Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home again!

Well I made it home from Beijing China, with lots of luggage and a very tired body! 
I am still somewhat on Beijing time but am working to get on to Iowa time. It really seems like a dream right now - all that we saw and did during our 8 days in Beijing. From losing and finding my passport to climbing the Great Wall of China to visiting the Forbidden Palace to taking a rickshaw in the windy narrow roads of a hutong. The snow (made by the Chinese Government or The People as it is called in China), the people we met, the sites we saw right now still a blur, but as I process the experience - more and more small details stand out. We could not have had better tour guides or bus drivers! Vincent from the China Guide will be a great memory for all of us! Not only was he knowledgeable about Beijing, he shared his life with us. How different a place to grow up from the United States. I was constantly amazed at the grace and politeness from people of all ages. We did feel like movie stars as people would ask us to pose for pictures with them.

Day 9 in Beijing & US


Day 8 in Beijing

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Last day of the conference, everyone is very busy getting ready for the final presentations. The 6 student groups are busy working on their videos and the adults are finishing up and having their projects juried so that we can find the three best.  The rest of the people are working on elevator speeches and some parts of the final presentations. 
The final presentations went great and the ending ceremonies ended on time! We had a great time and now for a final day of touring.

Vincent, Mr. Lei and Mr. Wong picked us up at the Hotel at 1pm today and took us first to the Pearl Market. Leigh had a great time bargaining for many different things including the hat on my beautiful model!

By the time the bargaining for this hat had finished we were all laughing so hard! At one point Leigh went higher and the salesgirl then went even lower! It was just too much!
After the shopping we went and got in some rickshaws for a tour of a very old hutong. The hutongs in Beijing are the original neighborhoods. Some are over 800 years old.  We saw the Bell Tower Zhōnglóu (钟楼) and the Drum Tower Gǔlóu (鼓楼) These were used to tell time for all.  One story is that the Bell was rung at 7 pm to signal the time to close the gate. And the Drum was used to signal the time to wake up at 5 am. They were both originally built in 1272 and have been rebuilt twice since due to fires. They are made of wood and stone.  The bell in the Bell Tower is over 500 years old and made of Copper. It is said that it can be heard for 12.4 miles. There is still one of the original drums left to see by tourist. The other drums are newer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 7 in Beijing, China

Today it snowed! Lots of white stuff we call snow, but slightly different than what we get in Iowa. Round very small pebbles of snow - made by the government? This is what is being said, I'll have to do some research into this possibility.
2nd day of the Flat Classroom Conference. We started the morning with the leaders presenting their ideas to the students and the students giving back constructive criticism.
Then the students went back to their work areas to finish up their storyboards and presentations. I again worked with groups 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15. It was very interesting to see the student bring their ideas to concrete explanations.
At noon each student group presented their ideas to the leaders and 9 other student groups.  Then another excellent lunch at BISS.  After lunch there was a conference photo in the snow! The winning student groups were announced: #1,  5,  9. 13,  15 & 19.
Those groups went with Frank and Bernajean to work on their movies and the other groups broke into two large teams to work on differnt projects.  one projects was to design the closing ceremonies of the Conference the other group went to work with Kim on Digital Kung Fu.

Day 6 in Beijing, China

The first day of Flat Classroom Conference.

Day 5 in Beijing, China

24th February 2011  Thursday
Yes, I did make it up the mountain to the Great Wall. I climbed (& crawled) up the Great Wall and sat on it! Those last steps were as high as my knees, so I felt like a baby on them. But I did it! By myself, I walked up to the closed cable car (just like Bill Clinton) and rode that up to the platform then up the graded trail to the steps on the right! For someone who is very afraid of heights this was a great achievement! Then I had to go back down those steps, so I did but backwards! My new friend Wati Wardani from Indonesia took this picture of me at the Great Wall.
On the way down I closed my eyes in the cable car and took a video of the trip down!

