Saturday, 28 February 2015

A time to travel - Edo Japan

天璋院または篤姫。Tensyoin AKA Atsu-Hime. 第13代将軍徳川家定御台所。
Atsu-Hime, no tea however
I have used a magic time-travel watch.
Im travelling in the Edo period in Japan. Now is 1860. There is Edo castle.
I'm drinking Japanese tea with Atsu Hime. She was the thirteenth Takugawa shogun's wife.
Her tea manner is very elegant and tea things are wonderful. I can listen to her story half in a dream.


Friday, 27 February 2015

A time to travel - Machu Picchu

English: Early morning in wonderful Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu - not a bad view
If I have a magic time travel watch, I go to Machu Picchu in Peru in 16 century.
I meet people who work at terraced fields and there are about 40 stages and 3000 stage stairs through them.
There are a lot of stone buildings, they are various designed.
Machu Picchu is located in high mountain. So the view is very beautiful and in mist I feel mysterious atmosphere.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

A time to travel - Tokiwa apartment

Some of the writers who used to live in Tokiwa apartment
I have used a magic watch to travel to the Tokiwa apartment in Tokyo in 1953.
Because there were many famous comic writers in Tokiwa apartment.
For example. Tezuka Osamu, Fuziko Fuzio, Akatuka Fuzio, Ishinomor Syoutarou.
So I would lie to work and live with them. And I want to see it how these wonderful works were born.


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Food for thought with Aurasma - our story so far

Reflections on first attempts at embedding AR in our school. Short arms, analog mums, crayons vs pencils, and other minor issues explained.

Following a channel on Aurasma - the nitty gritty

Creating your great content is only part of the deal - making sure people can then find it is crucial! Clear "how to" from Damian at Luna International.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Film review: ”DRACULA” directed by Francis F. Coppola

I saw a film the DVD shop near my house.It was called 'DRACULA' from the famous old story.

Gary Oldman is the star of the film. He plays Marques Dracula who has lived alone for 400 years. 400 years ago, he had found a treasure who had been his wife. His life had been happy. The reason why he has been vampire is he changed his character for getting back at God after his beloved wife had died. One day, he meets a woman who looks just like his wife. He doesn't want to bite her and turn her into a vampire. However she wants to be vampire to stay with him.

The most romantic and sad moment is at the end of the film. However the film is also very large scale directed by Mr.Francis Ford Coppola. His directing is amazing. I sometimes have the illusion of flying in the sky like a vampire.

Friday, 20 February 2015

What's wrong, Kaede?

Created with Sock Puppets for iPhone and iPad, to add a lot of Oomph to student exchange. Sudden need to rehearse, respond quickly, remember lines and help each other out!

ET3 U6 dialogue

Created with Sock Puppets for iPhone and iPad.

Introducing yourself, as a superhero

Getting to grips with self introductions is an integral part of learning a language, particularly early on on your learning journey. However, self introductions and personal questions can get boring and repetitive in a small class. As there are only three of us, including myself, in our new beginner's class, we tried a slightly different approach once we had grasped the basics. We came up with our own super hero identities; thinking about our alias, cover job and super powers. It allowed us to recycle familiar language while spicing up the usual monotonous self intro. Have a look below at Chiaki and Mie's alter-egos.

Sky Berry the taxi driver (Chiaki)

Pink Peach the ninja teacher, not a very conspicuous cover job! (Mie)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Augmented calendar - Luna's wall of names

So in the previous instalment, I spoke about what Aurasma actually is and how it works, leaving you all with a bit of a cliff hanger. This time round I will make good on my promise and demonstrate how we have integrated the app in our learning hub. Time for the “Tourasma” Don’t worry, what we’ve used it for isn’t as remotely lame as my puns.
            You may have already seen our Rationalefor using AR in school  and “Howto” videos (really recommend watching these as it shows our finished product) if you frequent our blog. I will be going into a bit more detail of the ideas touched on in the first video, plus the process of our journey with Aurasma. Also, there will be more videos to follow so make sure you subscribe to Jim’s YouTubechannel so you don’t miss out on any more future content.
            So the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Jim’s big idea. We needed something to brighten up the empty wall space in our waiting room, plus we wanted a way of remembering all of our students' birthdays. But we didn’t want just your typical run of the mill birthday display, we went all out for an interactive birthday calendar, with the help of Aurasma to bring it to life.
            Having settled on an idea, we got to work on our new project. Jim did the donkey work of making a lovely calendar with everyone’s names and birthdays tagged on. There was a fear of a lack of wall space, but a bit of ingenuity from Jim and we just about squeezed in all 12 months. The next step was adding the Augmented Reality. Let the fun commence!
            As we wanted this to be a student orientated project, we counted on them to provide us with some good quality content. We set about drawing self portraits, accompanied with a video recording during lesson time. Self portraits are fairly self explanatory, but for the videos we tried to add some spice and variation. We recorded some of our young learners playing a game or singing a song, with the older ones building up to a short self introduction using familiar language. For teens and adults, we had a bit of fun getting them to record and interview each other as an alternative to a monologue self intro.
            Having assembled all the pieces to our puzzle, all we had to do was put them all together, with Aurasma being the glue. We added everyone’s drawings to the calendar in order to create their “Auras” (If you don’t know how to make your own "Aura", you can read the previous blog post or watch the how to video) A lengthy process overall but well worth the effort. What we are left with is a display that shows what our students get up to during lessons, what they are capable of and how much fun they have, on top of serving as a birthday calendar. It’s a great feature for when we have visitors, as it allows them a peak at what goes on in ALL of our classes. Can’t come to observe one our classes due to time restrictions? No problem, you can have a look at what those students get up to with our birthday . The look of shock and wonder when parents and visitors alike see one our students pop up and their device and starts talking/singing never gets old.

