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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


Escher and Tessellations

Dear Friends,

I confirmed something I suspected but hoped wasn't true... any file hosted on ning is blocked by Portland Public Schools. Images, videos, audio... even if I have put it in a separate object code, if the url of the file is hosted by ning, it's blocked.

This changes my work flow a bit. Instead of creating posts on ning and transferring the posts from here, I need to create posts on weebly, where I host my site for students ( The weebly platform has its own way of embedding videos, images, music, etc, and I can't simply copy the html code and paste it here. I need to rebuild those posts on ning to share them

This means some of my blog posts won't get transferred, especially those that don't have much to do with EFL. What I can do is post a link to my new materials at Portland Free School here... this week it's a two-part piece on tessellations, one on Escher, and another on how to create your own tessellations.

As always, if you see something you really like and want the original files, drop me a note and I will get them to you.



This is an Escher you might not have seen before- Shells and Starfish

Downloads: 128

Comment by Paul Driver on January 22, 2010 at 4:27pm
Why would they block content from ning? I don't get it.
Comment by Ellen Pham on January 22, 2010 at 6:17pm
Because it is a social networking site... don't want the kids talking to strangers unless the teacher can confirm they are talking with another class of students (fear of online predators). Also, in most school districts here, youtube is blocked. Don't want kids watching music videos during school time? I have no idea.

Teachers also must be very cautious about what sites the kids get into. For example, I did a post that used Sandbox, an online drawing tool, but an elementary/middle school teacher couldn't use that program with her class, on the chance that her students viewed the online gallery, reset the default search criteria to view count, and were exposed to a few examples of nude sand art. Sand art, mind you.

Yet Americans watch a steady diet of rape, torture and grisly murder stories on the TV every night. Just no nudity! Go figure.

The other reason (and this might have been what you were talking about!) is that the filtering programs go by url address, so it can't differentiate between a swf or image file that I have uploaded to ning or if the url is leading to ning directly.

Comment by Paul Driver on January 22, 2010 at 10:44pm
That really sounds like overkill. They should be putting more of an emphasis on educating students on how to use the net responsibly and explaining the dangers. A few workshops for parents also wouldn't go amiss, with simple pointers like keeping a family PC in the living room instead of putting one in the kids bedrooms.
Banning stuff is just a way of avoiding these responsibilities in my opinion and the kids miss out on some great content and experiences in the meantime. And what you say about TV. It was farcical the amount of fuss they made over that Janet Jackson "wardrobe failure" in light of the other stuff you can see.

Besides, kids have access to the uncensored net all over the place, including through their phones and laptops over mobile networks.
Comment by Ellen Pham on January 22, 2010 at 11:34pm
Gee Paul, in the light of day that sand art is a bit obnoxious! But dangerous??

I just want to comment on your point, Banning stuff is just a way of avoiding these responsibilities in my opinion

Aside from safety concerns, public schools are very wary of lawsuits. If a child met a pedophile online at school, and subsequently was hurt, the school system would be sued for millions of dollars. The individual teacher might be sued too. I'd love to say the risk of this is so small, but it isn't. Some children simply aren't prone to making friendships with strangers people online; others , no matter what the warning, are going to do it. Of course, all the high school students get onto their facebook accounts by proxy anyway, but it does keep the middle school and younger crowd out of social networking sites for the most part. And it is, from the school's perspective, a matter of legal liability.

I agree with all your comments, though. When I am in charge of the world.... ; )

Comment by ddeubel on January 23, 2010 at 10:50pm

Yes, that hypocrisy is what irks me about America when I compare it to Europe or even most places in Asia (China being a very different case).

So everything shows up for someone outside a school, right? The problem is the security "grannies" each district or school sets in place to filter the internet?

But like you've heard me prophesize , it will get worse before it gets better. We will be going through the great consolidation -- meaning, lots of large fish, eating up smaller fish and then clogging the pipelines in concert with big brothers/govt regulations. I'm sure Ning will continue to place its own restrictions on content. Just you wait and see. First it was no .rar files. Next it was no .flv (too easy a format to copy / transfer video), next it was taking away rss of portions of content.... much more from the side of a network creator too!

Oh well, we have to just learn to keep moving. It's all in that spirit....... Don't move, you die.


PS. That was seriously funny about the sand drawings! Mein Gott.

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