Weakly Post #21

A collection of things I have read this week, and some tools for tech and/or learning new stuff, especially languages. Your first comment is checked, after that you are free to comment.

Back from almost a flawless trip with the students to the beach, where the other teachers decided the only time students could escape the compound was to clean the beach for 2 hours one morning. No sunsets, no sunrises, no runs or walks along the water. Damn shame. Otherwise, things went well. This was my 36th trip like this, and a total of around 150 days over the last 28 years. Can you imagine almost 6 months like that? Exhausting.

A collection of 50 drawings that demonstrate differences between Japan and the US (and Singapore or other countries). (BoredPanda)

Canada outlaws captive dolphins and killer whales. I struggle each year to avoid our local SeaWorld on the way to our study trip. This year we replaced it with “German Village”.

Police. We didn’t really need them until cars were in common use. An unintended consequence.

An update on using AR (Augmented Reality) in schools.

Here is one for chuckles. American news media complaining about the “tyranny of the metric system.” People really are that stupid.

Umair Haque on Why the US is the first poor rich country in the world.

You can’t get any more standardized than this. Genre fiction. Novels written to be simply representative of the genre. (BoingBoing)

Why regulating Big Tech will not work. Competition is the solution.

Painting with light. Making a movie, the Gaffer is the person who sets up the lights, and it has to fit the story. Great 9-minute video.

This one is for Ted. He is a member, and maybe even a priest in the Church of the SubGenius. Now they have a Salvation Pack. (BoingBoing)

Spotify is now gauging what moods people are in and selling the data. What gets sold to depressed people?

ESL Video is a good tool for self study, but teachers can monitor use too. A selection of videos with quizzes. Teachers can ask students to send a code for proof. (Larry Ferlzzo)

Storytelling is more important than grammar. I couldn’t agree more. (The Guardian)

Weakly Post #20

Getting ready for our annual “study trip” where 300 women go next to the beach and spend 4 days on a really tight schedule so they rarely get to the actual beach. For the 4th year, I lead this group, along with 12 other teachers. The “height” of the year. It was designed to teach how to live together and cooperate. Needed now much more than before.

For the Critical Thinking bin. Spending money on prisons and schools in the US. The best food in Japan, where? This video title about misleading titles is misleading, but watch the video anyway (it’s 3 tricks, not one). Also, Moral Relativism. The soul should be included here, and nobody better to poem about Moral Beauty is Robinson Jeffers. (yes, I made poem a verb.)

On the theory of knowledge (or epistemology): Do we need Knowledge any more? Is perception just a part of a regular ongoing hallucination that we are able to control?

Japan Corner: What do young people think about Japan? Fewer young Japanese want to travel or live abroad. Some reasons.

MOOCs: Friend Charles pointed me to a very interesting MOOC on Digital Humanities, which uses data to give a picture of things we usually study in books. Tools below. Another I have been finishing up this week is a look into Japanese Subcultures, mostly manga, but other stuff too, by 4 profs at Keio University through FutureLearn. Variety is good, but a little too much in the style of literary criticism.

Planting trees and empowering women, I had the pleasure of seeing Wangari Maathai at an event at my university about a decade ago.

Tech News: Who is out to get tech, now that it hasn’t turned out to be the silver bullet we thought it would be. Also, how the regulators are clueless.

Language learning: I guess adults CAN learn languages as well as kids, they (we) just take longer.

Find out where tourists take pictures in 135 cities worldwide.

Use tools like Voyant to analyze text in lots of ways. I am still exploring in conjunction with the Digital Humanities MOOC above. Expect follow-up soon.

See Nick Ellis, my favorite psycholinguist, in Tokyo (Rikkyo U, near Ikebukuro) July 19 (Fri) at 6:30. He is giving an overview of his work. Put on by JALT Tokyo.

Research-based language learning tools (vocabulary and pronunciation) by the keynote speaker at JALTCALL2019 last weekend. Linguatorium.

Curation, such as blog writing, is a real important skill.

Sutori looks like a good way to organize projects for students to increase collaborative learning. Looks a bit more organized than StartSole, which are Self Organized Learning Environments.