Monday, July 14, 2008

More about Web 2.0

The other day, a few of the colleauges attended a session on Web 2.0 tools. Seems like the presenters parked almost all the materials in his/her blog. Goody good!

"Hopped by" to view the blog... wah! Comprehensive. It's not just materials he/she shared (I think), but also additional materials/links for references and more info.... :D

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reflection: Workshop on Games (Primary)

It's one of the unexpected workshop... er... ie. it never crossed my mind that it's something that I would develop... In fact, this workshop 'crossed' a couple of hands before landing on Feena & my laps...

A tough one 'cos
1. I don't play games (in the first place!)!!! Ask someone who's alien to the 'essence' of the workshop to develop it?????
2. It's been quite discouraging when I was "reminded" consistently by my co-developer that the games we play with are very very lame... so much so... that it sounds as if it has no value to look at them at all! Hey, it sounds like I'm working at "2nd class citizen" materials! So, can be depressing!!! It's like, while people already flying, you're still learning to crawl... sigh, sigh, sigh...

Well, such happened here... at level 14... and yes, the workshop's still materialise... hahaha... seems like nothing here is impossible.

On the other hand, because of circumstances, have no choice but really need to fish out as much useful and relevant resources as possible! I must say that really, we are blessed with a wealth of resources, I mean, Maths-related resources! Especially those that cater to the Primary level. Yeap, so much so that unknown to me... I gathered more than 50 that are quite passable, with a few "WOW" ones :D

Of course, nothing beats testing all the ideas that were put together over the past few months! It's one of the earliest submitted for clearance... but it also took the longest time to refine... (just wondering? What if the workshop materials were submitted only a month ago... the outcome of the materials would still be quite similar, but would probably minus the agony & frustration, having to refine over and over again...

On the 'game' day... the first time for Maths workshops (except the e-Learning one), we did the BINGO activity... yes, yes, I know it... participants would ask... what's the purpose of playing the activity? Isn't it a waste of time (yeap, precisely, that's also what I thought of, too). In fact, one of the participants asked if there's any prizes to be rewarded... Well, thinking on my feet... I replied, "The best reward comes with the widened network that you have... getting to know colleagues around you..." Isn't that powerful? Of course, to help us make the activity meaningful to ourselves (the trainers), we used some of the components to connect participants to the topic for the day - what traditional games do they play? 5 stones? Snake and ladder, etc... till seeing their children (or some of them) playing the PSP!

Really, the grouping activity is the one using the rafia strings - that turned out to be quite refreshing to most participants, so much so that one of them wrote in the 3-2-1 that she liked the activity... well, well... isn't a game too? (when trainer's objective is to do grouping).

Quite a fair bit of time was spent on exploration, which to my surprise that so many of them were engaged (or should I say, they're immersed) in these games! Yes, the protected time for them to find some thrill while planning something for their students! I'm both amazed and amused! Somehow, the sense of satisfaction slowly felt...

Of course, we also managed to introduce a few new things to them - GoogleDoc (that definitely have aroused the interest in some of them) and Wiki (that is new to almost everyone!). To our pleasant surprise, this is done with little pain during the workshop :D Was it because it's simply that easy? or we've successful break it into digestible and manageable parts?

Yeap, enthusiasm elicit enthusiasm... hm... it's contagious, too!

In the 2nd session, tried another strategy... that's modified from "Send the Problem". Participants gave feedback to others' work on cards... yes, it's equivalent to posting comments (that we tried in our past workshops), that this time went by the 'old' technology - pen & paper. After the participants had written, they 'posted' their cards to the envelopes (marked with the group name). Then, we the trainers became the postman... Ah ha...we re-lived the good old times... a check with the participants showed that most of stopped writing and posting letters. Many have turned to email nowadays.

