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April 08, 2008


Jason Puckett

Have you considered also somehow packaging the content in a downloadable form for students to use on their own devices?

I realize that part of the point of this idea is to circulate the actual iPod with useful content included, but it seems a shame to gather all that good stuff and then have it tied to a single gadget.

Brian Mathews

@ Jason-- sure, that's in there somewhere. Could be a nice portal-ish website for students to download material to their own iPods/iPhone or desktop. I imagine profs could use it for teaching/assignments as well.

Jason Puckett

I'll be interested to hear about what you guys do with this, Brian. Post updates!


An excellent idea -- but I'm hesitant about calling an iPod an immersive language experience. The tendency to describe many culture-conveyances as "immersive" is good marketing, but pedagogically, an easily disconnectable, at-will device like an iPod does not fit the definition.

Graeme Williams

Public transport can be as much as a challenge as language. How do you pay? How do you know where the bus is going? In Rome, I managed to get on a bus going the wrong way when I misread a perfectly clear route sign at the bus stop.

How do you take a taxi? In Cairo, I remember jumping out of a taxi before it had left the hotel driveway when we couldn't negotiate a price. In Tokyo, I got into someone else's taxi and wouldn't get out until the concierge promised to give me the next one. In Beijing, a taxi took me to the wrong hotel, and I had no clue where I was. In Kowloon, I gave a taxi driver an index card with my destination written in Chinese characters -- and immediately realized he was illiterate.

What do you do if you're sick? In Paris, we went to a pharmacy to buy some antacid and had to convince the pharmacist that we weren't sick and really antacid was all we needed.

And how do you avoid scams?

Conclusion: I think an iPod with information and how-to's is a great idea.

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