Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Day of the school

I love school, especially the first week of the school. With an anticipation of seeing familiar faces and with an expectation of meeting new people, I anxiously wait my class to begin. How many people have a privilege to work with bright, hopeful, intelligent graduate students, and get paid for learning from them?

Here is a sample work which my students did as an icebreker exercise in ITEC 830 last night. I formed five small groups, 3-4 people in each group. Since we will discuss the impact of Web 2.o in education throughout the semester, I wanted to know how much they already know about this topic. I gave them 10 minutes for them to brainstorm about Web 2.0, then make a presentation. After 10 minutes later, they came up with the following poster. Josh who is my TA this semester took these photos with his cell phone, then e-mailed them to me. I put these same photos in the class social networking site for them to use in their blog if they want.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Weekend to Remember

Our front sidewalk is bordered by several large rose plants. I often see passersby stop to smell the roses. I happened to be outside when a woman folded her hands toward the sky and expressed her gratitude for these beautiful roses. She said “Thank you!” to me. I have to confess that the one who deserves the “thank you” is our deacon John King. He drops by once in a while and prunes back the bushes. I learned that there is a correct way to clip a rose bush. You cut just above six leaves on a stem to make new roses come up year around. It takes care as well as knowledge to properly care for plants.

I sometimes think about marriage as a rose bush. On occasion, my husband and I are caught up by the busy-ness of life and we neglect to clip our rose bush. In past years, we didn’t know how to tend the garden of our marriage and make the roses grow year-round.

When my son, Simon, was married in 2006, we wanted to give him and his new bride a special gift. For a few hundred dollars we paid their way to “A Weekend to Remember” which is a marriage enrichment conference sponsored by Family Life. Our daughter-in-law, Dilia, called me after their special weekend in upper New York State. They had a great time at a nice hotel and learned a lot about each other. They also learned about being a godly husband and a godly wife. My husband and I were so glad that provided a supportive part in their weekend to remember.

First Southern is now seeking married couples in our church to attend “A Weekend to Remember” in November at beautiful Monterey. I made the first announcement of this conference last Sunday morning. When God speaks, the godly listen. After the service, a young couple came to me, and said “We want a Weekend to Remember.” Do you want to enrich your own marriage, then you can sign up too. Just phone the church. You can also pay the way for children or grandchildren. I know some churches that help by babysitting for the weekend. Chris and I plan to attend. We need to learn more about tending the garden of our own marriage.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We remember stories

Psychologists and neuroscientists have recently become fascinated by the human predilection for storytelling. Why does our brain seem to be wired to enjoy stories? And how do tLinkhe emotional and cognitive effects of a narrative influence our beliefs and real-world decisions? Interesting article about this.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

KQED Digital Storytelling Summit

I am at KQED. I just finished my 10 minute talk about what I am doing with DST with my students at SFSU Instructional Technologies. Howard who is a teacher from Urban School is presenting what he is doing with DST--Oral History Project. Authentic doing--doing real world project-- Student project as an accessible product, and contributing to knowledge base.

Erica talks about her organization--Streetside Stories-- and how she trains classroom teachers to use DST in their teaching.

Lynda took these photos and sent them to me. I had a great fun to meet educators who care about what they do and also use digital storytelling as a medium of instruction. I was pleasantly surprise to see so many of ITEC alums, current students, and also incoming students at this event.

I am checking in, and see who is here? Kathleen from our department.

Leslie, who is the queen of DST, is introducing us.

Here are SFSU ITEC people. It is so wonderful to meet like-minded people outside of my class.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Digital storytelling and 21st Century Learning skills.

  • Critical and Analytic Thinking, Problem Solving,
  • Creativity and Innovation,
  • Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Cultural Competence.
Instructional Technologies Program
  • Graduate Program for working professionals
  • Project-Based Curriculum
  • Team Work
ITEC 800 Learning Theories iLearn site

Goals for DST in ITEC 800
  • Learning by Doing
  • Meaningful Learning
  • Reflective Learning
  • Community Building for ITEC program
  • Learn Multimedia Tools

DST Experience --ITEC 800 Blog site

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New semester

If you are interested in Digital Storytelling, there is still room for you to register. I will see you this Saturday.

When: Saturday, August 23, 10am - 2pm
Where: KQED Studios, 2601 Mariposa St, SF

The event is free and open to the public.
Please RSVP to Leslie Rule at

We invite you to explore with us the intersection of Digital Storytelling and 21st Century Skills and Literacies. This event will enable conversations with other digital storytellers: educators and community activists, practitioners and deep enthusiasts. The focus is on education and community outreach, and our panel of experts will share best practices and lead audience roundtables on using Digital Storytelling to support and nurture these 21st century skills: Critical and Analytic Thinking, Creativity and Innovation, Effective Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Problem Solving, and Cultural Competence.

Friday, August 08, 2008

2008 Vacation Bible School

We completed the 2008 VBS last Friday. There were about 60 to 70 people attended each night, from July 27th to August 3rd. This year's topic was God's unshakable truth. The motto for this year was, "Learn the Truth, Speak the Truth, Live the Truth". Sue and I were in charge of the adult class, we had about 20 people each night came to the class. We played games, made wordless books, shared personal stories about spiritual journey, and studied God's truth. On the last day, Ken brought a roasted pig for us to eat. Well, some of us didn't want to eat it--you can see why. It was still smiling!

Kim is saying "Hello" to her pig friend

Al was the winner for this game

Team teaching was fun

Who Will Go?

Every Friday for several months, an outreach team from First Southern has been going to the Villa Fairmont Mental Health Center, just a few blocks from our church. After passing through several locked doors, we arrive at the social room. Leah who has been attending our church greets us with a big smile as we enter the room. She excitedly tells us that she has found a room in Oakland. She is moving out from this place. We have been praying for her and her prayer has been answered.

As we arrange chairs for the meeting, an announcement goes over the speaker system that the Baptist Church is having a Bible study. Braz tells us that she has been reading from the Psalms. She thanks Shirley for handing over her own personal Bible to her the week before. Several residents ask us to provide Bibles and we promise to bring some next time.

We usually read a few verses from the Bible, then talk about what the words mean to us. Participants are eager to share their stories about why they came to this place and how desperately they seek God’s help to get well. We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to be sensitive to the needs of this group. The residents need our listening ear more than anything else. Sometimes I am unsure about how to respond to their comments. But one thing I know is that they want us to pray for them.

The only qualification to join our mission team is a willingness to listen and to pray. It would be so wonderful to see more people from our church join this ministry group. The residents in this institution need friends who demonstrate the compassion of our Lord Jesus. Here are men and women who are at a low point in their lives. I could be a resident at the Villa Fairmont, but by God’s grace I am not. In the Old Testament, God asks Isaiah “whom shall I send?” Isaiah answers, “Here am I, send me.” I pray that many will say “Here I am, Lord. Send me”.