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"Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day..." - 8 new articles

  1. Popplet Looks Like A Winner — It’s Wallwisher On Steroids
  2. The Best Sites For Learning About The Australian Floods
  3. My Newest Piece In The Huffington Post
  4. “The Complete Dropbox for Educators”
  5. “Mapping America: Every City, Every Block”
  6. Why I Write “The Best…” Lists — And Their Future
  7. “Fasten Your Seat Belts”
  8. “Capturing the world’s oldest living things”
  9. More Recent Articles
  10. Search Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
  11. Prior Mailing Archive

Popplet Looks Like A Winner — It’s Wallwisher On Steroids

Popplet is a new web app that is like Wallwisher on steroids.

You can make an online “bulletin-board” with virtual “post-its” (called “popplets), just like in Wallwisher. And, except for the fact you have to register to use it, Popplet is just as easy and, in some ways, easier to use with a lot more functionality. With Popplet, you search for images and videos on the Web directly within the “popplet” instead of copying and pasting the url address (as you need to do in Wallwisher). You can draw within the “popplet” and it doesn’t appear to have an limit on the number of characters you can use. You can connect the “popplets.” You can also embed the whole thing.

Having to register for it does offer a minor drawback. And you have to be registered in order to participate in collaborating creating the series of popplets. However, for me, at least, I see that as an advantage, since I generally want my students to create something that cannot be changed by others (you can read how I use these kinds of apps for categorization activities in The Best Social Bookmarking Applications For English Language Learners & Other Students, where I’ll be adding Popplet).

The other negative, of course, is that you still require an invitation to join Popplet — I receive mine, though, less than twenty-four hours after I requested it. Try it out and let me know what you think.

The Best Sites For Learning About The Australian Floods

The flooding in Australia does not look like it’s going to be ending anytime soon, unfortunately. Flooding is a particularly sensitive topic here, since Sacramento is considered the most likely major U.S. city to suffer a catastrophic flood.

Here is a quick list of my choices for The Best Sites For Learning About The Australian Floods (I’ll also be adding this list to A Compilation Of “The Best…” Lists About Natural Disasters):

Floodwaters Inundate Northeastern Australia is a TIME Magazine slideshow.

CNN has several videos about the floods here.

The News in Australia has a slideshow.

The Guardian has an interactive map.

Australian Flooding is the title of a series of photos from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

In pictures: Australian floods from the air is from The BBC.

In pictures: Australia floods is also from the BBC.

The CBBC Newsround has a lot of accessible text about the floods.

Heavy Floods Hit Australia is a slideshow from The Wall Street Journal.

Queensland floods is a slideshow from The Guardian.

Additional suggestions are always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.

You might also want to explore the nearly 600 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

My Newest Piece In The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has just reprinted my Education-Related Predictions for 2011 post.

It’s been slightly revised, and I’ve added a number of links to the Huffington Post version.

“The Complete Dropbox for Educators”

I’ve previously posted about the great app Dropbox.

If you ever have any questions about how to use it effectively, Jeff Thomas has created The Complete Dropbox for Educators for you. It’s the ultimate Dropbox reference guide.

While I’m at it, here’s another much less complete guide that’s focused on How to Use Dropbox with an iPhone or iPod Touch.

“Mapping America: Every City, Every Block”

Mapping America: Every City, Every Block is an amazing interactive from The New York Times that displays U.S. Census data from…everywhere. The New York Times Learning Network also has a simple lesson plan related to it.

I’m adding both links to The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners and to The Best Resources To Learn About The U.S. Census.

Why I Write “The Best…” Lists — And Their Future

With the number of my “The Best…” lists approaching 600, I thought it might be useful to share why I write them and what I have in mind for them over the next twelve months.

Coincidentally, The New York Times recently ran an essay on this very topic — titled “The Joy Of Lists”.” In it, Arthur Krystal writes:

“….there is something reassuring about a list, a precision and formality that makes us think we’ve got a handle on things. Isn’t every list in reality a ceremonial flourish against amnesia and chaos?”

In many ways, that says it all for — my “The Best…” lists are how I combat my own amnesia and the chaos of the Information Age. I have developed my short critieria — accessible to English Language Learners; I can learn how to use it within one minute; and it’s useful to my own teaching and learning — and just won’t include anything on the lists that I don’t believe “make the cut.”

I’ve got to say that when I began writing the lists three-and-a-half years ago I never expected them to reach the quantity they have now. And that number presents some challenges. I work hard at regularly revising and updating all of them, and during the next twelve months will approach those revisions in a more systematic way.

Even though I think these lists help in refining the chaos of the Web for me (and for other teachers), their quantity can even get overwhelming for me sometimes. So, during the next year, I’m going to start writing a new series of lists that highlight my choices for “The Best Of The Best” in various broader categories.

And, of course, I’ll be creating new topics as current events dictate, and as my own teaching needs arise.

I hope these “The Best…” lists are as helpful to you as they are to me…..

“Fasten Your Seat Belts”

Fasten Your Seat Belts provides “light-hearted” videos to explain cultural norms in Asia and in Europe. You can read more about it at Free Technology for Teachers.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About The World’s Different Cultures.

“Capturing the world’s oldest living things”

Capturing the world’s oldest living things is a slideshow, video and article at CNN that includes information and media about several trees.

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About Trees.

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