Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Cantata

Rain was coming down pretty hard during the morning service. As I ushered people at the door, I kept looking up at the sky, hoping to see a sign that the rain might stop before the evening service. The rain never stopped. In spite of the rain, many peopled showed up for the annual Christmas cantata.

This year’s cantata theme was “How Great Our Joy”, and the congregation had an opportunity to sing along with the choir. This made for a much more enjoyable event. We had two youth from the Korean congregation join the cantata, making our choir more youthful and also more multicultural.

As Pastor Chris was reading the Christmas story from the Bible in English, Korean words were projected on the screen to accommodate the Korean audience. It was so nice to see different ages, different races and different language groups come together and be able to sing together such songs as “Joy to the World”, “O little town of Bethlehem”, and many more. After the cantata, we had a fellowship with delicious finger food. I probably ate half of 250 dumplings which the Korean pastor’s wife made.

What a joy to sing and fellowship with our brothers and sister in Christ. Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I am enjoying my visit to CCC in Taiwan

I left home on Nov. 3, and arrived in Taipei on Nov. 4th at 6 am. After 14 hours of flight and 2 more hours of high speed rail ride, I arrived at National Chung Cheng University at noon, very tired. There was a reception dinner at a very fancy Japanese restaurant in the evening, food was beautifully arranged and equally delicious. You have to see their guest house. They give me a VIP room, there are two bedrooms, living room, dining room, and a bath. I wish my family is here to enjoy Taiwan with me.

I was told that there are 15 full time faculty members in the Communication Department. Most of them came out to see two scholars from the west, one is from Simon Fraser University in Canada, and one is from SFSU (you know who she is). I asked each faculty member what he/she teaches. I learned the department is composed of a very interesting mix of experts and here they are: Media Policies, Media Economics, Media psychology, Message design, Health Media, Media ethics, etc. Interesting and very rich.

Here is my first impression about Taiwan.
1. Mountains and hills are so beautiful and so green. I love it!
2. Gentle and respectful people.
3. Great food and presentation is a work of art.
4. Hot Spring
5. A fire which is burning right out of pool of water. It is an awesome sight.

But most of all, I was strucked by the way the Communication department colleagues are treating each other. With gentleness and with respect. I am not accustom to this kind of academic culture in America, at least where I work. As I think about this, I just realize that how Americans are treating each other very harshly. I am not even sure how I could describe this harshness, I can't even find a right word to describe what I see in my colleagues and even in me that we brush off people. On the surface, we may smile with cursory greetings, but there is harshness there or no concern for others. Is this harshness comes from hardness of heart? Is our stress seeping from our everyday actions? We are so disconnected and distrustful. I am sure my Taiwanese colleagues too have academic politics and they too sometimes don't get along. But they still keep coolness and kindness and treat each other with dignity. Something that I can't explain with words, but I recognize that sense of empathy is well cultivated and developed in them, thus they are calm, cool, and yet confident.

What is it that people from the West are so quick to judge others. Is this L-brain driven society makes us to behave this way? Perhaps.

This quiet gentleness and kindness that are demonstrated by these bright professors left a great impression on me. I must note that I didn't see this wonderful quality in Korean colleagues when I visited Korea, I wonder Koreans are more like Americans in this aspect of our life. We are quick to judge others, me included.

I need to find out this unique characteristics in Chinese people. Some may say that Chines don't show their emotion quickly, they keep their emotion in their sleeves, whereas Koreans show their temper quickly. Whatever it is, I am curious to know what makes these people different. I noticed that many young, beautiful, accomplished, second generation Korean-American Women marry Chinese-American men. I asked to my young Korean friend. She said, "Chinese men respect their wives. They do house chores where Korean men don't".

The person from Canada presented something about Media politics. I made my presentation on teaching for future with technology. After the presentation, the department chair, Dr Lo and Peter, took us to a hot spring. I saw a most amazing thing; fire is burning from the water, the water looks like oil that gives fuel to burn. Here is the awesome sight I saw.

