Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Youth Olympics Games (YOG) Learning Centre

Made a trip to the YOG Learning Centre 'cos was running out of ideas for lesson design - to integrate the YOG theme into ICT-enabled learning activities to learn Maths. What a tall order for someone who know little about games! Ah! Maybe except Volleyball? Saw a couple of lessons in the package produced by CPDD. Though could enhance them with ICT use, it's still not as good as understanding the spirit behind the event before penning down any ideas (to be 'sold' to teachers!). The website provides a pretty good overview... still, think nothing beats seeing the real exhibition.

The YOG Learning Centre is located at 1 Kay Siang Road, just beside the old MOE building. It comes with 2 stories... was told more exhibits coming in... (ok... there's always continuous enhancement?!). Was lucky to have Eric, one of the personnel overseeing the area to brief me on the exhibits. Very helpful guide... giving backgrounds of some of the displays, etc... Ah! Could sense the pride from this ex-SAF officer! Yes, the pride of every Singaporean! When the island country is entrusted to host this privileged international event!

The Beijing Olympics Torch

The Olympic torch from Beijing (which, I was told, it weighs more than 1 kg) that was handed to Singapore when announced that Singapore is hosting the very 1st YOG!







Something interesting about the fitting... if you hold the torch for a short while, the sensor will activate an audioclip which was the noise one heard at Beijing Birdnest when the flame was litted up.


The Friendship Mural




The Games
Here are the games that Singapore is hosting... one that's uniquely of YOG is Basketball - the game has been modified to become 3-3 Basketball. In order words, there'll be 3 players from each team and the size of the court will be halved.

About some of the games...



Locations of the various Games (tentative)




Values of Olympics: Respect, Friendship, Excellence

Here are the 3 values - in the spirit of YOG. Not sure if it's purposely ordered in this manner... 友谊第一,比赛第二。



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YOG website: http://www.singapore2010.sg/night/index.htm

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Emphasis...

Just wonder... how many people had actually taken a good look at this mural? Recall seeing it somewhere? It's no other than the main reception area in MOE HQ building. Had not taken a good look at it (from this perspective) till got the chance to sit on the sofa facing it while waiting for someone. There's a brief about this... think it said, was jointly completed by representatives of 308 or 309 schools then...

Just wondering... are what's reflected on the mural representative of MOE's directions and emphasis in education?
Some catchy words... the one with the biggest font - INNOVATION and pH value!!! Other words... Creativity, Sports, Discipline, Sports, Pride, Courtesy, Maths, Vision,... and a recognisable computer system... Ah! Where's language? where's Humanities? where's Aesthetics and Arts? Hm... is this reflective of our all-rounded education?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Celebration Time!

Transformation...
from our familiar i-Corner

to
a place of Celebration!!!

& pleasant surprises...


snapshots... when "lesson critique" turn "food critique"




Saturday, December 06, 2008

It's Makan Time... It's Farewell Time...

Experience, is the best gift... and the biggest takeaway in the 3 years @ ETD. 2 things that I refer to... Experience - the process; Experience - the end-product.

Experience, the process... everyone contributed to it, every entity around me, including myself. It's the everyday experience (it's environmental) - big or small: The nod acknowledging good work, the reassuring smile that relieves anxiety, the little notes that warm the heart, a casual Hi... to the draining and (sometimes) heated discussion, those footsteps that tell the change of weather, and even those "killer looks", etc... Some of them sound funny :D but all these made up the colourful experience I have @ Level 14. Yes, without them, it would be a boring 3-year stay! Hahaha....

It's an intensive 3-year 'course' - like a roller coaster ride. There are smooth and rocky times; there are ups and downs; not forgetting the happy times and turbulence too! (hahaha) Yes, it's the contrasts that made life more interesting and (sometimes) unpredictable here. That's part of growing up! All these made up the memorable chapter in my learning journey.


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Baseline ICT Standards accompanied me since Day 1 when I joined ETD... I was privileged to be involved in the project in its early stage - From piloting the standards in Primary schools till today, when it's eventually roll-out to all secondary schools & implemented the Support Package in schools this year. Indeed, I'm one of those few 'archives' who knew that the name evolved from "Minimum Standards"... Hahaha...

Oh yes!!! I am sure I'll miss the times when I could rattle off the BSL codes so confidently before my workshop participants! Hahaha...
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Behind the scene... oh yes, because of the way the photo were taken, I have to apply my Baseline ICT skills to do some touching up before uploading them in the blog (hahaha!!!)
PK1: Navigate in a GUI
PK2: Use application software & work with files
PH1: Use digital resources from specific sources
PT1: Type short sentences or paragraphs
PT2: Edit & format short sentences
PM1: Combine text with drawings or pictures in a presentation

PC1: Send a message
PC2: Send an attachment
PD1: Record pictures, sound, video or data using ICT tools
SC1: Communicate online
SD1: Export data collected

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Critique sessions: One's experience @ PD section would be incomplete if he/she has not gone through any critique session. It's the highlight here! Hahaha... Sometimes, it could be traumatic, too! when ideas were tore into pieces! Sometimes, it really tested our patience... when there are so many revisions! But, this was also when we learnt and grew! Guess the Chinese saying 置之于死地而后生applies here - if we were to compare what we produced now with our very first piece of work here. Sometimes the experience could be painful (at that point of time or during that particular period) but it could be blessing in disguise, sometimes. It's also through some of these critique sessions that we learnt things that we didn't know that we didn't know! This is really, one of the biggest takeaway from here - Don't assume, never presume - even though we might bring with us a wealth of experiences. Be humble, be open and listen.
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Our "Bread & Butter": That is, building capacity of teachers through professional development programmes. This capacity refers to the ability to use ICT and integrate the use of ICT in teaching and learning meaningfully.

While it seemed like we value-add others through PD, I guess, we, being the trainer, gained the most out of the whole exercise. It's through the hard work and countless hours of preparation - that we equipped ourselves with enough substance to deliver confidently before the participants. It's the thought processes that shape our beliefs before we could speak with conviction and sell our ideas to the participants. Indeed, the knowledge and skills acquired through this process is one of the best experiences that I could pack and bring with me.

