Hilary Fenton, one of our summer interns, recently delivered a prototype of the application she's been working on: Converso
. Give it a try!
Try uploading a short video, or view videos... for example, try "Espanol," "Intermediate," and "Culture." (Note: depending on your computer's Flash settings, it may be difficult to upload new video.) Functionality is limited in this version, but you can glean more from the proposal (attached).
From Hilary's proposal:
Converso is an online video message exchange that connects language students around the world. Students create questions in their language of study about the other culture, for example an American student learning Spanish may ask a question about Mexican film. The student then records him or herself with a webcam asking the question and submits it to Converso. Once it has been submitted to Converso, a discussion page is created for that video that allows other students and native speakers to record responses. In this case a Mexican student studying English may record a response about his or her favorite director. In order to complete the exchange that Mexican student is free to begin a new discussion by recording him or herself asking a question in English. By focusing on user generated content Converso gives students a sense of ownership that engages them more deeply in the learning process. The application's educational goals are focused around the socio-cultural elements of a language, mainly the appropriate use for formal and informal address forms.
If you have ideas for how to extend this project, or interest in doing so, please let me know! Comments appreciated.