Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Here I have used it to look at some of the ideation tools that I have knowledge of, that I planned to incorporate into my current and future lessons.
|Ideation tool popplet|
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
And I'm happy to say that I hope I would be able to be part of this wave, this defining of what education for the future is all about. It's really about redefining of how a learning experience ought to be, leveraging on the use of a device. But before I forgot all about the primary objective, let us not forget too, it is still all about the child, first and foremost. Like what I always remind myself: Teach the child first, and then the subject.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Why are children more creative and innovative than adults? Would this lead on to a systemic way of being more creative/innovative?
The oxymoronic thinking would be that because we know a lot more things as adults...the structures and the methods of being creative, we tend to look down and scoff on some of the ideas given by our children. But the truth of the matter perhaps is that, they could be the ones that have an edge in terms of coming out with these more creative ideas. Perhaps it is this environment of 'not knowing' that provides the catalyst for creativity to bloom. Perhaps...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
And the idea that tickled me most was the scenario that educators like me always get from some parents, and giftedness proponents, that in order for one to know that a child is gifted, he or she would have to sit for a test. So lets say the qualifying score for 'being labelled gifted' is 80%, would a child scoring 78% be any less 'ungifted' than one who scores, say 81%. Wouldn't it be even funnier if, say the former scenario happens, the parent were then to ask the child to sit for the test again? And if the child passes the mark, he or she would then be qualified to be called gifted!
So then, is giftedness just about making and reaching that particular number?
On the other hand, I do believe in the existence of natural flair, talents, abilities...but then, if this was just subsumed and labelled under a particular number, it would be such a sad state of affairs for mankind, wouldn't it?
And now just a little something for that comic relief...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
So perhaps an evolutionary idea here, which I think is currently happening in small sectors of the education field here, is the practice that no longer is learning defined by what is written in the textbooks or assessment books! I mean should we stop teaching and engaging the students if they show interests in the Chaos Theory, just because it is not part of the curriculum. Yes assessment is important at the end of the day, but there should also be certain aspects of their assessment that targets the learning that takes place beyond the classroom or textbooks, the learning that happens when they either pushed the boundaries of their own learning, and start to explore and discover things that they are interested in. As an analogy, this notion is certainly nothing new in the workplaces of innovative firms all around the world. How many times have we heard about how 3M encourages her employees to spend some time within their official working hours, to be engaged in something that they like to do, some thing that seems to be seemingly out of sync with their official duties in the company, but at least they enjoy doing! Hmmm, could we adopt something similar to the education of our future leaders. Perhaps we could...and who knows, we might just do it very very soon!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Well so far, the use of the relevant tools has been met with measured success (and failures). TWITTER is not as good when one wants to have a visual and more complete idea of how things are going, although it does capture the responses in a chronological manner, if that is indeed your lesson's cup of tea. And using mindmapping apps have been useful and enlightening, I think, as it does manage to capture the varied thought processes, the multiplicity of synapses that are happening in my charges' grey matter, and the sometimes almost awkward yet seemingly innocent way of looking at things. It is sometimes refreshing to see their ideas at their baseline levels being developed into something more mature, more robust, and perhaps even something more critical, with a dash of innovation and creativity thrown in for good measure.
I tried wallwisher.com earlier today and found it to be quite an impressive tool for the collation of ideas and comments, much better than TWITTER. Here's a final screenshot of the task given to the students:
Wish me luck!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
‘Don’t get the schooling get in the way of the Learning’
The mantra above has somehow just got stuck to my head from the time that it was uttered during the seminar. Upon reflection, I guess it was one of those moment of revelation that perhaps we as teachers and educators would regularly need so that we may not lose sight of our bearings! Of how sometimes we as educators, tend to ‘lose’ the notion of what learning is all about, and perhaps even of embracing the belief that it is something that happens beyond just the mere confines of the four walls of a classroom too. And I personally believe that here at my current institution, we have been doing something right so far, it is perhaps novel, new and innovative, but it is definitely something right! And I guess in doing all things that are of such a nature, there would be critics, both positive and negative.
And as we trod along a path that has never been trodden, we do need to muster a lot of courage in doing things that have not been done before. And perhaps also, of believing and embracing that the way to go forward is to believe that we are, and should be just as curious as our students...perhaps even enough to say that in a class of 20 students that we are usually teaching in, there are actually 21 learners!
An interesting facet that I realise is how the convergence of technology has merely hasten the transition between one of digital immigrants to digital natives, and how 'DIGITAL' is now THE natural environment that our students are growing up in! For us educators, we must realise that by leveraging on our unique teaching and learning experience in a 1-to-1 platform, what we are doing is actually ‘disrupting’ the status quo, the very same modus operandi of how teaching (and perhaps learning at times) have been conducted for the last 1 to 2 generations. History have shown how these ‘disruption’ and 'disruptors' are both revolutionary and evolutionary in nature, and how these have turn out to be the ones who have stood the test of time as THE way to go forward! And perhaps, what we are doing here @SST right now could just perhaps be that, THE great disruptor, to both revolutionise teaching, and perhaps to evolutionise learning!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
And it is interesting to note how these need for 'softer' skillsets is very much different from the focus during my time, about 15 to 20 years ago, where the major concern in education back then, well at least from the perspective of a student, was more to indulge and imbibe the students with content knowledge from the more hard sciences stuffs, and very little on the arts and media. I don't seem to be able to remember the number of times that I actually did a presentation to my classmates or schoolmates, because simply these were few and far in-between. And compare that to now, whereby if a student was to share the same statement, it would specifically mean that he or she would have had done NUMEROUS presentations, so much so that he or she would have lost count!
