Archive for May, 2014

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.