Sunday, August 8, 2010

Eye on Idioms - Practice Identifying and Using Idioms

On Friday, I shared a good resource for ESL/ ELL students called Idiom Dictionary. Eye on Idioms hosted by Read Write Think is a good complementary resource that students can use to practice identifying and using idioms. Eye on Idioms presents students with an incomplete sentence that they need to complete by selecting the proper idiom from a drop-down menu. To help student select the correct idiom, Eye on Idioms provides a picture hint. After selecting the correct idiom, Eye on Idioms asks students to answer a couple of short questions about the meaning of the idiom.

Applications for Education
Eye on Idioms could be a good resource for ESL/ ELL teachers and students. It could also be used by anyone trying to teach a lesson on metaphors because the first follow-up question to identifying the idioms is "what is the metaphorical meaning of the idiom?" If you need to keep a record of students completing the activity you can have them print each page in a printer-friendly format.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Resources for ESL & Foreign Language Students
22 Frames - Captioned Videos & More for ESL

Isn't This What Orwell Predicted?

Update: Thanks to Crystal Priest I now have some clarification on this issue. Apparently this filtering setting wasn't entirely intentional on the part of the D.O.E. or anyone else at the state level. The filtering problem arose with way the new image was constructed. You can read the details here. If you read the documentation you'll find this phrase which still reflects the issue I bring up in the post below: "the default behavior is to log all web page requests."

My original post follows:
In the state of Maine, all high school and middle school teachers are issued a MacBook by the state department of education. This morning I was using mine (I alternate between it and another computer in my house) to check Twitter. Someone posted a link to an interesting ebook creation service called ePub Bud. I clicked the link, visited the ePub Bud homepage thought, "I could use this," and clicked the "create" link. Instead of being taken to the creation page on ePub Bud, I got this:

I had seen that message before on other teachers' computers (it was actually a problem at a recent state conference), but it was the first time I had personally experienced it. Now I do have administrative rights to override this restriction, but most teachers in the state do not. What this tells me is the state doesn't trust its teachers to make good choices for themselves. Or am I just being paranoid? What do you think about the state's parental controls on the computers they want teachers to use?

Tripline - Create Travel Maps

Through Larry Ferlazzo's great blog (go subscribe to it now if you haven't already) I learned about a new map creation service called Tripline. At its most basic Tripline is designed to enable anyone to record a trip they've taken or to design a trip itinerary. What Tripline is really intended to do is to give you a platform to "present" your trips to others. To do this Tripline allows you to add details to each stop on your itinerary, add images, and add music to the presentation of your trip. When completed your map essentially becomes a slideshow tour.

There are a few different ways that you can create trip on Tripline. You can use your mobile device to check-in at different locations and have Tripline plot those points for you. You can do that using Foursquare or by geolocating your Tweets. The other way that you can create trips on Tripline is to plot them directly on the Tripline site, that is what I did for the map below.

To create a trip directly on the Tripline site log-in, click "create a new trip," enter a map title, then type the first location on your map. After entering your first location, you can add more by simply typing location names into a list. Tripline will place the placemarks for you (you can also rearrange them manually if you like). Should you desire to enter information about each place on your map , just click the edit icon to type information and or to add an image. When your placemarks are completed you can then select music to accompany your tour. Maps can be embedded into your blog or website. See my map below.

Applications for Education
Tripline could be used by students and teachers to create a walking tour of their communities. Use Tripline's mobile services to plot a tour while walking then come back to school to edit and add information to the placemarks. Tripline could also be used by students to tell the story of a summer vacation. Or use the Google Lit Trips idea to have students plot elements of novel or biography.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Using Maps in an Elementary School Math Lesson