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  1. New Study On Teaching With Data Visualization
  2. “State of Educational Use of Blogs 2012 Survey”
  3. Contribute To The Next ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival!
  4. “Easel.ly” Is Clearly The Easiest Tool For Creating Infographics
  5. This Is A Great Passage For Learning How To Make Change
  6. This Week’s “Links I Should Have Posted About, But Didn’t”
  7. More Recent Articles
  8. Search Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...
  9. Prior Mailing Archive

New Study On Teaching With Data Visualization

Earlier today, I posted about a new simple way to create infographics (see “Easel.ly” Is Clearly The Easiest Tool For Creating Infographics).

Later in the day I read about a new study on the learning impact of using data visualization, including infographics. The BBC reports that:

The results showed that when tasks were presented visually rather than using traditional text-based software applications, individuals used around 20% less cognitive resources. In other words, their brains were working a lot less hard.

As a result, they performed more efficiently, and could remember more of the information when asked later. Working in groups, they used 10% less mental resources.

One more reasons to use infographics in the classroom — ones that have been created by others, created by the teacher, and created by the students themselves.

I’m adding this info to A Collection Of “The Best…” Lists On Infographics.




“State of Educational Use of Blogs 2012 Survey”

Edublogs is inviting educators to take a short State of Educational Use of Blogs 2012 Survey.

It doesn’t matter what blogging platform you use, and it seems to me that survey results could be very helpful and interesting.

It only takes a couple of minutes to complete.



Contribute To The Next ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival!

The next ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival will be published on July 1st with the theme: Possible Futures: The future vision of all kinds of English Language Education.

Sharon Turner will be hosting it, and she’s posted more information at her blog.

You can submit your post by June 15th directly to Sharon at sharonzspace@gmail.com .

Dani Lyra recently published an excellent Blog Carnival highlighting contributions on these two themes:

Critical Thinking and EFL/ESL

Using Technology to Raise Cultural Awareness

Let me know if you might be interested in hosting future editions.

You can see all the previous editions of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival here.




“Easel.ly” Is Clearly The Easiest Tool For Creating Infographics

Thanks to Nik Peachey, today I learned about Easel.ly today, which is hands-down the easiest tool I’ve seen on the Web to create infographics. You just “drag-and-drop” a variety of themes, type in your data, and you’ve got a great infographic.

I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Creating Infographics.

Here’s a video from the site explaining how it works:



This Is A Great Passage For Learning How To Make Change

As regular readers of this blog know, I try to bring many of the skills and concepts that I learned in my nineteen year community organizing career into the classroom and into work to make educational policy changes (see The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change). Lyndon Johnson — prior to his enormous, tragic and inexcusable error in pursuing the Vietnam War — was a master of a number of those skills and concepts. Robert Caro’s new book has been highlighting some of them.

An excerpt from a speech given by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about Johnson offers a perfect description of what separates a novice community organizer from a master community organizer, and that difference can clearly be demonstrated in the school arena, as well, as I’ll explain later in this post. First, I’ll share the excerpt (Caro makes the same points in his multi-volume biography but, since Kearns speech is on the web, I’d rather copy and paste then type the passages from Caro’s book) and place in bold type what I think are the most key points:

No one understood better than Lyndon Johnson how to deal with Congress.

His mastery had really begun when he first came to Washington as a congressional aide. Living in a boardinghouse with other aides, he took four separate showers every night so he could talk with as many people as possible. The next morning, he went into the bathroom five different times at 10-minute intervals to brush his teeth. Within a week, he had evaluated which aides were the smartest, the shrewdest, the most reliable ones from which he could learn the ropes.

Many years later, as President, he still understood that he had to talk personally with as many Congressmen as possible, to learn what they needed to make them feel important. So, he would invite individual Congressmen and Senators to breakfast, to lunch, to dinner. He would call them at 6:00 in the morning. If they weren’t up, he would talk to their wives. If the wives weren’t up, he would talk to their kids—”Now, you tell your daddy to go along with me on this bill.” One Senator told of receiving a call from Lyndon Johnson at 2:00 a.m. Johnson said, “I hope I didn’t awaken you.” The Senator said, “Oh, no, I was just lying here, looking at the ceiling, hoping my President would call.”

