Technology and education | Mandarin 2.0 | Economist.com

  • Quote: It is early evening in Berkeley, California, and Chrissy Schwinn, a sinophile environmentalist, walks ten feet from her kitchen to her home office for her Chinese lesson. She has already listened to that day’s dialogue, which arrived as a free podcast, on her iPod. She has also printed out the day’s Chinese characters, which arrived along with the podcast. Now her computer’s Skype software—which makes possible free phone calls via the internet—rings and “Vera”, sitting in Shanghai where it is late morning, says Ni hao to begin the lesson. One might call it “language-learning 2.0,” says Ken Carroll…

    Note: So I’m thinking this is a great example of what we can do if we want to do it. If, of course, we have access.

     - post by willrich

New Presidential Debate Site? Obviously, YouTube – New York Times

  • Quote: The quadrennial ritual of presidential debates has long followed a tried and true format.

    A guy in a suit asks mostly predictable questions of other suits. The voter is a fixture in the audience, motionless until he or she gets to address the candidate, briefly and respectfully. Everything is choreographed.

    Now imagine a kid in jeans and a T-shirt asking a question, less reverentially, more pointedly and using powerful visual images to underscore the point. Maybe he or she will ask about the war in Iraq — and show clips from a soldier’s funeral. Or a mushroom cloud. If global warming is the issue, the videographer might photoshop himself or herself onto a melting glacier. The question might come in the form of a rap song or through spliced images of a candidate’s contradictory statements.

    The presidential debates are about to enter the world of YouTube, the anything-goes home-video-sharing Web site that puts the power in the hands of the camera holder. YouTube, which is owned by Google, and CNN are co-sponsoring a debate among the eight Democratic presidential candidates on July 23 in South Carolina, an event that could define the next phase of what has already been called the YouTube election, a visual realm beyond Web sites and blogs.

    Note: And with the first primary coming at MySpace on Jan. 1 and 2, can we safely say that politics may never be the same?
     - post by willrich