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ICDL-NET The ICDL L4 net learn | Wed, 08 Nov 2023 04:23:00 -0600entext/html ‘Anatomy of a Fall’: What Crime Movies Should Learn From the Year’s Best Film

Our craven desire for crime stories is nothing new—even Taylor Swift cites Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as one of her favorite shows. There’s a lurid pleasure and curiosity to watching these ripped-from-the-headlines reenactments happen to other people; thank goodness it’s them and not us. And everything in the genre, from Dateline to Serial, uses sound design to its storytelling advantage, creating a haunting, eerie, intense soundscape that ups the dramatic ante.

It would be easy for Anatomy of a Fall, the Palme d’Or-winning film from Justine Triet that premiered to rave reviews at this month’s New York Film Festival, to borrow that trope. The film has a salacious premise that true crime-lovers will salivate over: After Sandra’s (Sandra Huller) husband falls to his death, she is charged with murder. Their son Daniel (Milo Machado-Graner) was the only other person present at the crime scene, but his visual impairment makes him unreliable. Yet Daniel’s vision also bolsters the film’s greatest strength. To offset the failings of one sense, Daniel leans into his hearing—and so too does the film, to unique, incredibly successful effect. This is a film defined by its sound in a way that every other crime story should learn from: to use it in a way that’s sparing and intentional, not obnoxiously manipulative.

In fact, Anatomy of a Fall’s music is more significant than that of any other crime story in accurate memory, in large part due to the fact that all of it comes from within. Instead of a soundtrack, it uses only music performed diegetically, by characters within the film itself. A core part of the investigation involves the song that Sandra’s husband Samuel (Swann Arlaud) was blasting right before he died. Through the trial that makes up the bulk of the film, we learn that the couple’s relationship had become irreparably damaged by the time of death. Samuel, according to Sandra, had even begun finding enjoyment in deliberately pissing his wife off—like playing music way too loudly while she was trying to work.

The song in question is one that most viewers are unlikely to pick up on at first blush: a looping cover of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” by the German group Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band. Whatever 50 Cent intended with the song is completely irrelevant; it now fully belongs to Anatomy of a Fall, which uses it to hilarious and haunting effect. The steel drum interpretation of an early-aughts rap song is inherently funny, yes, but when Samuel is found dead while it’s still blasting out of his upstairs office, it becomes a key part of the crime scene.

Much of the investigation hinges on whether Daniel could hear his parents’ conversation start and stop over the din of the horribly loud song, as he claimed; if he did, it could exonerate his mom, due to the amount of time between their conversation ending and his dad’s death. So important is this song at that volume that it even makes its way into the courthouse; “P.I.M.P.” is an inextricable part of the most stressful moment of Sandra’s life. And because Anatomy of a Fall exclusively employs music put on or performed by the characters themselves, Triet doesn’t use “P.I.M.P.” to conjure a feeling from the audience. It’s intended to evoke a painful memory for Sandra and Daniel alone.

A production still from Anatomy of a Fall.

Sandra Hüller, Milo Machado Graner, and Samuel Theis.


We don’t develop a Pavlovian response to hearing notes of the steel drum cover because the film threads it repetitively into different scenes; we do because it is used so sparingly, only at moments in which characters are intentionally trying to evoke testimony from Sandra or Daniel. And because their appearances before the court are so riveting and grueling, we, too, naturally come to relate “P.I.M.P.” with the pain and fear that they’re experiencing. Eventually, that loop of “P.I.M.P.” becomes a trigger for what we know to be more important: the words which Sandra and Daniel speak at these crucial moments.

For a film that so accurately replicates the heated courtroom experience, what matters is what is or is not said; if a distracting steel drum—or any other sound—is folded on top of it, it may sway us in one biased direction, the same way that the jury is trying not to be. A lesser film would also force a song like “P.I.M.P.” to signify something, like that Sandra is or isn’t innocent; one can imagine a more serious instrumental cover of it playing to suggest triumph, pain, or pity. Such is the norm for many crime dramas, which use music to align us with a certain character or hint at important parts of the overarching investigation. Anatomy of a Fall’s power comes from its neutrality, where we must establish for ourselves whether we believe Sandra did or didn’t kill her husband based upon what’s presented to us.

The only other notable piece of music in the film is one that Daniel plays, similarly in repetitive fashion. He is fixated on learning the piece “Asturias (Leyenda)” on piano, playing it as a form of self-soothing. Daniel’s become a dedicated piano student in the years since his terrible accident, in which his optic nerve was permanently damaged. With his sight weakened, he’s leaning on his hearing instead; this comes in handy when the trial of a lifetime revolves around music. Whenever we see Daniel outside of the courtroom, quietly mulling whether he can trust his mother or if he really knew his father, he’s got his fingers on the keys, trying again and again to master “Leyenda.”