After a mud spa, I am relaxed and happy. Also food makes me happy too. I ate this big hot pot beef soup all by myself.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I will be leaving for Taiwan today. I am still working on my PowerPoint -- I don't know I will use it or not. I don't like PowerPoint, but I will have them just in case. I am planning to show up for my ITEC 830 class on Thursday via online. I hope I will have an Internet connection at 9 a.m in Taipei time, which it is 7 p.m, my class time in California. Peter Hsu who graduated from ITEC department in 2001, then went on for his doctorate in Instructional Technology at University of Idaho invited me to Taiwan. He is now a professor at National Cheng Chi University. It will be fun to see him again, and also speak about the topics that I am passionate about: Technology and Learning. I will speak at two different universities and also two different topics. Here is my itinerary which Peter sent to me:

11/3 (Monday) 00:15 from SFO

11/4 (Tuesday) 06:05 arrive TPE, I will go to the airport, and we will go to our school first and check in. Later in the evening, we will have a reception for you and the other scholar from Canada, Dr. Hackett.

11/5 (Wednesday) You and Dr. Hackett will give speech in the morning at CCU. His topic will be about mobilizing for media reform in Canada: Opportunities, challenges and lessons; after lunch, we will go together to one of the famous hot spring vista point near our school.

11/6 (Thursday) It will be your second speech at CCU; after that, we will go Taipei. (Taipei 101 and the forbidden city)

11/7 (Friday) Your speech will be held at NCCU in Taipei, the College of Communication; then, after a short rest, we will go to the east part of Taiwan, the back garden. We will stay in one of the best hotel there.

11/8 (Saturday) We will go one of the most famous travel spot in Taiwan, Tarroko; and go back To Taipei at 2:30pm. We will arrive Taipei after 4:30pm. Your flight back to SFO will be 23:15 pm.

Would you please reconfirm the topics you are going to give speech to?

at CCU
1. Teaching for Future with Instructional Technology
2. The Impact of Emerging Technology in Education

3. The Impact of Emerging Technology in Education (chosen by their Dean)

We are looking forward to seeing you and with you have a good time with us in Taiwan :-)


Monday, October 27, 2008

November Newsletter for my church

Attitude of Gratitude

At the October Women’s meeting, Diana, Betty, Shirley, Lillian, Eldora, Caryl, Linda, and I had a great time of fellowship. Our church is pretty famous for fellowship and eating. Once I heard Linda’s 3 year old grandson called our church, “The Restaurant Church”. Every time he came to church, he saw us eating. This time was no exception. Lots of donuts, breakfast cakes, deviled eggs, quiches, and all the sweet stuff that would cling to my waist were there. After we ate, we talked about business items such as collecting food for Golden Gate Seminary students, collecting winter coats for the homeless, and collecting children’s Christmas gifts for the Women’s Crisis Center.

We then had a time of sharing what God is doing in our lives. These were some of the reports: “I thank God for giving me patience to deal with family responsibilities”, “ I thank God for giving me a peace of mind”, “giving me wisdom to choose the right thing to do”, “giving me energy to do things I need to do”, “giving me insight to adjust my expectations”, “giving me an opportunity to help my grown daughter”, “I thank God for having a family and working with a good boss”.

As I listened to each person’s praise, I realized the power of gratitude. Our attitude of gratitude was like a sweet fragrance spreading in our midst and rising to the throne of God. We became tender toward one another. Is it my imagination or my wish? When we ask for prayer requests, we tend to focus on our own problems and disappointments, but when we share what God is doing in our lives, we tend to focus on God and His work in our lives. My point is this: Let’s praise God more and talk about ourselves less. Then a sweet fragrance will fill our life, an aroma that can transform our home and our church.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eugene Lee, CEO of Socialtext

Eugene Lee, the CEO of Socialtext came to my class, and inspired us with so many great stories. He captured our attention, almost 2 hour without any break, I am talking about late night, 10 p.m. I can see he is passionate about what he is doing, and he made great points for being connected with others in the business world. Also his experience with Twitter convinced me to use Twitter, which I often thought why anybody in the world wants to know what I am doing, such as I am grading papers or I am eating my lunch. Out of all those Web 2.0 tools, Twitter was the least useful for me as a teacher. But Eugene inspired me to try to use it again. So I shall follow those who are having fun working, and you can follow me if you want to know what I am doing.

