Monday, April 14, 2014

Mathematical Software: Wolfram CDF Player

A powerful mathematical software - dynamic (that runs in java) and can be embedded into websites pretty easily.

Ease for implementation
  • Create a presentation file (CDF) where the applets could be embedded for access and manipulation.
  • To run the CDF file does not require the editor; the reader only needs to download the CDF player (see link below) to access and manipulate.
Useful Links (access via Firefox)
Sample created and shared by Boon Tat

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sharing @ iCTLT 2014 on Digital Citizenship

In the recent years, Digital Citizenship is gaining more attention as educators start to direct their focus on the learners (of technology) in today's context, a move onward, after placing so much emphasis on how to deliver the technology-enhanced learning experiences in the past few years.

Well, the use of technology to create an effective and beneficial learning experience is still an important area. Nevertheless, now the emphasis has gradually been broadened to include the learners, looking at how technology has influenced them and their well-being. There is also greater emphasis of the cyber wellness in schools today.

The move of further broadening Cyber Wellness to Digital Citizenship programme is one way to see the well being of individuals in a more holistic manner, not divorcing the "real" and "virtual" selves.

Some individuals might think, Physical well-being and Cyber well-being are mutually exclusive. However, with technology penetrates into our livelihood (in different forms), we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to it. No matter what, it impacts us directly or indirectly. It's no doubt, part of our environment. Environment is not just the 'space' that we are in physically. It includes people around us, as well as the culture that we are immersed in. People, of course, it includes their mindset and behaviour.

Recognising this, there is no doubt that school plays an important role in shaping one's attitude and behaviour. How to approach Digital Citizenship programme? Not just directly on the students, but also the people around them. In addition, leveraging on the programme, we could further level up the capacity of our students, who are in the forefront of the programme. Hence, it's not just digital citizenship programme, but also student leadership development programme :)

Click HERE to view the presentation (by Johari & myself)

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Interesting Development in GoogleMaps

This was introduced by a GCT (who turned Googler) at the GCT Group.

Compared to the GoogleMap we know 2 years ago, the Map Gallery is so much more dynamic and has so much potential for classroom teaching and learning.

When click at specific area, comparison graphs are displayed.
Looking at some of these additional features, could you think of ways to bring GoogleMap gallery into everyday clssroom?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Re-assessing: Purpose of Activities - to open up possibilities

Article:  23 iPad Alternatives to the Book Report

Book Review (or Book Report, in this case) - We'll usually associate it with lines and lines of words. 
Let's re-visit the purpose of the activity: 
- It's about drawing out key ideas from the reading?
- It's about synthesising? 
- It's about developing communication skills?
- It's about cultivating creativity in expression?
... or it's about practising summary skills (which I think that's what the teachers had in mind all this while, especially in my school days)?

With technology use, we could do it differently! and we could definitely do more! So, we really need to be clear of the purpose of the activity, and not be greedy to accomplish too many at one go, else, we may lost sight of what we want to achieve.

The article gives some suggestions how a Book Review could be presented differently. 
Well, this 'model' of thinking is not limited to "Book Review". It could be applied to other contexts too!

Some Thoughts: What to consider for eBook implementation

The article listed 14 things that we should look at before implementing eBooks (schoolwide):

I think, the key considerations before we embark on the project would be 
(1) Purpose - not just for 'convenience', but what else (experience) eBooks can provide that traditional hardcopies can't. At the same time, we also need to know what are the experiences that we'll be omitting when not using the printed version.

(11) Instruction - how would classroom instruction change with the new media. Not so much of how to manage the 'hardware', but what else we could do that previously we can't do with the hardcopies? What are some 'strategies' that works in the past now no longer works. We have to be mindful of these. Else (borrowing an analogy I read from another book, no matter how good and reliable a 'delivery service' is, if fails when there is no recipient to receive the goods.

(12) Roll-out plan - planning is important. More importantly, the need to monitor the implementation and gather feedback from both teachers and students are important so that the process could be refined over time. Else, some sceptical people would take opportunity to pass death sentences to the initiative. 

(13) Professional Development - Do not undermine this, although many a time, those who 'push' for the implementation might "sell" it such that it's idiot-proof, or it's soooo.... simple to use. PD could include the change in mindset and the building of a community to support the change, the change for the a better learning experience for the students, and a better delivery experience for the teachers.  

Below are the 14 things listed in the article 

1. Purpose
2. Devices/Portal
3. Content Decisions
4. Funding (long term/short term)
5. Pricing
6. Ownership of content
7. Formats
8. Number of circulations
9. Number of access at one time
10. Enhancements
11. Instruction
12. Roll out plan
13. Professional Development
14. Publicize it!