It’s another obvious musical cue that Triet could throw in as an instrumental elsewhere, something like a “Daniel’s Theme.” But such false notes would rob Anatomy of a Fall of its faith in the very real power of truth, emotion, and how both blend perception and belief. There is no heavy hand needed here—not on the steel drum playing “P.I.M.P.” or Daniel’s beloved piano, and least of all on the film’s gorgeously spare choice of music. Not every courtroom thriller needs something as dramatic as a man falling to his death to the tune of an incongruous track—but they could all benefit from this level of appreciation for the delicacies of diegetic music.

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Mon, 23 Oct 2023 20:44:00 -0500 en text/html
Biden says Palestinians ‘gotta learn how to shoot straight’ after deadly Gaza hospital blast

President Biden told reporters Wednesday that Palestinian terrorists have “gotta learn how to shoot straight” — one day after an explosion outside a hospital in the Gaza Strip.

“I’m not suggesting that Hamas deliberately did it,” the president said at Ramstein Air Base in Germany en route back to Washington after visiting Israel earlier in the day.

“It’s that old thing: Gotta learn how to shoot straight,” Biden went on.

“It’s not the first time that Hamas has launched something that didn’t function very well.”

Hamas, which rules Gaza, claimed Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike killed about 500 people at the hospital — sparking riots across the Middle East and forcing Biden to scrap a planned summit with Arab leaders in Amman, Jordan — but the White House said Wednesday it had determined the explosion was caused by a misfire on the Palestinian side.

The Israeli government on Tuesday night blamed the Hamas-allied group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, publishing intercepted phone calls and other evidence to support the claim.

“I don’t know all the detail, but I do know the people at the Defense Department who I respect and the intelligence community that I respect, say it is highly improbable that Israel did that,” Biden said on Air Force One.

President Biden told reporters Wednesday that Palestinian terrorists have “gotta learn how to shoot straight” — one day after an explosion outside a hospital in the Gaza Strip.
AFP via Getty Images
Hamas, which rules Gaza, claimed Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike killed about 500 people at the hospital — but the White House said Wednesday it had determined the explosion was caused by a misfire on the Palestinian side.
The White House said Wednesday it had determined the explosion was caused by a misfire on the Palestinian side.

How celebrities, schools, and businesses have reacted to Hamas’ terror attack against Israel

Israel-Hamas war: How we got here

2005: Israel unilaterally withdraws from the Gaza Strip more than three decades after winning the territory from Egypt in the Six-Day War.

2006: Terrorist group Hamas wins a Palestinian legislative election.

2007: Hamas seizes control of Gaza in a civil war.

2008: Israel launches military offensive against Gaza after Palestinian terrorists fired rockets into the town of Sderot.

2023: Hamas launches the biggest attack on Israel in 50 years, in an early-morning ambush Oct. 7, firing thousands of rockets and sending dozens of militants into Israeli towns.

Terrorists killed more than 1,200 Israelis, wounded more than 4,200, and took at least 200 hostage.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to announce, “We are at war,” and vowed Hamas would pay “a price it has never known.”

The Gaza Health Ministry — which is controlled by Hamas — reported at least 3,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 12,500 injured since the war began.

The president spent several hours visiting Tel Aviv earlier Wednesday in a show of support for Israel against Hamas after the terrorist group slaughtered 1,400 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

But the president set off fresh criticism from Republicans by announcing $100 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian territories, including the approximately 2 million residents of Gaza, which Israel is preparing to invade.

Biden also said he wanted Congress to approve an “unprecedented” amount of military aid for Israel — while calling on Israeli leaders not be driven by “rage” when going into Gaza, noting that America had made “mistakes” in its own foreign wars following 9/11.

Wed, 18 Oct 2023 11:43:00 -0500 en-US text/html
The Learning Network No result found, try new keyword!By The Learning Network Teachers say they are pressured to pass students even when they don’t show up to class or do the work. Teenagers tell us what they think about such policies. Sun, 12 Nov 2023 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html

ICDL-NET learn - The ICDL L4 net Updated: 2023

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Question: 74
Which one of these statements is false?
A. The content of web pages that you view while using a browser is lost from memory
after the computer is shut down.
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C. Browsers contain hypertext links to different documents and sites on the Web.
D. A web browser is a site where you can search for information on the web
Answer: D
Question: 75
Add Eric Lambert to the Sales group in this Address Book.
Answer: Select Sales -> click properties -> click select members -> select Eric Lambert
-> ok -> ok
Question: 76
Display the message from Selina Kyle in the Preview pane.
Answer: Select Selina Kyle message
Question: 77
Click the option that would get the selected file with the least risk of virus
Answer: Click save
Question: 78
Use this site to reserve a single ticket for the Concert in the Park. Note: Follow the
instructions that are provided on the web page.
Answer: Click bookings -> click Events and venues -> from the first drop down list
select Concert in the Park -> from the second drop down list select single ticket -> click
book now
Question: 79
Question: 80
Sort the Inbox messages by sender.
Answer: View -> sort by -> sent
Question: 81
Move the deleted mail from Joe Thompson back to the Inbox.
Answer: Select deleted Items -> right click on Joe Thompson message -> select move
to folder -> select inbox -> ok
Question: 82
Change the settings of this web browser so that images will NOT be displayed. Do not
change any other settings.
Answer: Tools -> internet options -> advanced tab -> in the multimedia section
uncheck the show pictures
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ICDL ICDL learn - BingNews Search results ICDL ICDL learn - BingNews Learn the constellations

If you’re a newcomer to amateur astronomy, eager to begin exploring the night sky, you’ll have to overcome one of astronomy’s biggest hurdles — learning to identify the constellations. After all, you can’t find the Andromeda Galaxy if you can’t find Andromeda. Trying to make sense of those myriad stellar specks overhead might seem intimidating, but making friends with the stars needn’t be a “mission impossible.”Remember your first day of school — entering that classroom and finding yourself confronted by a roomful of unfamiliar faces?

