Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Again But Slower - Have You Ever Needed A Simple Version?

Again But Slower is one of those sites that fills a need.  In this case, the website provides Wikipedia articles at an easier reading level.  The articles are not as complex and are intended for children and people learning English.

I realize that teachers have various opinions of Wikipedia as a research source but, it is a resource that most students use.  However, Wikipedia articles are usually written at a high reading level, leaving younger students, English language learners or students with a reading disability unable to comprehend and work with the written material on the website.  Again But Slower simplifies the material and lowers the reading level of many Wikipedia articles with one click!  They know how to "keep it simple."  Teachers frequently complain that students don't know how to search for facts or research a topic.  Try this tool and see if it engages your students.

Here is an example of a search for "oceans" with the original on the left and simple article on the right. If you click the words, you just see your preferred article.
Check out Again But Slower and see if it could meet a need for your students or for you as you as a lesson resource.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quicklyst is a simple to use tool that I think teachers and students need to try.  It was created by a high school student and I have included an interview with Shantanu Bala.  He gets the need to keep it simple, exactly what I try to do with this blog.

Simply, Quicklyst allows you to take outline-style notes online and while you are typing your notes, you can get definitions from Duck-Duck Go and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and link to information from Wikipedia (he says he will expand partner sites.)  Students can begin using the tool immediately and you only need a user name and password to create an account and you do not need an email address.
Quicklyst allows students to save notes, print, download, or send notes to a mobile devise. 

Here is the link to the getting started guide.  http://www.quicklyst.com/guide
This tool is very new but from what I see, it is engaging, simple to learn and can provide a necessary option for students to create study guides, note lists, collaborative question lists, review sheets, and more.  I also like that if you are a Kindle or mobile devise user, Quicklyst mobile has an app that links your account - anytime, anywhere learning!

An Interview with Shantanu Bala, the high school student/developer of a new Web 2.0 note taking tool, Quicklyst.  I think this young man has a bright future.  You may also want to share his inventiveness with your students.

Try Quicklyst and share your thoughts in a comment.