How technology helps students while traveling abroad

As a student you may get some form of encouragement from society to travel abroad. Weather for work, study, or pleasure, traveling is beneficial to everyone. It is better to experience the thrill, excitement, and challenges that come with international travel earlier in your life as opposed to later. In your younger years, your experiences overseas may have a positive effect on your life. The exposure you gain changes your perception of the world. As a student traveling abroad, you get to enjoy different cultures. A stint outside your comfort zone may help you build cultural sensitivity and tolerance towards other religions, cultural practices, and philosophies. Travel also breaks the monotony of school. Another reason for traveling while you are still in school is to get out of your comfort zone. When you are in a different country, away from your friends, family, and your daily routine, you are forced to venture into the unknown to meet new people, network, and make new memories. The change of environment helps you build your social skills and gives you the confidence to take new and daring tasks.

Technology saves us a lot of luggage space

Before the smartphone, you had to carry a map, a bunch of compact disks, a camera, and some books to keep you company, a diary, and a phrasebook. These days, through Google Maps, you can squeeze the whole world into your slim smartphone. Through music streaming sites like Spotify, Tidal, and Sound Cloud, you can listen to the world’s stories through melody. You do not even have to tolerate the boring selection of movies that are common in hotels and planes; you can catch up on your favorite television shows and movies on your phone or laptop.

Today’s technology eliminates the language barrier

Less than a decade ago, you had to walk around with a phrasebook in the native tongue. That was not even the hardest part; you had to try and pronounce the word from a language that you did not understand to get services. With the support of mobile applications like Google Translate (on Android) and iTranslate (on IOS), communication is as simple as whispering to your phone and letting an app speak for you. Do you have a problem reading menus, public notices, flyers, and street signs? No problem, take a photo of the text through your mobile app and let it translate the information for you. In addition to translation, applications like DuoLingo teach you new languages and improve your accent. If you need to improve your writing skills you can always use companies like Pro-Papers and immediately get to grips with writing tricks.

Technology has revolutionized how we book flights and hotels

The logistics of travel, you have to book a hotel, flights, and touring services. Thanks to the internet, all the solutions are available online. You can book flights and reserve a hotel space from your home. With add-ons and extensions like Chat Bot, you can communicate and get instant replies through Facebook messenger via the artificial assistant. Traditional hotels are expensive, thus making alternative arrangements like Airbnb popular. Through the click of a button or the touch of a screen, you can book an affordable place to stay. The best part of an Airbnb arrangement is the fact that you enjoy constant contact with the natives. This type of connection helps you appreciate the local culture. Dive into the internet, do some online research on the natives to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Cashless Technology is safer

Google Wallet, Pay Pal, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay are but a few options out there in electronic payment platforms. Before this age, tourists had to walk around with lots of cash; virtually painting a target on their backs.

Technology helps you maintain constant communication with your folks and friends at home

There was a time before social media, a time before the mobile phone. A time when you had to send postcards and heartwarming letters home to let your parents know about your welfare abroad. Thanks to social media, you can communicate in ways that are greater than words. You can share pictures, locations, and documents detailing your experience. You can even make video calls to your loved ones. Communication is cheaper, internet channels of communication are way more economical than landlines and traditional phone calls.

The world is and will forever be on the move. Everyday people venture out of their comfort zones in search of opportunity and escape. As a student who is finding your way through life, international experience will do you a lot of good. A stint abroad equips you with the kind of exposure that will instill a sense of responsibility and focus in your life.

MediaMikes helps usher in JawsFEST: The Tribute

9:00 a.m. came early on the island of Martha’s Vineyard this morning. But that didn’t stop Dave Picton and I from covering the opening ceremonies of “JawsFEST:The Tribute,” a salute to the film “Jaws,” which was filmed here in 1974.

The day began with a mob of people assembled in front of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, waiting for their chance to purchase their admission bracelets. As the purchases began a buzz went through the gathering as an old-style fire truck approached, transporting many of the special guests that the masses had come to see. Among those on the truck: Production Designer Joe Alves, co-screenwriter and co-star Carl Gottlieb, co-stars Jeffrey Kramer and Susan Backlinie and Hollywood make up master (and Media Mikes pal) Greg Nicotero. My day got off to a great start. A special batch of Media Mike’s t-shirts had been printed for the event and the first recipient was Wendy Benchley, whose late husband, Peter, had written the original “Jaws” novel. Several people in the crowd were Media Mikes fans and clamored for the shirts. Thanks to everyone there, especially those of you that complemented our site. Several of us with media credentials were allowed an early peek at what is sure to be one of the event’s most popular attractions, a display of memorabilia entitled “Behind the Screams.” Inside fans will be greeted with various items detailing the making of the film. I’m happy to say that several items from my own collection are prominently featured and I couldn’t be prouder. But what fans are going to fall in love with is a group of lifelike character sculptures of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss greeting them from the transom of the ORCA. The sculptures are the work of Greg Nicotero, who had built a full size mock up of the mechanical shark’s head for the first JawsFEST in 2005. These sculptures are truly works of art and are so realistic and lifelike that many fans found themselves doing double takes.