Even on that first day, you probably made a few friends. Through them, and with your day-to-day exposure to the classroom, you gradually became acquainted with all of your classmates. Learning the constellations is like that. With a little help from your friends (easy-to-find guidepost constellations) and a willingness to “show up for class” on successive nights, you’ll soon feel comfortable in your nighttime surroundings. So relax. It’s time to go to school and meet some new friends!

North circumpolar constellations

We begin in the northern sky, realm of those always-visible star groups known as the north circumpolar constellations. The most prominent figure is the Big Dipper (Note: The Big Dipper is not a constellation). These bright stars — four forming the “bowl,” three more tracing out the “handle” — create one of the most recognizable patterns in the night sky, an ideal guide for locating surrounding constellations.

As any good Boy or Girl Scout will attest, you can find Polaris, the North Star, by tracing a line between the stars Dubhe and Merak at the end of the bowl of the Big Dipper and extending it about five times the distance between them. When astronomical newcomers see this celebrated star for the first time, they are astonished that it isn’t much brighter than the stars in the Big Dipper. Polaris is the brightest star in Ursa Minor the Little Bear, which contains the Little Dipper. Like its big brother, the Little Dipper is made up of seven stars — four in the bowl, and three in the handle. Because four of its stars are dim, the Little Dipper is hard to see in light-polluted skies.

If you trace a line from the bowl of the Big Dipper past the North Star and continue it an equal distance beyond, you’ll arrive at an eye-catching group of stars that form a distinct letter M or W. This is Cassiopeia, Queen of Ethiopia

Winter constellations 

To see the constellations that come and go with the seasons, we need to turn our backs on the north circumpolar constellations and face south. If the winter sky seems alive with stars, it’s no illusion. Besides the obvious facts that the air is clear and dry then, we’re looking at a star-rich region that defines one of the spiral arms of our Milky Way Galaxy. Of the twenty-one brightest stars in the entire night sky (so-called 1st-magnitude stars), seven are in this area.
On a winter evening, the sky is home to what most astronomers agree is the grandest of all constellations — Orion the Hunter. A rectangle of bright stars, which includes, at opposite corners, 1st-magnitude Betelgeuse and Rigel, is bisected by a diagonal row of three bright stars (the “belt”). Beneath the belt hangs a row of three stars — Orion’s “sword.” Don’t be fooled by their uninspiring naked-eye appearance; the middle star in the sword isn’t a star at all.

It’s the Orion Nebula — one of the grandest telescopic showpieces the night sky has to offer. In binoculars, it appears as a fuzzy patch of light. When you gaze at this wondrous glowing cloud, you view creation itself, for within this luminous glow, stars are being born.

Orion is the focal point of a stunning gathering of bright stars and constellations. The belt points down and to the left to a brilliant white star: Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, leader of the constellation Canis Major the Great Dog. Sirius always dazzles, but the star especially captivates when positioned near the horizon. During winter, atmospheric refraction causes Sirius to sparkle in a rainbow of colors — a beautiful sight through binoculars or a small telescope.

Return to Orion’s belt and continue up and to the right, and you arrive at a V-shaped group of stars called the Hyades. This is the “head” of Taurus the Bull. The reddish-orange 1st-magnitude star at the upper-left end of the V is Aldebaran — the eye of the Bull. Each end of the V extends outward to a star that forms one of the Bull’s horns. Continuing past the Hyades, you’ll see a little cluster of stars — one of the loveliest naked-eye sights in the night sky. This is the Seven Sisters, or Pleiades. Six are visible to the unaided eye under average sky conditions; binoculars reveal the seventh star, plus dozens more.

The uppermost horn of Taurus is part of a pentagon of stars that includes the bright golden-yellow star Capella. This pentagon is the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. Auriga lies above Orion and is overhead on a midwinter evening. The fact that these five stars represent a man on a chariot carrying a goat (Capella) attests to the vivid imagination of its ancient discoverers. Oh yes, that little triangle of stars beneath Capella represents the goat’s three kids!

Orion’s heavenly court includes Gemini the Twins. From Orion, extend a line upward from Rigel through Betelgeuse to this neat rectangular constellation, which contains the bright stars Pollux and Castor. In 2005, Gemini will be more aptly called the “Triplets,” for Pollux and Castor will be joined by a third bright “star” — Saturn. Midway and slightly left of a line between Sirius and the stars Pollux and Castor is the 1st-magnitude star Procyon. Procyon forms an equilateral triangle with Betelgeuse and Sirius. It’s about all you’ll see of Canis Minor the Little Dog.

