Thirty-six Engkeys are due to be implemented in 18 elementary schools across the Korean city of Daegu by the end of this year, according to KIST.
The Engkey is linked to and controlled remotely by a human teacher outside the classroom, whose face appears on the screen of the robot. The robot links students to teachers located as far away as Australia.
Besides being popular with children, the telepresence robot also helps address South Korea's shortage of qualified native-English speaking teachers, [Senior research engineer at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Mun-taek] Choi said.
Right, okay. Well, CNN is hardly breaking any news here, and for fuller discussion of these English-teaching robots, see Gusts of Popular Feeling, Extra! Korea, and this March 2010 post on my site, all of which show the, um, limited abilities of these robots and their human handlers.
* The Chosun Bimbo is disappointed about a failed attempt at getting free tickets to the weekend's F1 race in Yeongam county, and he's not alone. From Reuters:
A plan by South Korean hosts of their inaugural Grand Prix to boost ticket sales has embarrassed organisers and left fans stranded at the gates.
Hundreds, including school children, were turned away on Saturday when organisers refused to honour daily passes that had been issued by the hosting South Jeolla province free of charge.
* I think this has happened to every foreign English teacher in South Korea at least once, probably twice, in the public schools.
* The Korea Times, Chosun Ilbo, and Arirang all write that the Los Angeles Police Department is considering using 진돗개---a breed considered native to Jindo county---as police dogs. In spite of being celebrated as a "national treasure," it's fitting that the Times ran a picture of them being chained to a tree, as that's how you'll find them most of the time.
* Rustwire.com---"news from the Rust Belt"---has a guest editorial from a writer from Erie, PA, currently living and working in Seoul, about expats from Erie finding work in South Korea.
* Um, basically the backsides of racing models in Yeongam.
* Freelance writer Rick Ruffin writes about "Korea's unique hospitality culture" for Yonhap. The customer experience in Korea is indeed far superior to that in the US, though I don't think the opening contrast with a Korean woman "astonished at the table manners of the people in the Land of the Rising Sun" is appropriate.
* Again on the customer experience, On Becoming A Good Korean (Feminist) Wife has a few encounters to which many who have traveled between North America and Korea can probably relate: shitty service on North American airlines compared with exceptionally friendly and helpful service on Asian ones.
* Happy Dokdo Day! 독도의날 is October 25th to celebrate and raise awareness of Korea's claim to the disputed islets in the Sea of Japan. *cough*