When Eugene came to the class last year, he was the new CEO to the Socialtext and he just got off from Adobe as a VP. By the way, when I met him when Adobe invited educational leaders to the conference from all over the world, everyone wanted to make a connection with him including myself, people were lining up to introduce themselves to Eugene. He looked little uncomfortable, at least to my eyes. He was little stiff. But boy, this time, he looked happy and relaxed, and he made jokes. He is actually very funny. I sense that he found the right work to use his talents, creativity, and his personality. Eugene is having way too much fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You have to watch this movie!

In my class, students are telling a story without words to demonstrate six senses of Danial Pinks book. Brian who is a movie producer did an excellent job to demonstrate six senses which we are discussing in ITEC 830. I think that a good piece of art brings out different emotions, evoking empathy, harmonizing different elements thus create a great symphony. I watched this movie several times, and my response to it was different each time (meaning). If he used words, it would not have the same effects on me. Also don't forget about "playfulness" of this piece. This movie got a five star rating from me. Here is Brian's blog site for more info. http://jipclass.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Daniel Pink's book and video

We, ITEC 830, are reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink this week. The key points of the book is about using both sides of the brain to make successful living in the 21st century global economy. I found his commencement speech at MCAD is interesting and is a good summary of his book. I also think he is a great speaker whom I wish to learn from.

part I

The following video really describes the importance of design, story, empathy, symphony, play, and meaning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekend Trip to Oregon

We got started on the road to Portland at 4 a.m. Chris was driving and I was sleeping, so it didn’t matter how early we started. Once we crossed the Oregon border, I began to see more greenery. As always I said, “How pretty. I love the green, let’s retire in Oregon”. We are the only Californians in our family. When our parents were alive, we made frequent trips to see them. Now that they are gone, we only head north once a year. This time our purpose was to attend our nephew David’s wedding.

We stopped in Turner, Oregon, about 4 p.m. My sister Nancy owns a grocery store in that small town. As soon as we sat down, she started offering us food. Then she looked at me intently at my face and declared “you need a miracle cream that works wonders”. She brought out cosmetic package labeled “Better than Botox”. She always showers me with gifts. I was really surprised to see that package, because it was the exact same brand that I wanted but I didn’t buy. A few days earlier, I was shopping at Costco. I had a coupon for this wrinkle-removing cream, so I picked up the package. At the check-out I learned the price. My jaw dropped. Who would pay $137 for a tube of facial cream? I couldn’t buy it, even though it might do my face some good. Sometimes God not only supplies my needs, but also my wants. It was too expensive for me to buy, but God supplied my wants through my sister.

We visited Chris’ brother and three sisters along with my sister and two brothers. After a Sunday church service, we held an Africa mission meeting. Many attended to pray and support the team. Seven of us are going this January, and six members were there. We talked about the mission trip. There were many questions and excited hearts as we came together to plan God’s work in Rwanda.

How wonderful it is to have both a blood-related family and a God-related family. It made our journey fun and meaningful. Ninety hours after leaving San Lorenzo, we were back in town and happy to be with our church family once more.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another conference for my students

If you want to go to MacWorld Conference & Expo, from January 5-9, 2009, sign up now. Here is a priority code CKD31888, you need to sign up before September 26, 2008 for a FREE Expo Hall Pass. Unfortunately I will miss this one. I will be in Rwanda from Dec. 29 to Jan. 20th, providing faculty workshops at the National University of Rwanda.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We are so lucky!

One of my students asked me today how I keep up with the rapid changing field. I read blogs, go to conferences, ask people I know who are active learners. Another words, I net work.
Living in SF is wonderful! Look at these great conferences which we can go to, when others pay $$$ to get here to attend these events. Some of my students in ITEC 830 are going to attend Web 2.0 Summit, Nov. 5-7th, http://en.oreilly.com/web2008/public/content/home Too bad, I can't attend it. I will give talks on "The impact of emerging technology on teaching and learning" in Taiwan.

But there is always another chance to go to another conference in this town. I will be able to attend e-Learning Guild conference.

Time: November 11, 2008 at 9am to November 14, 2008 at 6pm
Location: Fairmont San Jose
Organized By: The E-Learning Guild

Event Description:
DevLearn 2008 Conference & Expo is where the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the e-Learning industry convene each year to explore, discuss, and learn about the best ideas and technologies for e-Learning. It’s for learning design, development, and management professionals who are leading e-Learning efforts, and who need to keep abreast of emerging technologies, strategies, and best practices in order to effectively deploy them in their organizations.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nice work!

Here's the new banner my son did for Amazon and NBC. It's going to run on Youtube, Myspace, Amazon and a few other sites. He is an amazing artist who does amazing work , I have total confidence in him that someday his work will be shown at major galleries. Meantime he has to support his family by creating websites for small companies. He learned tools such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, and different apps on his own. He never took any course to learn software. So there is a lesson. When you have a project that you need to do, you learn the tools to accomplish it. He went to art school and learned design principles. In the similar way, I tell my students to focus on learning principles and instructional design principles in order to become a good instructional designer. You can learn the tools while you are creating your instructional piece.

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 http://myitec.ning.com/photo 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 http://www.sfsu.edu/~itec
  • 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 lrule@kqed.org

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”.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chris is back from Africa mission. The team accomplished the mission goals and they have seen hands of God in Africa. Here is the link you can go and see the photos of their activities. http://comeandseeafrica.org/pastmissions/mission2008/index.htm

The mission team had two session of worship leaders seminars; one in Kigali (capital of Rwanda) and another in Butare (where CASA is located). Also they had a VBS with over 200
children for a week and a seminar for pastors. In between seminars, they visited widows and Batwa families. They bought 16 female goats ($28 per goat) and gave them to poor families. You who supported the mission have been great blessings to so many people including our summer mission team. The mission team had experienced great blessings as they deliver goats to widows and orphans. Also, you have helped CASA building project by donating bricks. Frank and Paul are overseeing the building project. This is going to be the future home of Lighthouse for Christian Students in Africa.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Awsome team work!

Originally uploaded by sean.bang
College students from Western Korean Nazarene church raised funds for CASA. A few weeks ago Anna stopped by and told of her plan to raise funds for CASA. Chris and I were encouraged with their support and prayers. These young people came up with ideas on their own, and raised money to buy 20 goats for Batwa families and widows for CASA morning prayer meeting. They also raised money for the building project--Christian Campus House for Rwanda University students. They sold bricks and goats to their congregation members.

Originally uploaded by sean.bang
So many people bought goats and bricks. Thank you everyone. You have encouraged us and motivated us to work harder in Rwanda.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yosemite Fall

On June 2nd, our family went to Yosemite, and we took lots of photos. There will be a photo contest, each of us will enter 3 best pictures from this trip. Here are three of mine.

Yosemite Fall
Originally uploaded by come and see africa

Sunday, May 25, 2008

All kinds of e-learning tools

At the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies has been putting together a list of tools for e-learning. Here is the directory which you can spend hours and hours.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Missing you, Mother

The day before Mother’s day, I saw her in the parking lot at the Bay Fair mall. An old Asian lady was stanidng by a car and waving her hand toward me. For a brief moment, I thought I saw my mother. The lady was waving to her daughter. I watched them embrace. I couldn’t hold back my tears any longer. Mother, I really miss you. It has been five years since you left us.

To My Mother

You taught me how to walk
Like a lady
In this world

On our monthly outing to the village market
I would hop and jump ahead of you
Hurrying to get to the bustling market place where
Vendors called to customers with their exotic wares
I was impatient with your measured walk
I would pull your skirts to hurry

Instead, you stopped in the middle of the road
Told me to look at those scurrying people
You whispered to me to watch how they walked
Pointing out how unbecoming
Like a grass hopper, when a woman sway her hip and shoulder
Like a duck, when a woman walk her feet pointing outward
Then you showed me the proper way to walk
“Take your step one foot over another as though you are walking on a rope in the air”