Winter constellation audio tours

Spring constellations

As the days lengthen and the weather warms, Orion and his wintry retinue process slowly into the western sky. Leo the Lion now assumes center stage high in the south. Leo’s most noticeable feature is an asterism (a grouping of stars) that reminds observers of a sickle or a backward question mark. The period on the question mark is the 1st-magnitude star Regulus. To the left of the Sickle are three stars that form a right triangle. We see the Lion from the side; the Sickle outlines his head, and the triangle, his hindquarters. Viewed with a little imagination, Leo definitely sports a feline profile.
During spring, the Big Dipper appears nearly overhead from mid-northern latitudes. If you follow the handle of the Dipper away from the bowl, you’ll “arc to Arcturus,” a golden-yellow 1st-magnitude star in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman. The constellation itself is shaped like a huge kite, with Arcturus at its base. Continuing the arc, you’ll “sprint to Spica.” This blue-white 1st-magnitude star is in Virgo, which is a huge, sprawling constellation.

If you look below and to the right of Spica, you’ll spot a neat little group of four bright stars that resembles the outline of a sail. This is the constellation Corvus the Crow. I’m always impressed at how stately this little constellation looks, perched above the treetops to the south on a clear spring evening.

Summer constellations

Summer is a season of mixed blessings for astronomers. The nights are warm but short and often hazy. As if that weren’t bad enough, we have to contend with swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes! Haze and insects aside, the summer sky is a veritable gallery of cosmic masterpieces. The Milky Way arches high across the sky, which is richer than its winter counterpart because we now look toward the heart of our galaxy. Dominating the evening sky are three 1st-magnitude stars forming the Summer Triangle. Vega is the brightest of the three and is located in a nifty little constellation called Lyra the Lyre.
Our second Summer Triangle star, Deneb, is the tail of Cygnus the Swan. Deneb and four other bright stars of the Swan form an asterism called the Northern Cross, which is immersed in the Milky Way. Deneb is at the top of the cross, the star Albireo is at the base. Albireo is a double star famous for its rich colors of golden yellow and sapphire blue. The star pair can be split with binoculars, but the colors can be seen only through a telescope.

Farther south on the Milky Way is the bright star Altair and its parent constellation, Aquila the Eagle. If you follow the Milky Way from Aquila toward the southern horizon, you should find a group of stars that looks like a teapot. This asterism is part of Sagittarius the Archer. This constellation marks the location of our galaxy’s center. The area teems with deep-sky treasures — especially bright nebulae and star clusters. To the right of the teapot is the ruddy 1st-magnitude star Antares, the “heart” of Scorpius the Scorpion. Like the winter star Betelgeuse, Antares is a red supergiant star in the last stages of its life. A fishhook-shaped row of stars trailing down and to the left of Antares forms the Scorpion’s tail and stinger, while an upright row of three stars to Antares’s right marks the location of its claws.

Summer constellation audio tours


As the nights begin to lengthen and a chill pervades the air, the summer Milky Way exits center stage (although the Summer Triangle remains visible in the west until early winter). Following the Summer Triangle is one of the night sky’s prettiest constellations — Delphinus the Dolphin. Four stars, arranged like a diamond, form the Dolphin’s head, while a fifth creates the tail. You can imagine a dolphin leaping out of the water as you gaze at this constellation.
In its wake is a rather barren expanse of sky whose most prominent feature is the Great Square of Pegasus the Winged Horse.

Alpheratz is at the top left corner of the Great Square. From here, two rows of stars branch out and up. This is the constellation Andromeda the Princess. And yes, it is home to the great Andromeda Galaxy. At a distance of 2.7 million light-years from Earth, it’s the most remote object readily visible to the naked eye. Through binoculars, however, you’ll see an elliptical glow (the galaxy’s bright nucleus), which appears larger in small telescopes.

Now that I’ve introduced you to some of the constellations, it’s time to head out and make your own friends. The expansive night sky will become more familiar to you after spending quality time learning the “faces” of the constellations. Class dismissed!

Autumn constellation audio tours

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 Glenn Chaple en-US text/html
The Learning Network No result found, try new keyword!By Jeremy Engle A filmmaker’s animated ode to her 107-year-old friend. What can we learn from their remarkable friendship? By The Learning Network We invite students to play critic and submit ... Wed, 15 Nov 2023 18:00:00 -0600 en text/html Education & Learning News

People in many parts of the United States possess few chances for the robust community engagement that underpins healthy democracies, according to a new report that for the first time maps civic ...

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A new study has examined the role of several cognitive functions in young students learning to write English, their second language. The study conducted a battery of cognitive tests, gauged the ...

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How does pedagogical authority operate in the classroom? A team has produced one of the first in-depth field studies on this subject. By filming teachers in training over a period of several months, ...

Computer models provide new insight into how the neurotransmitter dopamine controls learning and decision-making ...

