imagesLet the Kansai-Hawaii Collaborative Video Project begin! We met with our team on Saturday at 3pm in Hawaii and Sunday at 10am in Japan. This first meeting was really fun and an experience that actually didn’t feel that unusual or awkward. The Kansai students spoke English well and communication worked. They were also confident and came to the meeting with ideas. Two out of the three of them had done this collaborative project before.

Sayuri suggested we name the team Humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a. She said it was a funny word to the Japanese. Here’s a translation:

  • Humuhumu means triggerfish.
  • Nukunuku means snout.
  • Pua‘a means pig.

Some people will say it means “fish that snorts like a pig.” These fish do make grunting noises when underwater. I’ve witnessed that. Kainoa our team member mentioned they make a pig like noise after they’re caught. Regardless, our Japanese friends liked the word so we all agreed to it.

We also talked about LINE and all joined a group that Sayuri created with our fish name. We talked about social media and the differences between what is common for them to use and common for us. It was really interesting. Kainoa documented the information in our Google doc.

We had a chance to talk about a storyline for our video. Another point that our Japanese friends made was that it needs to have humor. Kainoa put a table in our Google doc and we wrote down possible scene ideas with humor in mind. All of the Hawaii students had watched Junta’s video and had an idea of the kind of silly way the video could go. It was a fun video.

Here’s a link to Junta’s video:

As mentioned earlier, the conversation that we all had was not awkward or unusual. Probably because two of the members were familiar with the process and the third was a very confident person who spoke English well. The members of our team are also good communicators, so the conversation moved along easily. Kitty on our team was very helpful in keeping us moving with the tasks that we needed to accomplish and Kainoa was very helpful with taking notes.

I felt the information that Mary Kimura presented in class was extremely helpful. Although, I don’t think the Japanese students were intimidated by my age. They were confident and not shy. I believe this project will provide an authentic learning opportunity in an intercultural setting while using modern technology (Kimura, Kimura, Ho, & Kubata, 2014). It’s exciting to try something on a global scale. I’m looking forward to this collaborative endeavor and producing a video by the fish snorting team that is fun to watch.

 

Kimura, B., Kimura, M., Ho, C., & Kubota, K. (in press). ICT and collaborative learning. Retrieved from https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3573563/etec/Kansai-ICT-Collaborative-Learning-Report-2014.pdf

Reef Triggerfish. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reef_triggerfish.

How to type ‘okina & kahakō in Hawaiian text on a Mac. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBEMQ0IvV58

 

 

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.

Before reading these articles, I didn’t think multi-tasking was really a bad thing.  Certainly if an important task is at hand, I see the value in focusing and thereby reducing distracting stimulus, however, where, when, and what kind of multi-tasking takes place must be considered.  In Konnikova’s blog Multitasking Masters (2014), she states, “In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that twenty-eight per cent of all deaths and accidents on highways were the result of drivers on their phones.”  That makes me cringe!  So, of course, people need to focus on driving and not their phones.  Obviously, this problem is well studied and laws are in place in an effort to stop this behavior.  But, what about multi-tasking when using multiple forms of technology while sitting in the comfort of your home when safety is not an issue?

In Keim’s blog Is Multi-tasking Bad For Us? (2012), he states, “The brains of teenagers—those perhaps most addicted to multitasking—are still developing and are thus vulnerable to any ill effects the behavior may have.”   I would argue that teenagers seek the stimulus because this developmental stage in human beings is the time to practice the management of multiple stimuli.  I believe the survival of the species depended on it.

In the modern world, the society that we live in demands a citizenry that needs a high level of education to exist.  The system of education that is currently available for teenagers may address the needs of our complex society, but does this system address the natural urges and tendencies of teens at this  developmental stage?  Most often, this system asks students to sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher.  And, not just once, but 5 to 6 times in one day.  Boring!  Certainly, innovative educators are striving to create more interactive and participatory education, but the overall system is still based on this model.  However, teens have found their innate need for exaggerated stimulus in the form of a variety of technological tools with millions of applications.  And, they flock to this stimulus as soon as they are out of class.   I have three teenagers and I know the way it works – checking texts while glancing at the TV while watching videos from their favorite YouTube Channel on the iPad.  Maybe they have the laptop open as well to check Facebook.  It happens.

Keim (2012) also stated, “High multitaskers were bad at filtering irrelevant information from relevant, something that, one might suppose, a multitasker should be especially good at.”  He mentions that researchers used the infamous ‘Gorilla Test’ to show that multi-taskers were better at paying attention to non-relevant information.  For fun, I went to the site of the original researchers, Chabris and Simons at  http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/videos.html and took the test.  I had done the test before and saw the gorilla walking through easily this time.  Years ago, the first time I took the test, I had absolutely no idea and had a hard time believing it.  Today, I also had my multi-tasking teen take the test and he didn’t see the gorilla at all the first time.  He was very focused on the task (counting the passes).  I would like to see more about the study Keim is referencing before agreeing with the claim that multi-tasking teens focus on irrelevant stimulus, hence multi-tasking is bad.

In my opinion, the goal of the educational technologist is to design and develop instruction that will harness the urge for stimulus..  Maybe the current studies show that multi-tasking is not good for memory, but I’m back to asking what kind of multi-tasking?  Multi-tasking with technology for teenagers is not a bad thing.  Certainly, it’s filling a very strong need or it would not be so widespread.  As an educational technologist, I would like to find out more about harnessing the power of this strong desire to multi-task and find out ways to incorporate it into learning.

 

Konnikova, M. (2014, May 7). Multitask masters. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/multitask-masters

 

Keim, B. (2012). Is Multitasking Bad for us? Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/is-multitasking-bad.html