My first two days in Japan have been a blur of good food, overwhelming sights, and so much technology! From hi-tech heated toilets to vending machines that provide hot coffee in a bottle (how??), Japan truly lives up to their reputation of being one of the most developed countries with a very advanced tech industry. As I’m fiddling with all their cool gadgets and devices, I am facing many challenges because everything is in Japanese but also because I have no prior knowledge of how to use their fancy machines. One of the popular methods of ordering food at a restaurant in Tokyo is by inputting your choice into a vending machine before you take your seat. Thankfully, the pictures and prices help with making our decision but the process of getting our ticket was difficult to figure out. My friends and I didn’t know whether to make our selections or put our money in first so our initial attempt was a disaster and we failed miserably, causing a commotion as we tried to communicate with the owner who did not speak any English. This experience has helped me to understand how important it is for individuals to be equipped with the basic skills and prior knowledge when it comes to using technology. Even more motivation for me to provide my students with the knowledge they need to succeed!

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5 thoughts on “Using technology in Japan

  1. This is an interesting point that you are speaking to and I had a similar experience the first time that I went to Mexico on a family vacation. I found it hard to learn how to communicate with some locals who did not speak English and assuming that this would happen I had purchased a pocket dictionary/translator app on my phone. I was able to form small sentences or at least use word that I needed to communicate with those around me. I was wondering if you were able to use your phone as a translator or if you found technology helpful to allow you to better communicate?

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  2. Thanks for sharing your adventures! One thing that I notice about so many platforms is that once you learn how one things works, you have good clues to how other things work. I wonder if that’s true with the tech-integrated services you’re experiencing there also. How amazing that you’re there!

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  3. It’s awesome that you’re in Japan! It’s one of the places at the top of my list. I think it will be interesting how places like Japan will influence how technology evolves in the rest of the world. Do you see anything over their that you think would be a good addition in the US or elsewhere? Or anything that wouldn’t?

    One thing you should look into for text translation is the Google translate app. It has a feature for you to take photos/video of text and it will translate it live.

    Have a good trip!

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  4. Melissa,

    Thank you for sharing about your tech failures in Japan, lol! It sounds like a truly fascinating place with so many new gadgets. Hot coffee in a bottle? I’d love to hear more about these in class next time we meet. At the restaurant where you mentioned that you order before taking your seats, does this mean that there are no servers? You will definitely have some great stories to tell students. My students love hearing about the interesting place where I have traveled.

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  5. I hope you are enjoying your trip Melissa! I’ve read articles about how Japan integrates and looks forward to adding more AI in departments and with assistance. It is truly amazing to see how technologically advanced it is. This is probably a great experience for you since knowing ahead of time what types of machines and devices you will encounter will make your trip that much more fun =D!!! Have you been able to apply any of your digital literacy skills in a foreign country by any chance? Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

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