February 27, 2007

 Feb 2007 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

We have been conducting a major reforming of our HP lately. Thanks to the great help given by our "super-volunteer" Ms. Edahiro, we now have better understanding and clearer vision of who we want to reach, and where we need more work. Ms. Edahiro has been dedicated so much of her time and skills for us. We now have a "blog" titled as "What's New" which either myself, Takasaki or Kumakinoko (our official mascot) put the news up on the web whenever possible. (I must admit I finally learned how to put my writing up on the blog recently.) So, those who haven't checked out our blog, please do!

Our project in Mie pref. has been kicked-off. Lottery was given to choose the participants as we had more than 20 applicants. The children all come from various schools. The background of the new facilitators in Mie is also diverse and is very multicultural. Out of all the facilitators, we have three who are working as English teaching assistants their Japanese language ability is rather limited or very limited. The Pangaea activity, however, easily breaks that language barrier. We started with Fun Ice break activity.

I was expecting January to be a very busy month. Just as I figured, we had the kick-off of our Mie Site, the general meeting of the board, two presentations at the academic conferences, as well as our development work, and three regular activities. I prefer being busy than having plenty of spare time, because the reason I have no days off comes from the fact that our activity has been catching more attention by bigger number of business organizations, who are interested in getting to know more about us. At the meeting with the board of directors, we were pointed out that it is time for us to pull ourselves out of the precarious day-to-day management. Well, the day-to-day management is not really what we have intended to do, however, this is how I feel lately. Suppose we receive a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, we need to focus on spending it to achieve our goals by carefully examining where we actually stand. Otherwise, we might end up ruining the whole organization we have made what it is today. ‘What is important is for you to have is not so much the size of the organization but the winning pattern'. I recall the word of a man of wisdom whose name was rather like one of a ra-men noodle shop. Pangaea is small, but I believe we have got the winning pattern now. It is time to evolve ourselves to move on to the next phase. Please stay with us and we thank you for your support and guidance as always.

Yumiko Mori

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Feb 2007 Newsletter: Toshi's Monthly Note

January has passed like a flash. This month, I made a presentation to some companies, explained at annual Pangaea board meeting, attended an academic conference called IWIC 2007, and announced my project plan for IPA Exploratory Software Project. In addition, we had the first activity at Mie University and participated in an activity at Kyoto R&D center. So, it was a good start for the year as I set this year's goal as going further into Pangaea's mission.

IWIC2007 stands for the International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration. It was the first academic conference hosted by Toru Ishida, a professor of Kyoto University. Since the workshop focused on intercultural collaborations, it attracted 103 participants from 24 countries. Those participants were researchers of linguistics and computer science, researchers who do an analysis of intercultural collaboration from on-site observation and NPO like us and private companies who conduct intercultural collaboration. It was a great opportunity for NPO Pangaea to hear diverse and meaningful ideas covering practical and theoretical approach. Yumi gave a speech on "Atoms of bonding: Communication Components Bridging Children Worldwide" as an invited speech. I gave a presentation on a accepted paper on Design and Development of Pictogram Communication System. Also Ms. Heeryon Cho, who appeared on a December newsletter, wrote a paper about analysis on Pictogram survey by cultural dependence and non-cultural dependence and attracted the participants. The contents of workshop will be published by a very prestigious publisher of academic books, Springer. Check on "http://langrid.nict.go.jp/iwic2007" for more information.

February will also be busy month as I've got to fly abroad. I will go to a Vienna branch to hold facilitator training sessions and Mie, Japan to do a rehearsal of a collaborative activity coming in March at Mie University, and then I will attend a conference of IPA Exploratory Project. Recently, I hear that more and more people become interested to Pangaea. Thanks to your continuous support, I have a feeling that we are moving to a next phase. So please keep watching Pangaea!

Toshiyuki Takasaki

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Feb 2007 Newsletter: Activity Report- Mariko Yamazaki

I was slightly disturbed by job and private things in January. Last month, I said that my hope in this year was to show thankfulness in letter. Deplorably, it becomes that I appreciate volunteers because they're generous if I annoy them. Oh my goodness! I'm very sorry, all.

Pangaean net was installed last spring and activity environment was assessed again after finishing a series of playing experience. Concentration of children in activity and whether whole atmosphere is good or bad depends on activity environment so much. If the line of flow between tables is bad, playing items are scattered and we're not sure where they are, the staff is confused. The atmosphere of confusing is contagious to children. They cannot concentrate on playing and the atmosphere becomes confused endlessly. Each base has different space circumstances, therefore flexible responses are needed.