I watched you closely for the first time
On that dusty, gravel road
Lined up with tall poplar trees
You were different even to my seven year-old eyes
You had short curly hair when others rolled their hair to the back of their head
You had a western dress when others had hanbok (Korean traditional dress)
You were tall and handsome
Villagers called you “Modern Woman”
With reverence and envy

Since that day, I practiced everyday to walk straight
One foot over another like a ropewalker
When I am afraid of falling
I think of that “modern woman” who had shown me
A road out of that little village

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'd better save this link here, so I can send some of links to a publisher who wants web sites for ESL learners. Curt Bonk and his students are researching on online language learning research, and I want to keep up with them: http://wiki-riki.wikispaces.com/Online+Language+Learning

Web 2.0 Conference--SF 2008

I liked the size of the conference this year, and the best part of this conference is the opportunity to meet ambitious, creative, and bright entrepreneurs who are passionate about their work. I invited several interesting people for ITEC 830 class next semester. They all eager to come to the class and share their expertise in user-interface design.

I saw this year conference is more matured than last year conference based on the topics and products that are presented. Last year, most people were dazzled by the Web 2.0 tools, but this year, I am hearing more people are talking about usability, the value of social-network, consolation of Web 2.0 tools.

Once this semester is over, I will listen to some of the speakers from the conference.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Teens are not using computer as much as we think

According to a study about teens' writing style and computer use, those teens who are blogging tend to write their assignment informal, ignoring grammars and spelling . They also use internet emoticons and slangs in their writing assignment. That I can understand.

Another interesting finding from this study for me is this: "Defying conventional wisdom, the study also found that the generation born digital is shunning computer use for most assignments. About two-thirds of teens said they typically do their school writing by hand. And for personal writing outside school, longhand is even more popular -- the preferred form for nearly three-quarters of teens."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For my sister Nancy--I can sing a new song!

Sing a new song

I love to sing. However, I have a hard time carrying a tune. People who listen to me may have to suffer. Nevertheless, I have often sung in church choirs. Most churches are happy to have someone volunteer to sing. When I was a young person, my church was eager to hang on to its youth. This church sponsored a special choir for young people. I remember one time the choir director pointed in my direction and announced that someone was singing off key. But I didn’t think it was me since I could not hear any difference between my tune and the tunes of the people surrounding me.

When I moved to San Francisco, I briefly attended a Korean church. On my second visit I was already wearing a choir robe and singing in their choir. I don’t think that they discovered my singing disability. I think we attended that church about a month before we found an American church where our entire family could worship.

A person in my family, who I will not name, jokingly told me that I sing like a “stuck pig”. I imagine the squealing screams of a pig getting stuck in its throat with a knife. With that image I stopped singing and listened myself singing. Sure enough, I sang out of tune.

When Koreans get together, we take turns singing. When my turn comes, I refuse to sing. One time my friends press me more and more to sing. I didn’t want to be a party pooper, so I made up a tune with words in English. They were impressed and thought I was singing a song that they didn’t know. It was a new song for them. It occurred to me that I can carry a tune, but it must be a tune that no one else knows.

I still can’t carry someone else’s tune, but certainly I can carry my own tune. God has given me a new song. I sing for God and for myself. I am convinced that God is delighted in my off tune singing. Just as I am delighted when I watch kids sing off-tune at a Christmas program, I think God is delighted with my new song, even if it sounds like a stuck pig..

Thursday, April 10, 2008

For a Magazine...

Each semester, I invite one guest speaker from the corporate world to my educational technology classroom. The guest speaker for this semester was the CEO of a social networking company from Silicon Valley. Just like me, this man happened to be a Korean-American. As I introduced him to my class, I joked that he must be making his parents very proud -- referring to his educational achievements with degrees from Harvard and MIT. He smiled and said, “One Korean word I know very well is “Gong-bu-hae” which means, “Study”.

As I was growing up in Korea I heard this word so many times that it was etched into my being. My own children could testify that “study” was the first word they heard in the morning and the last word they heard when they went to bed. I admit that we Korean parents are a bit obsessive in regards to our children’s education. It is in our DNA.