A new study looks at the impact of learning environments on the academic success of racialized students. Compared to their peers, these students feel they have less control in their academic ...

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The era of artificial-intelligence chatbots that seem to understand and use language the way we humans do has begun. Under the hood, these chatbots use large language models, a particular kind of ...

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Sun, 29 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Best Language Learning Apps for 2023
See at Babbel

Best for an online school-type experience


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See at Mondly

Best for helping you remember specific phrases


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See at Memrise

Best for learning to speak casually in a new language


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See at Busuu

Best for goal-oriented users


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See at Lirica

Best for learning language musically


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See at Netflix

Best for breaking down how a language works

Language Reactor

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Learning a new language is a great way to challenge and train your brain. Whether you’re looking to learn as a new hobby, for work or to prepare for future travel plans, learning a new language is a worthwhile, lifelong skill. 

Are early Black Friday sales a good time to buy?

Many retailers start "Black Friday" sales as early as Halloween, or even earlier. The quality of deals can vary early on, but as November progresses, many of the deals are as good as the deep discounts you’ll see during Thanksgiving weekend. See the best Black Friday deals we’ve found.

However, the process of learning can feel overwhelming, especially if you live somewhere without a lot of native speakers or don’t have a lot of cash and time to spare. Fortunately, language learners have access to more resources than ever before, with lots of online resources available to help you develop your vocabulary, speaking, reading and writing skills in a new language. 

There are many different options for people interested in learning. When you’re picking a new language learning app, you’re likely deciding how much time you’ll have to spend on lessons, what your budget is and how many languages you want to study. You’ll also want to consider how you learn. One of the things we tested using these apps is their learning method, or what features they have that will help you comprehend and practice a new language. For example, if you like to learn by listening to others speak, Rosetta Stone might be right for you because it has a lot of videos of native speakers. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how you learn best or where to begin -- many of these apps offer a variety of features and learning methods that will give you a well-rounded education.

Below, we've rounded up some of our absolute favorite language learning apps so you can find the one that's best suited for your needs -- no matter your schedule, budget or learning style.

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To make sure you don't get rusty on the basics, even if you've "mastered" a skill by reaching a higher level, the skill can still "crack" if you don't review it consistently. Practice the skill again and it'll repair itself. 

I like Duolingo's user-friendly layout, and the "streak" feature, which motivates you to keep going by tracking the number of days you've reached your point goal. In the app, you can access resources such as Duolingo Stories, which are short audio stories that allow you to check your comprehension skills as you go. 

While the functionality of Duolingo is great, the service could be more transparent with prices and Strengthen its FAQ help pages to more accurately reflect all the service’s costs and features. Super Duolingo, the ad-free premium version of the app, costs $13 a month (or $87 annually) and includes progress quizzes, monthly streak repairs and more. If your love of languages is a family trait, you can link up to six accounts under a Family Super Duolingo account for $10 a month. Select users might have access to Duolingo’s existing tier Duolingo Max, but that’s only for people in specific countries, learning Spanish or French on iOS devices -- and even then it may not be available. The Max rollout includes everything in Super Duolingo and adds two AI-powered features, Explain My Answer and Roleplay.

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I found Babbel to be the most like a foreign language course you'd see in an online school curriculum. The minimalist layout of the Babbel app helps prevent a new language (French for me) from seeming overwhelming, without making it boring. Each lesson takes you through translations, including variations of the word or phrase, pictures, and whether it's formal or informal, something that’s important in many languages. If it asks you to spell a phrase, it provides you with the letters used.

You also get to see the new words you're learning used in common conversations, listen to them (if you choose to have audio on), repeat the phrases and learn more about verb groups. The 15-minute language lessons are easy to work into your day -- whether it's on your commute, before bed or on your lunch break. The My Activity module lets you track all your progress. 

Babbel currently offers 14 languages and is free to sign up for, and the first lesson of every course is free. A monthly subscription costs $15. You can also choose to renew every three months ($38), every six months ($67), annually ($89) or make a one-time payment of $349 for lifetime access. The other subscription option is Babbel Live, which is a more traditional language learning experience with virtual classes led by an instructor with other students. You can sign up for unlimited classes with this paid subscription for one month ($90), three months ($209), six months ($359) and annually ($599).

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I tried my hand at Greek on the Drops app. The app's fun, colorful layout definitely made the language (which has its own alphabet) less intimidating. The app shows users each word in the Greek alphabet and the English alphabet, and says the word and shows an image of it. Drops is owned by the popular game-learning platform Kahoot and is constantly adding new languages. The company recently added its 15th language, Catalan.

You can subscribe to Drops Premium for $13 a month, $70 annually. If you stick with the free version, you have to wait 10 hours to access another lesson, but you can check out your statistics after completing the lesson (correct answers, wrong answers and words learned) and tap on the words you've learned to hear them pronounced again (and see them written in the Greek alphabet). This can give you a leg up when your next lesson starts.