At Yoyogi elementary school, one of the activity space changed to Japanese room. This room is very nice environment. Sitting on the floor directly is very stable. This is not the reason why we are Japanese, because Ms. Cecilia ( Oct. newsletter ) comes from Sweden seemed to be relaxed and got along with children.

Ogikita activity space is quite small, so we make good use of walls. Ogikita children commenting other's work. It's nice that children can look at them together and share their thoughts with friends. When the wall is filled with their works and their comments written on stickers. A child sat down in front of that wall and concentrated on writing comments.


In Kyoto and Mie, that style has been established. Pangaean style has been established at various scenes and share information between bases.

These days, it continues warm climate in Tokyo. The Pangaean bases increase gradually. I feel I will listen to laughter of Pangaean in everywhere in the world.

Mariko Yamazaki

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Feb 2007 Newsletter: Pangaea Ring - Mr. Yasukazu Okano

Hello Pangaean!! My name is Yasukazu Okano. My friends call me Yaz. It is my great pleasure to join the Pangaea Board Members and I am so excited to work with you.

I study multicultural education. Multicultural education is to challenge everything to have better communication and understanding with others regardless of difference in culture and language to respect diversity in the world. I support the Pangaea's mission to create the universal playground and personal bonding among children all over the world. We share same goal and challenge.

The world we live in now is getting smaller and smaller with modern technology and people cross the boundaries more often than ever. Our communities are becoming more diverse, yet there are so many misunderstandings, conflicts and problems among us. We need to work it out together for peace. Pangaea's Universal Playground is the way to create peace among children in the world, hoping change the future for good. I will work very hard to help youngsters to meet many friends across the universe and play together in Pangaea.

My hobby is outdoor activities. I like to go exploring nature with children. I like hiking, bicycling, canoeing and camping. I like to share all excitement with my young friends to encounter all sorts of creatures in nature. However, as you might know, we have another huge problem in the world today. Global warming causes disaster and biological diversity crisis. We need to work it out together here as well, preventing global warming and saving environment and ecosystem. I would like to challenge these issues with Pangaean.

I am looking forward to meeting you and working together for the challenges. See you soon in Pangaea!!

Yaz Okano, New Pangaea Board Member
Seminar for Multicultural Education

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter , 4. Pangaea Ring | Permalink

 Feb 2007 Newsletter: January 2007 Events

  • 2007.1.12 Pangaea Activity at Ogikubo-Kita Childrens'House
    in Suginami, Tokyo
  • 2007.1.13 Pangaea Activity at Mie Site (Mie University)
  • 2007.1.19 The 4th General Meeting with the Board and retreat
    with the volunteers
  • 2007.1.20 Pangaea Activity at Uehara Junior High school, Yoyogi
    Elementary School, in Shibuya, Tokyo
  • 2007.1.25 The Fifth International Conference on Creating, Connecting
    and Collaborating through Computing(C5 2007)-Yumi
    participated as a member of panel
  • 2007.1.26 Invitational speech and presentation at The First
    International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration
    (IWIC 2007)Yumi
  • 2007.1.26 Pangaea Activity at Ogikubo-Kita Childrens'House
    in Suginami, Tokyo
  • 2007.1.27 Pangaea Activity at COCON Karasuma, Kyoto

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

February 24, 2007

 Mie Activity on Feb 17

20070219_mie.jpg Children worked on their Pangaea houses, rooms and profiles to prepare for their next activity with their Korean friends, when the two sites will be connected live with the Web camera and microphone.

They tried PangaeaNet for the first time. Many of they found Picton mails received in their in-boxes. Children were taking time to think about the meaning of these messages, to reply to them.

Participants are from five different local grammar schools, and they are gradually making friends with each other, across the division of their schools.

Posted by: kumakinoko | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

February 23, 2007

 Kyoto Activity on Jan 27 – A-kun

20070127_kyoto.gif All thirteen registered children participated on this day and everyone draw their own A-kun’s as they like while talking to each other. Yumi tried to draw her A-kun’s in three colors as in the original Pangaea logo. Rin-chan was happy that she draw it in the shape of Kyoto Tower.

Posted by: kumakinoko | 2. Pangaeum | Permalink

 Suginami, Tokyo Activity on Jan 26 – A-kun

20070126_suginami.gif Children draw their own A-kun’s after seeing the A-kun’s drawn at Shibuya site. They also discussed over them telling each other which one they like, and some said A-kun should be holding his both hands up.

Posted by: kumakinoko | 2. Pangaeum | Permalink