Friday, September 21, 2007


Though still in alpha, Metaplace looks like a miniature Second Life. Sponsored by BBC, it's a site where you and students can build their own world online. Seth Dickens suggests a number of possibilities, particularly for adolescent learners whom you might wish to shield from the seamier side of SL, and the dungeons and dragons dreariness of other battle-based worlds. The frontpage appears to appeal to 'tweens and younger, rather than adolescents, however.

To be explored later in more depth.


You may have noticed that I just added an Evoca recorder to the Sidebar. You can send me a voicemail easily. This is a nice application but an even better Website: it suggests a wide variety of ways--in detail--that a group (for example of students) might use the simple voice recorder for digital story-telling, socializing, and even looking up a word in any of the recordings in the site archives. For instance, the story-telling page discusses what makes a good story.

I note that BaW07 explored the tool, but there is not a whole lot of activity elsewhere in the groups (most of which have just one member). This would be worth examining in much more detail. The features it notes are

* Make and store up to 15 minutes of recordings
* Enjoy FREE unlimited listening
* Record on the fly from your phone
* Use our in-browser recorder and your computer mic
* Record Skype calls
* Do instant Podcasting using RSS
* Record conference calls, interviews, team meetings and oral history
* Post recordings to your blog and website
* Email online recordings to your colleagues and friends
* Order transcriptions and translations right online

Thanks to Seth Dickens--I found Evoca on his site and left a recording there.

Seth's Place

A nice series of explorations is to be found at Seth Dicken's blog. More in the next few posts.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Videos Explaining Web 2.0 Tools - Closed Captioning

Here's a really neat site at with four (thus far) videos on various tools for Web 2.0 by Lee LeFever. The titles are

Also, according to Nick Peachey, Webhead, dotSUB lets you add subtitles or text transcriptions to your videos. While exploring his blog entry about dotSUB, which contains a little promo video, I found that the closed captioning feature is itself based on a social networking idea: viewers type in the transcription or comments themselves--in any language. So one example video had translated subtitles in 74 different languages. This is very cool!

And further...rocketboom, the sample Nick gave, is a long-running series of witty, clever how-to videos. Just can't stop watching. It would indeed be a neat exercise for students to hear/see the video while reading the translation in their own language, or see it in English--and then make their own transcription. (Nic has more ideas on his blog for using this feature of dotSUB.) Only downside to the site--the search engine is a bit primitive--you can get about 4 videos per page in returns, and there seems to be no way to get a list of all the videos by one creator on a single page.

Monday, September 10, 2007


WebSlides appears to be a very useful Web app that converts your bookmarks to slideshows, presumably by creating a slide of the front page of each item in your Bookmark folder. I'll have to report further once I've been registered and allowed to try it out.

Since I have lately been giving presentations via the Internet and using Web pages as a walk-through, WebSlides should fit my style.

Many thanks to Andreas B├╝sing, Webhead, for this tip.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Technology in Review - MIT Journal on Second Life

This article from the Webheads, "A Boon to Second Life Language Schools: New technology will allow high-quality audio in a virtual world," at

has an interesting quote from Graham Stanley, and also discusses some of the discomforts people have with what voice reveals about their real lives. The language school mentioned, however, sees great benefit in having a good voice technology and realitic (?) situations and places to use in language instruction.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Innova JC - Using SL to learn negotiating techniques

This is a relatively comprehensive article on how Second Life has been used over a period of several terms with 18-year-old students learning to negotiate in a second language. Authors Natasha Tang, Daniel Yip Kok Hoong, and Baey Shi Chen provide a full description of their program and how results, particularly learning points, were attained.