The biggest issue about looking at China to compare with the US is that not everyone in China goes to schools and often when schools are reviewed, they are the premier schools in urban areas. This is a good point, however, that they are using technology in all curriculum areas, not just one or two and one that we should note, particularly for college prep, as I think that it is comparing apples and oranges. Having been to China, often things that filter out aren't what they seem-- they tightly control the stories that emerge from their borders.
"OF THE 264 Twitter accounts belonging to governments and world leaders, and the 350,289 tweets that have been sent from those accounts to their 51,990,656 followers, not a single one was sent by a Chinese leader." says the Economist in their blog about China.
In a fascinating article that accuses Chinese leaders of a sort of "state led autism" it talks about how one major social media outlet (Twitter) is ignored and blocked by the Great Firewall of China but how their news service is now not only tweeting but linking to YouTube videos (which is also blocked.) The Economist uses this as a fascinating example of how being so insular is going to harm and ultimately limit the rise of China. If you follow China and current events, whether you like Twitter or not, this is a fascinating read and one you may want to bring to your students as well.
Another overview of Qu Yuan. Another note about him is that one of his most popular poems is the "Heavenly Questions" where he asks 170 questions about life. This would be something to download and read via ebook, etc.
A fascinating reading about the "Man who raved at the wall." It is an incredible explanation of a unique poet who used his poetry to bring to the attention the politcis of his time.
The 'man who raved at the wall' was none other than China's oldest major poet, Qu Yuan 屈原 Qū Yuán (often spelt Ch'ü Yüan after the old system of romanisation). Qu Yuan was born in the kingdom of Chu (or Ch'u) in 340 BC, roughly 2,340 years before our time and 1,150 years before Li He's. Like Li He, he was unsuccessful in life, but the consequences were much graver than merely being excluded from the bureaucracy.
At the time Qu Yuan was alive, China consisted of seven states fighting for dominance of the known civilised world.
Translation of The Mountain Spirit, another Qu Yuan poem. This one has the chinese on the left and the words on the right.
"All gloomy and dark is the day;
The east wind drifts and god sends down rain.
Waiting for the divine one, I forget to go home.
The year is late. Who will now bedeck me?..."
This page includes quite a bit more Chinese poetry.
In the chinese lantern festival (coming up on February 6), children in China and in other areas across Asia, carry lanterns with riddles on them as they go into their temples. Here are some lesson plans and templates for making your own lanterns. You could have students put riddles on them relating to topics you have going in your classroom.
Chinese New Year Collection with many different lessons at all age levels along with downloadables to use. If you are expecting your students to have global literacy, you cannot afford to ignore China. This is a fun time to teach about it - kids love dragons and fireworks!
Global competency is important. Here is a lesson plan used by an elementary teacher for Chinese New Year. I love it because it has simple ingredients. It is coming up in 2 weeks and is probably the most important celebration in China. Students should know what it is.
Social media with censorship. take a peek inside the Great Firewall of China. as the people connect "the party" keeps a firm grip on acceptable conversation, perhaps eliciting more control than ever by blocking conversations and the resulting connections that could happen.
Seen lots of people discussing this digital novel by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph: From the homepage:
"n episode one, Alice is living with her parents in a remote region of Northern China. Over the course of the remaining
episodes, each a self-contained adventure, we see her develop into a talented animator and designer with the biggest
games company in the world.
Through text, sound, images, music and games, the story of Alice becomes increasingly interactive and game-like,
reflecting Alice's own developing skills as a game designer and animator. "
Click in to find related links.