Teaching in Japan Chat

In celebration of the end of the school year and in anticipation of the next,

Hiconic Image is proud to present the Teaching in Japan Chat Room.

All you need to do to participate is enter a chat nickname, no password necessary.

Join the chat to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, or just blow off

steam.  Please mind your manners, tho.

You can connect through HiconicImage at the link above,

or if you prefer to use your own chat client, point it to

irc.geekshed.net  #teachinginjapan

English or Japanese, either one is welcome!

Hi Friends 1 and 2 Software on an Android Device

For all of you out there struggling with the new Hi Friends textbooks, ごくろさまです。
Here’s a little trick I figured out to get the Hi Friends software loaded and running
on my Android tablet. Turns out the “software” is really just a massive blob of Flash
and Shockwave, basically a big and poorly designed web page. As such, it will run in
a web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. I’m not sure about Safari
and Apple products as I don’t have access to any.

Android is quite willing and able to play Flash content as well, and with the aid of an
app called SWF Player, I can now connect my tablet to the massive TV in the classroom via
HDMI and do the full multimedia rigamarole. It’s not the snappiest system in the world, the
animations are laggy and the videos are choppy, but the basic touch interface works very well.

How did I do it? Simple. Insert the Hi Friends software DVD in your computer and use a file
explorer to navigate to the Hi Friends Folder and copy all the contents into a folder on your machine.
I created a folders named Hi Friends 1 and Hi Friends 2 and added the respective data.

You should end up with these files in your Hi Friends 1 and 2 folders:

Hi-friends_1.ico (_2 for Hi Friends 2)
Hi_friends_1ショートカット.lnk (ditto)

Copying the data may take awhile, as there are several thousand discrete files in the data set.

Once the data is on your machine, you can then transfer it to your android device. I put all the
Hi Friends 1 and 2 folders in a folder titled Hi Friends and copied that to a microSD card, which
I then inserted in my tablet. I copied the folder from the external SD to the internal SD, but
it didn’t seem to make much of a difference in terms of performance.

Then I installed SWF Player from the Google Play store. There were several Shockwave Flash players
available from the store, I chose SWF Player because it worked a little more smoothly than the other
apps I tried. Open SWF Player and use the file browser to navigate to your Hi Friends folder. Look
for the start.swf file. Open that file using SWF Player and it will launch the Hi Friends class
Multimedia Interactive Whatsis. Enjoy!

It is nice having the interactive textbook thing because sometimes the activities and listening exercises
are a little different than what the illustrations in the textbook would lead you to believe. Also, wheeling
out the big TV gets the kids excited and interested in the lesson. I’ve found that for noisy classes using
the TV helps students to focus, and failing that, the TV can do the yelling for you ;-).

Its not a perfect solution and not a perfect system, but its a little of the new, and new can be fun.