Day 4 in Beijing, China

 We visited the Western Academy of Beijing today. A wonderful refreshing school. See more about the school at:  Western Academy of Beijing

Day 3 in Beijing, China

22nd February 2011 Tuesday

Pick up at your hotel 9am
Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
Standard Chinese lunch
Lama Temple
Walk through Nanluoguxiang Alleys where you can also visit small shops.
Peking Duck Dinner
Peking Opera in Liyuan Theater downstairs ticket
Return to your hotel

We boarded the tour bus at 9am and headed for Tiananmen Square. It is amazing

Day 2 in Beijing, China

21st February 2011 Monday

TCG - Pick up at your hotel 8:00am
Ming Tombs and Sacred Way (history of China & cultural event)
Lunch on your way back to the city
Return to your hotel at noon.

Visit to Tsinghua High International School
(We have been invited to see both the International as 
well as the local high school) (2 schools in one!). 
The major difference between the schools is the size. 
At the International school there were 10-20 students 
in a room with two adults a teacher and a helper.
At the local school there was 1 teacher and sometimes 
as many as 50 students. 
Next was the type of teaching. At the local school they 
just teach for the test and at the International School
they teach for learning. 
The International School was newer and more inviting. 
But the students in both school were friendly and helpful. 

TCG - Pick up at your hotel around 6:30pm
Transfer to the Red Theater watch Kungfu Show yellow zone tickets x 19. (Traditional activity this show tells the story of how Kungfu became part of the Chinese Culture and is not just a fighting tool)
Return to your hotel
TCG - UNI Group (2 instructors & 8 students) -

Today we got up and did some housekeeping, still very jet lagged. Had breakfast down on the 2nd floor of the hotel. Lots of good things to eat.  I ate all Chinese. Yummy!  Some of the girls had eggs plus some Chinese.
At 8apm we meet up with Vincent for the bus ride to the Sacred Way. It was interesting, but I had a lot of trouble with my back and asthma. The air was very bad today.  I did not go on the Walk to the Ming Tomb. But stayed with the bus driver. We went and got air in the tires and then drove to a spot to stop and he read his Chinese book. Then we tried talking and I learned the word for dog and there was one close by that was barking. After we got a call from Vincent we went and picked up the rest of the group and went to a great “standard Chinese lunch”, I think we had 7 or 8 different plates of food. Interestingly no rice, but some great noodles. Reminded me of our meal in Thailand with our Chinese friends.
We had a great at the Kung Fu show but still very jet lagged.

Week 7 & Day 1 in Beijing China

20th February 2011  Sunday 
Our first day in China.

4:25pm arrive Peking Airport (Beijing, China)
Check in at Hotel and pay hotel bill. (Beijing Zhejiang Hotel, Beisanhuan Middle Road Side Road, Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100029 010-64453388
TCG - Pick up at your hotel
Acrobatic Show row 15 - 23 ticket x 19 (cultural event)
Return to your hotel
TCG - UNI Group (2 instructors & 8 students) –

We left Iowa on Sat. Feb 19 at 7:01 am and then spent 4 hours in Chicago for our next plane to take us to Beijing. It was a very long flight and there was little leg room even for me! We had a nice lunch, snack and dinner on the plane…Watched lots of movies and slept a bit. Then we finally arrived in Beijing on Sunday evening about 4:30 pm or as they say here 16:30.  It was a bit of a mess trying to sign into the hotel, not the least was the problem that our tour bus was waiting on us and I found I had lost my passport!   Good news the hotel would hold the rest of the rooms while the students from UNI meet the students from Georgia and they went to see the acrobatics show.  I took a taxis to the airport to see if they had found my passport!  Amazingly they had!  So I have my passport & water bottle back. Safe and sound. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 6

Attribution Some rights reserved by Paul Lowry
We are packing and pulling together our last minute ideas for our trip to Beijing, China. We leave Saturday morning at 7:01am.  Those of us up in Cedar Falls plan to leave here at 3:30 am as we need to be at the airport by 5 am.  We do have a 4 hour layover in Chicago, whatever will we do there?
If you want to see what we are doing in Beijing check back here and/or go to one of our graduate students blogs. you can also get to them from here. 
See you in March!

