Last week I decided to do something to motivate my primary 6 pupils. There is this banner hanging out school all the while. It’s a typical achievement summary table which shows the number of As for respective subjects.
I took a picture of it a month ago, wanting to create something fun. So I did a bit of editing using Paint
My pupils smiled and laughed. That was the target set on the first day of school.
I hope they still believe in themselves
Just discovered a great writing tool, Tikatok. Strange name but cool idea.
Tikatok is a free creative community for kids under 13 where they can write, illustrate, and share their original stories, and have them printed out into real hardcover and paperback books. It was developed by two mothers to encourage the imagination and creativity of their children and children everywhere.
How it works
These are some of the ways Tikatok helps children unleash their creativity:
- Kick-start the imagination – Explore a fun collection of interactive story templates called StorySparks™.
- Build a book – Easily save your words and drawings with a book editor that opens right in the website. No extra software to download or install!
- Get social – Safely add friends, share favorites, and collaborate with other kids.
- Show off – See your books on the front page, email them to friends, send them to Tikatok book clubs, and even put them on your blog.
- Get real – Order any book as a real hardcover or paperback, even single copies! Now you’re a published author.
One lesser known but key feature: It supports Chinese characters! Hurray!
Excerpts From Lianhe Zaobao,
…“有关华语语法、发音的说明，课本都有英文翻译，学生可以自己了解，不需要老师在课堂多费唇舌，浪费时间。上课的时间应该用来进行沟通式教学：包括口语、阅读、写字的练习。华人传统说teach是‘教书’，意思是teach the book。过去是这样，现在不应如此。我们现在以学生为中心，上课是‘教学生’，不再是‘教书’。”
Traditionally, the literal Chinese meaning of ‘teach’ is ‘teach the book’. Now, in a learner centered environment, teachers should ‘teach learners’ instead of ‘teach the book’.
Kubler is worried of educators getting obsessed with education technology. He said in recent years younger teachers love technology, cartoons, comics and other little cute stuff. In fact, these things are not important. We must remind ourselves teaching and learning come before everything. If there are good educational software, give them a try. However we must not blindly follow suit.
I agree with most of Kubler’s view. In fact Mr 高极登 expressed similar concerns in this article. Both articles are very insightful.
However, since we are talking about learner centeredness, educators must rethink about how learning takes place today. We must also rethink on how technology can add value to teaching Chinese language. Most importantly, we must always keep an open mind on ways to engage students in learning Chinese language, without compromising the quality of teaching and language proficiency of students.
Researchers at Durham University in the UK are working hard to ensure that the academic sector isn’t left out of the multi-touch craze. The still-unnamed “interactive multi-touch desk” is a major part of the SynergyNet framework, an interactive classroom environment they’re building based on a gaming engine called jMonkey. There’s no word on how soon SynergyNet will change the world, but when it does the software will be open source — allowing anyone to get into the code and tweak it to their liking. In the meantime, schools looking for a “high tech initiative” of their own will have to be content with throwing laptops at their students. Stunning video demonstration after the break!
Read about it here.
From I observed in many shopping malls, kids love those multitouch games on the floors. It would be amazing to have them in classrooms. Imagine using multitouch in Chinese character writing. No chalk, no marker pens and no styluses even!
On the same note, let’s look forward to having Microsoft Surface technology in future classrooms!