Saturday, June 24, 2006

Japancasting at BlogMatrix

Japancasting at BlogMatrix

I was just pointed to this site by a listserv email. I thought that you all might appreciate it. This a version of a podcast. You'll notice that it looks just like a blog, but there are audio segments attached to each of the postings.

More importantly, the content might interest you as it is somewhat geared towards language professionals.

It also has a major focus on Japanese language and culture, for those of you interested.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MySpace in foreign languages due out this summer

MySpace in foreign languages due out this summer

Is this a good thing or not for you foreign language teachers (learners) here in the States?

It is a rich, yet highly criticized, social networking service. It can provide a great deal of access to the L2, but, at the same time the same concerns will likely follow it into these languages.

Business 2.0: 50 People who matter

Business 2.0: 50 People who matter

I think that this is amazing, though understandable coming from Business 2.0. They rank the user (they call you the consumer) as the #1 person who matters in tech business.

Imagine the paradigm shift that had to take place for this to be true. The user as publisher (blogs) movement (also referred to as read/write Web or Web 2.o) has really changed the way that us common folks are viewed.

This is the same movement that will change the expectations your students have for their future learning environments. Individualized, responsive, and generally dynamic. Get ready for it now :)


elearnspace is a blog kept by George Siemens. I have found it full of useful information and it doesn't hurt that he is a rather popular guy in the field (he knows what he's talking about).

He didn't make my "ESL Blogroll" to the left because he discusses issues in the realm of technology and learning in general (not really language--though he sometimes touches upon it.

I thought of his blog because a couple of your have brought up issues that touch upon neural networks and brain science in general. One of his most common topics is Neuroscience and I find the links fascinating even if they are a little over my head at times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Photo Story 3

This is a link to an application that I blogged about in a previous blog (not very active since the baby came along)

Photo Story 3 is a great "free" software for designing multimedia presentations. Check it out.


This is one of the "nice to know" pieces that I will post in this blog. It is not an assignment and you don't even have to read it if you're not interested :) but it's nice to know.

Skype started out as simply an Internet telephony service. They have always had pretty good quality service, which set them apart in the early years of this movement. They started adding a great deal of functionality over time. They have surpassed most of the messenger (chat) clients in this regard. The inclusion of Video conferencing (in Beta as of this posting) puts them over the top.

I have both SkypeOut (buy credits, like a calling card, to call international--domestic calls are free for the near future) and SkypeIn (a "receiver" phone number that routes calls to your computer). I have also utilized the call forwarding function which allows me to route phone calls to just about any phone.

This is how I envision all of these working together to provide my U.S. family, friends, and students easy (and free...for them) phone access to me while I'm living in Korea.

I bought a phone number (SkypeIn) with a Chicago area code that people can call. This will only cost them domestic long distance charges (if applicable). Calling this number will ring on my computer or go to voicemail if I don't answer. Lastly, I will combine this with call forwarding, which will ring any phone that I have in Korea.

All of this doesn't cost the caller anything. I have to pay a small fee, but it is definately worth it. If I forward it to a cell phone it costs about 8 cents a minute, If I forward it to my office phone it only costs about 3 cents/min. On top of that, SkypeIn costs about $4/month (depending on the plan you use).

You may be asking, "what does this have to do with language learning"? Not much. Skype is a great application for your students to contact native language speakers no matter where they are for free or cheap (users can "call" from computer to computer, peer-to-peer, for free anywhere in the world). This brings a new dimension to class or personal exchanges between country (language) A and B. No longer are your students limited to interactions with a single model speaker (you) as the beginning and end of their L2 conversational exposure.

I also see this nearly seemless integration between telephony and computer as a given in much of our future technologies. Just look at your newer cell phone. You can send and receive text, audio, images, and video and whether you know how to do this or not, your younger students do.

I look forward to exploring the possibilities of using Skype in the near future.

* I haven't been able to find much written about how people are using Skype, though I'm sure it's out there. If you run across anything add a comment.

Thanks to Annie for this link to the Wikipedia entry on Skype ( It's overwhelming technical and a little boring even for a geek like me, but there is some useful information and links.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Welcome to CALL

Hi Folks,

Welcome to the CALL Class blog. I'll use this blog solely for posting reviews and "how to's" of technologies and resources that I find useful for langauge teachers. For the first few weeks, I'll cover some of the sites that we are using in this course including Moodle, Blogger, & Wikispaces.

Your role as a reader (and student) is to read the postings, check out these technologies, and comment on my postings. Comments can range from, "that's great...." to "how do I..."

Let me know if you have any questions.