Tagged: school

Web 2.0 equivalent of…

I’m working out a series of Web 2.o tools training sessions for teachers and pupils next year. Right now I’m mapping the following IT applications (mostly Microsoft products) to Web 2.0 equivalents. The learning outcome will be students learning both Microsoft skills and Web 2.0 tools.

I have listed some of my ideas.

  1. Keyboarding and Word processing = Blogging and Wiki
  2. Microsoft PowerPoint = Google Docs (Presentation)
  3. Microsoft Excel = Google Docs (Spreadsheets and Forms)
  4. Microsoft Movie Maker (Slideshow) = Animoto
  5. Microsoft Movie Maker (Video) = ???
  6. Audacity = VoiceThread?

Any recommendations? Thanks!

At this school, it’s okay to ‘tweet’ in class

Great news article from The Straits Times, 6 November 2009.

This is exactly how technology should be used to improve education – “it’s okay to ‘tweet’ in class”

Congratulations to Ngee Ann Secondary School for becoming one of the 30 “Microsoft Pathfinder Schools” worldwide.

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Link to Microsoft Partners in Learning.

Must have tools for new lab PCs?

— This post was originally posted back on 26 September 2008. —

Good news: My school is getting new PCs to replace old ones in a lab.

Bad news: I am going to write a request for funds proposal for it 😛

Something new: I am working with my Edtech to come up with a list of tools/applications/software/hardware to be installed in the new PCs.

Target pupils: Primary 1 to 6 (7 years old to 12 years old)

Subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue (Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages)

Objectives: E-Learning and Project Work

Any suggestion is most welcomed!

Updates:

List of tools/applications considered to be installed

1. Audacity

2. VLC media player

3. Video Codecs e.g. Xvid

4. A new lab management software. Recommendation needed.

5. A more robust web filtering application to block undesirable websites which the ministry/school network is unable to filter. Recommendation needed.

6. Firefox

7. FreeMind

8. Infraview or GIMP

9. Microsoft Office 2007 (Competition purpose)

10. Other Open Source applicatons

Recommendations by educators:

1. Jeff Utecht

Google Earth
Firefox default browser
jingproject
OpenOffice or MS OFfice

2. Tod Baker

Language teachers find software like Audacity helpful for recording voice and sound. I prefer to use GarageBand for serious work and Journler for on-the-fly work.

3. Sue Waters

Well my friend has been radical in his school – remove all standard MS software & told staff they’ll need to learn Web 2.0 tools

List of hardware considered to be purchased

1. IWB

2. Headsets

3. Better Webcams

4. Creative Vado

What is school for?

From Seth Godin’s Blog:

The purpose of school is to:

  1. Become an informed citizen
  2. Be able to read for pleasure
  3. Be trained in the rudimentary skills necessary for employment
  4. Do well on standardized tests
  5. Homogenize society, at least a bit
  6. Pasteurize out the dangerous ideas
  7. Give kids something to do while parents work
  8. Teach future citizens how to conform
  9. Teach future consumers how to desire
  10.  Build a social fabric
  11. Create leaders who help us compete on a world stage
  12. Generate future scientists who will advance medicine and technology
  13. Learn for the sake of learning
  14. Help people become interesting and productive
  15. Defang the proletariat
  16. Establish a floor below which a typical person is unlikely to fall
  17. Find and celebrate prodigies, geniuses and the gifted
  18. Make sure kids learn to exercise, eat right and avoid common health problems
  19. Teach future citizens to obey authority
  20. Teach future employees to do the same
  21. Increase appreciation for art and culture
  22. Teach creativity and problem solving
  23. Minimize public spelling mistakes
  24. Increase emotional intelligence
  25. Decrease crime by teaching civics and ethics
  26. Increase understanding of a life well lived
  27. Make sure the sports teams have enough players

A mixture of realities and harsh realities. Excellent read.

Focus Group Discussion for the Standard Operating ICT Environment (SOE) for Schools

I am pleased to write to you to request for a nomination of 15 P6 students with a deep interest in computing — either avid users, students in Infocomm Club or have taken part in IT competitions to participate in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD)

I came up with the following questions for the selected pupils to think through before attending this FGD.

1. How can you describe your day-to-day use of ICT? What is your take on the relationship between technology and education?

2. What are the software and applications you used in the school computer laboratory? How proficient are you in Microsoft Office applications?

3. How do your make use of the school LMS in everyday learning? Is it a useful platform to do asynchronous (self-directed) learning?

4. What do you think of gaming (online and offline)? How does it impact learning?

5. Do you know what is Web 2.0? If yes, how do you make use of it in research and learning? If no, what do you think of Internet as a learning tool?

6. How does ICT help you in Project Work? How does PowerPoint, Web design, video editing add value to your learning?

7. What do you think of Robotics in education? Does Robotics add value and fun to learning?

8. How much do you understand in Cyberwellness? What are the social and moral impacts if it is not emphasized?

9. What do you envision in a primary school in terms of technology in 2015? What do you think of the current future schools in Singapore? Is technology EVERYTHING in education? Is the availability of the latest and fastest computers and hardware important for learning to take place?

10. Do you know what are the 21st Century skills? If yes, do you think schools are teaching these skills to students? If no, what are important skills you need to learn in school in order to meet future challenges?

Update: Check out pupils’ answers to these questons in this wiki! 🙂

Insights of education technology and Chinese language teaching/learning by Cornelius C. Kubler

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’。”

担心老师迷恋电脑教学科技

  最近15年,教学科技越来越发达,这本是可喜现象,顾百里却忧心忡忡。他说:“在美国有部分老师爱上电脑,把原来用在备课的时间,用在电脑上,喜欢发展很多新的软件。这些软件部分有用,部分未必有用。我认为,教师应该以学生为重,备课为先。设计一个像样的软件要花上几百几千个小时,我经常建议老师先搞清楚在中国大陆、台湾、香港、新加坡,有没有同行在研发类似的软件,尽可能避免不必要的重复。

  “近年来有很多年轻老师爱上新的科技,很多卡通人物、漫画等等可爱小东西,这些其实都不是太重要,应该紧记一切以教学为重。有好的教学软件,不妨采用,但是不可以盲目跟风。”

My translation:

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.