This week's Featured Video: The Uncanny Valley

"kirithem" of YouTube Presents:

Daniel Floyd: Episode Four in a series of video "lectures," made in association with Edge. Co-written with James Portnow, cofounder of Divide By Zero Games...

April has approached and the start of a new school year has started, and many English teachers are now finding themselves at a ... Oh, I really hate this. I'm plagiarizing myself from the last post and practicing my use of tenses at the same time...

I've been really late with this one, busy between coding, work, and play. Well, I had once seen this video a little while back and I have been thinking ever since about what if you could apply this concept into your English lessons. You know, kind of like where is your own students' "uncanny valley."

The main question here and what it is really all about is how much will people, students, and kids like your work. It all relates to robots and video games in this video so how does it relate to an English lesson.

Perhaps, it's a question of how much of a good thing is too much. (Phonics, Grammar, Fun and Games, and the whole lot.) You'll understand that concept once you've seen the video... and perhaps might think to yourself like I did about where the uncanny vallley starts and ends in one's own lessons, classes, and for the individual students themselves.

About this Video:

"The video (below) is a collaborative work between James Portnow and Daniel Floyd discussing the Uncanny Valley. It is based off an article by James Portnow, the full text of which can be found below."

Taken from this link where you can find that full text:

I'm not so sure this time if we can all learn something from this "uncanny" video so please send me your thoughts. I'm sure other ALT's would like to hear your thoughts too.

Moreover, when you are new to this teaching kids ESL business I'm sure it has alredy crossed your mind by now that thought of, "Did the kids "like" that lesson? Did they "like" that Game?" and so on... So, here is a question for you, your classes, lesson plans, and as an ELT teacher (not robot but kind of like one for this example)...

"Do you know where your own Uncanny Valley lies?"... and...

Once and if you find that out you might want to ask yourself, "Can I manipulate my own "Uncanny Valley" to suit the taste of my students (as a group for various class types and as individuals), and the HRT? (Yes, putting HRT in there must be done. Although their input about ESL Lessons can be "uncanny" at most times. But they can help you find it if you ask them.)

You can find more information about the Uncanny Valley at the links below if you like robots, video games, and all that kind of stuff:

Uncanny Valley Links:

"Popular explanation of Masahiro Mori''s Uncanny Valley theory that explains why almost-human-looking robots scare people more than mechanical-looking robots" at:

"New findings shed light on a century's worth of bizarre explanations for the eerie feeling we get around lifelike robots." at:

"The Truth About Robotic's Uncanny Valley - Human-Like Robots and..." at:

"The Depths of the Uncanny Valley - Features at GameSpot. GameSpot investigates how video games really impact our lives--how they are changing our culture, what they're doing to our brains, ..." at:


About the author

The ENB writes for whenever possible. The ENB's favorite school lunch is curry and rice. ( Short and spicy since we don't want to annoy anyone ;D )

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