The deeper purpose of education

The 2020 Annual National Convention of TESOL-SPAIN took place last week at the University of Salamanca. Image: Fernando Vázquez Yáñez/Creative Commons My personal highlight was a talk on “Positive Language Education” by Sarah Mercer, head of English Language Teaching at the University of Graz in Austria. She began by posing two questions that formed partContinue reading “The deeper purpose of education”

Breaking barriers within education

Next month the University of Salamanca will host the TESOL-SPAIN 43rd Annual National Convention. The theme of the convention — Breaking barriers: make it happen, make it matter! — “invites us to reflect on the powerful forces that contribute to modern life, including the emergence of Artificial Intelligence with its unforeseeable impact on our lives.Continue reading “Breaking barriers within education”

Getting ready for three Japanese eclipses in the next 18 months…

“OK, so if the earth is here…” In 2019 Japan will experience two partial solar eclipses. The first comes at the start of the year, on the morning of Sunday 6 January 2019. The second comes at the end of year, on the afternoon of Thursday 26 December 2019. Six months after that, on 21Continue reading “Getting ready for three Japanese eclipses in the next 18 months…”

On awareness and understanding of different cultures

Image: Takobou/Wikimedia Commons The dynamic Keisuke Tabata, of Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, will be talking about our recent Japan-Indonesia-China-Vietnam project at the annual convention of the Japan Association for Educational Media Study in November. The convention is being held at Kagoshima University on the island of Kyushu. Our project involved an online movie read-through withContinue reading “On awareness and understanding of different cultures”

Join us for live coverage of the August 21st total solar eclipse

timeanddate.com, the world’s most popular time zone-related website, will be broadcasting a live stream of the total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21st. I’ll be joining the timeanddate.com team at their HQ in Stavanger, Norway, to present live coverage of events in the sky and on the ground. Our coverage will include:Continue reading “Join us for live coverage of the August 21st total solar eclipse”

Six days to go…

… until the African annular eclipse of September 1st 2016. Image: Thephatphilmz, via Wikimedia Commons Our multi-talented team of students at the University of Mahajanga in Madagascar will be doing a show about the eclipse for RUM (Radio Université de Mahajanga) on August 31st. (For anyone in the local area: the show starts at 3pmContinue reading “Six days to go…”

Got it.

How do you know if you’re watching a Wes Anderson movie? And what is our whack-bat challenge? We’ve just had an end-of-semester* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” movie night at the University of Shiga Prefecture, which included a brief introduction to the world of Wes Anderson movies: perfectly centred shots, overhead shots, use of colour, Bill Murray,Continue reading “Got it.”

What will happen to our body in space? And other great questions at 6am…

Our second collaboration between Alma College (in the US) and Omi Brotherhood High School (in Japan) came to an end last week with some thought-provoking presentations. We met on Skype – at 6am here in Japan, which was 5pm the previous day in Alma – for an intensive 90 minutes of cross-border discussion. The JapaneseContinue reading “What will happen to our body in space? And other great questions at 6am…”

The one thing your students have to believe

One of the key takeaway messages at last year’s FAB8 neuroELT conference came from the brilliant Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa: “Students have to believe that YOU believe that they can do it.”   Last month Simon Burgess, a professor of economics at Bristol University, published a paper on the dramatic effect that Michelle Obama had on pupils’Continue reading “The one thing your students have to believe”

Building a sense of community in a digital society

ICoME 2016 – the International Conference for Media in Education – will take place in Kyoto, Japan, on August 18th, 19th and 20th. The theme of the conference is “Building relationships and a sense of community in a digital society”. I’m going to be presenting a paper with Keisuke Tabata from Kobe Shinwa Women’s UniversityContinue reading “Building a sense of community in a digital society”