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Mar. 14th, 2009

+ What sort of impressions, fears, or possibilities crossed your mind?
+ What is learning like in the COTF*? What might learning be like in Singapore in 2015?
+ How is NIE preparing you for such environments? How might you prepare yourself as a teacher?


I have not visited the COTF but in this post, my reflections will be on the iN2015 video and the resources recommended. My initial reaction while watching the video was like, 'wow. HUH.' It is really unexpected and unbelievable. Is the future going to be really like that? Am i going to learn how to integrate so as to  be able to interact with the digital natives or be a traditional digital immigrant who is not receptive to the changes? Afterall, traditional teaching seems like an easier prospect.

I can't describe the dilemma I am facing because with technology, learning seems to be more interesting, our lives made easier (video: woman's health can be monitored while she's at home), taxi drivers can rely on the lightning-speed technology to know where their customers are, etc. The video portrays a very positve image of what technology can bring. How about the negativities? My major concern is people becoming like these when technology permeates our lives....




these are scenes from wall-e.

But believe it or not, our world is going to go ahead upgrading technologies, infusing them into educational aspects, work, transport, blah blah. So i have to brace myself and cast aside my fears!! It is year 2009 now. I do not think there will be a tremendous change in education yet. The video shows a really extreme prospect of technology which may only occur in 20years or so?? I do not think by year 2015, technology will have permeated our lives in this way (as shown in the video) because firstly, our culture is not very receptive towards gaming blah blah as an educational tool yet. In the recent unfortunate events of the stabbing incident and the doctor who died in melbourne, the media narrowed it down to gaming as a cause of their death. Gaming has not reached a level (in Singapore) where it can be accepted by the majority to be an educational tool. However, I do believe that in year 2015, there will definitely be more time allocated for e-learning, more computers found in schools and more technological courses students (teachers as well) have to undergo.

Therefore, here in NIE, we have to undergo courses as such. ICT really broadens my perspectives of technological tools and taught me methodologies which will be useful in my teaching career. But sadly, change is the only constant in the technological arena, I have to continually upgrade my knowledge and skills to keep up with this generation of digital natives!

second life experience.



I had my first encounter with Second Life today! I've been looking forward to this activity since day 1 of ICT class. I heard so much about Second Life whereby people struck it rich in this virtual world, found their spouse or experience a life which they cannot have done so in reality. For today's lesson, we took turns to explore some affordances in SL. It is the first time I flew. Very fun! SL allows us to customise our characters, also known as the avatar. It is very much like SIMs family whereby we can create our characters. But Second Life offers a more interactive touch to the virtual world whereby characters can interact with others and actually get a response. We can communicate in SIMs family but the characters speak only gibberish like '!*&@%#%%'. There are no person-to-person interaction. There are also different sites we can explore. For our group, we visited this site which offers diving courses. However, due to the time constraint, we could not sign up for a diving class. But we were able to go down the ocean to view sharks (and not get bitten or die!!). Interesting, isnt it? On the whole, it was a great experience and I do see a huge educational prospect in it.

The video which I've embedded tells us the educational uses of SL. It gives an overview of educational uses of Second Life including educational locations, tools, and learning archetypes that are applicable to Second Life. Very interesting video! In SL, students can go on virtual guided tours to places like the NASA CoLab which is a Collaborative Space Exploration Laboratory being developed at NASA, visit replicas of Taj Mahal, etc. This is definitely a good opportunity for students to learn and explore places that they would not visit. The fact that your avatar can interact with other visitors (may be from other countries) or even the person in charge of the center makes the whole experience even more engaging and fun. As teachers, we can create a site which allows students to learn a certain concept and the students can learn through self-exploration. It is a learning which breaks free the boundaries of the classroom and they are not hindered by space, time and even the laws of physics. However, because this is a virtual world, there is no inhibitions which keep their behaviour at bay. My concern is that students may flame others online, thinking that they have a smokescreen to hide their identities. I think in our attempt to promote such a platform for learning, we must also keep a balance by teaching our students appropriate behaviour in this virtual space.

the MxL reflections.

over the span of three weeks, we visited the MxL to experience educational gaming. it was a great experience because firstly, we can experience what it is like playing these Wii and Flash games and it was very, very fun. Secondly, it gives us a new perspective towards learning.  Learning should not be confined to classroom, textbooks and students within the four walls. Infusing gaming into learning can enhance learning and it is more engaging and interesting.
 
I've visited one of the recommended websites by Dr. Tan.
http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=tl&rid=1859


it was a pretty interesting website which provides details such as the different genres games are classified, issues to consider if one intends to use a game in the classroom, etc. I personally like the table which offers the different genres games are classified under. It gives me a greater insight on the different forms of games for different purposes. While reading the different examples of games and their descriptions, I feel that one of the biggest takeaways gaming offers is that it allows us to experience a situation which we may not be able to do so in reality. Take for example the Wii game, 'Trauma Center'. I will never get to conduct an operation in reality, unless you take into consideration the dissection of frogs in bio classes. Not only that, we are actually inculcating values and skills in the process of playing. It sounds cliche but values such as perseverance is actually sub-consciously inculcated.

