Saturday, August 15, 2009

National ICT Sharing Presentation - Ether-World Models: Co-Curricular WetPaint - Environment Simulation

Presented by Robert Puffer & Ms Hoe Tou Hwa of Bukit Panjang Government High School

Was attracted to the session because of its objective outlined in the synposis:

  1. ... to provide a model for extending a student's opportunity for leadership and academic outside the school environment...
  2. ... to demonstrate uses of wetpaint wikispaces which create social environments where students become engaged in self-disciplined learning of curricular goals
  3. ... to demonstrate a peer evaluative tool
  4. ... to propose an extensive of this model to a global project resulting from a national competition. Students will apply their comprehension of class activity to a national and international mdoel for addressing global issues. A Global Issues Network (GIN) will be joined by Singapore students.

In the 30 min presentation, what I gathered...

  • There's this Earth Hope Global Issues Network Conference( where students could participate in discussions pertaining to global issues like Global Warming, Digital Divide. 2008's held in Beijing while this year's in Bangkok. Well, this could be an event where our students could participate, interact with students from all over the world and be engage in rich discussion cross-culturally.
  • Wiki is being used in the EL and History classroom (not sure if it's level wide). Currently, wiki activities seem to supplement who's in the main curriculum. The activities does not come with any assessment component as it aims to make interaction non-threatening. Moreover, not all students participated because not everyone has access to the internet.

Things I already know and I didn't expect to cover (based on the write-up)...

  • Signing up of the WetPaint account. Well, I think such technicalities could be more easily carried out or more effective to participants (who are new to WetPaint) if it's a hands-on session.
  • The new site (access via invitation) was created:
  • Features of WetPaint - something I already know.
  • Benefits of networking via wiki - mainly collaboration. Yes, and agree it depends on the make-up of the community that makes the interaction more enriching!

Questions remain unanswered...

  • What are some of the specific activities that the students are engaged in (English & History) that illustrates their growth and how they have benefited from the participation in a wiki.
  • Well, one example shared was, a student put up a question in the discussion focum (DF)of the class wiki where he invited replies from his peers. Well, this illustrates the clarification process - however, facilitated via a DF. It's not the key feature of wiki - which is suppose to be the collaborative platform.
  • How do students arise from occasion to lead? Not clear. Perhaps illustrated from the discussion forum when one led in the discussion and helped peers who need support? Once again, how does wiki really support this process, apart from the DF that comes with it?
  • Indeed, I was looking out for the kinds of activities/interaction that could leverage on the features uniquely wiki - which could be in the form of collaboration or something else!
  • BTW, what's exactly this Ether-World Model? It was never answered... or was it forgotten? or it's so abstract that it's already answered or I already experienced it without knowing? Hm...

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