Review These Blogs:

  1. Jami Elliott, a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, teaches third grade in an elementary school in West Burlington, Iowa for the last 8 years. Her blog, Ms. Elliott's Adventure to China, is dedicated to her trip.
  2. Cathy Olson, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, is a high school English teacher in Boone, Iowa.
  3. Carrie Jacobs, a graduate of Central College, is a social studies teacher and the technology specialist at Walnut Creek Campus, an alternative high school in West Des Moines, Iowa. She has a masters of education degree in Quality Schools from Graceland University.
  4. Deb Bruxvoort, a graduate of William Penn University, is Director of Academic Computing at Central College in Pella, Iowa.
  5. Farah Kashef, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, is a Dental Hygiene Instructor at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa.
  6. Brandi Day, a graduate of Harding University, is a Program Associate with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.
  7. Jennie Kies, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, teaches engineering technology at Jefferson high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  8. Lisa Schaa, a graduate of the University of Iowa, has taught art and technology at an elementary school in Stratford, Iowa for the last 27 years. Mrs. Schaa's Adventures in China is a blog all about her travels
  9. Leigh Zeitz, an associate professor at the University of Northern Iowa. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5

Gong Hei Fat Choi means Happy New Year!  恭贺新年 It is now Chinese New Year 2011!
For this week and next we need to:
  • Finish the ADDIE Quest
  • Write up ADDIE parts (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate)
  • Put together the Prezi
  • Research Presenters at the Conference
  • Research Information about China 
    • Schools - Chinese & International
    • Famous People
      • actors, leaders, ie. who meet recently with President Obama? musicians? what else?
  • Blog or Journal 
  • Check out 7 Steps to Flatten Your Classroom

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 3

The two projects that you will be completing this semester for
240:245 - Applied Instructional Design Section 60 Spring 2011 are:

Project #1
Client: Leigh Zeitz for Flat Classroom Conference Presentation
Need: A clear fanciful story for describing the instructional design process
Content: it will follow and depict the ADDIE process
Use: Describe in everyday life the way someone would analyze, design, develop, implement & evaluate to solve a problem
Shared: In front of an audience at the Flat Classroom Conference
Deliverable: Presentation
Final Report:

A.     Group Presentation            
1.     Introduction – Dr. Zeitz
2.     Tell the Story -
3.     Professional Presentation at the FCC
a.     Describe the 5 Steps (1 each for ADDIE instructional design process)
b.     Presenters:  (1-2 graduate students for each step)
                                               i.     Analyze -
                                              ii.     Design -
                                            iii.     Develop -
                                            iv.     Implement -
                                              v.     Evaluate -
4.     Conclusive wrap-up:
a.     Presenter: Zeitz
                                               i.     Give everyone a crown or a rubber duckie with a crown.

B. Expectations of Individual Students
1.     All Students contribute to conception & creation of FCC Presentation (Story & ADDIE Steps)
a.     Weekly write up including:
                                               i.         Accomplishments (read, watched, listened and did)
                                              ii.         Identification of your challenges
                                            iii.         How you solved your challenges                                   
2.     Implementation
a.     All students will present to the conference
3.     Final Report on Presentation
a.     Narrative on each of the five steps and how it was implemented, your role and reflection on how the presentation went.
                                               i.         Write it in google docs or in word and email it to me (

Project #2
Instructional Design Facilitators*

Starts first day of Conference. You are going to facilitate* the design process for your client.  Your Client will be your individual cohort; you will need to identify them in some way. You will help identify the needs, content, use, and deliverable of the cohort’s FC project. 

Identify information
Final Report:

*A facilitator helps a group work together to reach the best possible conclusions or decisions.