It is very hard for us to fathom the idea of infusing gaming into learning. I can't deny that I found it ridiculous intitally. But the video of James Paul Gee's interview which I have watched, sounds really convincing on the positivity gaming can bring. Based on traditional concept of teaching, learning and assessment are separate identities. Video games on the other hand, allow us to receive the materials, manipulate and learn then be assessed (by playing the game). I think this is what it is important in reality. In life, we wont have the time to learn, memories/ try to understand then take the assessment. Our performance is continually being assessed. As a result, many students can do well academically but not when they are working. Gaming doesnt separate the two identities and they ease students' pain of having go through assessment.

Our students are moving towards a rather tech-savy generation. We must continually look out for new methodologies to stay connected with them. As such, a virtual world like facebook can also be a very useful platform to bridge students' learning. James Paul Gee mentioned the collaborative problem solving will be emphasised in time to come. Do not belittle the use of networking sites like facebook. They allow students to form 'passion communities' as mentioned by James Paul Gee whereby they can learn together with others. This form of learning is definitely much preferred as compared to learning on your own. I feel that it allows more ideas to be generated. Likewise for our short activity using 'MindMeister'. Me alone cannot generate so many ideas. But with collaborative work, we are aware of more ideas and learn from it.

Gaming is a rather powerful tool to indulge our students' in learning. BUT as educators, it is also our responsibilty to guide students from the possible harm (e.g. deteriorating eyesights, negligence of health during gaming, etc) gaming might bring.



lesson FIVE. MxL

Lessons are getting more and more interesting. This week, we went to the MxL (my very first time) where we watched the presentation of a demo group. After which we had hands-on on the games set up at the stations. . .

For my group, we started with Wii Sports/ Fit station4. Due to time constraint, we played only Wii Sports (bowling and tennis). It was really fun despite being hit on my wrist by the other player. Hmmm. The reading of 'Seven things you need to know about Wii' mentioned about how 'plenty of Wii users have ended up with cuts, bruises, and black eyes from swinging their arms—and the Wii-motes—around rooms and into walls, furniture, lights, and other players.'  I remembered when I played Wii tennis with my little cousin and I actually whacked the controlller on his head because we were standing too near. Hahaha.. This is definitely one of the down side of Wii.

But it was truly a fun game. During the course of playing the Wii, I cannot find how Wii can be applied to academic learning... It was rather a frustrating thought because the whole point of such an activity is to allow us to experience the games then infuse it into our teaching to engage our students. I feel that Wii can be an aid in subjects such as PE (Wii Sports/ Fit), Music (Guitar Hero, Rock Band), Drama (Paper Mario). Mostly arts subjects. How about subejcts such as Maths and Science?

Maybe for these subjects, we can teach students skills/ virtues from playing the Wii then apply it to their learning of these subjects! Let's hope that someone will invent games which is interesting and allow students to learn/practise their basic concepts. But maybe there is already such a game but I am not aware. Enlighten me if there is...

Our group also explored station five (Gee's learnign principle's of games). We chose the practice principle. The moral of this principle (we feel) is PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

hmmm. Can't wait for more interesting sessions. till then! :)



 

 

 

Section 1: Implementation issues and strategies in a face-to-face environment

There are four types of physical settings which I have narrowed down whereby teachers can infuse ICT into their lessons. They are the full-computer lab, half-computer lab, one-computer classroom and the learning centre. Each physical setting has its own merits and demerits.

Full-computer lab is whereby everybody has access to the computers. The nature of this learning activity promotes individualized learning. In such a setting, students may be confused of where to sit upon arrival, and this may cause chaos in the class. In terms of classroom management, teacher can assign seats to students, e.g. sitting according to register number.

Due to the large class size, teacher may not be aware of whether any student is facing any difficulty in the midst of carrying out the lesson. A method such as giving out two coloured cups (e.g. red and blue) to each student can be practised. Student can place the red cup on his computer if he encounters any problem. This allows the teacher to monitor the students.

The teacher may also have to handle a few students at one go.  One strategy is to appoint an IT representative to do the minor troubleshooting so that the teacher can better manage the class.

Half-Computer lab is where students work in pairs or in groups of three sharing a computer. The nature of this learning activity promotes learning through discussions. The key issue which will hinder the students’ learning is that a pupil/s within the group may be idling and do not contribute. To prevent that from happening, teacher should assign roles to pairs to increase students’ motivation to contribute.

