Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reflection: Workshop for HOD/Maths (Sec) @ Bedok South Secondary

Immediately after the 1st session, we had a debrief to review the day's programme and surface areas that we did well and those could be improved - since we have a 2nd session, we could possibly use it to address the gap.

  • Expectations - it's one of the rare occasions that we did not ask participants to blog their expectations. It is never a easy task to get participants to volunteer their expectations - er... unless they're under threat... hahaha... Similarly, in this session, WK volunteered 3 participants and the responses were quite generic (i) to understand how ICT can be integrated into the Maths programme (ii) to find out how to do integrate ICT as the current integration in school is low. So, any new ideas? Not really. Personally, I thought it is good to get them air their expectations - believe there's certainly some odd ones out there which we could tap on.
  • 2 things that I thought we could do better: (i) Get participants to pen their expectations - be it in the blog or post-its. This allows everyone to air their thoughts. With the thoughts documented, it helps us to connect what we are doing for the workshop to the participants' expectations when we stocktake at the end of the 1st session or the beginning of the 2nd session. Of course, this also helps to surface any outlier... (and see if we are able to manage the expectations of these people - in fact, we had 1-2 in this workshop. Unfortunately, we are unable to surface this because of the strategy used this time.) (ii) We could have tapped on participants' expectations to highlight what are some of the areas going to be covered in the workshop (ie. telling them - look out, your expectations should be met along the way) and of course, point out those that are unlikely to cover in this workshop (so that they need not to wait and get disappointed at the end of the day).
  • Learning Gaps & ICT Tools in Education: The tea break provided us a slot where we could do a quick check on the tools available to address to the gap. With this, we are more well-equipped when facilitiating the discussion within the groups when they were to identify and suggest tools that could address the gap. I thought, this is something we should keep it up with :D
  • Linking the Filling-up the ICT Integration Matrix to Context: Participants went through the motion of completing the different components in the template; however, the rationale was not shared, to make it a more meaning exercise. In the next workshop, we'll do more talking to help them see what they are going to do is linked to the bigger picture.
  • Under the "ICT Tools in Education" segment, participants were engaged in exploring the materials and resources. Similar to previous runs of HOD workshops, they were amazed by the bulk of resources available. Hooray, they seemed to get something they want. The plan was to get them do a within group jigsaw, but did not quite work out. Will try a simplified version - where each group will look at only one resource. Perhaps they helps! One point to emphasize next time - the rationale of exploring the tools so that it would not be seen as a separate component. Though managed to talk about it in the 2nd session, however, it would be more meaningful if the rationale is mentioned in the 1st session.
  • We have introduced the use of wiki in the 2nd session - it has been made simple and they attempt during the workshop... Hm... it has arouse the interest of some :D
  • The inclusion of the Integration Matrix - the value of using it has been accepted by the participants as they could see it's a tool designed to help them. Have 'set' the incomplete task as a homework... hm... have not received the updated yet... Ah!!! have to chase already...

Something that needs to be reinforced...

  • Though we made an effort to distribute the stickers for the participants to write their names, we did not insist... hence, some did, some didn't... OK, trainers need to get use to it first... But I thought it was good for us, as trainers to write our name big and stick it that participants could just address us by name, easily. It helps to connect.

A few things to remember... to avoid...

  • Stop the ".... learning Algebra or whatever...." and "... so on and so forth..."
  • Giving nothing except "Good" or "Very Good" responses to the participants. Remember, they are not students!
  • Hold all the "K", "OK" and "alright"
  • Use "We (can)" whenever possible. Avoid "You (can/should)" - sounds instructive - which does not go down well with very experience teachers.
  • Currently, Intuitive Experimental Approach focuses mainly on the Teaching of Geometry - so do not use in the teaching of Maths.

Click HERE to access workshop blog

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Briefing - Cyberwellness

on 18 January 2008 @ Edutorium

The Programme:

  • An overview of Cyberwellness - the rationale of hyping up this Cyberwellness thingy.
  • What the Cyberwellness starter emcompasses and how it can be used.
  • Sharing by Dr Angeline Khoo on Internet Safety and Gaming.


