Sunday, November 23, 2014

2014 November 23 | JALT International Conference | Conversations Across Borders | Day 3 Report

Our presentation listed last on the boards at Epochal
In the third day of the conference (my second day), I presented in the first session at 9:15 am with Hideto Harashima and Mari Yamauchi, both colleagues and associates for the KAKENHI research grant project we are working on together along with two other Japanese professors. We presented using the theme Collaborative Online Projects Across LMS Borders and we succeeded in giving both the history of the project and the ongoing efforts to continue cross-collaborations using Moodle.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 November 22 | JALT International Conference | Conversations Across Borders | Day 2 Report

The greeting at Tsukuba's
Epochal Congress Convention Center
This year's National Conference had the theme of Conversations Across Borders. The venue was the Tsukuba Epochal Congress Convention Center which was a beautiful location. There were hundreds of presentations, workshops, poster sessions, and other ways to connect and communicate with other language teaching professionals from around Japan and around the world. It was quite exciting to both attend and present at the conference. Included in this post are a few notes about the presentations I watched on the second day (I didn't attend the first day or the fourth day).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014 November 12 | Japan e-Learning Awards | New Technology Award

Our Research Team! Congratulations!
Our research team was awarded a prize for New Technology research at the 2014 Japan e-Learning Awards in Tokyo. Our 5-member team has spent the last few years working together on networking LMS sites together for collaborative projects between universities. We primarily use Moodle to operate online courseware delivery for our students, however our project involves getting the students to work together remotely on different activities.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 November 2 | 5th Annual NIU High School Foreign Language Speech Contest | Judge/Admin

Poster for the Contest
In November of this year, NIU hosted the 5th Annual High School Foreign Language Speech Contest here on campus. We had over 40 participants giving speeches in English, Chinese, and Korean. The pace was fast-moving and the skill level was quite varied. In the end, prizes were given to the top three speakers in each language category plus three special awards were given to some of the speakers of notice.

I helped to prepare for the contest and served as a judge for the English part of the contest.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Sep 20 | 2nd Kwassui Women's University Elizabeth Russell Cup | Speech Contest Judge

I was invited to participate at the 2nd annual speech contest at Kwassui Women's University this past weekend. It was a new experience to be involved with such enthusiastic and talented Japanese students who each tried hard to both write and present speeches for a shot at three prizes. Judging was very difficult to say the least since all 10 participants performed at very similar levels.

Overall, the winners came from Doshisha University (1st prize), Osaka University (2nd prize) and Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University (3rd prize).

Congratulations to all the participants and hats off to Kwassui Women's University for a well-organized event encouraging English language studies.

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 June 16 | Sasebo Commercial High School | Building a Self-Study Program in English

I had the opportunity to visit Sasebo Commercial High School where I met with the 2nd year communication students for a discussion on how to build a self-study program in English. The contents of my lecture included the following points.

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 Feb 21 | Moodle Moot Japan Okinawa | Day 3 Report

Moodle MNET KAKENHI Grant Team!
L-R Akinobu Kanda, Mari Yamauchi,
Thom Rawson, Hideto Harashima
The final day of the conference was also full of activity and excellent presentations. I missed some of these primarily as I tried to help gather together the final voting for the Innovation Awards which were scheduled to be given after the final keynote during the day. In addition, I had to prepare for my own presentation given jointly with three other presenters. Still, it was a great day and I learned a lot throughout.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 Feb 20 | Moodle Moot Japan Okinawa | Day 2 Reception

The Moodle Moot in Okinawa was not ALL work and no fun. In fact, we were fortunate to be given a most excellent performance of traditional Okinawan dance, drums, and shamisen during the evening reception on day 2. Here are some pictures from that time as well as some snapshots of some of the local food culture as well.

2014 Feb 20 | Moodle Moot Japan Okinawa | Day 2 Report

Jennifer Claro answering questions
during her presentation on
International Video Exchange using PoodLL.
On day two of the conference, I participated in a number of presentations. I also contributed to the Moot by staffing the Moodle Genius Bar which is always a great place to meet Moodlers and help out. There were a lot of ideas generated during the day 2 sessions including making use of multimedia in Moodle as well as a nudge to get more involved in the Moodle community.

In this post, I'll recap the happenings of the day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Feb 19 | Moodle Moot Japan Okinawa | Day 1 Report

2014 Moodle Moot Japan in Okinawa
Moodle Moot Japan 2014 was held in Okinawa International University and was a myriad of excellent presentations, keynote speeches, and workshops. In addition to the development material, we were also treated to some delicious Okinawan food culture as well as traditional performances of various Okinawan taiko (drum) and shamisen music and dance. Overall, the experience was excellent as was the warmer weather despite the rain. There is something special about Okinawa and the people there extended us their renown hospitality. These notes recap some of the things that went on during the conference as well as highlight the contributions I made to the Moot.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Jan 16 | Saga JET Winter Conference | Guest Speaker

Speaking at Saga JET
Winter Conference in January of 2014.
I had the privilege and the honor of being invited to speak at the 2014 Saga JET Winter Conference. The presentation time was about 40 minutes with 10-15 minutes of Q&A. It was a delight to be in front of the energetic JET community and it really brought back memories of my time on JET from 2001-2004.

I'd like to say a big "thank you" to Karen Masatsugu for helping me get in contact with the Saga JET Community and to Ms. Jane Curtis, the Saga JET CIR who organized everything flawlessly.