Many Korean parents will tell you that the main reason they came to America was to give their children educational opportunity. This emphasis on learning is deeply rooted in our Confucian culture. A common person could attain a higher social status by passing a highly competitive national examination. That’s why hard work and study is so central to our identity. In fact, if a person passed the examination, his entire family would be raised in status to that of “scholar”, thereby receiving prestige and privilege. Education became their ladder to success.

Many Koreans arrive in this country from a professional class, but because of language and cultural barriers, these first-generation immigrants step down a rung on the ladder. Often, for the sake of their children, they willingly enter the working or labor class. When I came to this country 30 years ago, I had to make my own downward transition. I arrived in America with a degree in English and one year of teaching experience. Yet most people could not understand my English so I felt as if my dream of becoming a teacher vanished before my eyes. I sat through several classes in a community college. Should I become a secretary? I took a typing class but I was not happy. I was good at mathematics. Should I become a bookkeeper? Although I enjoyed solving math problems, reconciling a balance sheet was not for me. What could I do? I stepped up one rung on several ladders, but none seemed to be right for me.

In 1978, I encountered my first desktop computer – a TRS 80 – and immediately recognized it as my ladder to success. I registered for my first computer programming class in 1980 and the rest, as they say, is history. If I had stayed in Korea, I would have been locked outside of this career. It would have been too late for me. I could not have re-started my education and re-invented myself as a professor of Educational Technology. Now I train teachers how to use technology to promote teaching and learning. As I look back, I appreciate so much the American system of adult education. I believe that any motivated person, no matter what age or gender, can achieve success in America with patience and persistence. This is not true in most of the world.

My mother’s mantra was “study hard” and my father’s mantra was “serve the community”. My father told me that the end goal of my education was to make my community a better place. In a sense my father was telling me that the main reason we climb the ladder of success is to help others to accomplish the same thing.

Since 2001, it has been my heart to return to Africa year after year. I have taught Rwandan professors how to integrate technology in their classrooms. I have met hundreds of bright students and teachers in Africa who are hungry for knowledge and thirsty for an opportunity to learn technology. These worthy men and women could really use our help.

I hope that we rise up in every aspect, not just economic power. To those of us who have climbed the ladder, I have a question. What are you doing at the top? Are you resting in your own good fortune, peering down at those beneath you in the world? Or are you using your high perspective to seek out those less fortunate who could benefit from your success.

Scholarship sources:


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Did you Know?

He is an artist!

I don't wear buttons for my favorite candidate, but I like the designer who create these buttons for political candidates. My artist son needs to pay rent, so he is putting his talent into working to get dimes by selling political merchandise. Daniel Pink is right, he is a proof for MFA replacing MBA. Simon, I hope you will sell millions of them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Daniel Pink's Whole New Mind book

We are reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink this week in ITEC 830. Here is a great example who uses his right brain to summarize the book. This chart is created by Kurt Willig in ITEC 830 class. -- I thought the chart illustrates the key concepts of the book so well that I decide to post here to keep the chart for the future classess and also to recommend the book to others. If you have not read Pink's book, it is easy read and there are many great ideas for ID people to consider as we design learning environments for digital age learners.

Monday, March 03, 2008

This is so funny

Five minute university--it is from Youtube

Web 2.0 Tools

Online Education Database has published a new article: e-Learning Reloaded: Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Info Junkies, Researchers & Students.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo pass

If you are in ITEC 830, Please registerfor a free Expo Pass. We will not have have the class session that week, we will attend the conference. Web 2.0 conference will be at Moscone west from April 22-25. Use code websf08ae17 when you register for Web 2.0 Expo and save $100 off the conference package or your choice or get a free Expo Pass.

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, March 01, 2008

21st Century Skills

Everyone who is interested in educational reforms talks about 21st century skills. This week, my students and I are reading an article called "Learning for the 21st Century (A Report and MILE Guide for 21st Century Skills) http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/downloads/P21_Report.pdf. MILE (Milestones for Improving Learning) Guide for the 21st Century skills.". Students suppose to take a graphical note for the classroom discussion. Here is an example of a graphical note.

