Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is a great place for reference for anything to do with movies. I love to discuss movies with my students. Unfortunately, the names in Japanese often have no connection to the names in English.
With this web site showing, though, I can lecture and show short pictures or even trailers [...]
Keeping notes organized is hard enough on paper. But when you add web pages, media clips, videos, audio, podcasts, and whatever, it gets hard to handle. Try EverNote, for keeping things organized and connected to what you do.
Just like most other Web 2.0 sites, you can share part or all of your [...]
You Tube is a great repository of many useful videos, but trying to find something can be daunting, with the millions of videos available. Enter Teacher Tube, a site like You Tube, but for teachers. More focused audience, lots of materials that are easy to understand.
I am often astounded by how slowly everything goes in class. It is like everyone is living in molasses. The answers are always carefully considered before being uttered. This is not how communication works. It is not good enough to speak correct English, you have to speak it fast.
Learning goes the same way. You [...]
Better than Monopoly
OK, OK. It’s not a computer thing. This is a simple board game, one you play at the dinner table after dinner. Did you know Germans are real big fans of board games, instead of TV?
10 Days in the USA is a simple geography game that takes about 45 minutes [...]
The Moth is a podcast of short stories told by amateurs, and a few professionals. They are told at a weekly event in New York or Los Angeles. People are selected to get up on stage and tell their stories, without notes, to the other story-tellers (the hardest audience).
You can listen to the [...]
iKnow does more than language
iKnow grew out of a project at Cerego, a company here in Japan that made English language learning software. They moved the content online, made it free, and “socialized” it, made it have more Web 2.0 features.
After that they expanded the content to include more than English, to [...]
Ogawa-sensei remembered that I had brought Obama’s acceptance speech to Cosmos Festival in November. He asked me if I had a good copy (better than the one on YouTube). Ogawa-sensei, I’ll bring it in on Monday.
Obama’s speeches are legendary now. I’ve been following him since 2004, and he continues to amaze.
President Barack [...]
LiveMocha is a social web site, like Mixi or Facebook, or MySpace, but better. This social web site is all about language learning and language exchange. People teach each other or simply interact in foreign languages. The New York Times has taken notice (look at the quote on their home page). I ask my students [...]
study words you really need
Lexxica’s Word Engine is built on research done by Charles Browne and others. He has been into Showa to speak to teachers and students about learning vocabulary. The main idea is that most books in high school teach the wrong words, words that are of very low frequency (they [...]
Google Reader organizes your RSS feeds and podcasts
Google Reader is a way to collect and read all those RSS feeds. You can see in my reader a few of the categories I have created to put all those feeds into groups according to topic. The great thing about the reader is that I [...]
There are a lot of free podcasts as well as expensive music
iTunes is a great piece of free software. It is designed to work with iPods, but you can use it to organize your music or other audio files.
You can also use it to access thousands of audio files that are [...]
Check out the iTouch for even better hardware
Apple makes great computers, and Steve Jobs is started three technological revolutions. The fist was to make a desktop personal computer. The second was to make a portable digital music player, and the third was to make a portable computer that fits in your hand (iPhone). [...]
Thousands of web 2.0 sites
I really like this directory of web 2.0 sites for the variety of names and logos that have proliferated (spread) in the last few years. It is much easier to make a web 2.0 site, it only costs, on average, about $100,000, where in the year 200 Internet bubble [...]
With Gmail, or Yahoo Mail, you can send files up to 10 MB, which is pretty large (a 10-minute mp3 file, for example).
But sometimes, you need to send someone a file that is larger. My favorite service is YouSendIt. I send files to Boston and get them back fine with this [...]
Over winter vacation, I spent almost a week at my wife’s mother’s place in Nagoya. No Internet. Which meant lots of time for reading paper-based stuff. Here is how I spent my New Year’s.
The Limits of Power by Andrew Blacevitch, former Navy Admiral shows how we can’t continue our imperial ways in the world, [...]
Convert DVDs to other formats for editing or watching on your iPod
Sometimes you have a DVD with a small section of video you want to use in class, or want to put on your iPod, or you want to edit a little for your class use. This is legally OK because it is [...]
Online bibliography maker
More research tools. There are a lot of bibliography makers out there, but this one is simple to use and the basic account is free, plenty enough for my zemi students and their research.
EasyBib is nice because you don’t have to download anything to your computer. You can also share [...]
coordinate with different groups
Google’s applications online go beyond an office suite, this calendar makes it easy to coordinate your own life, and share coordination with others using their calendars too. This is particlularly valuable in setting meeting times.
I have 3 different calendars in one, with stuff added to some of them. My [...]
help for native speakers
Sparknotes is a site designed to help high school and university native speakers of English in their studies. Many professors look down on such sites as being a kind of cheating, but for non-native speakers it is an invaluable reference in how to do summaries. You can look up pretty [...]