Monthly Archives: December 2010

T.I.C. -This is China – ‘Chinglish’ store name


‘Chinglish’ – A product of individual words being translated literally from the rather metaphorical language of Chinese into English… directly, and without consideration of the meaning of the sentence.

This photo is of a hair salon: “The Dream Satisfactory Sends The Cosmetology”

I’m on the Qing Guay, (light rail public transit), as I type this on my phone, and the announcement for the arrival at the next station in English says, “The (Station Name) is here.

I’ve often seen terms like this on places like the FAIL blog, or with the term ‘English Fail’ attached, but I disagree! What I see here is a willingness to TRY, and that is key to learning.

I’m so hesitant to try with my limited Chinese that my learning curve is more like an unscalable cliff! Here in Dalian, I’ve seen many fearless English learners that want only to improve and don’t think of their limited ability and mistakes along the way as failures, but simply as opportunities to improve. There is a valuable lesson to be learned here!

Still, some of the Chingish I’ve seen has been irresistibly funny, and I’ll share a few on my Daily Ink.

T.I.C. – This is China – Haircut Anyone?


Yesterday I turned my video off a few seconds early. At the next corner, this was the scene. A bicycle, a chair, a sheet to cover the patron, a pair of scissors, a comb, and a battery-operated shaver. That’s pretty low ‘overhead’ for this ‘street barber’. I’ve tried a lot of different street food, but must admit that I pay a bit more for an indoor haircut!

(I asked before taking the photo.)

T.I.C. -“This is China” #1 – A small back-street in Dalian

via datruss on qik VIDEO (Mouse over the image to press play.)

This is less than a 5 minute walk from our school, and it’s a China you don’t see when you visit Beijing or Shanghai and do what the tourists do. A block up was a barber cutting hair on the street corner. I’ll share that photo tomorrow.

For the next few days I’ll share a number of different sights and sounds and ‘Chinglish’ phrases that help to make this a wonderful experience here. There are many hard-to-describe events and circumstances that happen here and our staff will say T.I.C. – “This is China”. I’ll use this same term to celebrate and share in the adventure our family is having here.

Just to put a little perspective on T.I.C. – one of my teachers shared her elevator ride to her apartment with a neighbor and her goat today… T.I.C.

Bruce Wellman comment » On being an agent of change

“At this point, we appear to have a 19th century curriculum, 20th century buildings and organizations and 21st century students facing an undefined future.”

’20th century organizations’ – We spend a lot of time discussing our out-dated curriculum, and about students graduating into an unknown work force… could things move faster if we paid a lot more attention to our organizational structures that perpetuate an out-dated education?

A pro-d session I did with Bruce Wellman, ‘Promoting a Spirit of Inquiry
Andy Hargreaves and the 4th Way ‘Part 1‘ and ‘Part 2‘.

Beyond Rock Band

Unlike Rock Band, you actually have to know how to play music to do what these guys are doing. Here is another group doing a Christmas concert with iPads:

Or how about 1 guy putting all the pieces together himself:

Garage Band comes free on Apple computers and the same ‘equipment’ would have cost about $20,000 and needed it’s own room when I was a kid. It’s just amazing what you can do these days if you have a musical or creative flare.

Taking this one step further. Have a look at what Eric Whitacre did using technology to connect “individuals alone, together.”

Rock band is fun, but making music is definitely beyond Rock Band!

Two old but not too old links | Year-end Food for Thought

I have two sources of inspiration for you.

One is a video… Brave New World Wide Web.  It compares 20th century learning with 21st century learning.  It was originally posted in 2008, but is still relevant today.  I hope it gets you thinking about one small change you can make to bring yourself forward.  I can help and support you in that process.

The second is a blog post from December of 2009, but it’s still fitting and good food for thought…

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020.

I was planning on sharing the link to Shelly Blake-Plock’s, @TeachPaperless’, post (a year old today and still very insightful), ’21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020′ anyway, but here it has been put together with my Brave New World Wide Web video on the DeDorest Area School District blog.

It amazes me that on where it was first posted, the video has never in 2 years and 2 months had a ‘zero’ day… it has had a long-tail audience and every couple months it gets a spike in viewings as someone else shares it. All told, at several sites, it has probably been viewed over 40,000 times and downloaded over 500 times since I put it online. I realize that a cat sneezing on YouTube can get 150,000 views in less time than that, but this story of a personal journey into the world of edtech, and what it offered to me as an educator, has a very specific audience and I’m humbled by it’s reception… even 2 years later.


This video tells two stories, one 2,000+ years old and another of our modern world… I love seeing a story transformed through the ages.

√ “Avoid Romans” – LOL

Hat-tip to Brian Mull @BrianMullNL for pointing the way!

What do you want to know about teens and social media?

Danah Boyd asked this very question, last June, and here was my response: 


I’m interested in knowing more about:

1. Gaming: As it relates to socializing with others vs isolating & playing on their own.

2. Friendship: Actually two things here, first, definitions of online friendship by teens, and second, more about the duration and quality of friendships teens are creating. I know that as an adult I have created some very meaningful online relationships (in my case with other educators) with people I have never met f2f, is this happening with teens as well?

3. Content creation (trends): What are teens creating and sharing online? Here I’m actually interested in the bleeding edge, where are they taking content creation to a new level? How are they ‘mashing’ things up?

4. Learning: How are teens taking learning into their own hands, what are they doing outside of schools to educate themselves and learn new things?


I’m still interested in these things… who can help me learn more?

Been there, done that…

Well, not on a highway, but we’ve had some interesting adventures while here in China. The weird thing about events like this is the lack of horn-blowing from oncoming traffic. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of horns going off here, but not for things like this, or for a left-turn into oncoming traffic.

Instead a horn comes from:

1) A driver passing on the left in the lane of oncoming traffic, to let the car on their right know to squeeze over as it is being passed.

2) A driver passing a slower car that’s on the right and then making a right-hand turn in front of the car just passed.

3) A driver passing two cars, on a two lane road, down the middle white line of the two lanes between the cars.

Which one of these has happened to me?

All of the above!

Twitter EDU

UPDATE: This post has been vastly improved on, and made into an ebook.

Click here to access a free copy of Twitter EDU.

Below, you’ll find the material that just one chapter of this ebook is based on. The ebook is much more comprehensive, just as easy to read, and engages you with Twitter while you read.

Pick up your copy here. 

Update: January 8, 2017


Some simple advice to set yourself up for success on Twitter– BEFORE you start following people:

1. Add a (tasteful) image.
2. Put something in your bio that says you are an educator.
3. Add a link. Don’t have a blog, use your district/school website, (this is the most optional of these 5 points).
4. Actually tweet a few times. Find a resource or two and share them.
5. Before following other people, add a tweet saying, “I’m an educator from (Country/City/State/University/Course/choose 1) trying to get started on Twitter.”


Do that and you’ll get WAY more follow-backs than if you follow someone with no details and a rookie egg image that Twitter gives you.


Follow me: @datruss (Do the 5 things above and you have a guaranteed follow-back from me!)


And follow some of these great people… I do!


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Related: The complete guide to building a digital footprint.