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Similar to Drops, Mondly is a fun, colorful app that has multiple features you can take advantage of even if you don't subscribe to premium. I tried beginner Hungarian on this app, and I liked how it offered to show you different conjugations if you tapped on verbs. The app packs images, translations and auditory aids to help your specific learning style. The instructor also speaks the words and phrases in a rather melodic way. That made it easier for me to recall them (even after trying different languages on different apps). 

Mondly currently has lessons available for 41 different languages. It also has VR and AR products that let you integrate its language lessons, chatbots and games into virtual and augmented reality tools, like the Meta Quest 3 or other VR headsets.

Mondly is free to use, but you can subscribe to the Premium tier to unlock all content. You can subscribe for access to lessons in one language for $10 a month or $48 annually. You can also get lifetime access to all 41 languages for $90.

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One of my favorite parts of Memrise is the app's use of short videos to show how real locals express different phrases in conversation. I tried the French course, and the first lesson alone let me listen to the tone of voice and casual pronunciation, as well as showing me the phrase's literal translation and explained its gendered usage. The app also helps you spot patterns in the language to make it easier to Strengthen your skills. If you're brushing up on a language you're familiar with, you have the option to skip phrases you already know.

Memrise currently has lessons available in 23 languages. A few lessons are available for free daily, or you can upgrade to a Pro membership for $15 per month, $90 per year or $200 for lifetime access. The Pro membership removes ads, gives you access to all languages and lets you incorporate the 30,000 native speaker videos it has into your lessons.

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When you sign up for Busuu, you select the language you want to learn, and the app helps you determine how advanced you are with it, why you want to learn it and how advanced you want to become. From there, you set a daily study goal, and if you subscribe to the premium plan, it creates a study plan so you'll reach your goal by a set date. For example, Busuu says if I study three times a week for 10 minutes a day, I'll be pretty fluent in my chosen language in about eight months.  

Busuu's Basic plan is free, but you can subscribe to Premium for $14 per month.

I tried Italian with Busuu and I liked the clean, bright layout of the app. Busuu also offers helpful reminders: The second time I logged in, it reminded me about "weak words" I needed to review to Strengthen my vocabulary. In addition to listening to a phrase paired with a photo of the corresponding action, Busuu included helpful vocabulary tips (like that "ciao" can mean "hello" or "goodbye").

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If you listen to any song enough, you'll learn all the words through repetition -- even if they're in a different language. But how do you figure out what they mean? This is where the Lirica app comes in. This app is unique in how it approaches teaching Spanish and German. Instead of traditional teaching methods for learning a language, Lirica uses popular music by Latin and reggaeton artists to help you learn language and grammar. On top of learning the language, you're also immersing yourself in the culture behind it. The app also includes facts about the artist while you're learning.

Lirica has a one-week free trial and then it's $9 a month, $20 every six months or $30 annually. For now, the app offers only Spanish, German and English.

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While not technically an app, the free Language Reactor Chrome extension, formerly called Language Learning with Netflix, can be helpful on your journey to becoming multilingual. Install the extension and click the icon to launch the catalog of movie and TV show options. You do need a subscription to Netflix though. 

Once you launch the catalog, you can pick from hundreds of titles that use movies on Netflix to help teach different languages. For example, if you want to work on your Spanish, select the language in the dropdown menu, along with the country where you're using Netflix. Then, the extension will generate a list of titles it can add Spanish closed captions to. To watch one of the films, just click the red "Watch on Netflix" button. Depending on the language you want to learn or what country you’re watching from, you might have fewer titles to pick from.

As the series or movie plays, two sets of subtitles display at the bottom of the screen. One set is your native language and the other is the one you want to learn. The words highlight as they're spoken, like a karaoke sing-a-long. You can listen to the dialogue phrase by phrase, pause and replay as needed, access a built-in dictionary, and more. Depending on the show or movie you’re watching, you’ll be able to translate your closed captions in up to 52 languages.

If you want to use Language Reactor for more active learning, it also has a chatbot, fun videos and a digital phrase book on its website.

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Pimsleur is an app that offers 51 languages to learn but delivers the information in what is basically the form of a podcast. Essentially, you'll choose the language you want to learn and begin a 30-minute auditory lesson (which are downloadable and Alexa-compatible). The app also has a driving mode, so you can Strengthen your language skills during long commutes without looking at a screen. 

You get a seven-day free trial. After, you’ll be able to continue with an Audio-Only subscription ($15/month) that gives you access to all languages and audio-only features. If you want to focus on just one language, you can upgrade to the Premium level for $20 a month, which gives you additional features like lessons, roleplaying challenges and digital flashcards. And if you want everything -- all languages and features -- the All-Access subscription is $21 per month.

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Perhaps the best-known language learning service, Rosetta Stone has come a long way since it started in the '90s. My parents still have a box set of discs for learning Spanish somewhere in their house. It's a lot easier now with the Rosetta Stone app, but you still need at least 30 minutes to complete a Core Lesson. 

I tried Rosetta Stone's first Irish lesson, which was primarily auditory with images, though there are ways to customize the app to your learning preferences. The lesson started out fairly challenging, especially since I was completely new to the Irish language. But it did get easier as I went along. 