Though it's a taboo @ PD section to talk about learning/teaching technical skills... (hahaha!!! someone would flip when we talk about technical skills!), I found my other new passion here - Blogging! Hahaha... and the wonderful Blog Queen title, thanks to my peers here :D Of course, also thanks to my peers who introduced me to other wonders like wiki, facebook, googleapps, chat and Geometer's Sketchpad. I was inspired by your enthusiasms! Well, I hope my enthusiasm has done like-wise to you! (though sometimes I might have driven you up the walls! Hahaha...) :D

The little joy derived from PD sessions that were well carried out, the excitement in the participants' voices when they described the implementation experiences, their taste of successes! The feeling is as good as hearing students scoring distinctions for your subjects when the national exam results released!
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Something Unforgetable: August 2006 - once, with another colleague, "lost" in work, lost track of time - stayed up to 2 am to work on a presentation and report at the office.
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People around: Thanks to everyone around... be it you came and went, be it you came and are still around, be it you were there before I came and still there when I go... be it I worked closely with or not... be it just a "Hi"-and-"Bye"... It's been great working with all of you... Thanks for making me feel at (my second) home here... Heartfelt thanks to all of you...
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十四楼之旅,不枉此行 Lazhimbe jon... Tashi Delek...
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...See, 1 minute is certainly not enough for my 肺腑之言... ^.^

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Moated" Stage

This morning, went to a primary school to meet up a teacher for discussion. While waiting, the courtyard caught my attention.

It's pretty common to find artificial waterfall, ponds in schools nowadays! Yes, usually the ponds are filled with big fat kois! hahaha.... and normally they comes with little bridges that cut across the small, narrow ponds. That sounds familiar? Hahaha... it's really more for aesthetic reasons! The bridges are there for no obvious reasons! Hm... for some, I think also for feng shui?

Well, look at the picture: The stage platform is right at the middle of the pond. Hahaha... inspired by the floating stage/platform at Marina Bay? I wonder. Hey, the landscape resembles that of the castle surrounded by the moat. (Ah! That reminded me of the Tower of London!)

Thought it is a good idea to have an outdoor "stage"- for practical reason... it can cater to outdoor performance/event. At times when want to carry out experiments with the creatures in the water, it offers a wider area for students to carry out experiments, etc.

Something not captured in the picture - ie. opposite the stage are steps which can turn into seats for audience!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Presentation of Microsoft Live@edu on 26 Nov 2008

The following platforms/applications were shared during the presentation: Live@edu, SkyDrive, Roundtable, SilverLight, Virtual Earth, Photosynth, PopFly

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(i) Live@edu - is a Learning Management System which offers what many others do. For example, organisation of learning content (created by teachers or students), email alerts, calendars, Blogs, etc. (http://livecampus.net/)
  • "Share your Desktop" using ShareView (up to 15 people at the same time) is a unique feature. So far, aware that only Heulab campus comes with similar feature. Nevertheless, heard that Mac could do similar thing!
  • Another attractive feature - OfficeLive Workspace - ie. the MS Office suite is available online - similar to GoogleDocs. It does not require purchase and installation of the client-based software. Cost saving!! Just wondering if the formating remains intact after being up/downloaded - this is an issue with GoogleDocs.
  • One could also compare each others' schedule to arrange for meetings, etc
  • More info on Live@edu can be found in http://get.liveatedu.com/Education/Connect/
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(ii) SkyDrive (http://home.live.com/?mkt=en-us)
  • The Google equivalent can be found in GoogleDoc and possibly Picasa (for images).
  • It functions like a virtual drive.
  • Files of any filetype can be uploaded into this space and share selected files to others (with different access rights assigned to it). Moreover, files could be viewed either as public or required sign-in.
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(iii) Microsoft Roundtable (http://www.microsoft.com/uc/products/roundtable.mspx)
  • It's a 360 degree video-conferencing kit
  • This reminded me of the "Halo" that we saw at HP...
  • Yet see direct application value to Teaching & Learning at this point of time... possibly collaboration... but it would require both parties to have common equipment to 'talk'







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(iv) Silverlight (silverlight.com)

  • One example showcased was http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/
  • It's a montage made up of many many photos...
  • It's like of ppt that some of us viewed before... the zoom out effect created by plenty of related images!
  • At this moment, could not think of any value for teaching and learning.
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(v) Virtual Earth (http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth/)
  • It's Google equivalent would be GoogleEarth.
  • One interesting feature is, it could provide directions from the "starting" location to the destination.
  • Currently, it seems that the 2D version is available for most places, whereas 3D version is only available for locations in US.
  • For 2D version, it provides 2 different views: aerial and road:


For Teaching & Learning: Thinking aloud... some possible examples...
  • The use of Virtual Earth or GoogleEarth adds authenticity to the subject learning and application.
  • Subjects like Geography and Sciences would find this platform/tool useful.
  • For Maths, for topics like measuration, distance-speed; symmetry (where we could draw patterns from some places!)
  • Rich resources and ideas can found in http://gelessons.com/lessons/
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(vi) Photosynth (http://photosynth.net/default.aspx)
I am impressed with the intelligence of the application software and its end-product! Can view lots of samples from the homepage.
  • It identifies common "edges" among photos & stitch them together - if could offer not only panoramic view, but also zoom-in-zoom-out view, all depends on how the photos are taken.
  • This reminds me of the good old days when taking a few photos of a scene and patiently trimming and piecing the prints together for a wide-angle view.
  • The website also offers tips how to take photos in order to generate the desired effect: http://photosynth.net/howtosynth.aspx
Dunearn Secondary has gone its virtual tour done using photosynth and it could be viewed at its homepage: http://www.dunearn.edu.sg/

One limitation - to view the end-product, the hardware and the internet browser must be able to support its execution.
  • Despite the fact that my 4-year-old tablet could install the application and I could create the synth very smoothly, I got the following error message when viewing the end-product... (sigh... have to troubleshoot further)

  • One consideration: The intended audience should have their hardware and browser meeting the minimum requirement before they could enjoy the fruits of labour!
Before creating a synth...
  • At its homepage, select Create your Synth > click at Create a synth button.
  • Login using the Windows Live ID. If we do not have one, simply select Get a Windows Live ID and proceed to register.
  • One thing I like: I can register to use my gmail account to login to photosynth! I saves me from creating and having to remember a new userID or password!
  • Next, it will prompt to download and install the application - just follow the instructions and installation will be completed in less than 5 minutes. And we are ready for the fun!
Here are my creations... note that the more photos we feed into the system, the longer time it takes to process... once done, it's online and I could embed it in websites...


1st masterpiece... (with 26 photos): Kwan Yin Temple @ Bugis, Singapore



2nd masterpiece... (with 6 photos): The Stonehenge, England



For Teaching & Learning: Thinking aloud some possible examples...
  • Modeling and representations of perspectives (eg. Art or D&T): Students could present their products from various perspectives - macro & micro views can come in.
  • Writings (aided by visuals) - tapping on the macro and micro views for descriptive writings
  • Visual presentation of a study of the environment (eg. Science & Geography): In the garden, groups of students are assigned to examine living organisms at different locations of the garden. There, they picked out things that they want to examine further, etc... It could be a study of environment (zoom-out) and the living organisms that survive under certain conditions.
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(vii) PopFly (popfly.com)
  • This is a game creator... from the demo, it seems easy.
  • No time to explore the game creation.Click HERE to play the familiar Minesweeper game created by other users.
  • We can also create mashup and webpages.
  • It's easy to create a webpage using popfly. Completed a very simple one that took me less than 15 minutes in my first attempt (http://www.popfly.com/users/353071/Memorable%20Moments).
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Last but not least... we enjoyed some excellent views from Level 22... of course, also not forgetting to capture some things that are desirable but often absent from the usual school setting ^.^

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Swan Song... 18 Nov 2008 @ Yishun Primary

According to Collins English dictionary - Swan Song: Person's last performance before retirement or death. Hahaha... what simple explanation!

