Wow, we are about ready to start a new adventure.  I’m completely impressed by the Kansai-Hawaii project!  The opportunity to collaborate with students in another country is huge!  Talk about a global perspective.  We are not just going to read about it, we are going to truly experience it through authentic learning (Kimura, Kimura, Ho, Kubota, 2014).

In preparation for this project, I downloaded the app LINE.  This was mentioned several times by the instructors and students in our class who had participated in the project before.  My plan is to have my son and husband also download it so we can have some fun with it while I practice.

According to a web site called Statista, LINE registered users are now at 490 million as of September 2014.  See below this steady rise since only 2011:

LINE app statistics

(http://www.statista.com/statistics/250926/number-of-registered-line-app-users/).

It looks like this app has some features that will be very helpful in this project such as free instant messaging, one-on-one or group chats, real time free voice and video calls, 10,000 emoticons and stickers, and photo and video sharing (http://line.me/en/).  This technology seems like a perfect way to collaborate with our new friends in Japan.

LINE characters

LINE characters

During the lecture this week, the differences in communications styles between those in  the East versus those in the West was discussed.  It was mentioned that sometimes the Japanese will not speak up due to cultural norms in how younger people are to act in the presence of older people or perhaps due to being self conscious about speaking English.  Someone pointed out that using the stickers or emoticons in LINE was a good way to communicate emotion and something that many of the Kansai students enjoyed.  I think this will be fun to try.

Sometimes for me, the use of technology is my biggest challenge in this ETEC program.  I must push myself through moments that are uncomfortable and frustrating when it comes to new apps, programs, or systems.  I chose to blog about LINE so I could start to focus on what is usually something that I would rather not deal with.  As mentioned above, it’s time for me to ‘get in line’ and face new technologies as best as I can.  I may not become an expert at LINE, but I do hope to become proficient so I can connect to our friends in Japan and be a contributing member of the team.

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