The most profitable company for TV in its golden era, before cable and the Internet, was the TV guide. It made more than the networks did. Networks, for our younger readers, were large broadcasting companies that worked with local distributors (affiliates) to make a broadcast network, exemplified by CBS, NBC or ABC in the US.
We’ve all been amazed by the proliferation of MOOCs in the last year. We were all wondering how these large universities were going to monitize the courses to cover expenses. Now the other shoe has dropped. Testing. They provide certificates if the students can go to a testing center (Pearson, for example) and take the [...]
As a Professor in the Department of English Langauge and Communication, I could define my job as one of teaching students. I don’t. I consider it an impossible task to teach students a language in the context of the university classroom. (I can post the numbers showing this if anyone is interested.) Thus, a move [...]
MOOCs. I’ve lost count. There was CCK08, then PLENK10 and Change11, then it starts getting fuzzy. DS106 stands out, and there is a mobimooc coming up next month and Learning 2.o Virtual Conference (similar to a MOOC), on August 20-24, just after this one ends.
But this week, we have MOOCMOOC, a MOOC about MOOCs. [...]
Project to develop branching readers with pronunciation practice
Let me count the ways this project is good; good for the world, good for language learners, and good for me. First let me explain what it is. (Or you can go directly to their KickStarter page.)
Did you [...]
A good friend in the business has been long telling me that Japan is a mature market for language learning books, materials and software. The shrinking commercial areas at language conferences attest to this. Now, another indication I came across this morning. Mindsnacks is a new software for language games, with apps for iPads and [...]
Seth Godin has written a collection of ideas against education in its current form, called Stop Stealing Dreams. As I read through it, I find resonance with a lot of the online courses, especially the ones that are large and network-based MOOCs like #Change11), in a lot of his writing. Idea 65, for example, is [...]
HCI Course outline at Stanford
OK, not really. But I am going to take one class at Stanford. OK, not AT Stanford, but through Stanford. Stanford has generously opened up some of their classes to people outside the university, for study online. It will have the same lectures, the same activities, the same quizzes [...]
Really excited about the opening of the collaboration between Pearson and Google to make OpenClass, an LMS built for the web. Out this week some time. Part of Google Apps for Education. Will update when I get it.
This may be a Moodle killer.
Showa Women’s University has a new set of goals for general pedagogy called The Seven Seeds. These are the first goals here in my 20 years which I can really endorse wholeheartedly. Let me list them. I may talk about them in more detail later on. (Japanese in parentheses). I’ve added some notes to each [...]
This course I am taking about Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) has me rethinking how I use the Internet for myself and my classes. The Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant of 2001 (Mark Prensky) has carried us far, but the youngsters who grew up with the technology were being compared with people that grew up with [...]
I’m taking a MOOC right now. That is a Massively Open Online Course. There are almost 1,500 people in the class. The classroom is spread all over the world. We all learn (notice I didn’t say “study”) about PLEs, or Personal Learning Environments. This is a relatively new idea. You build your own environment to [...]
Over at Mashable, they report that Google is adding translation to their new (still in development) Goggles, which can recognize objects and words. Designed for a phone with a camera, it is a great way to get information.
Similar to Google’s Wonder Wheel, there is an image search that links concepts. Click on Image Swirl, and start clicking on linked concepts.
Image Swirl by Google
Google has done it again. I really like all the neat things they come up with. This one is great for expanding your vocabulary and finding related concepts. It is called Wonder Wheel. On the regular search page, near the top, click on Options, and then choose Wheel in the left-hand menu. It works like [...]
Google Translate has added new features making it a lot easier to use. For those of us in Japan, the best one is “romanization” which allows you to get the pronunciation through roman letters of the kanji in question. Read more about it at Mashable. Here is a video that shows the new features.
I finally emptied by inbox, the holy grail of GTD (Getting Things Done, a book by David Allen). GTD is a system of organizing and dealing with incoming information. Most of that information for me is in the form of email. A great implementation of the system in software is the GTDInbox, a free Firefox [...]
Showa ELC, or English Language and Communication, is our unofficial department website for students and community building. I’ll be posting any further tools for students over there, and tools for teachers here. I’ll be maintaining that web site too, so keep a look out for new stuff there. Set up your News [...]
Scrolling messages in a .gif picture
Some of you will end up making web pages for your students. This will liven up any message you have to send to them, such as a warning about a deadline or important information they need to see. It is called a screed. Try it, it only takes [...]
Get everyone across the river
This is supposed to be a Japanese IQ test, given to all students in Japan. The online version is like a game. I would guess many fail it, but the best thing about it is they could discuss between themselves in small groups, how to get everyone across the [...]