Oh yes, sang my swan song on Tuesday... that's the very last workshop for the year, while I'm officially attached to Level 14... or I would say, before I graduate from level 14? Hm... or before I retire from level 14? hahaha..... Hm... another tick on the checklist... hahaha.....


The workshop is on "Weblog for Maths Learning" (Primary) - oh yes, one of my key babies in my stay at ETD... hahaha... so much so that I've been labelled the Blog Queen here... ^.^

In fact, for this workshop, worked with the Maths dept on this 2-Phase PD model which I initiated and tried to promote to schools that asked for Maths workshops this year... It was experimental, I would say, but the idea has been pretty well-bought in - not just with YPS, but also PYSS. I thank the Malek and Lan, the HOD/Maths for both PYSS & YPS being so supportive of this idea!

Through this, I also learn that, for any well-thought through ideas, no matter how well good it is, it only generates buy-in if both parties could see the benefits both could reap from this collaboration both short term and long term - it has to be win-win in order to garner the desired level of commitment; and it should not take too long for both parties to see the win-win... which is the first step to bigger a bigger win!

Well, conducting this workshop is a breeze to me - in terms of delivering the entire workshop - as it's the 6-7th time doing this - each time varied... of course, for YPS, I've also done it differently... in terms of illustrations on the use of the platform for Maths learning.

This is the workshop which I think I modelled very well how the platform could be integrated into Maths activities... and, succinctly pointed out to participants the message I want to convey. Hm... a pad on my shoulder.

Certainly, the hardwork over the months when I collated and followed through implementation helps to build up a database that allows me to use to convince my participants what they learn is practical and has been practised by others in Singapore! Yes, I emphasize Singapore 'cos many a time (even myself), we are not quite convince of the possibility of transferring overseas practices into local context - 'cos our system, curriculum are Uniquely Singapore! Well, by gathering the practitioners' works under one umbrella - hopefully, through sharing... the fire continues...

In fact, it's a 2-way thing... how the workshop goes, how each and everybody feels in a workshop - it's all dependent on each and everyone... the mood they bring along with them that day, their attitude... it influences one another... yes, if we could imagine... it's very magical!

Oh yes, an applause to the participants - you made my day!

Reflection: Workshop on Engaged Learning @ Crescent Girls' School (10 Nov 2008)

This is one of the most taxing workshop since I joined the section - in terms of manpower and time. (What a way to end my term here, I thought!)

Pre-Workshop
It started off as a Planning workshop for the HODs, which we thought it's something we would be able to manage very well with minimal effort, since most of us had conducted the Planning workshop for a few runs (at least, the cluster leaders) over these 2 years... Well, with mp3 already lanched (this August), it also gives us good reason to refocus and repack the materials.

The tricky part was, while we thought the masterplan was launched - yes, while the BIG IDEAS (???!!!), there's still lots of deliberation going on - such as unpacking the key terms and guiding strategies, etc... there were changes!

Of course, while we wanted to meet the request of our client, we are wanted to bring in the updated info, at the same time be weary of interpretation of terms - to avoid confusion subsequently... With all these uncertainty, the workshop was re-positioned to look into one aspect (which is relevant to mp3, but more like re-emphasizing the key focus of mp2) - ENGAGED LEARNING.

The Workshop
Not surprised, that the participants were able to articulate very quickly their idea of engaged learning... yes, all the key principles are there... the next part was really know how to leverage the culture and existing practice to go further...

In fact, at one point of time at the beginning of the session, I wonder... were we, the facilitators, well-equipped and ready for the workshop? (Ha! that's the greatest fear SC has! Right? Yeap, to some extend, her nightmare came true)

Also learnt something that makes this workshop different from others... It's the culture and the readiness of the participants! Yes, to a large extent... when the participants are ready to create that kind of 'challenging' learning experiences of their students - they know that their students are ready - that makes them confident of bringing about changes to the way student.

Take for instance, very often, when we conduct school-based workshops in schools, we were so used to meeting HODs who wanted to introduce changes to the way students learn, yet having to manage the changes in teachers' mindset (er... more of their readiness to accept changes)... hence, often, only small steps at any one time. Of course, the teachers' doubts on the students' readiness... (very often, the reason cited students do not belong to the very smart calibre, they are not familiar with ICT-enabled learning environment) - sometimes, I wonder - who's not ready? Teachers or Students? Of course, the next time they cite is time! Oh yes, that's also my concern when the participant in the workshop made some bold changes in the learning activities. However, the confidence from the participants tells me - yes, it's going to happen.... (Yes, really hope it happens...)

Click HERE for workshop blog

Monday, November 17, 2008

ETD Divisional WorkPlan & Gathering

on 17 November 2008 held at Civil Service Club @ Bukit Batok

This is a whole day event... though the 1st half suppose to deal with the more serious stuff, it was carried out in a lighthearted manner.

The theme is "Back to School" where everyone is given a role to play - The Principal, Vice-Principal, HOD, Teacher, Parent and Student. The fun part was, everybody was suppose to dress according to the role - at least don something that at a look, others could associate one with the role. Well, there are very sporty ones! Yes, that morning, a number were actually in uniforms! School uniform and Scouts uniform! Ha! Really bring us 'back to the school'!

Well, my role was the Parent! hahaha... Parent? What wouid bring with me? The day before,



  • one colleague suggested - wear expensive stuff that Tai-Tai will put on... hahaha... The first person I could think of is LXXX - always spotted the Tai-Tai look - with lips in bright bloody red colour, nicely manicured & painted finger+toe nails, high-heels, sparkling shiny clothes, plus expensive handbag... hahaha... don't believe it? Yes, you could find one at Level 14! No, no!!!! Never, never will I appear in that manner!
  • another colleague suggested - why not assume the role of a less-educated parent who is assumingly unreasonable and rude, and behaves like a gangester. Hahaha... That's asking for the sky! That's not me! First of all, don't even have those costume... next... don't know how to act like one! How to talk like one? Sure fail!
  • Think hard... and eventually, I think I knew what to do... put on an apron! hahaha... That's the easiest - assuming the role of housewife! oh yes, a homemaker! Can be educated, yet because of the lack of exposure to the happenings out there... protective of the child, wanted to give him the best of everything - tuition & tuition... and day-in-day-out lor-lor-saw-saw... hahaha... That's easy, no need to get expensive or gangster-like clothes! The apron cost me less than $3.

While I appreciate the work team has put it to create the necessary atmosphere, one thing which I felt the team could do without is threat - there'll be penalty for those who we don't dress up accordingly to the occasion... On one hand, while it is important to get everyone to participate, on the other hand, it's toying with the "fear" factor - which I detest! You have done yourself a great disfavour! This reminded me about the other Divisional activity - the Amazing Race - yes, similarly, all the teams were threatened the penalty being the last to complete... while we enjoyed the activity, it could be done without such means!

Some key takeaways - about the IT Masterplan...

Looking back... our achievements which include

  • Getting the baseline infrastructure (which is largely mp1)
  • Introducing the Baseline ICT standards to equip pupils with the necessary ICT skills to be ready when they move on to the society (an outcome of the mid-term review of mp2). In fact, coupled with this is the leveling up of teachers' ICT proficiency since mp1. Hence a nationwide levelling up
  • Having 'perks' or 'sparkies' among schools - through programmes/projects like Lead ICT schools, Future Schools - which seems to be making bigger and bigger waves... but such programmes, in particular, Lead ICT schools have already gone through the first round review - some schools may continue with the project, to move on to make greater impact while some may not
  • The devolution of funds - introduced in mp2, has given schools' more autonomy on the planning and use of its resources. Look at it from another angle, schools are entrusted with greater responsibility - to take the $, it comes with more accountability
  • R&D efforts introduced in mp2 have, in a large way (from my perspective) benefitted schools that came on board for pilots! By an large, its findings and outcomes have not really reach the mass yet - it's like the ivory tower that only works with the elites (hahaha...)
  • One area has been much talked about - ICT enhanced pedagogies - yes, still very much talked about - hopefully more could be seen in the next masterplan - not just talking and research and trying out with that handful of schools - also think of the cascading down to the mass... The sad part is, while working very closely with the schools - the more we saw - many of them are still in the mp1 era!

Looking ahead...

  • Pedagogical practices - the sound use of ICT that would be transformed into pedagogical practices
  • ICT to IDM

mp3's vision and goals... Harnessing ICT to Transform Learners for the Future.. what's there... just wait for the key terms to be unpacked - self-directed learning and collaboration. More about mp3.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Collaborative Learning - Innovation, Learning & Communication in Virtual Worlds

Sharing by Joe Miller, VP (Platform & Technology) Linden Lab @ Vista Lab on 29 October 2008
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Key Points (I)

  • One key message brought across: 2nd life is about context. It isn't about technology.
  • Second Life (SL) Circa - by 2003, there existed 50 regions (ie. lands) while now it has more than 32K regions!
  • To-date, there are more than 74,000 avatars & 15M registered residents!
  • On average, a regular player commits 20h per week in SL

Industry is entering the 2nd wave and faces

  • global workforce needs
  • Economic pressures
  • Carbon & Cash Concerns
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Video clip 1: Education in Second Life: Explore the Possibilities


Key Points (II)
Use of SL in Education could cover the following:



  • Content Creation: Art, Software, 3D objects
  • Simulations: Places, Events, Buildings
  • Classes: Lectures, Tutorials, "Treasure Hunts"
  • Libraries and Museums
  • Risky/expensive experiences: Running a business, investigating other cultures
  • Learning experiences not possible in real life
  • Others like meetings, socialising

Examples of use include...

  • Prototype new models
  • Train Remote workers
  • Demo new products
  • Collaborate on Product Development
  • Visit a Global Virtual event
  • Learn a Foreign Language
  • Practise Disaster Recovery
  • Design Buildings
  • Conduct Simulations
  • Take a class at your alma mater
  • Simulate the brain
  • Simulate subatomic structure
  • Learn Basic 3D modeling
  • Group study sessions with remote classmates
  • Tutor your friend/student from home
  • Hold job fairs for students
  • Simulate starting a business & earn real money
  • Walk through the digestive system
  • Offer parents a way to connect with their children's teachers from home.
  • Role-play caregiving in a model
  • Extend course management system with a synchronous student union
  • Produce a Shakespeare play in the model of the Globe Theatre on Renaissance Island
  • Practices the procedure for anesthetizing a petient in a SL operating room
  • Rehearse client interactions and presentations
  • Go on a virtual fossil dig; explore Tanzanian culture and society

Note: Those in bold are more directly related to students' learning in school

Video clip 2: Educational Uses of Second Life


Key Points (III)

Some things that we can do in the internet can also be done in SL

  • streaming video & music
  • uploading presentation slides
  • links to other web resources
  • pull live-data in-world from the web
  • display RSS feeds and websites in-world

In could link to other platforms like

  • Moodle has Sloodle (http://www.sloodle.org/)
  • Facebook
  • Gridmaker.com
  • Life2Life
  • Flickr (in SL)
  • Del.icio.us & SL
  • Slurl Maker & SL

Pedagogy of Virtual World

  • Participation
  • Engagement
  • Investment
  • Ownership

Instructional Design

  • Virtual Class
  • Models
  • Simulations
  • Group Work
  • Field Trip
  • Role-playing

Case Studies:
(1) Skoolaborate

Read more about Skoolaborate HERE

(2) Ramapo Island (Suffern Middle School)

Read more about Ramapo Islands HERE

(3) Schome - not school, not home

Read more about Schome HERE ; Read Report HERE

(4) VITAL Lab (Ohio University)

Read more about VITAL Lab HERE


(5) Global Kids

Read more about Global Kids HERE




Video clip: NASA using Virtual Worlds (Colab)

Key Points (IV)

Second Life Best Practices in Education

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Afternote.... Some Reflections...

Within 2 months, attended 2 presentations on 2nd life - both focus on its use in education. Prior to that, was pretty reluctant to spend time to think about it or imagine its role in education.

Nevertheless, the first presentation came with some convincing examples, though none illustrates how Maths can have a place in the virtual environment. In the phase of slowing buying in... In fact, I was quite hopfeul that the 2nd presentation would shed more light. Nevertheless, it didn't. Though were showed several video clips on how 2nd life gets into work... However, one challenge is... is it so good that it could actually replace real life learning experiences? Of course, there are other questions to challenge the use of 2nd life in learning.

It is obvious that the SL environment offers a space for users to interact and experiment in situations/made-up scenarios - lots of room for innovation ideas! Apart from this... the overall impression is...

(i) While there are so many objects (or even virtual labs) out there, we were told that these were created by web-users out there and the copyright and ownership lie belongs the creator. Then I just wonder, who will ensure that all the experiments featured are giving the desireable outcomes? Given that some people would not be able to discern the right stuff... they may just believe in every-and-any-thing out there!

(2) Learning using virtual world, manipulatives (and even 3D modeling) is not that new actually... except that many a time, these objects reside in different places... so, SL somehow becomes the 'mash-up'! Similarly, many years back, virtual lab is already a very popular concept in science learning... so, SL simply gather all the good stuff there...

(3) What I felt lacking in tasks carry out in SL is the "feel-and-touch". No doubt it provides an environment to carry out experiment, it just lack the feel - eg. the texture of stuff... the sense of weight... and the smell... and natural sound.

... to be continued...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Learning Journey to LSL @ NIE on 22 October 2008

Purpose of Visit:
To learn what are some innovative ICT-related projects that LSL is involved in.
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There were 4 presentations:
(1) Game-based Learning (with Centauri 7)
(2) Ideas Project - building a knowledge creating community
(3) Group Scribbles for Rapid Collaborative Knowledge Building
(4) Teachable agents

Some points gathered from the sharing...
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(1) Game-based Learning: Developing Students’ process learning skills and deep understanding of electromagnetism through the medium of a 3D simulation game (Dr Chee Yam San)

It's a research on game-based learning.
The game world that the project operates in is Centauri 7.

Briefly, the mission of the pupils is to escape from the planet. They have to clear various kinds of electromagnetic fields (in total 3). In the course of doing so, they have to learn about the various kinds of electromagnetic fields and their characteristics, etc.

In a nutshell...
  • Learning on situated practice
  • Learning in 1st person - the learner is immersed in the environment, they are represented by an avatar in the game world
  • It's not learning about... but learning how to, learning to be
  • In the process, learners are engaged in scientific inquiry - on their own as well as through group sense-making discussions (facilitated by the teacher)
  • Deep learning takes place
  • Execution: about 18 Sec 3 pupils involved in the 12h project - as part of the elective programme that took place in 1.5h sessions.
  • Assessment: MCQ and artefacts. For the artefacts, learners come up with a manual to explain how they escape, which includes explaining how the field workds.

Source of image: http://lsl.nie.edu.sg/m26.htm

More information

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(2) Ideas First: Developing a Model for Creating Knowledge Building Classroom in a school (Dr Kate Bielacyze)

  • It's about building up a Knowledge Add ImageCreating Community
  • Key point: Collective responsibility for idea improvement
  • It emphasizes the importance fo socialising students into the world of work with knowledge (Carl Bereiter)
How learners are engaged... (briefly...)


  • Sharing of ideas
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Cognitive conflict and resolution
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis – sustained improvement of ideas

The ICT Platform is basically a platform to facilitate discussion forum with built-in scaffolds. It comes in words or short phrases to guide the students in presenting their view points, or ask questions, etc.

More information


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(3) Rapid Collaborative Knowledge Building in the Classroom (Dr Chen Wenli & Dr Looi Chee Kit)

  • Rapid Collaborative Knowledge Building (RCLB)
  • 10 Principles of RCKB
    (1) distributed cognition
    (2) volunteerism
    (3) spontaneous participation
    (4) multimodal expression
    (5) higher-order thinking
    (6) improvable ideas
    (7) idea diversity
    (8) epistemic agency
    (9) democratized knowledge
    (10) symmetric knowledge

How Group Scribbles works (technically)...

  • electronic Post-its operating in a two-paned window.
  • Lower pane - user's personal work area, or "private board" while Upper pane is the public area.
  • In the private board is a virtual pad that provides the user fresh "scribble sheets" on which can be left digital ink (e.g., a freehand drawing) or typed text. Scribbles authored in this manner may be shared with others by moving them to the public board in the upper pane.
  • To move a scribble to the public board, the user simply drags it up from the private board and drops it on the public board.
  • Users may interact with public scribbles in a variety of ways, such as browsing scribbles' content, repositioning scribbles, or taking a scribble from the public board into their private space.
  • Click HERE for screenshots (from Group Scribbles website)

Some learning points shared in the implementation of the project

  • Pre-implementation work: This includes enculturating learners - engaging them activities that require them to generate ideas and scribble them onto hardcopy post-its, putting them up at common spaces for sharing and discussion.
  • Develop relevant protocols and social etiquettes - for instance, getting pupils to focus critiquing each others' ideas rather than on the individuals.

More information

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(4) Teachable agents

Key Principle:

Teaching someone else is a better way to learn, as it requires learners to organise their thinking and figure out the connections between the concpets.

In a nutshell...

  • teachable agents are computer-based learning programme
  • learners teach agent using visual representations (ie. concept maps)
  • agent performs based on teaching (generic AI algorithms draw inferences)
  • learners could revise agent to do better
  • Click HERE for Overview

More information

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sharing on 2nd Life & Pedagogical Benefits (10 Sep 2008)

by AP Kenneth Lim (from Learning Sciences & Technology, NIE)

After almost 45 minutes into the session, the 6-step framework finally emerged...
(Click HERE to see slides for more information)
They are:


  1. Learning by Exploring: Learning is a result of in-world explration, which can be structured or otherwise; through the interaction (including viewing) installations, communications and landscapes
  2. Learning by Collaborating: Learning as a result when students work together to solve a problem or complete a task
  3. Learning by Building: Learning when students are required to create or build an object in-world; or even to script (ie. involve certain degree of programming)
  4. Learning by Being: This includes role-play - being part of the world, taking a role and perform certain duties with respect to the role one plays
  5. Learning by Championing
  6. Learning by Expressing

Did not quite get #5 and #6... (hahaha... maybe my attention was drifting to somewhere else... also trying to filter what I want to catch)

Hm... Learning by Expressing... I suppose, one way to look at it is... the learner expresses him/herself through the objects constructed/built in the world - thoughts, creativity, etc... (Ah! This is especially great for those who think alot but talk little...)

As of Learning by championing... perhaps it's where the in-world provides the environment or opportunity for one to learn to advocate what one seldom has a chance to do in real world (or it's already done by someone else???)

Admit that #4, #5 & #6 are less straightforward... er... more chim... and therefore more challenging to comprehend.

I thought the demo is certainly more useful... and helps to bring out some of the benefits using 2nd life for teaching & learning:

  • I like the one on getting the learner to walk on the mountain to draw out the land contour of certain regions (at a range of heights). I thought that was powerful! It's experiential learning that get students to "feel and experience to believe!"
  • Simulated environment for various weather conditions. Thought this was good... when it is possible to have the weather of 2 different places to 'appear' at the same place... that allows one to compare and contrast... better still, it actually draws data from the real weather websites! It's authentic data being used in a simulated environment. This allows students to carry out some comparative studies. Of course, one would argue that we can just pick up static data from websites... but to make it more realistic and make sense to one, it helps when they see the actual weather condition themselves!
  • The construction of building gives an idea how Mathematics can come in... perhaps on how to maximise a piece of land (given the land area the building has and greatest height the building can go up to). Next, it could be add-on tasks like, how much carpet is needed to cover certain rooms in the building, etc... calculation of area of regular/irregular shapes come in! Then costing, etc... On the other hand, it seems to land itself just on "application" of skills here!
  • Another idea I could think of is... using the various objects created, it helps students to visualise the various views of an object - elevated view, plan view, etc... pretty good for the maths topic on this, as well as D&T.

Well, all in all, there are potential areas for use in T&L, however, it also depends on how well verse we are in the environment... or how familiar we are in the environment before we can start thinking how the environment value-adds to the learners' experiences.

Useful links:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

EZ Maths Symposium 2008

@ Tao Nan School on 5 September 2008
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Opening address by Mr Gan CH (DD/East)

Key emphasis: Reflective Practice

  • Open-mindedness - the willingness to listen to different perspectives
  • Responsibility - mindful of the consequences of our action
  • Wholeheartedness

He also shared some kind points from a research paper published by QCA recently, pointing out the findings on what inspires/motivates learners

  • What motivates... when learners ahve the desire to use what they have learnt actively and creatively
  • What inspires... the passion of the teacher
  • What inspires... when they have the opportunity to use ICT - they enjoy the interactivity and creative potential of technology
  • What motivates... challenging yet achievable tasks

Interestingly, Mr Gan brought the audience's attention to a TV series that anchors on the use of Mathematics to solve cases!

Read more about NUMB3RS

another book: Elemetary & Middle School Maths - Teaching Developmnetally

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Talk by Helmer Aslaksen (http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/)

- well-known for his study of the different kinds of calendars found in Singapore (Chinese, Muslim, Indian)

Appreciate & Question; Connections; Relevance

  • Theory of hanging clothes to dry (half a year in the east; half a year in the west)
  • Do the hands of the clock still move clockwise if it is invented at the southern hemisphere? (hm.. mind provoking...)
  • Do Chinese celebrate "Lunar New Year"... or should Chinese celebrate "Lunisolar New Year"? hahaha!!!
  • Winter solstice; Summar solstice; Equinox
  • Flowering time for Plants in Singapore
  • The Singapore Flag - the crescent and the look of the stars

Saturday, August 30, 2008

National Education (III) Challenges Ahead

  • Welcome & execute change
  • Be alert to and ready for changes > Scenario Planning

Foundational Pillars of the PS21 Movement:

Scenario planning is strategic planning.... scenarios are stories about the future. In telling this story, we examine the forces that are at play today and how they might influence the future.

10 driving forces
- definite trends [3]
- critical uncertainity [7]

Definite trends:
(i) Increasing complexity, increasing instability = mobile technology; accessibility to information
(ii) Aging Population: We are living longer however our population is shrinking
(iii) Physical realities

Critical uncertainties:
(iv) Who's in power?
(v) What will be our social structures and values? (eg. "Is it a family to go home to" or "success and wealth at all costs"?)
(vi) Can the planet continue to support our needs?
(vii) How will technology shape the future?
(viii) Who am I? (People being closer through globalisation & technology)
(ix) How do we trade?
(x) What will future governments look like?

National Education (II) Principles of Governance (PoG)

Singapore is well-known internationally for its:

  • Efficiency
  • Rule of Law
  • Lack of Corruption

The system of governance is based on circumstances & change

ie. Challenge = Circumstances + Change

Our circumstances, in a way, are situations arises

  • Limitations: Lack of size & natural resources and therefore rely on others (from basics to economic growth - ie. investments)
  • Multi-racial make-up: Being balance & open - stem undesireable influences that could undermine our social fabric
  • How it impact us... we have to look for innovative ways to overcome our constraints & be adaptive to changes quickly.
  • How we respond... being reliable and useful to others
  • High standards; Pragmatism and no-nonsense

The changes we face...

  • Globalisation: Goods & Services
  • Shifting socio-demographics within the state (can led to new divisions in society)
  • Singapore's role as a service provider, facilitator adn catalyst
  • To survive these, we have to (i) Produce new ideas (ii) Preserve our core values (iii) Keep our role relevant

9 Government Imperatives for successful governance in Singapore context

  • Good & proactive leadersip: ensure national interest is protected
  • High standards of Government: ensure that public trust is maintained
  • Optimise our resources & ability: compensate our shortcomings (ie. what we lack)
  • Greater Ingenuity: when dealing with challenges
  • International space: compensate for our lack of hinterland
  • Adapt to stay relevant: especially in this fast changing world
  • Safeguard values & identity: to maintain our distinctiveness
  • Greater sense of belonging: for rootedness to preserve our core values & identity
  • Continuous self-review: re-examine our role to remain relevant

These imperatives determine our principles:

  • Leadership is key: Eschew corruption; Do what is right, not what is popular; Be pragmatic; Provide long-term vision (PS21, S21, Remaking Singapore, Top-down Leadership)
  • Reward for Work; work for reward: Self-reliance, not welfare; Meritocracy for best use of talent (Education & training)
  • A stake for everyone, opportunities for all: Singapore a global city & choice home; Promote collective responsibility; Beyond physcial stakes; Preserve our values & identity (importance & availability of mass education; mixed housing policies (racial quota scheme); tangible assets & heartware)
  • Anticipate change, stay relevant: Stay nimble & flexible; Be better organised than our competitors; Exploit opportunities even in adversity; Turn constraints into advantages

As Singapore enters its new phase of development, what is important is our ability to:

  • Look at issues from afresh
  • Think "out of the box"
  • Pursue ideas with vigour

Other points:

People with moral courage and integrity to acknowledge and correct past mistakes, recognise when an existing policy outlived its usefulness and has to be discarded or changed.

National Education (I) Economic Competition

Key points from the online module:

Economic Competitiveness
  • changes over time... as the economic power of the neighouring countries (esp. those in Asia) rises
  • for survival, 3 key areas: Globalised Economy, Diversified Economy, A creative and entrepreneurial nation

Key principles:

  • prudent macroeconomic policies (ie. fiscal spending: disciplined)
  • outward orientation (ie. globalisation)
  • conducive environment (ie. stability and just)
  • infrastructure: efficient & well-connected
  • education and training
  • eschew welfarism

5 key thrusts (ERC):

  • Expand external ties - through trade liberalisation (eg. FTA)
  • Manage competitiveness and flexibility - from direct to indirect taxes; land & rentals, electricity, telecommunications, manpower (eg. wages, CPF)
  • Grow domestic enterprises and encourage entrepreneurship - (i) Enterprise continuum (ii) Enhanced Cluster Development (iii) Intellectual Capital (iv) Human Capital (v) Expanded Regionalisation
  • Promote engines of Growth - manufacturing and services
  • Develop human capital

Basically, Singapore relies on manufacturing and services for growth.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Teachers’ Mass Lecture 2008: Pushing Boundaries: Culture and Space

Sometimes, it's pretty interesting to hear from professionals from a diferent field... often, it offers a couple of useful triggers to our minds... to reflect/think through what we've been into most of the time...

Pleasantly surprised, Dr Liu's style of presentation was so 'similar' to those that we (have always been advised to) practise - Agenda and point by point.... so systematic and easy to follow :D hahaha... (wish that the set of slides is available to us...)

Here are some points that I managed to scribble...

(i) He started off presenting the background... the changes that Singapore has gone through over the years, from its humble beginning to progress and to the challenges we face today.

- Singapore has limited space: It has a small population though... It has no hinterland (true! where got extra land? almost every inch has been used...)... It is a single city country... and for survival, we compete internationally!

(ii) Singapor is high in the Global structure... as in the word "Singapore" is a brand name (Wah! It's the rubber stamp of quality... True true... that's why am wary the need to fly the Singapore flag well when overseas... people have certain expectation when they know we are from Singapore!)... Singaporeans are well-respected... and we have the ability to achieve beyond limitations so far...

(iii) To push the boundary will mean... having to work on 2 types of spaces - Physical as well as mental spaces. Physcial boundaries is obvious.... (we can expand our venture from nearby countries to teh various continents)... the least manageable one is the psychological aspect - having a realistic perspective... and that comes with 'digested and processed knowledge and experiences' from travels, arts, etc...
(iv) Culture is a rather 'individual' thing... one's personal upbringing matters! One's exposure to art, etc.. plays a part in it...

2 things...

(a) From a golden cage to a wild jungle

That somehow describes the mentality (and behaviour) of the generation(s) we have now in our society... which is a result of our high efficiency and productivity... when we found "the formula" and stopped thinking beyond... to some extent being complacent with what we have... of course, the 2nd half of the line is really a test to us... to survive in an unprotected environment, especially when competiting with the rest of the world... the mindset and behaviour others... So, has our system done us unjustice?

(b) Ruleless Competition with Integrity

That brings our another point - our integrity... and accountability, social responsibility - are we equipped with the set of desired values that enable us to compete with the world out there without comprising integrity?

New things I hear...
Gallup Path (Jim Clifton)
Click HERE to read more about "Gallup Path"
Illustrating Singapore's situation in a Gallup Path...

Efficiency leads to mutation of system... when people ust behave like "a creature of the system" (equivalent to a mindless part of a big machine)... one works more for rule and less (or rather) for purpose of goodness.

Hobson's Choice
Click HERE to read what's Hobson's choice
He reiterated that, for survival, there is no choice but to face the fierce global competition - and he stressed that Arts & Culture cultivates that kind of passion desired in the new environment.

How it works...
Arts & Culture > Imagination > Passion > Can do > Innovation > Economics

He reminded all that... Look Not at others' Weaknesses but Strengths

Innovation = Science & Technology + Design & Art

Other points...

  • Education as Catalyst: Not only aim high, but be aware of the weak segment
  • Character: Inner strength, mental stamina, will power
  • Competency: Employment readiness, intellectual depth
  • Creativity: Curious, Critical; Imaginative, passionate

Creative Education Approach

  • Maths: Logical Thinking
  • Humanities: Expands minds and experiences
  • Art: Creativity & imagination
  • Sports: Competitiveness & team spirit

While we can buy technology, arts & culture needs to be home grown (which has to be uniquely Singapore - that's our identity).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

22 August: ETD Divisional Gathering

This year's Divisional Gathering is packed with 3 activities, the Amazing Race, the CIP activity & the Farewell of DET.

The Amazing race was pretty fun... First of all, the combination is refreshing! Hey, looking at my team, I'm the only one from the PDC branch while the rest came from different sections in TFL branch... pretty interesting... As the organising committee had assured, there's at least someone in the team that someone can associate with or talk to... Ah ha! True! Was pretty relief when saw Neo's name in the list while the rest of the names/faces were pretty 'alien' to me... Nevertheless, on the whole, thought we did well as a team :D Oh yes, the collaborative spirit was quite obvious - that while everyone were fearful of the unknown 'forfeit' for the last team... yet, the teams exchange information to help each other! Ha! This would not have been possible without technology!



At the end of the day, someone commented... Ah! The winners of the race were those who took the other route! (seems like 2 different routes and 7 teams per route)... Well, well... while competition is one thing... think the team spirit that developed just over that couple of hours was great! and certainly, I think, everyone who had participated wholeheartedly is a winner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reflection: HOD Workshop (Session 2)

Today, attended the 2nd session of the workshop... was not there for the 1st session. Hm... a bit lost... ah ha... have a taste of what it's like when adopting materials prepared by others...

Well, it also largely depends on one's personality... ie. Used to adopt other's materials or not... For myself, notice that I prefer to have a say on what I'm going to use... maybe, I'm not so adaptable... or maybe I have become more and more 'yim-jim'... ah! There's always room for perfection, right?

Just a couple of observations...
(i) By the time we moved into 3 o'clock... know that it's impossible to carry out what's plan... not enough time! Apart from 'spill-over' from the previous session, but also participants need the time to find the relevant resources to address the learning gap.

(ii) Select and trim... because of the time constraint, yes, to ensure there's enough time for the Integration Cycle... that's the soul of the entire workshop... and it should be the key takeaway... hm... something we did not compromise :D

(iii) Understanding of baseline ICT standards... after having gone through so many sessions and also experiences with the Partner schools and baseline support schools, learnt that it's something that's all participants must get it right first! If they don't understand what it is, all the mapping will go wrong!!!

Ah!!! Decision making!!! So much... Hm... not so much of think on your feet, but "Decide on Your Feet" :D

Sunday, August 17, 2008

教师交流会: 今天我不烦

Organised by 联合早报 on 2008, August 16.

(i) Sharing on Relaxation Methods 周美伶博士
Key points...

一` 理想的情绪

  • 见微知著 (处变不惊)
  • 不动声色
  • 情绪平和
  • 全情投入

二` 瞬间解郁法

  • 心能量中心 (It's about Inhaling and Exhaling exercise, focusing in counting down from 7 to 1 while exhaling... and repeat several times)
  • 库氏挂钩 (Read more about Cooks' Hookup HERE)
  • 眼珠转动法 (It's about moving the pair of eyes swiftly from left to right for about 20 times... then close the eyes to rest... and repeat for about 2 times... By doing so helps to 'temporarily' switch off the active area of the brain, hence helping to re-focus. Read more about Eye Movement Exercise HERE.)
  • 大笑法 (Read more about HERE. About the World Laughter Club).

Well, in particular, the 3rd & 4th methods tired out one so that to 'drop' the worry for a short while...

(ii) Sharing on the Use of the use of “SEL听筒” to support teaching by 蔡勇智 (Teacher from Poi Ching School)

  • He shared a couple of examples how he made use of the passages to get his students to think deep, what's the right action to take and why they think so.
  • One example is 两朵花 which talks about the relationship between a foreign maid and child. He also leveraged on this story to get pupils to talk about their views on maid's role in a typical current singapore context.
  • One teaching strategy he shared: Instead of distributing the newspapers to the class after receiving the newspapers, he scanned the passage for discussion and got the pupils to read (with their eyes) and listen to the story first. This helps to focus their attention to listen and discuss. Only after the activity, he would distribute them for reading.
  • Throughout, he emphasized that the use of the articles is to set pupils thinking. As a teacher, he would not "correct" pupils' as the important outcome of the whole activity is not about right or wrong, but to encourage the pupils to think and talk about their responses, and therefore answers are not important, and it is not necessary to have answers to everything.
  • While I agree to some extent that we should give pupils the freedom to express their views and encourage them to articulate their thoughts, I feel that it is necessary and important to articulate the right values to our children when theirs is questionable. No doubt, that may just splash cold water on the enthusiastic child! On the other hand, that also means teachers need to be equipped with the skills to guide (引导). Otherwise, it gives students the perception that they are always right and they can just argue their way out!
  • He closed the sharing with the PEL (Performance, Enjoyment, Learning) model he shared, the message he sent across is enjoyment and learning matters most... with that, it will cover boost the performance...
  • Audio files are available at http://youth.zaobao.com/friday/pages/tunie_audio.html

(iii) “21世纪新加坡儿童漫画作品的生态现象” (孙爱玲博士)
大拇指 (作者:陈聪明) http://youth.zaobao.com/friday/tu.html

孙爱玲 shared on her analysis of the comic "大拇指 " in relation to the mindset of children and also a reflection of social issues from the perspective of a child. She also shared how the comics have cleverly integrated NE, Social & Moral values into the storylines. Through the comics, the author also raised social awareness by touching on issues like the forest fires around and dengue fever. Well, it seems that this set of comics book has quite a bit of educational values!
Example: http://youth.zaobao.com/friday/pages/06tup21.html
See archives: http://youth.zaobao.com/friday/pages/tuparchive.html#2007

... in fact, this session sounds more like a paper presentation (from the paper!!!)... ok, you'll know how dry it is... On the other hand, definitely, this segment reminded us that serious messages can be brought out in light-hearted manner (eg. in the form of comics) to reach out to children... So, the choice of media plays a part in reaching out to the targeted audience effectively.

(iv) Stayed back after lunch for the KuSong Competition (Prize Giving Ceremony)

In fact, learnt a new term in this session... on what's KuSong... Hm.. seems to be a re-packaging of what some of us did in our old days, but with new elements integrated... so, it's a "mutilated" product! er... Old wine in new bottle??? Hahaha... ok... not a good choice of word... that's doing unjustice to the work done... ok... maybe term as Revolution? maybe Evolution sounds better :D

Well, it's from the Japanese... ah ha! ring a bell? the 哈日风seems making a comeback!

Read more about what's kusong HERE.

But what's more amazing is the products by the students... pretty creative! There are multimedia ones, there are also those that used the 'ancient' technology. Am impressed. View HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Future@MeL Forum

@ Ngee Ann Polytechnic LT26, 2008 August 13.

(i) How IHLS Can Prepare Students for Globalised Workforce (by Bob Chua)

Key Points...

(a) Landscape 2018


  • Retirement of baby boomers
  • Declining birth rate
  • Global citizen, global market
  • Immersive technology
  • Note: Generation X is a term used to describe generations in many countries around the world born from 1965 to around 1980. Generation Y is the generation following Generation X, especially people born in western culture from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. The generation is also alternatively defined as the children of the Baby Boomer generation. Generation Z is the generation of people living in Western or First World cultures that follows Generation Y. Experts differ on when the earliest members of Generation Z were born, ranging from 1990 to 2001.

These lead to Generate Shift & Structure Shift

(b) Computers are no longer location-based...

  • So... it's not just availability, but it's anytime, anywhere... which allows collaborative & participative work through the network
  • Our urge... the need to be connected (eg. a typical behaviour: passengers start switching on handphones once the plane has landed)
  • Singapore Vision 2018

(c) "Super-Graduates" / "Millenial Graduates"

  • Descriptions of Millenial Graduates (CERI, The Millenial Generation)
  • Characteristics of these graduates: Technology-savvy; High IQ, EQ, SQ (social quotient); Competitive; Mobile & Travelled; Highly ambitious; Social entrepreneur
  • For work, they ask for different level/kinds of incentive
  • To attract these people, MNCs will need have unique mission and have creative work spaces
  • To select the right candidates, different forms of 'entrance test' are used...
  • Examples (i) Through dinners - look for social skills (ii) Through playing lego bricks - team players; logical thinking (iii) Scenario - observation and analytical skills, keeping a cool mind in chaos (iv) Games at Casino - interests and ability to trick others; ability to remind clear minded over long hours.
  • A new term: Something not quite clear: Is social quotient equivalent to social IQ? Hm... how it is related to social intelligence?
  • The 21st Century at Work: Force Shaping the Future Workforce and Workplace in the United States (download PDF)
  • Attributes of "Millenial Graduates": Must be adaptable (changes in technology as well as product demand); Lifelong Learning; Non-routine cognitive skills (abstract reasoning; innovative problem solving; P2P communication; Collaboration); Culture adaptability; Contrarian Minds
  • Contrarian Minds define a person who expresses an contradicting view point, especially one who denounces the majority persuasion (Wikitionary)

(d) Workplace of 2018

  • Alcoves: Architected to meet the millenials tastes adn senses; colours, water, light; Soothing, creative; Encounter locations
  • Mentors: Support & groom; Knowledge transfer; Quick take-off
  • Transform: Ideas; Projects; Results

(ii) Disruptive Innovation & Creation of Social Learner Ecosystem (by Jeremy B Williams)
Downloadable presentation slide

Vision of Students Today

source: Digital Ethnography (Kanas State University, Oct 12th, 2007)

Points to ponder...

(a) In today's context, does having a good qualification wonder a good job?

(b) Does the increasing accessibility to technology come with a promise of flexibility to deliver?

(c) Online learning is not about transplanting Face-2-Face model... but...???

Other points...

  • Horizontalization of learning: a shift in our a view of knowledge communication that emphasizes less the vertical relationship between a producer and a recipient and more horizontal interactions required for the negotiation of mutual relevance
  • (e-)Learning should be interactive, flexible and "ready to go"
  • Constructivism in a digital age: (i) Building and thinking > Learning > Sharing > Building > ... (ii) Deep learning can occur as the learner is actively engaged in, operating upon or mentally processing (iii) significantly, the student is both consumer and producer of information
  • www.johnseelybrown.com
  • Refer to powerpoint slides (www.jeremybwilliams.net/presentation.html)
  • eduFIRE - Live video language Learning (http://edufire.com/)