A. Facilitate your cohort.

B. Expectations of Individual Students
1.     All students will reflect on a daily basis the processes they are going through & a write up of their cohort meetings make sure to include the following:
                                               i.         Accomplishments
                                              ii.         Identification of challenges
                                            iii.         How challenges were solved                                   
2.     Final Report on Presentation
a.     Full reflection on the whole process including but not limited to:
                                               i.         Accomplishments
                                              ii.         Identification of challenges
                                            iii.         How challenges were solved
                                            iv.         Goals met
                                              v.         Goals to be finished
b.     Include the following information:
                                               i.         Client:
                                              ii.         Need:
                                            iii.         Content:
                                            iv.         Use:
                                              v.         Deliverable:
Write it in google docs or in word and email it to me (

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 2 & More to do!

We have been in contact with Julie Lindsay and hopefully she will join us this Tuesday evening for a few minutes.
Here are some things Julie has given us to look at:
Conference Tours - She is also getting a list of bus drivers if we want to plan our own tours.
Here is another site to look at: 
and now we need to fill this one in with information about you!  Yes, International fame and glory. You need to write something about what you are aiming to do at the Flat Classroom Conference. I will start a new page, Flat Classroom, on our wiki for people to start putting down ideas. (Julie wants to know if you want a picture here of the "Beijing Babes"?)
February 3, 2011 is the first day of the Chinese new year - Year of the Rabbit.
Read the book or watch the video your choice.
The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's Get Started!

Welcome to 240:245 - Applied Instructional Design Section 60 Spring 2011. For the first two weeks of class we will be working on the following:
1.     Since many of you are new to me please email me at the following information:
a.      What do you teach?
b.     How long have you taught?
c.      Have you traveled outside of the United States? If so where?
d.      Besides the Flat Classroom Project Conference what do you want to do in Beijing? ie. Shop, people watch, museums, cultural events.
e.      Anything else about yourself that will help me to get to know you better.
2.     Watch the video in the tab above – Top 10 Beijing Attractions: pick one of the attractions (tell us which one in the comments area below) and find out more about it. Websites, pictures, where it is located, hours of operation and anything else you might feel that we will like to know about it. Then go to our wiki and fill in the chart.
3.     Read chapter 9 that I have sent you, more instructions to follow! We will have a page on the wiki to help us work with this chapter.
4.     One project we will be working on from now until Feb. 15th is to add to this site, information about Beijing, China. Please select on of the following roles that you will research (tell me which one in the comments area below): Historian, Shopper, Clothes Shopper, Sightseer, Cultural Sponge, Restaurant Critic, Nightlife Expert, or Phrase Finder.  (Roles explained below) Make a list of these places along with any information you may find about where the place is located, the hours it is open, and the costs associated with the attraction/event/place. Did you consider a "plan B" in case of rain or snow? Find each place on a map of Beijing so you can consider the walking/driving distance from point-to-point. Make a blog for your role and send me the URL so we can link them to this site.

·       Historian
You are intrigued by the long and varied history of Beijing. You want to visit (research) all of the museums and landmarks that document the many events of Beijing and China’s history.

·       Shopper
Your motto is "Shop 'til you drop and then do the rest through email". You are especially excited about the exchange rate between the Chinese and the U.S. Dollar. This means that your money will purchase a great deal of Chinese goods. You want to see (research) the places where you can get the most for the least.

·       Clothes Shopper
You’ve heard that the place to buy and/or have clothes made is China. Is there a place nearby to get a suit made? Can Americans buy “off the rack” in Beijing? What about fabrics?

·       Sightseer  
While history is interesting, you really want to see (research) the places that are
the most photogenic.

·       Cultural Sponge
Pretty sites are nice, but you want to get the "feel" of the city. What is it that people are thinking? What is important to the people of Beijing? What sorts of cultural activities are important to the Chinese? You want to go to the opera, dance in a disco and traditional folk festival. Research all the cultural opportunities.

·       Restaurant Critic 
What do People in Beijing like to eat? Do you want to sit in cafes and
talk with people? Do you know the Chinese word for chopsticks? What hours
are meal times in China?

·       Nightlife Expert
What is there to do in Beijing after the sun goes down? Movies, Discos, plays??

·       Phrase Finder
What are common Chinese phrases that we need to know? ie. Thank you, please, where is the restroom?