Saturday, March 31, 2007

Workshop Requests

It's not my forte... however, because of the needs of the job, we have to do it... to talk to 'strangers' (usually the HODs), to understand their needs (that's leads to the request), and to see how we can support them. We did that last year... indeed, found that useful as such talking helps the HODs to re-think their intent and desired outcome of the request - what they hope to see - eventually happening in the classroom, when the teachers could transfer their learning to application.

Perhaps because we were only dealing with requests of Maths workshops last year. Indeed, unknown to us, we took for granted that we know what we can offer.

The challenge comes this year when we have to deal with workshop requests on areas that are alien to us... worst still, we were equipped with out-dated references. Yes, got hit... realised, without good knowledge on what we can offer, and making assumption that the ones dealing with the subject (while in the school) would be able to manage the delivery of the workshop can be killing - to ourselves. Yes, we will kill ourselves by possible over-promising... possibly landed up having to do just-in-time training before the workshop. Yes, the stress is beyond words... in order to deliver a reasonably ok workshop.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reflection: Workshop - WebQuest

The workshop is a challenge.
It's a challenge not because the content is challenging.
It's the preparation. The level of confidence in the delivery.

Lessons learnt

  • Know thy work well before making a commitment.
  • Know thy ability well before making the commitment.
  • Be prepared of unanticipated expectations.
  • Know thy participants well.
  • Be prepared beyond what's in the instructor's guide and slides.
  • Be calm and cool... no matter what pops up.

I think have done well...

  • able to identify and highlight to participants where they can leverge on for baseline standards implementation
  • have arouse participants' interest in webquest
  • having read through and thought about what they input in the blog and surveys, am able to highlight to participants we are addressing to their needs, their queries, their questions, their concerns...

I think I gained...

  • have a better idea what webquest is... definitely a better understanding, as compared to my first implementation with the bhutanese students in 2005. I thought I did well... but am sure would have done even better if I have gone through a process as thorough as I did this time
  • think further and deeper about the use of webquest in class... well, it came about with questions from participants - start to think: Are we selling "WebQuest" a bit too hard? Is it really worth spending the time to do "WebQuest"? What's the value? I think these are fundamental questions that we must answer... and we have to buy in before convincing others or telling others what it's good about.
  • connection between theory and practical - it never surface so stronger compared to other maths workshops... because of the 'openness' of "WebQuest"? I wonder? Because it's not something common and close to maths? It's the linkages that were not established in the past... the connection between what's known and what's new... the connection between 2 new things - as the subject area extends beyond maths! At least, through this workshop, have made an effort to do the linking and it's no longer that alien or disconnected.

Hm... 2nd thought... something is wrong...

  • how do we landed up doing a webquest workshop for KCPPS? I think, it's the very initial link-up or check... It was not clear, in terms of subject needs! In fact, it landed up something not Science. We landed up something that's beyond us! Hey, isn't the request similar to that by JYSS? I wonder...
  • the agreement of the workshop... it's too fast... I think the biggest problem is, when heard about webquest, there's a assumption that the school is asking for a Science WebQuest workshop.
  • Lesson learnt: Do NOT jump into conclusion that when a school asked for a WQ workshop, it is asking for something on Science.

I should be able to do better next time...

  • Running the activity: More thinking to how to give instructions of activities in a clear and non-longwinded manner. I guess, it's the fear that they do not know what to do

Areas that the workshop can be better

  • Highlight to participants the rationale of certain activity - eg. in the 2nd session, they do not know why they were 'made' to view the 3 short-term webquests, what's the purpose of the 'walk-through'.
  • Bring out more examples, to illustrate the various explanations (of the components & design process) with examples close to their heart.