Tag Archives: online

World Cinema Foundation: Watch Restored International Films Free

world_cinema_logo.pngI recently came across this site that provides rare international films that you can watch for free online. The World Cinema Foundation is a non-profit organization that is "dedicated to preserving and restoring neglected films from around the world – in particular, those countries lacking the financial and technical ability to do so." The foundation was established by Martin Scorsese.

If you are interested in watching a wide collection of international films online, or you would like to learn more about the World Cinema Foundation, click on the link below:



PBS and NPR Team Up To Offer Free Lectures Online

forum_network_logo.pngPBS and NPR have teamed up to launch a new service called Forum Network. According to their site the "The Forum Network online library features thousands of lectures by some of the world’s foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders, available to citizens of the world for free."

This is great because not only does this site provide lectures that align their topics with programs such as NOVA and Frontline, it allows the viewer to explore these topics at greater depth.

To check out the Forum Network, click on the link below:


Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web

compare_3_lang_learn.pngVery Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web: LiveMocha, Busuu, and Hello-Hello

Livemocha, Hello-Hello.com and Busuu.com have free accounts you can sign up for. Each gives you lessons with a vocab review, a writing exercise, an audio exercise, and a chance to have the exercises graded by native speakers (you as a native speaker of a language have the ability to grade others as well) and to chat with native speakers to practice your new found language skills (not available in Hello-Hello.com just yet). Both LiveMocha and Busuu have paid subscriptions where you can have access to more contention and more advanced lessons. Here are some of the differences between the three services:



  • At free level ,able to download vocab lists from the site
  • More languages are available to you to learn at free level (like Arabic and Hindi)
  • Have more flashcards to review and fill in the black word exercises at free level to help you retain vocab and helps you with writing and audio exercises
  • Chat with native speakers
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community



  • The vocab is not conversational in nature (you say things like I am fat, and I am thin)



  • Vocab is conversational in nature. You learn things like hello, how are you. Welcome. Good day. What is your name?
  • To help with comprehension and vocab review, you are quizzed on a conversation a few people are having in that language. It is spoken at the normal pace and with the vocab you learned.
  • Chat with native speakers.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community


  • Free subscription limits you to only a few languages.
  • To download vocab and print it (like  flashcard review), you need the paid service (also get podcasts with paid service)
  • There is not enough vocab review exercises to prep you for the written and audio exercises. I felt that I retained little when I went into the written exercises and audio exercises.





  • The exercises are very practical and conversation in nature.
  • You can create flash cards for each lesson.
  • You can write notes in the notes section in each lesson.
  • Written exercises.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Graded by the community (you can also ask questions as you go along in each lesson that can be answered by the community too).
  • There also a dictionary and a translator section built into the design
  • Hello-Hello collaborated with the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) to make this community.
  • Totally free. No upgrade to a paid subscription to access more lessons.



  • You do no have a traditional list of vocab like LiveMocha. You absorb the conversation but there’s a translation box under the lesson. This could be hard for beginners.
  • You can not chat with a native speaker (but this function will be available soon)
  • The audio files did not work in Google Chrome (this may be fixed with future updates to the site)
  • You are limited to a few language choices to learn (English, French Portuguese, Spanish)





The National Library of Ireland’s Online Exhibit of William Butler Yeats

yeats_logo.pngThe National Library of Ireland has made an online version of their exhibition that features works and the life of William Butler Yeats. It has interactive sections and you walk through the rooms of the exhibition through a web browser. The site requires broadband and flash to access it properly. To see the exhibit online click on the link below:


Free Online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Tool: Free OCR


OCR stands for (Optical Character Recognition). What OCR does is that it takes a document like a pdf or an image that has text in it and converts it into a form where you can edit the text. This tool can read different files types, PDF, JPG, GIF, TIFF or BMP and it displays text that you can copy and paste and edit into a text document. You can also upload documents in different langauges (English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish for now). There are some limitations to the program. It can not read upside down text like a good ORC program that comes with a scanner can read and translates correctly. There is also a 2MB limit for the file size you can upload for each document.  If you are interested in learning more, click on the link below: