Archive for November, 2014

November 29, 2014

Google Forms for Education

Google apps for education are extremely versatile and practical. The learning curve is next to zero and the best part is their adaptability to any teaching needs.

I have been looking for ways to make use of google forms besides using it to do small-scale class survey and polls. I particularly want to know more about using forms to do auto-graded quizzes. I came across the following website and found these instructions very practical and easy to follow.

A shoutout to any of you out there doing similar searches.

November 25, 2014

Embed Hot Potatoes on Google Site

I’ve been searching for ways to embed hot potato self-check exercises for google site, so I can have students do grammar/reading exercises while checking answers on their own.

Now I figured out the solution and it worked beautifully!


  • 1) create hotpot exercise, export as htm.
  • 2) save the htm in “public folder” in your dropbox drive. Copy the “share” link of this file.
  • 3) in google site page, click edit, insert, then use iframe to embed, and paste the dropbox address.
  • 4) save and voila! You will see your battery of exercises ready for action!

I’m so happy to have found the solution.

November 25, 2014

Use Reflector to mirror ipad to pc or mac

This is an idea I’ve been thinking and wanted to learn to do. So I have an ipad, and I have a mac that has ‘snagit’ installed to record stream to make instructional videos (such as narrated ppt).

Now I want to record my ipad screen as a video to share with students, for example, showing them ipad chinese learning apps, show a video segment from a Chinese tv show, etc.

I’ve done reading around to see what is the best solution. It seems that using reflector is an easier option. It is a paid application which is a downside, but then the rest is no hassle.

Here is a video that I find helpful explaining how to hook up the devices.

November 21, 2014

World of Chinese

The text is in English but the magazine features Chinese learning texts. The contents are usually modern and informative, looking at China from a global angle.

November 18, 2014

A cool listening site


Useful features:

  • using keyboard arrows to control back, forward;
  • option to loop and pause and low-motion;
  • authentic, discourse-level content
November 13, 2014

A convenient reading tool

Hover mouse over Chinese characters to get pinyin and tone and english

see this post:

November 13, 2014

Pure Translation

Handy tool to create three-line text for students to read. 

November 6, 2014

Mastering Mandarin becoming essential (news clip)

Mastering Mandarin becoming an essential


Nate Morrison wants to be an engineer.

The Jefferson High School sophomore already is enrolled in STEM classes and is considering Purdue University for his postsecondary education. But Morrison knows he needs more than an scientific background to be successful, so he’s learning Mandarin Chinese.

Morrison is one of more than 200 Lafayette School Corp. students immersed in the language. The district started offering courses in 2007.

John Layton, associate superintendent, said the federal government lists Mandarin as a critical language for people to learn in terms of national security.

“Those students who gain command of the language may have doors open for them in the business world, in government or whatnot,” he said.

With the Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies plant open on Lafayette’s south side, more Chinese-owned industries could choose to come to Tippecanoe County, Layton said, presenting even more opportunities for students in Indiana.

To unlock those doors, LSC allows its students to start young. The corporation offers a Mandarin Chinese language exploratory class to high-ability students at Edgelea Elementary School. When students enter Sunnyside Intermediate, the curriculum intensifies to prepare students for Mandarin fluency courses, through which they can earn high school credit beginning in seventh grade at Tecumseh Junior High.

At Jefferson, levels I through IV are offered for students who either want to start their Mandarin education or continue their studies. Under the leadership of Wei Hong, a foreign language professor at Purdue, the university is home to the Confucius Institute. In 2010, LSC became designated as a Confucius Classroom district, or the K-12 equivalent.

“Together we have worked to provide Chinese cultural experiences for our students, even those who are not learning the Chinese language,” Layton said. “It has made a lot of sense for us to offer Mandarin on many levels, and we are very proud of it.”

Sophomore Abbey Armstrong said she wants to go into the medical field after college. The 15-year-old has been learning Chinese since she was in second grade and is now in the level III class at Jefferson. Armstrong said she wanted to stick with learning the language because Mandarin could help her pursue a career in another country.

“It will help me if I need to help others who don’t speak fluent English,” she said.

Chinese can help students in a variety of ways, said Ye Sun, Mandarin teacher at Jefferson. The complicated language allows them to have a better understanding of other cultures, she said. Students become more accepting of Chinese people and tend to ask more questions about the culture, she said.

“They go over to West Lafayette and Purdue, and they see Chinese students, but they understand that that doesn’t represent all Chinese people,” she said. “We have our rich, our poor, our bad guys, just like the United States.”

With nearly 4,000 Chinese students studying at Purdue, it is beneficial for students to learn Chinese, Layton said. Morrison said he wants to use what he learned in his classes to make friends with international students on campus and allow him to stand out from other students in his classes.

Hong, the Purdue professor, said she has students from a variety of colleges and majors enroll in her classes, including engineering, management and hospitality. Having Chinese on their resume when they apply for jobs makes them stand out, she said.

“Whether it’s a language class, culture class or a study abroad trip, it makes employers stop and recognize their commitment to the language,” Hong said.

The chance to start as early as elementary school has more of Hong’s students starting at higher levels when they go to college. Students can take a placement test and skip over Chinese I at the college level, she said.

“That’s the nice thing about the program,” Hong said. “I can see the time and effort LSC has put into it to make it successful.”