Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Title VI Language Resource Centers (LRCs) funding – CASLS InterCom news Oct 2014

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The funding by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI Language Resource Centers program for 2014-2018 has been announced.

Read more about the four new LRC’s that have been added in this four-year cycle at

Learn more about LRC’s at



From – CASLS InterCom

miscellaneous news and article June 2014

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Microsoft demos breakthrough in real-time translated conversations

It’s been an interesting evening here in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. at the inaugural Code Conference (#CodeCon) where @karaswisher and @waltmossberg are engaging Microsoft CEO @satyanadella in a more than hour-long onstage conversation.

During his conversation with Walt and Kara, Satya discussed his views on how we’re evolving to a more personal, more human era of computing, and I had the good fortune to join Satya on stage to demo – for the the first time publicly – an exciting new capability we’re developing for Skype…..

[Official Microsoft Blog]

Microsoft Office PowerPoint add-in: Office Mix

Online lessons made simple
Turn your PowerPoint presentation into an interactive online lesson. We call this a mix. Everything you need to create and share your mix is included. Add audio and video of yourself giving your presentation, write on slides as you talk to them, insert quizzes, practice exercises, and more – all from within PowerPoint. It’s like a screencast, but better. All you need is Office 2013 and the free Office Mix add-in….
[Office Mix]

Father-son developers create service that offers different languages in a single video

There’s always been a certain je ne sais quoi about going to a foreign film. First, it absolutely confirms that you know how to read (kidding). But second, it implies that you can read between lines of dialog you don’t understand, and which are often minimally translated, to get the heart of a story….
[TheNextWeb news]

Group Video Calling Goes Free On Skype For Mac, Windows And Xbox One


Skype introduced group video calling officially back in 2010, and offers support for up to 10 people, but the feature has been a premium service for paying customers since it exited beta. The group calling feature is now free, however, with Skype announcing general availability for everyone on Windows, Mac and Xbox One today.

[TechCrunch News]

Volume 18 Number 2 of Language Learning & Technology is Now Available

Friday, June 6th, 2014



Volume 18 Number 2 of Language Learning & Technology is Now Available
We are happy to announce that Volume 18, Number 2, of Language Learning & Technology is now available at It is a special issue on “Game-Informed L2 Teaching and Learning” with guest editors Jonathon Reinhardt and Julie Sykes. The contents are listed below.

Please visit the LLT Web site and be sure to sign up to receive your free subscription if you have not already done so (


Also, we welcome your contributions for future issues, which should be done online at If you have questions about this process, check our guidelines for submission at:

CASLS interCom articles June 2014

Friday, June 6th, 2014


International Dialects of English Archive
Source: IDEA
Are you exploring different dialects of English with your students? Are you looking for audio samples of speakers of different dialects? The International Dialects of English Archive is a repository of audio clips of native English speakers from all over the world. Each audio clip is well-documented with demographic information about the speakers.
Access IDEA at


May 2014 Issue of TESL-EJ
Source: TESL-EJ
The May 2014 issue of TESL-EJ is available at
In this issue:
Shogo Sakurai, Corrective Feedback and Student Uptakes in English Immersion Classrooms in Japan: Is the Counter-Balance Hypothesis Valid?
Budsaba Kanoksilapatham, Thai Elementary School Teachers’ English Pronunciation and Effects of Teacher Variables: Professional Development
Enas Abdullah Rajab Hammad, Palestinian EFL Teachers’ Attitudes Towards English Textbooks Used at the First Three Grades of Elementary School
Kay Hong-Nam, ELL High School Students’ Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategy Use and Reading Proficiency
James Buckingham, Open Digital Badges for the Uninitiated
Plus reviews of books and media articles.

News Article: Mixxer and MOOCS: Online Language Exchange

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Mixxer and MOOCS: Online Language Exchange


Last year, the Mixxer (a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype) offered a MOOC to English speakers learning Spanish and paired the participants with a partner course of Spanish speakers learning English. Using open educational resources from COERLL, Colby College, Voice for America and the BBC among others, the language learners were introduced to new vocabulary and grammar points through texts and audio and then given activities to complete with their language partner from the other course.

[COERLL will be using newly-developed lessons] as part of three MOOCs to be offered this summer (starting July 1st). As before, each MOOC will have a partner course for speakers of Spanish, French and German learning English. Learners from each course will then be able to find partners to complete the language exchange activity provided within each lesson. The courses and lessons are open and free to anyone interested…

Read the full article at


[Source: CASLSIntercom:]

Article: Kotoba Miners uses Minecraft to teach you Japanese (

Monday, May 19th, 2014


Mining For Japanese Gold: The Professor Who Teaches Japanese Through Minecraft


Minecraft… err, マインクラフト! Of course, I think almost everyone knows the game. Either you’ve played it, someone you know won’t shut up about it, or you’ve heard of it through popular culture / the media. To me, I’ve always thought of it as the incredibly addicting, fun, and educational game that I don’t mind seeing kids playing (darn kids and their CoD). The deeper you get into Minecraft the more educational it gets, really!…



Explore iPad series #4 miscellaneous memos for iPad contents

Monday, May 12th, 2014

 iTune Store JAPAN allows users to purchase / rent the followings books

  • directly purchase from iTune store and use iBooks
  • Newstand – iTune Store- 1 month/3 month subscription for magazine, payment is itune account, be able to use multiple accounts to combine apps in Newsstand.
  • Movies – to rent – move between itune and ipad mini. the list of purchased/rented movies is displayed in ‘Movie’ in the device.

iTune Store or Amazon Japan

As far as Japanese content goes, I guess Amazon has more books than iTune store, while iTune has more movies to rent than Amazon. Amazon Japan had the region restriction which didn’t allow me to purchase the movies in Japanese.

