Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reflection: Workshop - Spreadsheet (2nd Run)

On 31 Jan and 7 February 2007 @ Teck Ghee Primary

It was the 2nd run and things went smoother, as the reactions from participants (drawing from the 1st run) were more predictable.

Reviewing the 'tactics'
The "magic number" tactic once again works... indeed, this time, we used that to get participants to give responses... and an extension to that was, participants to identify the next number to answer the next question... Have used this trick before... in class where pupils either called out the name or register number of their classmate. I guess, for a moment, the participants were enjoying the fun...

This time we were more cautious when distributing the stickers in the 2nd sesion - this time, the levels are more well distributed.

something new...
While participants presented their lesson ideas, the rest participated by typing in their comments/inputs in the spreadsheet... this helped to reduce the time taken to discuss after each presentation... moreover, participants have something 'concrete' to bring back for resource/lesson idea refinement...

Our Participants

  • Range of spreadsheet skill varies from almost zero to intermediate. There were a couple who needed more support while a handful explored the used of "If" when designing the template in session 2.
  • There were 3 participants from the pilot schools... one indicated that the school is currently looking at the integration and the materials in the baseline website.
  • One teacher from a non-pilot school expressed that 'baseline' was no surprise to the school as pupils already equipped with the necessary skills.

'Guiding' participants...
Learnt in the 1st run that it was not so easy to get participants to draw out inputs from participants on their views and comment on the lesson activities, there was a conscious effort to 'throw in' some guiding questions to direct participants' attention. Thought that helps... when participants could hear and see more than what they would have observed.

Also got participants' to share some 'skills' and their suggested methods - (i) How to 'unfilter' quickly (ii) Using "If" instead of Macro.

Request from Participants after the 1st session

  • One requested to be able to create a bar chart/picture graph with 'itemised' legend.

Some strengths pointed out by participants...

  • Lesson ideas are great
  • It was an `eye-opener’ on what spreadsheet can do
  • Very interactive, lots of hands-on
  • Lots of ideas and examples to reinforce understanding
  • Gives useful tips
  • Usable ideas, enhanced knowledge of spreadsheets
  • Able to download files
  • Able to use spreadsheet to enhance pupils learning
  • Many resources to collect and for use in my classroom
  • What the participants said...

    • Participants should be taught more skills on how to create those innovative spreadsheets eg. how to use `macro’ etc
    • More such session for teachers
    • Learnt how to create resources instead of planning for lessons
    • Content and materials needs to be vetted again. Science lesson on transparency of objects. Materials are mentioned but some objects are mentioned.

    Other areas of training that participants indicated they need...

    • Word document
    • How to create the spreadsheet with the use of Macros
    • Non-core subjects eg. National Education
    • Maths – Graph
    • Dreamweaver

    One technical problem encountered...

    • The shared spreadsheet was 'unshared' after some time and participants could not save their entries. The file became 'read-only' when re-opened.

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