The iOS app got an update in 2021 that brought augmented reality into the mix. This enables Seek and Speak, which is a scavenger-hunt-style challenge. Point the phone camera at an object and get a translation in the language you're learning. 

Rosetta Stone currently offers lessons in 25 languages. Subscription options include $48 every three months, $127 annually, or you can get a lifetime subscription, currently priced at $199.

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Wed, 01 Nov 2023 04:47:00 -0500 en text/html
Best Learning Management Systems (LMS) Of 2023

Docebo is one of the best learning management systems for corporations, thanks to features such as social learning, Salesforce integration, mobile learning, e-commerce, free extensions, custom domains and artificial intelligence. Its more than 400 integrations include Adobe Connect, Confluence, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, G2, GitHub, Google Analytics, PayPal, Stripe, Trello and WordPress.

Who should use it:

Businesses that need social learning features will appreciate Docebo.

Wed, 08 Nov 2023 05:06:00 -0600 Katherine Haan en-US text/html
ICT ministry signs MoU to promote digital literacy

The country’s digital literacy is currently poorly ranked owing mostly to the general high cost of accessing internet and data.

THE ICT, Postal and Courier Services ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ) to fast-track civil servants’ digital literacy certification.

The MoU was signed during the CSZ 2023 annual summit held last week.

The country’s digital literacy is currently poorly ranked owing mostly to the general high cost of accessing internet and data.

In an interview, CSZ director Viola Dondo said the MoU was aimed at ensuring that all civil servants are certified in the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL).

The ICDL is an international qualification which enables people to demonstrate their competence in the use of computer applications. It is the most widely recognised computer qualification in the world.

“The MoU between the ICT ministry and CSZ spells that both parties endorse ICDL as a digital literacy standard for all civil servants. CSZ will support the ministry in ensuring that the ICDL will be implemented. The aim is to ensure that all civil servants are certified in the ICDL modules recommended by CSZ,” said Dondo.

“The outcome of the MoU is having digitally literate civil servants leading to a digital populace in the future. This MoU ensures improvements. It ensures the improvement of digital literacy in the public sector, translating to a digitally skilled nation in the future.

“The modules to be used are to be agreed on,” Dondo said.

The ICDL has a module classification which includes ICDL Workforce, ICDL Professional, ICDL Digital Student and ICDL Insights.

“ICDL is a digital skills standard for all. It’s an international qualification that has modules to build critical digital skills for the modern workplace under the ICDL Workforce classification,” she said.

“It has modules to cover all under the following classifications: ICDL Workforce, ICDL Professional, ICDL Digital Student, and ICDL Insights. ICDL has a suite of programmes that meet the demands of today’s digital world. The module under the ICDL Workforce classification allows people to reach the digital skills standard required for the workplace.”

Other countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, Guinea, Kenya and Nigeria have signed similar deals.

“My ministry expects continued participation by CSZ in the smart Zimbabwe 2030 whose key focus is on shared infrastructure, skills and capacity building, policies, and regulations,” ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Tatenda Matevera said.

“The smart Zimbabwe 2030 impact will be seen and felt through the ease of doing business, increased productivity and markets, education 5.0 projects, smart education and health are all encompassed in a knowledge-based society. CSZ, hence is expected to continue to play a pivotal role in delivering the outcomes and end results from smart Zimbabwe 2030 which will be a digital government, digital economy, and digital society.”


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Tue, 07 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning

"Hello and welcome to the ECTL. You have arrived at a great place for ideas and assistance in improving student learning through best practices in teaching! Our instructional designers have years of experience in teaching a variety of disciplines, using a variety of modalities, and are experts in pedagogy. Whether you are looking for tips or feedback on teaching, are interested in being part of a community of learners or want to check out one of our specific programs in digital teaching and learning, critical and creative thinking, collaborative communication or assessment of student learning- our friendly staff are here to point you in the right direction.”

Drop-in Instructor Support (formerly Faculty Learning Studio)

We offer drop-in support hours every week to consult about a wide range of curriculum and pedagogy questions, explore more advanced uses of WyoCourses, or get a refresher about the basic WyoCourses tools. Drop-in support is open to all UW instructors and no appointment is necessary.

Mondays and Thursdays 2:00-4:00p

Consulting and Class Observations

Want to revise an assignment, adjust a syllabus, or review a set of course evaluations? Interested in feedback from an independent classroom observation? We provide a variety of consultations to help you revise a course with the goal of improving student learning.  All consultations are confidential unless otherwise arranged.

Rapid Course Design

This workshop focuses on the MOST ESSENTIAL tools to get your WyoCourses class websites up and running as quickly as possible! This session will give you hands-on assistance setting up the basic functionality for your course.

Teaching and Learning Academies

These half-day events feature UW educators and ECTL educational developers sharing innovative teaching strategies that significantly impact student learning. Presentations may include strategies that engage with digital communication, inclusive pedagogy, critical thinking, community service, and assessing student learning.

Attendees are welcome to attend for the entire half-day (lunch provided), sporadically as schedules allow, or request video recordings of workshop sessions.  

