May 07, 2013

 Pangaea Newsletter for May 2013

Hello, I am Yuki.
It was a holiday week called "Golden Week"in Japan from the end of April to yesterday. I was working in the Pangaea office in Kyoto, doing my assignment
from the school. Yes, I had a fascinating week! Now the holiday is over, and we are back to our daily life. The weather is changeable these days, so take care of yourself, everyone!

First of all, Toshi (Vice President) introduces new PangaeaNet. As you may know, the PangaeaNet is like "another house" for us and for the children, so this renewal is so intriguing, isn't it?

And second of all, we're delighted to announce the Pangaea 10th Anniversary Symposium, which is one of the biggest 10th anniversary events, we have frequently mentioned about. Yumi (President) will introduce this memorial event.

+PangaeaNet 2.0 release!
+Pangaea 10th Anniversary Symposium!

PangaeaNet 2.0 release!
"PangaeaNet 2.0" will be released in this month!
PangaeaNet is a safe Internet system that the children participants of Pangaea
have their own "House" on the Internet and communicate each other with sharing
their works and exchanging messages. In terms of the purpose of activity and Internet security, they can access only from Pangaea activity locations.

The key concept of PangaeaNet is "Four clicks to the Earth!" PangaeaNet consists of four hierarchy; "House", "Village", "Country", and "Earth". They can reach House" of their friends by four clicks to both in the different domestic location and the foreign one on the other side of the world.

There are new enhanced features in PangaeaNet 2.0. Let me introduce two big
highlights here. The first enhancement is that the participants can create messages, combining "Pictogram" with "Text". Previously, the participants could use only pictogram messages. From now on, the messages combined pictogram and sentence will be posted to the partner through the machine translation by the cute character
called "Gengoro." "Back translation" mechanism is introduced in order to enhance the machine translation quality. Our past activities, children tried machine translation. It revealed the tendency that they can enjoy machine translation even when it is improper translation result, which is different from the adults. Also, based on our understanding gained through previous R&Ds, design of Pictons (pictograms) has been updated. And users can enlarge a size of Picton so that they have wider range of expression in their messages.

The second enhancement is the upgraded contents in "Village." The "Village" in PangaeaNet is compatible with the actual physical activity location where children gather. For example, "Kashiwanoha Village" is in Kashiwanoha city in Chiba, Japan, and "MIZY Village" is in Seoul, Korea. One of the most important factors in international understanding education is to exchange international people with the knowledge of "Myself" and "My community." I had been in the U.S., and at that time my friends asked me a lot about Japan such as history and culture. However, I could not answer to many of them because I did not know much about Japan actually.
In PangaeaNet 2.0, children introduce "Village", which is their own community,
through the creation of the contents, such as sound/music, video, picture,
animation, and statistical information. Compared with the previous PangaeaNet, which had more personal activities, the current one can accommodate the activity menus that children enjoy working together cooperatively. For instance, this can be applied to the tool for the exchange between sister cities.

Although I leave out the details, new technologies are employed in PangaeaNet 2.0 such as Web-serviced Picton access, HTML5 for rich client, Git for source code management, and cloud server deployment. Some demo movies of PangaeaNet 2.0 will be released in our website in the near future. We will let you know via Facebook and Pangaea Blog pages. Don't miss it!

Pangaea 10th Anniversary Symposium!
As we have already announced before, 2013 is the 10th anniversary since NPO Pangaea was established in Japan. On 21st September, from 13:00, we will hold a 10th Anniversary Symposium in Kashiwanoha, Chiba. Many Pangaeans and the supporters are expected to show up to celebrate. Let's have the great event together!
Mr. Walter Bender is coming who is the former executive director of MIT Media Lab. He gave us a lots of advices before the foundation of Pangaea, and also joined kick-off event in Tokyo 10 years ago. And some are coming all the way from National Museum of Kenya. Those who are reading this news letter, you are also welcome to join us!

10 years seems long time but I felt short. The passage of those years has also happened to many volunteer stuffs, supporters, and youth participants and their parents. With the help of those people in various fields and the various countries, we could make it to celebrate 10th Anniversary.

In May, we will post further information of the event on the Pangaean website. You will also see the application form on the website. We are looking forward to your active participation in the event! After the 10th Anniversary Symposium, we will hold a get-together. There will be many facilitators from Kyoto, Mie not only from Kashiwanoha (UDCK) or Tokyo (HONEST Co., Ltd.) We truly hope at the get-together, many Pangaean involved come to know each other and their relationship deepens. The get-together is no-host, but all-you-can-drink. You can enjoy BBQ, which is so like Pangaea.

For the 10th Anniversary Symposium, we will compile a memorial Pangaea Book. We hope as many companies as possible will run an ad on the book. We will also collect contributions from individuals. All the info will be e-mailed in May.

Let's enjoy this memorable anniversary event together!

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