Concurrent Session 2 – Michael Stout – Evaluating Web Technology Integration in Japanese EFL Classrooms

Michael Stout explaining some apps to attendees after his talk

Michael Stout explaining some apps to attendees after his talk

In Japan, they have a gadget for everything, says Michael. Most students and young people have mobile phones.

In 2006, 37% of all blog posts were in Japanese. 36% were in English.

You would expect Japanese people to be digital natives. Yes and no! At the University of Tsukuba, where Michael has been teaching since September, students are limited in digital literacy, but this phenomenon spreads to all Japanese students, he says.

Part of the research he presented was supported by a Grant-in- Aid for Scientific Research (23520696) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Mari Yamauchi (@m_yam) is the senior researcher on the project.

Most of his experiences in his talk were from his previous university, Toyo Gakuen University.

Michael has had a teacher blog for seven years now, as a learning management system. At first, Michael write alongside with them – he wrote about a topic he liked and then the students added their own projects and Michael showed them to the rest of the students and also made models for the next year as well. Then he started using it to assign homework.

He mentioned Web 2.0 applications and tools such as:

–         Voicethread:

–         Blogger:

–         Quizlet (an online flashcard application but social network as well):

–         Fotobabble (a text-to-speech application):

–         Posterous

–         Extranormal

–         Animoto (professional looking music videos you can make)

–         English Central

–         Google Docs to make quizzes

–         Mindmeister

–         Twitter: it wasn’t compulsory. Michael showed us a pair of students who exchanged a number of tweets in English about shopping.

Note: Michael kindly sent us some of the bibliogra[hy he used in his research:

– McLean and Elwood. (2009). Digital natives, learner perceptions and the use of ICT.

– Handbook on research on Web 2.0 and second language learning (pp. 156-179). Thomas, M. (Ed). New York: Information Science Reference.

– A survey of Japanese university students’ computer literacy levels. JALTCALL Journal, 7(3), 307-318.

Vicky Loras, Roving Reporter for Yıldız University, Istanbul

Concurrent Session – Işıl Boy – MLearning – More than an illusion of illumination

Işıl Boy – the organiser of the conference and a great speaker!

Işıl Boy, apart from being the great organiser of the event, also gave a great presentation on MLearning. She paralelled MLearning to a Portable Circus: the apps are a magic wand, but there is no magician needed. This magic wand, said Işıl, is beyond our imagination makes our life easier and is much much more than apps!

Işıl made a nice distinction between e-learning (which takes place beyond classroom walls) and MLearning (which happens with mobile devices – tablets, mobile phones and beyond computer screens).

She has come up with a very nice term: Teacherware (like software, hardware) with which she believes we can train teachers. She also has a new term: ME-Learning – a combination of e- and mobile learning.

She started off with a great website which is an app search engine: Quixey! Then she listed many useful apps for all skills in languages, storytelling, augmented reality apps (and made a demonstration with her tablet!) and M-Safety.

You can find Işıl’s tips on apps on her blog

Vicky Loras, Roving Reporter for Yıldız University, Istanbul