One Computer Classroom is where a teacher uses the computer and projector to conduct lesson by allowing students to engage in a game/activity to learn about certain knowledge/ facts. The nature of this activity encourages all students’ participation and everyone is challenged to perform.  A teacher may not be familiar with the use of certain software and IT equipments when conducting the lesson. Therefore, by seeking TA’s assistance or tapping on students’ (e.g. IT representative) ICT literacy to help with the set up, the lesson can be carried out smoothly.

Learning Centres can be conducted in a science laboratory or a classroom. Students are grouped into various groups doing different activities. The nature of this learning activity provides a variety of ways to explore a subject from different perspectives and it caters to students with learning styles. The major problem will be that students may take longer time for certain stations and hinder the progress of groups. To counter this problem, teacher should practice time management by planning activities that take the same amount of time.

 

 

Section 2: Implementation issues and strategies in an online environment. Focus SPECIFICALLY on issues of Netiquette and Handling Inappropriate Content.

 

Netiquette refers to the rules of Internet courtesy. One of the issues is by typing in capital letters. This makes recipients feel that writer is shouting and is rude although the writer may just want to express his ‘excitement’. Instead, emoticons can be used to express their feelings.  

Another issue is flaming which is done by sending a few very nasty messages meant to hurt someone's feelings. A preventive measure will be to avoid having your email address appear on websites. Do not scold, insult, or ridicule others online too. Stay calm when ‘flaming’ occurs and ignore it or ask the other person to explain himself/herself. It may be a misunderstanding. If not, report the matter to a parent or teacher.     

Another issue is the infringing of others’ privacy, e.g. if someone tells you something secret, it should be kept secret. This includes passwords, full names, addresses, or interests. Sharing your own password with someone else is never a good idea. Therefore, do not share friends’ details with strangers or other friends without permission. Do not share private information about oneself or friends with strangers and do not read other people’s files and emails or spread unfounded rumours.

Handling inappropriate content

This refers to any content that is not appropriate for a particular age group, content that is illegal and/or harmful or beyond the pupils’ ability to understand and process at their level of development, resulting in their confusion and hurt. Examples: pornographic, hateful and violent content, content encouraging illegal activities or harm to self or others.

A pre-emptive strategy for schools is to install software to filter out undesirable websites, the protective coverage is however not 100% as schools have no control over the sites that pupils log into outside school. Therefore, we should teach students the guiding principle of Sense, Think and Act. Sense: Does the content makes reader uncomfortable, weird or confused? Think: Whether the content promotes an undesirable behaviour such as doing something dangerous, against school rules/ law? Act: Stop going into the content. Report details such as the URL. Report to a teacher/ parent if necessary.

 

 References:

http://www.bpl.org/kids/Netiquette.htm

http://www.disney.co.uk/DisneyOnline/Safesurfing 

(Doug’s safe surfing tips and Patti’s CyberNetiquette Comix)

http://www3.moe.edu.sg/edumall/tl/cyberwellness.htm

(Starter kit for primary school and The Smart Surfers ppt. Slides)

http://videoweb.nie.edu.sg.

(IT in schools (Sec) and Caught in the Web (ETD production))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

reflection for lesson 3!

Previously, the idea of engaged learning was taught to us but I had little knowledge on the pedagogical methods in which ICT can be incorporated into making lessons engaging. For our third lesson, I gained enlightenment!!! The thing I love about this course is that ideas are brought to us systematically. The approaches were not 'fed' to us like something we should absorb but instead, a plethora of ideas were suggested for us to adopt what suit the students/us best.

When the pedagogical approaches were discussed, I realised that these are not foreign. In fact, I did undergo lessons which made use of some of these approaches. For example; case-based learning, cognitive apprenticeship, goal-based scenario, inquiry-based leanring, problem-based learning and project-based learning. Almost everything on the list!!

One of the examples, 'case-based learning' is a imperative method in which subjects such as History, Geography, namely the humanities assess our level of understanding. We were provided with at least 2 sources in which we can either compare and contrast or analyse the reliability of the sources based on our background information on the topic (gained from the textbook). It was a useful method in which we are able to learn important concepts and facts. However, these (case-based learning lessons) were conducted with little use of ICT and the sources were already provided for us (given by the teachers). Therefore, as a student I had little opportunity to source for data and learn the skills on how to eliminate sources which are less important.

Pointer to take when I conduct an engaging lesson (using case-based learning approach):
1) the lesson using case-based learning approach was conducted on A lesson. Dr Tan mentioned these activities should be conducted for a period of time. True! It was too short of a duration for students to conduct research on their own and analyse the data they have collected. Also, I feel that such an activity when conducted only for a lesson, will not allow the students to see the whole picture of the topic.
2) ICT comes to play when students have to conduct researches. Teachers should make use of ICT tools like Google search engine, You tube videos,etc. They provide networks of databases which provide students with a vast amount of knowledge.
Another point which is emphasize again and again is the need for collaborative learning.  Teacher should make use of ICT tools such as a blog, e-mails, etc, to carry out both synchronous and asynchronous interaction.

