Technology In Interpreter Training

Breaking Up is Easy to Do… If You Have a Smartphone

Published in Science of Relationships

John Mayer is apparently a trend-setter among celebrities. The singer/guitarist reportedly dumped Katy Perry by email and Jennifer Aniston with a text message (recommendation: if you are dating John Mayer, hide his iPhone). And Taylor Swift is said to have been the recipient of a break up voicemail (although not from Mr. Mayer). Is this form of calling it quits isolated to just our friends in the entertainment industry or is it common among the rest of us?

Have you ever been dumped over email? Would you text a (soon-to-be-former) partner to let them know it was over? heyyy we r over bye. Technology provides many options for communicating a desire to break up while allowing us to avoid the awkwardness of dumping someone face-to-face. But how often do people use technology to break up, and are some people more likely to do it than others (or be the recipient of it)? Continue reading

Teaching Interpreting Online… Means Overcoming Misunderstandings

We made a unique decision when we were setting up the Master of Conference Interpreting on the Glendon Campus of York University, in Toronto, Canada. We decided to offer the first year of the program entirely online.

Doing so gave us tremendous advantages. We can recruit students from all over the world. We can hire instructors who have experience in any market, and with any international organization. We train students to be at the forefront of the use of technology in our field.

Yet training online also has drawbacks. This is because people come to us with a number of misconceptions about remote learning. In this video, we discuss three misunderstandings that we have to work against:

  1. Online learning is easier or less demanding than onsite learning;
  2. It’s hard to build connections between people online; and
  3. The online environment is simulation of the physical environment and should be understood that way.

All of these ideas are wrong. Before we can make progress with our students, we need to convince them that this is the case. Continue reading