Wednesday, May 29, 2013

22 Frames - News Videos for ESL Students

Last week I published 5 Good Places for Students To Learn About the News. In response to that post I received a few emails from people looking for news sources that are accessible to ELL/ ESL students. The resource that I recommended in my replies to those emails is 22 Frames.

22 Frames is a service that provides a central location for locating captioned videos for learning English and for Internet users who have hearing impairments. 22 Frames provides more than just captioned videos. Along with the videos 22 Frames provides a list of idioms, slang words, and commonly mispronounced words in each video. Viewers can click on any of the words in the lists provided by 22 Frames to find a definition for each word and to find pronunciation tips.

Applications for Education
22 Frames could be a great resource for ESL/ EFL teachers and students. The videos found on 22 Frames range from current news stories to videos from popular culture. Using a current news video on 22 Frames could be a good way to combine an English lesson with a social studies lesson. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Free Two Week Course on Google Maps and Earth

Earlier this month Google announced that a new version of Google Maps is coming. Some of us have been lucky enough to get invitations to use the new version. If you want to get guaranteed access to the new version and learn all about how to use it for more than just virtually stalking your neighborhood getting directions, you should consider taking Google's free course Mapping With Google. Mapping With Google, announced today on the Google Lat Long blog, is a self-paced course beginning on June 10. The course will feature video and text tutorials on the features of Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps Engine Lite. The course does offer the option to use your new skills to complete projects to earn a certificate.

ThingLink Launches a Free iPad App

Cross posted from iPad Apps for School

ThingLink is one of my favorite tools that I've reviewed on Free Technology for Teachers. The free service allows you to make any image interactive by adding digital pinmarks to it. Those pinmarks can include text, links, videos that are revealed when some touches those pinmarks while viewing your shared images. The service previously worked in your iPad's web browser, but now this great service is now available as a free iPad app too.

The new ThingLink iPad app allows you to import pictures from your iPad's camera roll and or take new pictures to turn into interactive images. You can start using the app without creating a ThingLink account. To get started just import a picture from your iPad or take a new picture with your iPad. After selecting a picture tap it to add interactive pinmarks. Each pinmark that you add through the app can include text and or video links. When you've finished adding pinmarks you can publish your image publicly or keep it private in your ThingLink account. ThingLink accounts can be created using an email address or a Facebook account. Evernote Camera Roll 20130528 103734

Applications for Education
A few of the ways that I’ve seen ThingLink used by teachers is to have students add multimedia labels to diagrams of cells, to label geographic features, and to label historical images like that of the signing of the declaration of independence.

Scrible - Bookmark, Annotate, and Create Bibliographies

Scrible is a free service offering a nice set of tools for highlighting, annotating, and bookmarking webpages. Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, anytime you're on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. The Scrible tool set includes highlighters, sticky notes, and font change tools. When you annotate and bookmark a page in Scrible it is saved as it appeared to you when you were done altering it.   And as you would expect from a web-based bookmarking tool, you can share your bookmarked pages with others. Students can get a free Scrible account that has double the storage capacity of the standard free account.

Scrible recently added an options for formatting bibliographies as you bookmark. Scrible also has a new feature that allows you to compile your article clippings into one package. 

Applications for Education
Tools like Scrible are excellent for students to use when they're conducting online research. The benefit of using a tool like Scrible is that students can take notes on their bookmarks and bookmark only the parts of a website that they need to reference in their reports. Saving bookmarks in this manner saves time when you go back to visit a site because you'll immediately see what it was that promoted you to bookmark it in the first place.

Tropical Ice - A Climate Change Story

When we think of climate change we often think about the shrinking polar glaciers. There are other places in the world that have glaciers too. In this Untamed Science video we learn about tropical glaciers in Uganda. The video is a quick overview of how glaciers can form in tropical regions. The most valuable piece of the video is the imagery comparing the size of tropical glaciers 100 years ago to the size of those glaciers today. The video is embedded below.