Taking College Courses for Free in Japan

Adways Advent Calendar 2018 day 6.



Adways, a paradise of opportunity,

is giving me a new one. Since joining Adways in 2016, I have faced with many challenges and developed my potential. I am thankful to Adways and proud of being here.

With the opportunities Adways has given, I learned advertisement, Ruby on Rails, Data Science, Deep Learning, Blockchain, RPA and such. Now I am learning "Business Administration". I took some accounting classes in the U.S., and of course I don't remember anything. Business Administration was not my interest. I just wanted to do coding without thinking anything because that's really amazing feeling.

However, this opportunity, more accurately challenge, doesn't wait for me. I need to learn and experience at the same time, and I know that's the best way to master it. Confucius said studying and practicing what you have learned was a pleasure "子曰學而時習之不亦説乎".

To study Business Administration,

the best way is taking some courses at colleges, but I don't meet minimum administration requirements set by most institutions in Japan. Therefore, I need to find a way.

The Open University of Japan,

which mission is "Higher Education for Everyone", broadcasts lectures on TV as well as radio for free. I seek knowledge rather than credits.
I checked all courses they were offering. There was a course titled "Introduction to Business Administration '18"(経営学概論'18) broadcasting on radio. As an engineer, once objective is defined, making paths to achieve the objective is expected because it is what engineer does.

Learning Business Administration using lectures on radio.

  1. Record lecture.
  2. Transcribe lecture.
  3. Correct transcript while listening to lecture.

There are a few ways to record radio programs, and it's easy. Please google it. Transcribing the lectures is little bit tricky.

  • Convert recorded lecture into mono flac
  • Use GCP Cloud Speech-to-Text API

You need FFmpeg and convert audio file you want to transcribe into flac. Also, Cloud Speech-to-Text doesn't accept stereo, so convert it into mono. You can also change playback speed to something like 130%. Speech-to-Text API charges you by length of audio file, so shorter is good sometime. Upload the audio file to Google Storage and then transcribe it. It's easy to set up GCP and such, so please google it.

To transcribe, I use Ruby.

I know Python is more popular than Ruby, but I'm sorry I coded in Ruby. If you want to use Python, please google it. Google offers sample programs, so it's not hard at all.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

def textize_audio(audio_file_name)
  require "google/cloud/speech"
  speech_client = Google::Cloud::Speech.new
  config     = { encoding: :FLAC,
                 sample_rate_hertz: 48000,
                 language_code: 'ja-JP' }
  uri        = "gs://YOUR_GOOGLE_BUCKET/#{audio_file_name}.flac"
  audio      = { uri: uri }

  operation = speech_client.long_running_recognize(config, audio)

  puts "Operation started"

  raise operation.results.message if operation.error?

  results = operation.response.results
  text = results.flat_map(&:alternatives).map(&:transcript)

  File.open("#{audio_file_name}.txt", 'w') do |f|
  puts "Operation ended"

audio_file_name = ARGV[0]

This script takes filename as a parameter. Use this script like ruby transcribe.rb your_audio_file. You need Gem. Also make sure you are using your bucket. You may need to edit this script for yourself such as changing sample_rate_hertz from 48000 to appropriate number.

You have the transcript, yet there is discrepancy between the transcript and lecture. Although difficult and annoying, I recommend fixing the transcript and listening to the lecture at the same time because you are actively engaging in learning.

This is my Christmas Gift for you. I believe Higher Education should be open for everyone disregarding race, gender, academic record and so on. Study hard, work hard, and live good together.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

(引用元: Happy Xmas (War Is Over). 作: John Lennon)

With Love,
Masaru Yuasa


Next is Mr. Handa.