One of the highlights of my day came when I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Ms. Virginia Shaw, whose late brother Robert played Quint in the film. I also had the chance to talk with Erik Hollander, director of the fan driven “Jaws” documentary “The Shark is Still Working,” which will finally be released next week when it is included on the upcoming “Jaws” Blu-ray DVD.

As the day went on, fans spent their time touring the exhibit, attending a book signing with Matt Taylor, Jim Beller and artist Paul McPhee, who collaborated on last year’s award winning book, “Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard.” They also took a (2) hour bus tour around the island visiting various locations where the movie was filmed. There are three more tours planned for the rest of the event. Friday’s tour will be hosted by Lou and Yana Pisano, whose “JawsFest” film series is popular among fans. I’m very proud to say that I will be hosting Sunday’s bus tour. For tickets visit www.jawstribute.com

 

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“The Lorax” Helps Celebrate Read Across America 2012

March 2, 2012 – The New York Public Library was filled with Truffala trees this morning in celebration of the kickoff of Read Across America 2012 and the release of The Lorax on Dr. Seuss’ 108th Birthday.

Three hundred NYC public school children, dressed in bright orange Lorax shirts and his trademark yellow mustache, were treated to a reading of the original Dr. Seuss classic by the film’s stars Danny DeVito and Zac Efron at the event hosted by the National Education Association (NEA).

Since 1998, Read Across America has motivated kids of all ages to continue reading every day as research shows those children who do so wind up becoming better students at school. DeVito, who plays the Lorax himself, spoke at the event about the importance of reading at home, “We should encourage youngsters and their parents, and their aunts, their uncles, grandfathers, to read to them. And let them read to you. It’s a really great way to broaden your horizons and it’s a stepping stone to a better life.”

In addition to a reading of The Lorax, the audience got a sneak peak at the film which opened today. In it Efron plays Ted, a 12-year old boy who sets out to impress his dream girl Audrey (played by Taylor Swift) by finding her a real live tree. There are no more where they live, and in flashbacks we learn of the Lorax who had fought to save them. DeVito recalled another one of his movies when talking about the story’s positive environmental message: “I did a movie called Death to Smoochy and Smoochy was a very big environmentalist and he used to say when they were commercializing him, ‘You can’t save the world,’ one person can’t save the world, ‘but you could make a dent!’ You know? You can really start it. So one boy or girl or adult or anybody who just clicks in and thinks, ‘I can make a difference, I can shut the lights in the house, I can plant seeds, nurture the garden. I could take care of other people…’ You take from the Earth, you take from each other, but you give back. It’s a two way street.”

The curious students at the library were also given the chance to ask questions of the two cheerful actors, such as:

Third Grader: How do you make the characters look so real?
DeVito: Okay, well the first thing we do is we read the script. Zac and I read the script…and we perform in front of a video camera the way we read the lines.
Zac Efron: Then they take all the crazy things that he does when he reads his lines–
DeVito: And he does!
Efron: He gets really crazy when he reads his lines.
DeVito: And then they use those to draw with the computer and they try to capture the movements of the actors in the movie, so it looks real.

Third Grader: How do you think Dr. Seuss came up with The Lorax?
DeVito: Well I think that Dr Seuss wrote this book forty years ago and it’s still current and going on today because he probably–I’m just guessing now–he probably was looking around at what was going on in the world and saying a lot of people are doing certain things like taking the rain forests down and wasting things…and what he was looking for was a champion. The trees can’t speak, they have no voice, so he was looking for somebody to be the speaker for the trees and a champion for the trees…I think that’s where it all comes from, The Lorax. And then he just figured it couldn’t be a Lorax going out speaking for the trees, but it needs to be a human being…who cares enough for the trees.

Third Grader: Why is the Lorax so hairy?
Devito: Well the thing about it, in the forest even though it looks like it’s always summer, sometimes it gets a little cold. And that’s why he has the mustache and all the fur on. He also does live down underground, under that stump, so it’s pretty chilly at night down there. Especially when he’s eating, he likes to keep his mouth warm!

At the conclusion of the event, all of the students recited the NEA’s Read Across America Pledge and the costumed Lorax character joined NYC’s PS 22 chorus in performing the song “Let it Grow.”

You can read more about Read Across America, including the NEA’s Lorax Student Earth Day, at their website: www.nea.org/readacross

All article photos by Mike Sonesen

MediaMikes.com Helps Sponsor Kansas City Trivia Competition


MediaMikes is proud to announce a partnership with the Kansas City based ReelSmart Trivia group. Starting Sunday, January 29, a weekly competition consisting of movie trivia will be held at the Screenland Armour Theatre, 408 Armour Road in North Kansas City. The game begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Founded by self-confessed trivia addicts Kris Siriwangchai and Dan McFarland, ReelSmart Trivia will be a multi-media experience, with movie clips, audio samples, and picture categories playing an integral part to the game.

Players can win cash prizes (there is a $5.00 per player entry fee), movie passes and some great swag.

For further information contact ReelSmart@kctrivia.com