The map is produced by Kurt in ITEC 830 Spring, 2008

According to the article, there are 6 key elements of 21st century learning; 1) emphasize core subjects, 2) emphasize learning skills, 3) use 21st century tools, 4) teach and learn 21st century context, 5) teach 21st century content, and 6) assess 21st century skill. There are several more important elements are mission from this list. As a parent, I want my children to have the best education they can get. The above 6 elements are lofty goals, but I don't think they are enough for my children. I want my children to be creative beyond knowing the core subjects. I want them to have characters that they can be a good leader who has empathy toward others and knows how to create harmony in his surroundings .
Where is creativity? How about empathy? Where is harmony?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It is clicking! Our community is linked.

Everyone is ready to participate in the itec 830 community. Josh presented RSS. I learned several new things from Josh's presentation that I want to try out. Kurt presented social bookmarking tool called del.icio.us. He created a del.icio.us site for us. Now we all can start to contribute to this page when we find an interesting site or an article.

If you are in ITEC 830, please make a link to the site from your blog or wiki page. Thank you Kurt for being so prompt. Here is itec 830 and ID/password.

username: itec_830
password: spring08

Monday, February 25, 2008

For the first time they see photos of themselves

First time I visited Batwa people in Butare, Rwanda was in 2001. I took each family their portraits (10 families in all). When I returned a year later, I give them their pictures. This is their first time seeing themselves.

Looking at a picture we took of them on the previous visit

Blogged with Flock

Batwa family from Rwanda

I took this video when I visited Batwa family in Butare Rwanda in 2006. There are 10 families, and about 40 people live in a small small house out skirt of Butare where the Come and See Africa Mission Center is located. Butare is the second largest city in Rwanda and the home of National University of Rwanda where I provide faculty development workshops each summer. We became good friends with them since 2001. Whenever we visit them, we bring goats for them and they greet us with singing and dancing.

Blogged with Flock

I wish I would have entered and won one of these.

There are so many exciting things are happening in education with digital media. Here are samples of the projects that won MacArthur Competition this year. You can read more details about the competition and projects at the MacArthur Foundation site.

"The 2007-08 Digital Media and Learning Competition, administered by HASTAC and supported by the MacArthur Foundation. From a field of over 1,000 applications, seven projects won Innovation awards of $100,000 or $238,000; in the Knowledge-Networking category, ten projects received awards ranging from $30,000 to $72,000. "

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I was so sick with coughing that I thought my eyes were going to pop out. In between coughs, I constantly complained about how awful I felt. I griped, “This is the first time that I’ve ever been this sick”. Poor Chris had to endure his own coughing as well as listen to my complaints. At one point, Chris reminded me that there will be a lot of “first times” coming up in the future. “So get use to it!” I think he is right.

Then my mind turned to Lillian Fielding. Chris, Al, and I had visited her a week earlier. She was within a week of death, yet she received us with a gracious smile. When my mind’s eye focused on Lillian, complaining words were replaced with words of gratitude. I was thankful that I had nothing more serious than a cold. My grateful heart changed my feelings toward to myself. My feelings influenced my attitude, and my attitude influenced my actions.

Humans are emotional beings. Our emotions are like the spark plug that starts our engine. I want my emotions to be controlled by the Sprit of God, so that everything I do is pleasing to God. I am totally recovered now. My body is revived and so is my soul. Looking back, I realize that my revival started with a grateful heart. I believe that my change in attitude helped me to recover faster. What a great feeling to be revived.

Our church is now preparing for a revival. Are we ready to start our church engine and move toward our goals of Glorying God, Loving One Another, and Reaching the World? Prayer is our engine. At our Sunday school we talked about greeting one another with the words “Praise the Lord and Hallelujah”. These powerful words can be the spark that starts the engine. I believe that church revival begins in the hearts of each person at First Southern.

