Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Think About ‘Recording’ – part 2: Pros and Cons

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

videocaptureJust like anything else, there are always pros and cons about the things.  The technology tool is the same way.

Previously I posted the blog talking about the use case of video capture cart. The advantages that you can take with this capture cart are something like the followings.

  • be able to record with low resolution and create small file
  • it means the compressing process is not necessary
  • easy to navigate for the recoding app (one button push) and the device itself
  • mobile

On the other hands, there are certainly disadvantages to this device.  For example

  • since it is low resolution, the image is blur
  • audio is OK but not so great
  • using the native video app, you can record with good quality and you can record for long time but it is difficult to transfer the big files (not so many ways to transfer the files)

Depending on the advantage and disadvantage of the device, you may select the different technology tool and application for recording.

Panasonic camcorderAlso, depending on what you would like to do with the recording file, you may select the different technology tools.  The video capture device is very useful for uploading the file to the Course Management System without exceeding the limit of file size.

If the purpose of the recording  file is to show it in the class later on,  then, we may want to use the standard video camcorder with better image and audio quality and transfer the file into our personal laptop.  Although loaning the equipment, setting it up, and navigating the video camcorder may be more cumbersome than the device with ‘one button push’ app installed.


Think About ‘Recording’ – part 1: Use Case of Video Capture Cart

Friday, October 31st, 2014

videocaptureThe video capture cart equipped in the digital language classrooms has been used by various instructors this quarter.  Many classes in the different level, from Advanced EFS classes to Beginning Hebrew class, have been capturing the student’s presentation with the video capture cart.  Some class conduct the speech or presentation twice a quarter.  Other classes may record more (every 2 weeks or so).

The general approach of recording with the video capture cart follows the following process.

  • The instructor record the student’s presentation and upload the file to the drop-box in the Coursework
  • The instructor provide the feedback to each video file following
  • The students will review the feedback to improve their next presentation.

A beginning Hebrew class, for  example, conduct the student speech (5-7 minutes) every 2 weeks or so and the student cover the content of the chapters that they studied.  The speech is recorded and uploaded for the students to review the feedback from the instructor.  Also, in the end of the quarter, the content of the speech will be comprehensive, which requires the students to go back to review all the speeches they have completed.  The recording files can be a part of ‘e-portfolio’ for the students and instructor to see the progress.

Other instructor also recorded the discussion/debate by students in the class.  In this case, instead of uploading the file to the drop-box in the CourseWork, the instructor can upload the file under ‘Materials’ in the Coursework in which all students can view the file.

I believe one of the most important aspect of this activity is that it allows the instructors to assess the student’s progress as well as the students to reflect their performance.  To make this process effective, the instructor’s feedback and the instruction for the students to review and reflect the recording is significantly important.


Whiteboard “TeamBoard” in the language lab classrooms

Monday, October 27th, 2014

One of the common features equipped in the digital language lab classrooms is the TeamBoard.    This screen board allows us to write on with dry erase makers.


Another function which the Teamboard has is to be functioned as an interactive whiteboard using the tools such as Microsoft Ink Tool in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.  The TeamBoard is connected to the wall-mounted projector and it will project the display of the instrcutor’s machines in the classroom.

When you open a document in Word or PowerPoint and touch the board, the ink tool tab will appear in the application (The image below is the Microsoft Ink Tool Tab in Microsoft Word).  You will select the tool to draw the line or highlight  in the document.


Other annotation or drawing tools can also be used for this interactive whiteboard, for example, the annotation and drawing makeup tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro X or simple Adobe Photoshop and so forth.

Adobe Acrobat Annotation Tool

Adobe Acrobat Drawing Makeups









Whether you use the dry erase markers or Ink tools, the primary function of the screen board is to write.  However, the major difference between the two is that the interactive annotation and drawing tool allow us to save the drawings in document.  Therefore, the interactive whiteboard can be beneficial for the activities which involves the instructor’s feedback to the student work, for example.  The Ink Tool can be used for instructors to provide the feedback to student’s paper  in word document or research presentation in powerpoint slide (memo, highlight, underlines…etc).  For example, an EFS class uses the TeamBoard annotation and drawing to provide the feedback to student’s papers.  The feedback from the instructor will be saved in the document.  Then, the students will be revising their work following the feedback.

Introduction to Oral Proficiency Levels

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Language: Spanish
Introduction to Oral Proficiency Levels is a free open educational resource (OER) from our sister LRC, the Center for Open Education Resources and Language Learning, that can help you gain a foundational understanding of how to evaluate Spanish speakers. The resource includes:

Practice: Video-based practice modules designed to strengthen your understanding of the ACTFL Speaking Proficiency Guidelines and to help you evaluate the speaking levels of your language students.
Materials: Editable versions of the practice modules on Google Drive that you can revise and share with other educators.
Guidance: Instructions on conducting interviews to assess Spanish learners’ proficiency levels.

This resource is available at
Read a discussion of this resource at
Learn more about COERLL’s projects and plans at


Source:  CASLS InterCom

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!…