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  Over a year has passed since I began my own blog and now I realize its power of connecting people across regions and time.  I receive comments from people (that I have never met) in distant places throughout the world, my former students who live so far away now, their families, and those who have shared the same experience with me, such as graduating from the same high school, college, and/or working for the same company, though at different times.

  All these comments make me feel good and at the same time, give me something to think about, as I hear many interesting stories, new way of looking at things and suggestions.  I greatly appreciate them, and it gets me going, even when times get a bit rough and I have a hard time to find time to respond.

  I am absolutely amazed at the power of ICT, as I would have never had the opportunity to communicate with them without it. I hear and realize that the technology sometimes brings about “not so pleasant” things and/or consequences, but there are so many things that the technology enables us to do. The issue is how to have more of the latter than the former.  

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    • Hiroshi Hatano
    • November 9th, 2008

    Dear Dr. Ishikura,

    What is fascinating about the power of technology can be this one: Answers.com, online dictionary. My favorite TV program is CBS 60 minuets. We can see the coverage online anywhere, anytime. When you go online to click any story, you can see the text version as well as video. What I sometimes do is whenever I encounter an English word which I forgot or did not learn, I double-click it. Answers.com will start to function and pop up a dialog box to show the definition of the double-clicked word along with how to pronounce it.

    For example, there is a story like this : http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/08/ap/politics/main4585771.shtml
    Double-clicking any word will lead to show thesaurus and pronunciation. It is quite amazing!

    I remember I started to learn English 36 years ago without internet and a computer at home. No typewriter and word-processer, either. I had never heard “Microsoft or Google”. Listening to FEN radio and reading English stories with a paper English-Japanese dictionary was my daily routine. Well, now that we have an access to Answers.com, I believe that any school-goers can learn and brush up English efficiently. A question is you know it and like it, or more importantly have motivation to broaden your world views.

    I wonder if Answers.com has some impact on Japanese precision manufacturers and retailers selling portable electronic dictionary sets.

    Regards,

    Hiroshi Hatano

    • yishikura
    • November 11th, 2008

    Dear Hiroshi, this is Yoko Ishikura. Thanks for your comment. I followed your instruction and tried Answer.com, Wow, it is fascinating. I agree that there are means to learn many things today, it is matter of accessibility (and knowledge of the means) and will to do it.

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