A few days ago, Chris and I walked around Lake Chabot. As we talked and prayed about revival, we sang “Hallelujah ~ Thine the Glory ~ Hallelujah, Amen ~Hallelujah ~Thine the Glory~ Revive us again ~”. I was refreshed physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our one hour walk seemed like a minute. I recommend that you sing this song whenever you clean the house or take a walk. You will regain your vitality as I did. As we praise God with our prayers and with our songs, let’s spur one another and bring revival to our church.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Posting a picture from Flickr

Originally uploaded by come and see africa
I showed the class how to post this picture from Flickr.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Digital Learners

Joshua pointed out a term "infotainment" in his blog that I have not heard yet. I like the description he provided, "Web surfing fuses learning and entertainment, creating infotainment." For so long we want to create a learning material that is "edutainment" and I don't think we have been successful.

I should have let students discuss about the article that they have read than I explain about it. After I read their blog entries, I kicked myself for not engaging them as I should have. Our class discussion would have been so richer but I made the discussion (?) very bland by taking an instructor role rather than a facilitator role. BAD, BAD. I didn't practice what I preach. Especially this week topic was on active learning and learner engagement.

Everyone seemed to know the differences between wiki and blog. Angela presented about Podcasting, and Sylvia showed her teaching site using various Web2.0 tools. I like to use Freemind mapping tool in this class as a collaboration tool.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Twitter Application

We talked about different Web 2.o applications last night in education in itec 830. Twitter came up in our conversation, when I heard about Twitter, I scratched my head how this could be used in classroom. Here is an article from the Chronicles of Higher Education. Prof. David Parry from University of Taxas uses it as a classroom communication tool.
A professor's tips for Using Twitter in the Classroom

More about Twitter us in Academica

David and Phillip from last semester came and shared their finall projects --using wiki and other Web 2.0 tools to improve teaching and learning--with the class. David teaches Digital sotrytelling class for seniors, 55 plus populations, and Phillip teaches art class in high school.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Earthquake in Rwanda

Two earthquakes struck hours apart in Rwanda and neighboring Congo, killing at least 39 people, and injuring 380. I first heard about earthquakes in Rwanda and Congo just before our worship service started on Sunday, Feb. 3rd. Many of my friends live in that part of the world. Thankfully, I heard from most of my friends from Rwanda, and they are Okay. But I have not yet heard from friends from Congo.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Web 2.0 workshop

I attended Web 2.0 workshop that was organized by Classroom 2.0 people. I saw great examples and also met many wonderful teachers who truly love teaching. Here is an agenda for the workshop. I will definitely use some of the tools I learned in my itec 830 class.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New York Trip

Pastor Chris and the mission team left for Africa on Dec. 24th. On the same day Zach and I left for New York to visit Simon and his wife Dilia. Our plan was to spend Christmas with Simon before they left for Florida. While they were gone for the weekend, I “dog sat” for them. I didn’t realized how much work was involved in taking care of dogs. Ike and Stella started barking around 5 am. That meant they wanted out to do their thing. The first day was Okay. I let them out to their back yard and they did what dogs do. But on the second day I didn’t hear them barking. When I came out from bedroom about 8 in the morning. I saw two piles of gold (that is what Simon called it) at the doorstep. When Simon called later that day, I told him about what happened at home, he told me this never happened before. I felt guilty. What did I do wrong? I fixed their meal as Simon prescribed to me; mixing rice with dry dog food with a drop of vitamins. I felt like I was taking care of babies. Actually those dogs were like Simon and Dilia’s babies. They called two or three times a day from Florida to check on the dogs and me. But enough about the dog story.

Here is about a church story. I wanted to attend a church on Sunday. I Googled the Internet and found two churches that I could walk to. The first church I walked to was a Baptist church. People were standing at the church door, laughing and talking to each other. I took few steps toward them, but no one paid attention to me. They were too busy talking. I felt awkward and unwelcome. I decided to pass that church and walked to the next church. This one was called the “New Testament Church of Christ”. A man greeted me with a big smile at their parking lot and invited me to the service. I followed him to the church, and two women at the door welcomed me with big smile. People inside sanctuary seemed to be happy to see each other and some of them approached to this stranger with warm greeting. It was a small congregation about 50. It reminded me of our church, and immediately I felt home. I wondered if our church was more like the first or the second.