Google Chrome and Safari extension will let users pin and download the books to kindle cloud reader.


Explore iPad series #3 E-Book Readers – Getting Started

Friday, May 9th, 2014

There are dozens of E-book readers for mobile devices.  The apps which are native to Apple are iBooks and Newsstand.  The content in Books is sync with ‘books’ in iTune and the content in Newsstand is stored in App store.  iBooks will display PDF, books, and audiobooks, while Newsstand is mainly used for subscription-based magazine and newspaper.    We can obtain the content for both apps through iTune store.

newsstand  ibooks


Photo Feb 05, 12 28 13 PM  Photo Feb 05, 12 28 36 PM  Photo Feb 05, 12 25 23 PM

There are other 3rd party apps to obtain the content for e-books.  I guess that the most well-known app is kindle.  kindle is the device for e-book reader as well as the name of app you can use for the content via Amazon.


Those who have multiple Amazon accounts, there seems to be a way to migrate these accounts (although I didn’t do it.  アカウント結合:  Amazon offers multiple apps for reading digital books in mobile device.  The main app is ‘Amazon kindle’ which allows to store the digital materials you purchased in device.  Another app is ‘Amazon cloud reader’ which allows to access the materials in cloud environment.  Using these apps separately allows to display the content through multiple Amazon accounts more or less.

Photo May 09, 11 33 40 AM   amazonkinddle   kindlereader   Photo May 09, 11 36 48 AM


As for E-book reader apps specific for Japanese, the apps can be downloaded for 楽天, 紀伊國屋, and many other places.  some people have explored these apps such as here.  The content of these apps can be synced and transferred through individual company website (they obviously require the account to do so).

As far as the amount of content available from foreign countries (Japanese in my case), most of them are more or less the same.  Newsstand is definitely specialized for magazines and newspaper, as it was intended.  Some companies allow the credit card from US to purchase the materials.  Others do not.


Interactive Whiteboard and Interactive Projectors

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The smart classroom in Language Lab is equipped with SmartBoard Interactive Whiteboard.  We also have the Interactive Projector in Multimedia Studio area.  Both of them can be used for variety of activities such as annotation and collaboration incorporating the special interactive features of the products.

280E_1                                                      Photo Feb 06, 1 13 43 PM

I have explored both SmartBoard interactive whiteboard and Epson interactive projector (Epson BrightLink series).  Software needs to be installed for both products to use the handwriting feature.

Both products have the feature of hand-writing, which provides us the great deal of annotation.  The handwriting is possible within the application such as Microsoft word or on the browser windows.

IMAG0135                    Photo Feb 07, 9 20 45 AM


They can be saved as an image (Smartboard) or PDF (BrightLink projector).  They also have the ability to take the photo of the build-in camera to be incorporated into the notebook application.

Photo Feb 07, 9 24 56 AM

The difference between the two products, in terms of software functions and so forth, is pretty subtle in current setting in my opinion.  The hardware setting is a little bit different between the two.  The Smartboard has bigger size and probably more expensive and it is mounted on the wall as you can see.  The interactive projector is mounted on the table and the projection size is a little bit smaller, compared to the Smartboard, although the screen resolution can be modified by the set-up.  Considering the set-up, the Smartboard is used for classroom setting and the interactive projector can be used for small group collaboration or one-on-one tutoring.



Explore iPad series #2 accessing the content in foreign countries – Getting Started

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

As far as accessing the reading materials such as books, comics, magazines and so forth, the apps native to iPad mini are, App Store, iTune Store, iBooks, and NewsStand.  We can purchase the apps through App Store in the tablet or iTune Store  in the computer.  We can also purchase books or rent movies through iTune.  Books will be stored in the bookshelves of iBooks.  The movie is in Movie app and the magazines are in NewsStand.  You can purchase the books from multieple iTune Stores and they will be stored at the same location.

Photo Feb 05, 12 28 13 PM


Photo Feb 05, 12 28 36 PM



NewsStand has the list of magazine which we are able to subscribe 3/6/1 yr subscription as app-in purchsae.

Photo Feb 05, 12 25 23 PM

To rent a movie through iTune Store, it was not ‘to copy the movie file’ from iTune to the tablet device, but it was to ‘move the movie file’.

 itunestore_movie1     Photo Feb 05, 12 29 13 PM     Photo Feb 05, 12 29 09 PM

Switching the multiple accounts are tedious and annoying but it was feasible to purchase or rent the reading materials or movies.  The payment will come from the iTune Store account.  Billing address needs to be in the countries with which iTune store is associated.  Otherwise it is necessary to have iTune Gift card credit in the account.

Moreover, dealing with multiple Apple IDs to have multiple accounts is sometimes troublesome.  Depending on the apps, iTune specify in which store the app is available and it may necessary switching the accounts for update.  If you are in ‘wrong’ store (meaning different store from the one in which you download/purchase the material/app), it will display the message.

Photo Jan 28, 12 54 10 PM

There seem to be many apps for reading e-books.  I will be exploring such apps as well as video-related apps and websites.