The approaches mentioned during our lesson gave us an idea of the different methods we can exploit to make learning engaging. In making a lesson engaging, it requires a lot of planning and creative juice. Most importantly, the teacher should always bear in mind the objectives of the programme and these that have been mentioned over and over again... 'Application to real-world, Collaborative learning, Timely feedbacks'




ENGAGED learning.


ello. I've concluded that ICT is really an interesting module and I'm beginning to enjoy it big time. I've always been quite ignorant about the use of IT and have been labelled as a tech- noob. But this module leads me to explore technology in a new dimension.

hmmm...Tuesday's lesson was really an eye-opener  as to how I can make use of technology to enhance my course of teaching. Actually, it made sense that engaged learning should not be just about fun. It should be a course of learning in which students pick up knowledge or skills in the course of the FUN activity.

Another pointer which I've made during the lesson is that engaged learning can be enhanced through students collaborating with one another, learning how the things they have learnt is applicable to real world context and most importantly, students should receive constructive feedbacks (from their peers or teachers) on ways they can improve their learning. And of course, all these can be eased with the use of technology.

However, technology is always improving.Therefore, as teachers, we should always be aware and equipped with the necessary skills to facilitate the learning of our students. In the past, (when I was in primary school), there were very few technology-mediated pedagogies being carried out. The main ones were like the basic powerpoint slides, internet, etc. Even with the existence of the internet, there were not many software which aid students' learning.

Presently, teachers are taught how to enrich students' learning with a variety of resources which aid them in  the understanding of their world through these resouces. As teachers, we should not have the idea that only certain subjects allow the use of technology. This is certainly not true. Science lesson (subject on plants) can be conducted via Data Collection Tools, History can be conducted via online case studies, the use of multimedia can be tapped to learn languages and the list goes on.... 

However, with the use of technology (to enhance students' learning), we must always ensure that the educational goals are achieved. Do not merely use technology for the sake of doing so. I certainly hope that after this ICT course, I will pick up skills on how to plan my future lessons in a way which achieve the educational goals and the idea of 'engaged learning'.

THE invention.


HELLO ALL!  :)

teacher mentioned about Nintendo DS today!!! I think of all the gadgets which I've gotten, DS is by far the most worthy investment. I love love love my DS, apart from its occasional dysfunctional TT card. you guys should purchase it too! Not only is it fun, there are educational aspects to it too!  Cheers to the person who invented DS and the games. haha!

oh yeah, teacher said something about the game 'brain age'.   I've played the game but it isn't very much to my liking. oops! I will tell you why...

 



this is just one of the aspect of the game...




questions post arent exactly difficult. . . There are also mathematical aspect, vocab part, etc.
but when this appears...



i will be so demoralised and feel like an idiot. haha! I'm not someone who enjoys games which works out the cerebral hemispheres. I seek comfort in my favourite game, 'COOKING MAMA'!! In conclusion, DS totally rocks my socks.




I think the virtual cooking sessions are much more manageable. I never know cooking can be so fun!!



presenting my final product....



looks good right? There's another game  which is really interesting, 'CSI: Dark Motive'. Check it out! 




hmmmm. Enough for today! Will post my reflections another time. oh oh. feel free to ask me if you wanna dwl these games site. Obviously, there are a few hundred games but it requires a modified version of the card. Opps!

Till then. CIAOS!

the first lesson.


hello all!

For the first lesson, not much content was delivered during the session but instead, it was an interesting session getting to know my fellow course mates. The third masterplan gives us a brief understanding of what is expected of us. It is evident that the generations to come will be quite an IT-savy pack. So stressful because IT skills are things we always have to upgrade ourselves with.

But still, I am really excited about this journey this course entails. I have never taken part in gaming but it sounds pretty exciting. I'm really keen to know how gaming is applicable to students' learning. After all, we always hear or read that gaming is detrimental to our health, blah blah blah.

I am especially looking forward to the sessions which involve 'second life'. I think it is totally cool. I heard about how people made use of second life to clinch a business deal, socialise, and even find their spouses. Oh! I read in the papers of how people actually get hooked onto this virtual world that they broke up with their partners to be with their virtual partners. So, it is really enlightening to learn about how its uses can allow us to engage our students in learning.  Maybe you guys can visit this URL below to find out more.
http://secondlife.com/




Lastly, our notebook is finally made available to us. I read that it is pre-installed with software such as Hot potatoes, Softchalk lesson builder, etc. Will we be taught of its uses????
argh. more stuff to learn!!!


Till the next lesson. :)