SoTL Learning Days

The ECTL Assessment Office invites 10 University of Wyoming Instructors (faculty, staff and graduate teaching assistants are encouraged to apply) to attend the Kennesaw State University 30th Annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Summit. 

John P Ellbogen Summer Institute

The Summer Institute is founded on the model of the Great Teachers Movement, which is based on the philosophy that well-facilitated shoptalk is one of the highest forms of professional development. No individual "expert" can match the collective knowledge, experience, wisdom, creativity, and genius of any group of teachers actively involved in their profession. The participants are the "experts" at the retreat.

The John P. Ellbogen Summer Institute is funded by an endowment from the Ellbogen Foundation and the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning.

Spring Book Discussions 

Every other year (odd years), the Ellbogen Center for Teaching & Learning chooses a book relevant to faculty, staff, and administrators of the University of Wyoming to discuss in-depth. Each participant who registers receives a complimentary copy of the book. There are several groups available, each typically capped at 10 participants to provide an environment where conversation and communication can be most effective.  Those who participate in the discussion sessions are often invited to an event with the author the following Fall semester.

Past book choices have been Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto by Kevin M. Gannon, and Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College by Peter Felten and Leo M. Lambert. 

Developing Activities to Promote Students’ Critical and Creative Thinking

Graduate Teaching Assistant Learning Community – A Practical Approach to Effective Teaching

Assessment Learning Community

Ungrading Learning Community

New Faculty Learning Community

Collaborative Communication

Magna 20-Minute Monday Morning Mentor Series

The ECTL subscribes to the Magna Publications weekly 20-Minute Monday Morning Mentor series. These video-based programs are designed to answer a specific question related to teaching and learning. They deliver actionable insights in highly focused 20-minute presentations designed to fit busy schedules. Note: Our subscription only allows access to the weekly programs during the week they are available (Monday through Sunday) and not before or after.

Assessment Activities

Current assessment activities include information on a range of projects and activities recently completed or currently underway to gauge student learning, make improvements, or respond to accountability interests.

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2021). NILOA Current Assessment Activities

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)

SoTL (The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) is defined at UW as "Systematic inquiry into student learning by integrating the experience of teaching and prior scholarship on teaching and learning and making the findings appropriately public. Thus, building a SoTL community which leads to the assessment and enhancement of student learning."

New Faculty Programs

Every year we offer and promote educational development opportunism for new instructors in part funded by an endowment by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.  These include a New Faculty Learning Community and New Faculty Book Bags.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Programs

The ECTL recognizes that graduate students play an important part in the UW teaching and learning community. We encourage students to utilize our programs and resources to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities as instructors. 

Every year we offer and promote educational development opportunities for Graduate Teaching Assistants which are funded through an endowment from the John P. Ellbogen Foundation. 

ECTL Knowledge Base

We have worked hard to develop a limited, curated list of links and resources within this Knowledge Base. You can also find links to other resources in other sections of our ECTL website--so if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please reach out to us for help:

Lending Library

The ECTL library provides access to a range of resources about teaching and learning. Our books cover a wide variety of subjects and themes and include many of the most well-liked and well-respected books about teaching and learning. All books are available for checkout and can be shipped to off-campus faculty at their location.

Breakout EDU: Active Learning Tool

Breakout EDU is an immersive learning games platform that brings collaboration to both remote and in-person learning. Breakout EDU games consist of a combination of physical and digital puzzle elements that must be solved in a set amount of time. Players of all ages are challenged to open the locked Breakout EDU box using critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

GTA Handbook

To facilitate your growth as an effective instructor for UW's students, we provide this Graduate Teaching Assistant Handbook as an introduction to your training in pedagogy.  We also provide our students a range of learning opportunities and environments.  Learning takes place in traditional classrooms, studios, and laboratories, and also n the field and in the community.  UW's most effective teachers are constantly learning by testing new strategies and approaches to covey courses to facilitate higher levels of understanding within their students.  Because students learn most effectively when they are actively engaged, university educators learn to employ a range of strategies to facilitate student learning.  In this handbook, you will find a number of these strategies and approaches.  Some will work for you, some will not fit  your particular uses.  Pick and choose wisely, for that is the role of the effective instructional graduate assistant.

Lightboard Studio

Looking to innovate your online teaching delivery style? If the answer is yes, the ECTL Lightboard Studio may be for you! With CARES funding, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching & Learning (ECTL) has acquired a new teaching tool that lets you create innovative, fun and engaging videos. It can be used for lecture as well as supplemental videos.

Teaching Tips

To facilitate the growth of effective instructors, we have gathered and developed the following strategies and approaches that recognize the responsibility instructors have to provide students a range of learning opportunities and environments. We have also included information about important legal and ethical responsibilities that instructors need to be aware of, career development materials, and other helpful information. 

The ECTL Pedagogical Post Newsletter

We are excited to share with you our newly designed newsletter, The ECTL Pedagogocal Post!  This newsletter shares teaching tips and spotlights faculty and graduate teaching assistants doing great work, important campus collaborations and partnerships, and any other timely or interesting information. 

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