We had a blast putting together our project and we would highly recommend you trying something similar. I will be following this up with another post on some of the difficulties we faced, and things we would do differently with a little hindsight. If you would like to see the display yourselves, don’t hesitate to swing by Luna to witness the magic of Aurasma.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Making your first "Aura"

With practice, making an "Aura" is easy. Damian shares our "How to" experience with clear & concise directions.

Postcard from Hanoi, Vietnam

The view from my hotel's terrace
Hi Jim,

These are my best photographs when I visited historic city of Hanoi in Vietnam.

Vietnam has holiday mood. Because It will be “TET” which is Vietnam’s New Year, in 3 days. Half of shops on the street have already closed and I found so many people in an open-air market. They took flowers and display goods for new year. The town was very busy however I relaxed at a very nice hotel near West Lake in Hanoi. It is a peaceful place and I just head birdsong and the sound of ripples on the lake. 

I had some Vietnamese wine on the hotel terrace and grateful times with my old friends. (although Vietnamese wine tasted awful…I recommend you try
Open-air market in Hanoi
French wine, if you have a chance to visit there and want to enjoy drinking).

Posted by Yumi

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Rationale for using AR in school

School owner Jim George explains what he wanted to achieve in his language school's waiting room, that would really impress visitors and parents - by having a roomful of cheerful learners hanging around on the walls 24/7, introducing themselves and singing songs etc.

Monday, 16 February 2015

About Vikings - My homework project

Mending bridges - after reading "In Sarah's Dreams"

When I was a high school student, I belonged to a brass band club. I played bassoon and Akiko played clarinet. My best friend Yuka played clarinet, too. Yuka and I used to talked and practiced together. Sometimes Akiko was around us, but she had never spoken to us. And I had never seen her smiling. I thought that I didn't know what she thought. So I didn't like her.

At the time, I liked to read mystery novels written by Yukito Ayatsuzi. None of my friends had read his novels. I talked to Yuka about the novel I read and about Yukito Ayatsuzi passionately! Yuka smiled and said “It sounds very interesting!” “I have read this novel, too.” Suddenly I heard a whisper from behind me. I was surprised. Akiko was there. She had said “I love his novels, too!”. “Really! What is the best for you?” We talked with Akiko for the first time. And we couldn't stop talking about these novels. She smiled all that time. I changed my image of her after we talked. She was just shy. And she was funny!

We have been good friends ever since.

Posted for Mio

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Passing Cambridge P.E.T. Our success story with JP004

My students in a Business English class were finally persuaded to prove to themselves how good their skills have become. They were obviously delighted to be presented with their certificates, and more than happy to share the secrets of their success.

I suggested they brainstorm ideas & map out a general plan on the board, and the video is the outcome. I think they're making superb progress, and passing P.E.T. (Cambridge Preliminary) a very solid milestone for them to chalk up.

Looking forward to them updating their profiles on LinkedIn! Comments very welcome - and why not subscribe to Luna's YouTube channel?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Postcard from...Chicago

Hello Jim-sensei,

I just finished the meeting with our customer!

I was very happy as I could have a productive meeting and delicious steak!!


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Augmented Reality (AR) - introduction to Aurasma

Have you heard of a really cool app called “Aurasma”? I used to be one the unfortunate souls who had no idea about the magic of Aurasma, until Jim kindly stepped in and enlightened me. So one cold December afternoon Jim calls me into his classroom as he has something to show me. He tells me to point his iPhone at a large drawing of Father Christmas on the wall. I was dumbfounded by what followed, I suspected witchcraft. The drawing came to life as an animated version of Santa popped up on the screen and began singing. After racking my brains, all I could muster was “How?” Jim, looking quite smug my reaction, then proceeded to fill me in on the magic of Aurasma.

The secret to Aurasma is that there are 2 key components; a video overlay and a trigger image. The video overlay can be anything you want, something you have recorded on your phone, any video format created through another app such as SockPuppets or ChatterPix Kids, even record something on the fly directly through Aurasma. Simple. On the other hand, setting up a trigger image can be a little trickier, especially if the resolution on your older phone camera isn’t up to scratch. The app is rather clever and is able to recognise images/drawings/patterns, and can then store them in its memory to be used as a trigger. Through experimentation, and getting fed up with spending more time than I would care to admit waving my iPhone around without much success, larger images with distinct outlines and plenty of colours helps with the recognition process. Having a steady hand doesn’t do any harm either.

Once you have prepared your overlay and set your trigger image, the final step is to combine them. Once you have made an “Aura”, you have the choice of making it private, which will only allow your phone to view your Auras, or public, which will enable followers of your Aurasma profile to access your content, as long as they have your Aura trigger on hand.

Now that you’re up to speed with Aurasma, you might be starting to form some ideas yourself on how to implement it into a learning environment. It was on the forefront of our agenda for a while too, and thanks to a bright spark idea from the man himself (Jim), we found a pretty cool way to show off our students’ work. His idea? Well, what I can tell you that is that you should tune in next week, where I will reveal our big idea to make Luna a truly interactive school. Watch this space! For the time being you can have a sneak preview of one our Auras starring Taisei.