Category: news

3 things I learned from the Adelyn Hosehbo saga

‘Adelyn Hosehbo’ is the infamous Singaporean teenage girl who became an instant Internet hit because she boasted slapping her mother on her Facebook. The whole incident went viral when local citizen journalist portal Stomp published it. The rest is history.

3 things I learned from this saga:

  1. Cyber wellness, character and family education are very important for kids today.
  2. Digital footprints travel at exponential speed in social media.
  3. It’s a great teachable moment or resource. In fact I already noticed some of my students doing similar things. This incident amplified the reality.
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Enhancing the Teaching and Testing of Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) to Nurture Active Learners and Proficient Users – MTL Review Committee Releases Its Recommendations

From MOE Press Releases:

MOE will align school-based assessments and national examinations to the desired language proficiencies and test language use in authentic contexts. While new items are added or existing items are modified, there will also be reduction in certain existing items, in order to maintain the current overall difficulty level. The following changes will take place:

  • New examination items to test interaction skills will be introduced.
  • The use of dictionaries and e-dictionaries2 will be extended to new interactive writing items (e.g., writing an email response to a stimulus) in examinations. This is in addition to, and not replacing, essay-writing.
  • Video clips, instead of line drawings, will be used as stimuli for oral examinations. This will provide a more engaging and realistic context to stimulate conversation.
  • Computer-based writing will be introduced for secondary and junior college students in selected sections of the national examinations, starting with groups which have smaller candidature. Once assured of the technical and examination administration aspects, this can be progressively expanded to other groups over time.
  • Oral examinations will be introduced for O-Level Higher MTL (HMTL) to signal the importance of good oral communication skills for our HMTL students.

Big news for Mother Tongue teachers in Singapore. As usual I’m more interested in the assessment part than the teaching part. All I can say for now is ICT will continue to drive the shift in assessment. However mindset is something trickier to change. Baby steps at a time 🙂

Use of ICT in Schools Aimed at Enhancing Teaching and Learning

From MOE Media Centre:


Use of ICT in Schools Aimed at Enhancing Teaching and Learning


We refer to the letters by Zhang Chun Yu (“Do Primary and Secondary Schools need Wireless internet”, 14 June), Shen Yu Sheng (“ICT is a double-edged sword; don’t turn love into harm”, 18 June) and Xiao Guo Rong (“Restrictions should be imposed on the use of IT to aid teaching”, 21 June).


MOE invests in ICT to support teaching and learning in schools, to ensure that students are well prepared for the future working environment. The objective of a Standard Operating Environment for Schools, SOE (Schools), is to support the third Masterplan for ICT in education in providing schools with an appropriate ICT infrastructure. It includes replacing obsolete infrastructure such as local and wide area network equipment and servers, and enhancing technical support.


The writers were concerned that wireless connectivity in schools could result in students accessing undesirable content online or be distracted from lessons. MOE ensures that the use of ICT in teaching and learning is done in pedagogically sound and age-appropriate ways.


Wireless access provides a wider learning space beyond the classroom and allows students to learn in a more authentic environment. For example, a teacher could guide students to use wireless mobile devices in a school’s eco-garden for science trails, engage in group discussions and share information found online. The teacher would refer their students to credible sites when conducting their research online. Schools also filter undesirable content from school networks.


MOE has put in place cyber-wellness programmes to educate students on cyber wellness and the safe and responsible use of technology. A recent school-wide effort involves training student ambassadors to lead the promotion of cyber wellness among their peers. Parents also play a crucial role in working with schools to ensure that students adopt the right values and attitude when using technology in school and at home.


Mr Lim Teck Soon

IT Director, Organisation Development Division

Ministry of Education

How about radical overhaul to assessment?

From Channel NewsAsia:

MOE hints no radical overhaul to teaching of Mother Tongue languages

…the Director-General of Education, Ho Peng, hinted there won’t be a radical overhaul to the teaching and learning. Instead, it will build on the strengths of what’s in place…

…And one thing is clear – infocomm technology (ICT) will play an increasingly larger role in the teaching and learning of Mother Tongue languages.

“You’re talking about digital natives. Children in fact connect very readily and easily with ICT. So I think in terms of teaching and learning in the classroom, we really need to use ICT in order to engage the next generation,” said Ho…

Reflections:

  1. Will there be a radical overhaul in assessment? Frankly, as long as it moves slightly away from standardized testing, it will be considered a radical overhaul. 😀
  2. Not just MTL, ICT will play continue to play an increasingly bigger role in all subject areas.
  3. We have been talking a lot about using ICT for teaching and learning. Time to look at using ICT for assessment.

New Interactive Learning Trail in Chinatown Makes Learning of Chinese Language and Heritage Engaging for our Students

From MOE Press Releases:

A new wireless interactive learning trail at Chinatown will offer students a fun, authentic way to learn about Chinese Language and culture. Through the use of specially programmed mobile phones, students can participate in activities at seven designated wireless-enabled hotspots along the trail to learn more about Chinatown’s heritage.

Looks like a great learning trail using mobile devices. However it’s only for secondary school students.

Update: Channel News Asia report

Using ICT in Chinese language teaching improves results

From xin.sg:

研究显示,利用资讯通信科技,辅助华文教学,确实对讲英语家庭的孩子有帮助。有学校同华文教研中心,展开试验性课程后发现,原本华文成绩不及格的班级,在完成课程后,及格率上升到33%。

Research shows using ICT in Chinese language teaching can help students from English speaking families to achieve better results in Chinese language. In fact it should apply to all students 😉

Mobile phones are featured, though the report mentioned mobile phones only have Internet access and no voice calls and SMS. Not really leveraging on the computing power of mobile phones if you ask me.