had to be:

* accessible to English Language Learners and non-tech savvy users.

* free-of-charge.

* appropriate for classroom use.

* completely browser-based with no download required (however, I’ve begun to make exceptions for special mobile apps).

Some sites I’m including this year are primarily geared towards teachers creating content for classroom use, but could also easily be used by students.

It’s possible that a few of these sites began earlier than this year, but, if so, I’m including them in this list because they were “new to me” in 2017.

You might want to visit previous editions, as well as The “All-Time” Best Web 2.0 Applications For EducationThe “All-Time” Best Ways To Create Online Content Easily & Quickly and The “All-Time” Best 2.0 Tools For Beginning English Language Learners.

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2016

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2015

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2014

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2013

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2012

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2011

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2010

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2009

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2008

The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education — 2007

Feel free to let me know if you think I’m leaving any tools out.

Instead of ranking each of the tools on this list in order, I have them organized into three general groups: Useful, Good, and Excellent. The “Excellent” tools are added to the “All-Time” list mentioned previously.

Here are my fifty choices for The Best Web 2.0 Applications For Education In 2017:

USEFUL

Get Acquainted is a very intriguing online survey tool that creates “conversational polls.” I’d encourage you to read Richard Byrne’s post and watch his video about it. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Creating Online Polls & Surveys.

Bamboozle lets you create games your class can play by projecting them on a screen.  They seem easy to create, though I it doesn’t yet have that large of a collection of ones that other teachers have created.  You might also be interested in The Best Websites For Creating Online Learning Games.

Stitcht lets many people upload videos from a similar event to one place and puts them all together.  I’m adding it to The Best Web Applications That Lets Multiple People Upload Their Photos To One Place.

Shabaam lets you record audio to accompany a huge selection of GIFs. It could be a good tool for ELL speaking practice. I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

Queeky is a free online drawing tool. I particularly like their MultiDraw feature, which lets you create private virtual rooms where users can collaborate in drawing. I’m adding it to The Best Art Websites For Learning English and to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

Taleship is a new simple site designed to promote “slow” collaborative writing.  You write something, and then you invite a new person to continue the story. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling.

Time.Graphics looks like an easy (and free) online tool for creating timelines. It takes seconds to register, and it has a sophisticated, yet simple, interface, and you can easily add multi-media features. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Making Online Timelines.

SlideBot lets you type the text you want to appear in each slide and then uses its software to design your slideshow in seconds. It’s pretty neat, and they’ve just unveiled a free education version. Unfortunately, if you want to be able to export it or use it in full-screen mode, it will cost $15. Those restrictions might make its use in education somewhat limited. However, I could also see some pretty major advantages, including eliminating the extensive time that some students spend on slide design. In addition, having students use SlideBot even a few times could be a good learning experience about good design of slides – its software appears pretty powerful based on my testing it out. I’m going to purchase the $15 dollar license for myself because it seems to create slideshows that are a hell of a lot better looking than the ones I create manually. In many ways, it’s a non-animated version of “My Simple Slideshow,” which automatically creates animations from text (see Wow – “My Simple Show” Is An Extraordinary Tool For Creating Free Video “Explainers”). I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Create Online Slideshows.

Verse lets you create interactive videos. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

Story Friend is a new iPhone app that may have potential.  It lets you create slideshows (like a zillion other apps).  However, this one lets you include content from other social media accounts, too – sort of a like a mobile Storify tool.

Dotstorming is an online collaborative tool that allows groups to work together and vote on preferences. It’s like a bunch of other similar tools, though this one stands out because it lets you easily search for and post images.  I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

PortfolioGen lets students easily create online portfolios of their work.  I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Developing Student Portfolios.

Anchor is an easy tool for creating podcasts.  You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.  I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.

QuizPedia lets you – or students – easily create…quizzes. You can learn more about it from Ed Tech For Beginners. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Create Online Tests.

Author Path is a free tool to help university students write theses or journal articles. I had my daughter check it out (she just completed her Masters Thesis), and she says it would have been very helpful to her.

Sketchboard is an online whiteboard where users can draw collaboratively. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

Chart Accent lets you create charts and then annotate them. Thanks to Flowing Data for the tip.

Pinup is the latest addition to The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”).

I’ve written some past posts about the work of Philip Tetlock (Quote Of The Day: “beliefs are hypotheses to be tested…” and The Best Resources On The Importance Of Knowing What You Don’t Know).  He’s particularly known for his work in developing a science of “forecasting.” He recently unveiled a site called Good Judgment where users can forecast an answer to a question and, when and if the action takes place, is “scored” on their forecasting ability.  Users make a prediction, then share their reasoning, and you can link directly to individual’s forecasts. This seems to me to be an excellent way for students to write for an authentic audience, which is why I’m adding it to The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

Recap is a new tool designed to have students create short videos highlighting their reflections on the learning they’re doing in the classroom. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites.

StepMap looks like a decent map-making site. I’m adding it to The Best Map-Making Sites On The Web.

Animaker looks like a pretty simple tool for creating online animations. It has lots of premium features, but you can make five for free. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.

Telegra.ph lets your create a webpage without having to register.  You can read more about it at Richard Byrne’s blog.  It’s similar to a number of other sites, including Loose LeavesJust Paste It, and Instablogg.

Web Whiteboard is a nice online collaborative..whiteboard. You can read more details at Richard Byrne’s blog. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

Quizlet, the amazing site that’s already on The Best Tools To Make Online Flashcards, has just unveiled the ability for users to create and study “interactive diagrams.” Basically, these are annotated images that can be used for study that also include audio. They are easy to make, and English Language Learners could use them to label images. There are quite a few other tools that let you do this (see The Best Online Tools For Using Photos In Lessons ).  However, none of the others include the features of being able to record audio and use them as a studying tool.  Students could create them as “games” that their classmates can “play.”

Flipanim lets users easily create short animations. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Animations.

The Keep Calm-O-Matic is another site that lets you create visually engaging quotations to share online. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Creating Visually Attractive Quotations For Online Sharing.

Mozilla sponsors its own free, online collaborative whiteboard space. I’m adding it to The Best Online Tools For Real-Time Collaboration.

I Heart Venn Diagrams lets you make…Venn Diagrams. I’m adding it to Not “The Best,” But “A List” Of Mindmapping, Flow Chart Tools, & Graphic Organizers.

You can easily create simple email newsletters with elink.  I’m adding it to The Best Applications For Creating Free Email Newsletters.

Raw Shorts lets you easily create…short videos. I’m adding it to A Potpourri Of The Best & Most Useful Video Sites and The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

Word Wanderer is an intriguing tool that reminds me of a word cloud creator. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Word Clouds.”

DataBasic “is a suite of easy-to-use web tools for beginners that introduce concepts of working with data. These simple tools make it easy to work with data in fun ways, so you can learn how to find great stories to tell.”

Muro is a simple online drawing tool.  I’m adding it to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

Culture Street lets you make and save comic strips online. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Make Comic Strips Online.

Edji lets you upload any text and have readers annotate it with comments. You can make all the comments public to readers, or keep them private. Thanks to Shelly Terrell for the tip.  Even though it only works with text and not websites, I’m still adding it to The Best Applications For Annotating Websites.

Prism also lets you just annotate text to upload, but in a very dynamic way.

Add Text lets you easily…add quotations on top of photos. I’m adding it to The Best Tools For Creating Visually Attractive Quotations For Online Sharing.

You can quickly and easily create online bar charts with Chartico.  I’m adding it to The Best Tools To Make Simple Graphs Online.  By the way, I just updated and revised that list.

Tolks is a great tool that lets you create animated dialogues. In many ways, it’s similar to the Google Docs Story Builder, which I was disappointed to see appears to have been shut down.  The main problem with Tolks is that you can only use it if you register with Twitter or Facebook, which isn’t going to work with students in schools with Internet content filters.

Slatebox appears to have a lot of bells and whistles.  However, the feature I like most is its ability to easily search, label, describe and connect photos.  That capability makes it a great tool for students to create picture data sets.  Plus, no registration is required.  I’m adding it to The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”).  Thanks to Donna Baumbach for the tip.

 

GOOD 

Quiznetic is a Kahoot-like tool that lets you create learning games in various racing forms. Students can then “race” each other in answering the questions and see their positions. It appears to be free, and seems simple to use.

Google unveiled AutoDraw, a free site that uses artificial intelligence that provides a series of guesses about what you are drawing. You can choose the right “guess” to pretty-up your artistic creation, write up some description, and then download it or share the link.  This is perfect for English Language Learners – instead of spending tons of time getting their drawing “just right,” they can, instead, have fun drawing quickly and spend more time on the language part of the exercise. And it’s great for ESL teachers, too – no more working hard trying to draw images of scenes for vocabulary items to support language acquisition. Now just draw a few lines, project it onto the screen, and you’ll be able to show a masterpiece. I’m adding this info to The Best Art Websites For Learning English.

Apple released a neat new free app called Clips. You can read a very good – and detailed – explanation of its features at TechCrunch. It’s billed as a video-editing tool, and it seems like an excellent and simple one. I’m always on the look-out for one of those since I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students periodically make videos, so Clips definitely gets added to the Not The “Best,” But A List… Of Online Video Editors list. But it’s much more than just a video-editor.  It has the “stop-action” ability of Instagram video (press to video, stop, press again), it provides flowing text you want to display by recognizing the words you say (a particularly useful tool for English Language Learners) and, even though it’s an Apple product, it’s easy to share videos to whatever platform you want to use. So, because of those features and others, I’m also adding it to The Best Resources For Learning To Use The Video Apps “Vine” & Instagram.

StoryShares lets teachers create virtual classrooms for free and offers a collection of books that students can read. Even better, there’s an option that provides audio of the text in a pleasing-to-the-ear-voice. The best part of the site, though, is that students can also write and publish their own books to share. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Work Independently & Let Teachers Check On Progress.

Google Sites opened its new version to the public for creating websites.You can read all about it at TechCrunch. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Students Or Teachers To Create A Website.

Adobe Spark has been my “go-to” tool for English Language Learners to write and display online their written work. Their videos, accompanied by music, are very engaging. However, it might have competition now that I learned about Commaful from Nik Peachey. Commaful lets you simply and easily create online slideshows of your writing, with the text accompanied by easily search-for and selected photos, videos or GIFs. Then, you can link to or embed your creation. It doesn’t have music, unlike Adobe Spark, and the photo selection does not appear to be as robust. However, Commaful does have one huge advantage over Adobe Spark – you can create your stories without registering or logging-in. That is indeed a huge advantage, as any teacher will tell you. Of course, another disadvantage is it’s unclear what kind of standards are maintained for Commaful’s content. I didn’t see anything inappropriate in a quick search, but who knows? I’m adding this to The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online,

Annotator Tool is an easy and accessible feature from the Maryland Public Television’s Thinkport. All a teacher has to do is create a name for the project and a password, copy and paste any text, provide instructions for annotation and – voila – you’re done. Students then go to the Annotator Tool site, type in the name of the project, register, and do all the required annotations. The next time the teacher sings-in, he/she will see all the student submissions and comment on them, which students can access. It really can’t get more simple. The only question I have is wondering how long bot the teacher and student work is saved on the site. I’m adding it to The Best Applications For Annotating Websites.

The Book Creator app has been enormously popular in the classroom where students have iPads – it’s super easy for students to create…books and that’s why it’s been on the The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users list. It has now come to the Web when using the Chrome browser!I’m adding this info to: The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress and  The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online.

EXCELLENT

Unfortunately, this was the first year that no new Web 2.0 application made it into this category.

October 12, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Google Publishes Series Of Video Instructions About Creating Online “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

 

As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories (The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories).

Earlier today, Google published a series of instructional videos about using Google Slides to create these kinds of stories online.

I have similar instructions on that “Best” list already, but they can’t beat these videos.  I haven’t included all of them here, but I think these are the most critical to the process:

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