Webware's Josh Lowensohn spends his days reviewing Web sites, while the rest of us get to play with an endless stream of newfangled gadgets. While most of the Crave and CNET reviews team have become jaded to the perpetual parade of gizmos coursing through our office, Josh greets each rare tech toy bestowed on him as if it were handed down by Santa himself. So when an unsolicited pair of Learning Curve Battle Wheels RC samurai appeared on Josh's desk, there was no way to avoid a full-scale battle royale. Lucky for me, I had my camera on … Read more
Plenty of language learning tools leverage technology. Recently I've taken to listening to the Coffee Break Spanish courses on my iPod during my commute, and last week Jessica Dolcourt covered the new online language learning system Mango. There's yet another system being released at DemoFall tomorrow that also looks very compelling: LiveMocha.
Like other language learning tools, LiveMocha has online lessons you can take at your own pace. Compared with Mango, I found LiveMocha easier to get into. My test case was beginning Spanish, and lessons flew by as my vocabulary and comprehension grew quickly. But what really … Read more
It's clear that a lot of work went into Mango's compendium of online language lessons. If the choice of 13 languages doesn't impress you, how about the fact that more than 100 lessons constitute each course, and between 70 and 150 slides or more add up to a single lesson? Or how about conversational lessons appearing in their own alphabet, with AJAX pronunciation pop-ups to reinforce the visual and phonetic learning combo?
To begin, choose a language from among Asian and Romance languages (or Pig Latin) for English speakers, or English lessons in Spanish and Polish. Like most language software, Mango shows and plays conversations between two people in a variety of social relationships. The next hundred or so slides dissect and recombine the conversation line by line and word by word until you've become familiar with the phrases by dint of repetition if not actual absorption. Each ensuing level builds on skills learned in the last.… Read more
While YouTube continues to be one of the most popular and widely recognized Web video sites, there's a rather large smattering of niche video services out there. Sclipo (formerly known as Visuarios) serves up a bevy of instructional videos in nine different categories. The service won "Best Start-up" last week at the StartUp 2.0 awards in Bilbao, Spain.
Like other video-hosting sites, Sclipo users can rate, comment on, and share the videos with others. What makes it so interesting is its revenue-sharing model. "Masters," or users who provide skills videos, will get a portion … Read more
Quizlet is a cool flash card tool that lets you design and use your own study guides for tests, exams, or anything else that needs to be burned into your brain. Quizlet lets you design your own simple questions and answers. After you're done you can quiz yourself onscreen. Quizlet randomizes the questions and keeps track of the ones you miss for retesting. You can also share your quizzes and get in touch with other Quizlet users to discuss changes to the content or tips on how to remember the tough ones.
As a recent college grad, I remember … Read more