Now, people assumed, with only partial accuracy, that the key to Johnson’s success came in his ability to trade dams, public works projects, all manner of goodies, for votes. Indeed, he was called “The Wampum Man.” But the real key to his success was the strength of his convictions and his ability to convince wavering Congressmen and Senators that if they came with him on pieces of legislation that he proposed—Medicare, civil rights, poverty, aid to education, aid to the arts—they would be creating a legacy of their own that would be remembered for years to come.

The story of Johnson’s “living” in the boarding house bathroom is often-repeated by community organizers to emphasize the importance of building relationships. In fact, community organizing is just another word for relationship-building. You have to have a relationship with someone in order to learn what they truly want. The error that many novice organizers make, though, is the same mistaken assumption Goodwin points out that many make about the reasons behind Johnson’s success — that they believe what’s most critical is delivering the “things” that people say they want — the dams and public works projects in Johnson’s case or a stoplight and a speed-bump in a neighborhood organizing effort.

Creating a legacy is really the key strategy.

Though the “things” can be important tactical tools, I always found that the best leaders were interested — in their own way — at how organizing could help them create their own legacy. It could be us having a conversation about how their children might look at them and learn from them if they saw their parents  leading a negotiation session with the mayor or how they wanted to be able to describe themselves ten years from now — the key to getting a real “buy-in” to investing themselves into making change was creating an avenue to building a legacy.

What does this mean for education?

It could mean a number of things in the classroom. I’ve had students use an exercise discussing values that are important to them; when students have behaved inappropriately, I have had them give me an example of someone they respect and then asked them to say how they think that person would have handled the situation; and have asked students how they would like their family to describe them and then make a list of actions they could take to help make that happen.

Of course, I have also combined those actions with relationship-building that helps me know what they might want today ( their interests so I can help them find a book they want to read, etc) and delivering on them.

The same holds true, I believe, with teachers we might be trying to encourage to pursue new classroom strategies, whether it is incorporating ed tech, using more discovery instructional strategies, or trying a more positive classroom management style. Perhaps, in addition to showing how this actions could provide concrete benefits to them, having a conversation about what kind of legacy they want to leave and how they want students to talk about them years from now might yield surprisingly effect results.

What do you think?




This Week’s “Links I Should Have Posted About, But Didn’t”

I have a huge backlog of resources that I’ve been planning to post about in this blog but, just because of time constraints, have not gotten around to doing. Instead of letting that backlog grow bigger, I regularly grab a few and list them here with a minimal description. It forces me to look through these older links, and help me organize them for my own use. I hope others will find them helpful, too. These are resources that I didn’t include in my “Best Tweets” feature because I had planned to post about them, or because I didn’t even get around to sending a tweet sharing them.

Here are This Week’s “Links I Should Have Posted About, But Didn’t”:

Is the iPhone the Only Camera You Need? is from The Wall Street Journal. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Beginning iPhone Users Like Me.

Feedback From Students Becomes a Campus Staple, but Some Go Further is from The New York Times. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).

The Flipped Classroom: Students Assessing Teachers
is from Education Week. I’m adding it to the same list.

15 Favorite iPad Apps As Selected By Teachers is from Emerging Ed Tech. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Beginning iPad Users.

Everest Climbing Gear—Then and Now is from National Geographic. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Learning About Mount Everest.

The World Of Religion is an excellent infographic. I’m adding it to The Best Websites To Learn About Various Religions (& English).

27 of History’s Strangest Inventions comes from Brain Pickings. I’m adding it to The Best Sites Where Students Can Learn About Inventions.

Spent is a “choose your own adventure” type game where you play the role of a very low-income person. I’m adding it to The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories.

Here are some other regular features I post in this blog:

“The Best…” series (which now number 691)

Best Tweets of The Month

The most popular posts on this blog each month

My monthly choices for the best posts on this blog each month

Each month I do an “Interview Of The Month” with a leader in education

Periodically, I post “A Look Back” highlighting older posts that I think are particularly useful

The ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival

Resources that share various “most popular” lists useful to teachers

Interviews with ESL/EFL teachers in “hot spots” around the world.

Articles I’ve written for other publications.

Photo Galleries Of The Week

Research Studies Of The Week

Regular “round-ups” of good posts and articles about school reform

This Week In Web 2.0

Around the Web In ESL/EFL/ELL



More Recent Articles


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