But let me reiterate that soft skills is not just about presentation alone! More importantly, it is about developing that HUMAN RELATIONSHIP component in our skillsets, specifically that Emotional Quotient (EQ). Daniel Goleman's book on EQ clearly states the dichotomy in EQ, whereby it is not just about understanding oneself, but also reaching out to others, and UNDERSTANDING them. How many times, as adults, have we been so clearly transfixed with getting things done, and focusing too much on our own Cognitive Intelligence, and forgot about the human dimensions to any forms of interaction. And how many times have we forgotten about the inequality of perception, whether actual or assumed, about our own EQ, i.e. human dynamicism...about the fact that there is someone on the receiving end of our interaction,whether good or bad? Perhaps it is something that all of us should reflect. And if I may borrow the words from the late Michael Jackson's song, 'Man in the Mirror', you should be the one who initiate the change.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I still think that there is still a gap in how they can communicate their ideas better and hopefully with my help, and their great desire to learn, I would be able to scaffold their learning, and they in turn be able to be deeply engaged in learning to how then make their online portfolios that much more interesting. Well I sure hope that this great experiment that I am currently exploring would be a tremendous success...this whole idea and notion of an online portfolio! It is something new, definitely, but I am very happy to say that I have indeed a great amount of support from my colleagues, something that I truly appreciate!
But as in all things that are new, I do hope that this endeavour would also allow me to fail successfully, (not that I am wishing for it) if there were any shortcomings that I might not have been able to pre-empt. My dream would be to get them to know how to 'choose their nets and then be able to fish'...a metaphor to perhaps give, or rather empower, my students to be able to decide on what to put in into their portfolios. I do hope their reflections and works so far are just a start. Perhaps the photography and other media-related lessons in the very near future would help to enrich them and their portfolios even more. I am definitely excited about all these, but as in all exciting endeavours, a great amount of preparation time is also required to make it a fruitful and a positively-exciting experience, for both the learners and the teacher. And with that in mind, do step aside and allow me to put my foot on the accelerator pedal. I'll be revving up the engine just one notch higher!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The last week had me enjoying some of my students' presentations and benchmarking their research and analytical skills. Presentation on the 2nd week of lessons...well YES! Why not? But hey, I'm not expecting the Steve Job's style of presentation with visually appealing graphics and a snappy accompanying song to boot. Just a simple one that gives me an idea on how much they know and have researched on, on the given theme, and how comfortable they are presenting in front of the class.
All I can say is that, a great majority are able to present and perhaps standards are decent when you see that they are still 12-year-olds after all! Reading from the slides are still the normal modus operandi for a great majority of them, and cartoonish graphics and multiple font uses and transitions are very much the order of the day when it comes to making their presentations more visually appealing. But hey, I think it was a joy to see them doing all those things, and even more for some of them! Sometimes I do find myself having to stop myself from looking at them from an adult's point of view, and then starting to critically see their presentation from those eyes! What is the underlying theme that they are presenting? Were they comfortable with their slides? Do they enjoy doing the research, the presentation slides, and finally presenting them? I sure hope they did, as much as I enjoyed watching them! But on a more serious and happier note, at least I know I would not be out of job in the immediate future, knowing that there are still areas of improvements that they can make in their own presentation and communication skills.
Research...I think one of the flaws that teachers usually make is to assume what the students already know, or even what they don't know. Interestingly I have made my fair share of such flaws on these 2 fronts too! Firstly assuming that they know what RESEARCH is all about...no no..assuming that they know HOW to present their research! I think my charges DO know what research is all about, but the manner and method of presenting these research information is totally another thing altogether. Perhaps it is this fluidity in becoming a teacher to a bunch of young adults who are soooo willing to learn is what I find great joy in! And that is why it is never ever a boring job! Well, now that I know where the problem....no I don't think I want to call it a 'PROBLEM', let's call it shortcomings instead. It does lessen the negative connotations doesn't it. Ok now that I know where the shortcomings are, perhaps it is good for me then to refocus my attention into the other aspects of presentation then...the presentation of their research information, versus research itself.
Hmmm...such is the interesting story of a teacher in week 3 of school! Until my next post...
Friday, January 15, 2010
It has been a tiring yet fulfilling week for me this week, with the 1st week of lesson sapping my entire 5-day week, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Add to that the lesson preparations, liasing with vendors, administrative tasks, and other 1001 things to do, and I think I do deserve at least a Masters in the Jack-of-all-trades Institute! But hey this is not a complaint, in fact I am sensing that it has actually spurred me on to do even more, to give my best shot in whatever things that I am doing.
And it was also the perfect chance for me to try out ideas, ideas that have been fermenting so long in my heads, that it almost exploded when school reopens. But I think that I just have to pace myself, lest I burn myself out to fast, too soon.
First week of lessons have been interesting. Have been full of benchmarking, especially in my specific areas of Art, Design, Media and Technology (ADMT). I think the students are really enjoying the 'Sketching' lessons that I have prepared for them, but I think I can do even better.
The next phase or week of lessons would also be consisting of benchmarking lessons too. This time round, I would love to look at their ability to Present and Communicate their ideas as well as their ability to be Creative. Hmmm, a tall order...nah I don't think so. In fact I do think that these students have a reservoir of untapped potential that is just waiting to explode!
Ah well, I guess the weekend is a good respite from all the work. A good time for me to recuperate, reflect and prepare for my next few lessons. Ahh, how I wish I would just be able to prepare lessons and have a personal assistant to do all the other admin. tasks. :(
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