We also changed the sequence of the activity, which allows us to 'buy time'... in fact... this change made the flow of the activities more natural, too...
  • After the groups had crafted the lesson plan - they would be able to surface any concerns or potential problems if they were to conduct the lesson.
  • Then it's timely for them to do a think-pair-share to pen down some of their thoughts.
  • While we look at their inputs, they can (at the same time) look at other group's lesson plans and provide feedback.
  • Then the trainers take over the session to respond to the concerns raised.
On the whole, it went on well... yes, not to forget mentioning the laughters and fun that Sabrina and Irene had injected in the 2 sessions... Yes, I enjoyed the workshop... not just as a trainer, but the kind of synergy and connectedness with the participants... Hm... A pat on my shoulder... A pat on everyone's shoulders :D

Talk: Designing Innovation for the 21st Century

Talk by Rune Fjord on how design principles are used to help organisations re-imagine the process of innovation on 4 July 2008 @ Suntec City (MOE EXCEL Fest)

  • 21st century design is about process design and product design
  • Functionality + Aesthetic
  • Intuitive - does not require user to figure how to use a piece of tool
  • Space as a Tool for Development - Impact of Space; Respect Diversity


  • Project hotel at the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • "The 'Mind" - Central room in Mindlab. It looks cold and cool...
  • Inside the "Mind" - "The Mind" acts a vast whiteboard where one can write on all surfaces
  • Workstations that are mobile & flexible


  • An innovation centre at the science park SCION DTU in Hørsholm, Denmark, 2004.
  • The Momentum Tower
  • The Death Corridor - the entire corriodor (including the ceiling) is painted with punishing mysterious black
  • The Conference Room - with step-seats and a pond right in the middle to create the calming atmosphere (?)
  • The Screaming Room - as the name implies... to scream the lungs out... one good way to destress! hahaha..


  • In the Danish School system - compulsory 9-year education, starting from the age of 7.
  • In Folkeskole: Foundation - pedagogical educational tradition (versatile development, social qualities, democracy). The everyday life - "Method freedom" for the teachers; "equal dialogue" between pupils & teachers.
  • Average school size: 400 pupils (Smallest school: 4 pupils; Maximum goes up to 800-900)
  • Average class size: 20 pupils (max 28)
  • Basic Curriculum Humanities, Practical & Art Subjects, Sciences & Mathematics
  • Reading Tubes - bringing the playground indoor... where children can lie down to read
  • Reading area along the corridor & its cubicle... the partition provides some form of privacy while 2 having discussion.
  • A discussion area - when place strategically, can double up as a dining area (or vice-versa)
  • The library - a place where noise is permitted, yet provide a space for concentration
  • Discussion table in a room - an island set-up that comes with lots of curves
  • Another discussion corner for pupils and a meeting area for staff



  • Library is a space to activate knowledge - it's not just a physical storage of books
  • It should be a place that can talk, but also a place of concentration
  • Two looks of the library (A, B) - strong colours and lots of curves/slides

(f) LEGO

Other interesting concept...


  • Click HERE to see sggestions to different meeting room settings

Source: Bosch & Fjords (

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A new look - Learning & Aesthetics Centre @ KCPSS

It's pretty different and refreshing concept of library in a school. Lifestyle, I was told - to make it a warm and comfortable place for the children in school. Yes, somehow, in a school, we are given the 4 vertical walls and the label "Library" - the image that comes to our mind will be shelves and shelves of books... what else???? Isn't it the main function of the library - that houses as much knowledge and information as possible?

Yes, NLB took the lead... many years ago, to revamp the 'role' of a library, to revamp the 'use' of the library - how the user can use it... it had taken bold steps to change the deep-seated mental model. It has grown with time... so as to remain relevant. Yes, libraries in higher institution has changed too... gradually... somehow I think it's because, no matter what, being a learning institution, many still hold tight to the 'academic' look and feel... What's more, schools!!!!!

I was impressed - not because it's new look - but the school's bold move to reduce the amount of print materials in a library!!! What??? So few books and you can still call it a library? You can find more books in some of our homes than what you see in this library... (Yes, that's the typical mindset).

Where are the rest of the books? Well, they've been decentralised to the various subject rooms... so, at a look, the library area has shrunk significantly (think it's more than 50%)... it gained more spaces by penetrating through other physical areas... Certianly, there's room for finding out how the school operates in this manner... in managing the resources...

Of course, I guess the school would have found a clever way to provide/justify confidently its loan rate... 'cos after all, the typical old system will still be chasing after the school for numbers...

Click HERE to see more photos