Some Points:

  • Cyberwellness is about the well-being of internet users, and in this case, it's our students - the schools' focus. And of course, this includes getting them understand the risk in the cyberspace and knowing how to react to it or prevent getting into 'trouble'. The 3-step process - SENSE > THINK > ACT
  • Taking stock of the current status - having high internet penetration (which was a few folds since 1999), then potential issues have become real issues of today. This is especially so as technology evolves over the years. Several issues to be tackled include:
  • (a) Irresponsible blogging - especially in our multi-racial & multi-cultural society - a matter of knowing how to exercise graceful expressions and respect to others and oneself.
  • (b) Addiction to Games - this happens when the 'practice' interferes with one's normal life. From the findings, 78% of our teens play games for a minimum of 1 hour per week.
  • (c) Cyberbullying - there's more frequent report on this aspect... one case cited with the one reported by the papers last year - that the girl was cyberbullied by a group of female classmates by the postings they put up in the web.
  • (d) Unsafe Behaviour - Findings show that 47% chat, 61% used instant messaging while 84% email... and many disclose their identity, in one way or another. For instance, teens put up private information such as addresses and schools in public portals, without knowing such disclosures will open themselves to dangers. Also, through dialogues over the IMs, predators prompted to gather information... In fact, such cases have been reported on papers too!
  • (e) Pornography - It's really a thin fine line between what's indecent and art!
  • (f) Undesireable communities - of course, this refers to those that cultivate extreme behaviour and thinking...
  • (g) Copyright Infringement
  • (h) Lack of Parental Guidance


  • The purpose of the package (ie. Framework & starter kit) is to provide schools with help and guidance in planning cyberwellness programme, guided by 3-step process: SENSE > THINK > ACT - to help pupils to translate their understanding of issues into appropriate responses (through actions).
  • Other opportunities to reinforce (beyond classroom practices) include: Assembly programmes, Meet-the-Parents session (which is a means to engage parents - that helps to develop a two-prong approach, where school and parents work hand-in-hand for the well-being of the children).
  • One useful website: School-Family Education Scheme


Sharing by Dr Angeline Khoo

touches on...

Internet Safety

  • Online Dis-inhibition Effect - self-disclosure increases when go online. In fact, I do agree with her... In the cyberspace, one can easily hide his/her identity... and the mind is set free to express him/her-self, that normally would not be said in front of another person. Hence, one's behaviour online and offline could be very different... Oops! That reminded me of Dr Jackal and Mr Hyde!
  • Pornography - as mentioned earlier, it's very subjective... well, it's really a matter of perspectives. On the other hand, we also recognise that some seek pornography because of curiosity.
  • Blogging - by disclosing too much information (eg. photographs), it could provide chances for pedophile to groom their potential victims. In fact, read about this sometime last year, about a group of parents, who are blog enthusiasts, came together to form a support group on how to go about combating this problem. Yes, it's a concern when children's photos are put up... well... not just little children's, even when it comes to teens or adults... There were people who misuse photos in the web - photos were copied and 'vandalise'... Oops! Key personnel and discipline masters are normally top in the list of immature students! (well, saw this with my own eyes about 5 years ago!)
  • Cyberbullying - (a) Cyberbullies are harder to detect because of the anonymity of the net. (b) While they know their victims, their victims do not know who they are. (c) They are less likely to fear punishment since they are often hard to identify.
  • Cybersex - A virtual sex encounter in which two or more persons connected remotely via a computer network send one another sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. It’s a form of role-playing in which participants pretend they are having actual sexual intercourse, by describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in mostly written form designed to simulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies. To illustrate this, Dr Khoo shared with us a dialogue when a predator how he tried to move from cybersex to phone sex... and face-to-face! Such interaction is normally fully text, while images come in when it's webcam-to-webcam.

Digital Gaming: Researches on games by

  • Video Game Addiction: Audioclip on "Mom Tells Kid No More World of Warcraft"
  • WoWdetox is a volunteer-run web site aimed at people with a gaming addiction to World of Warcraft. Here gamers and ex-gamers can share their testimonies freely and anonymously.

Some Positive effects of videogame playing

  • Process certain visual information as well as for combat
  • Improve laparoscopic skills: Have heard about this several times... that says surgeons perform better if they play games... Like it or not, I just wonder how true it is, to what extent? What kind of video games one play matters! OK, I trust that the reflex and psychomotor skills are better... however, depending on the context they are immersed in (in the first place)... It requires quick-thinking...
  • Helping children with attention deficit disorder
  • Games are part of well-adjusted lifestyle
  • Use as a method of pain management
  • Establishing online social relationships

Why are they important to children and teens

  • Promote positive feelings
  • Provide outlet for aggression, has cathartic effect
  • Has potential as learning tools
  • Meet psychological needs
  • Entertainment and leisure
  • Emotional coping – from loneliness, stress, low self-esteem
  • Escape from reality
  • Satisfying social needs – making new friends, strengthening relationships

Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name:Online Games as "Third Places"

Game Environments... Yee (2006)

Game environments as “places where alternative identifies are conceived and explored. They are parallel worlds where cultures, economies and societies are being created.

They are environments where the relateionships that form and the derived experiences can rival those of the physical world. They are new platforms for social science research. They are places where people fall in love, get married, elect governors, attend poetry readings, etc… MMORPGs… They are not just games”

  • The average age the participants first started playing digital games is 7.25 years.


Other related links: