design thinking in schools example

chanced upon this article titled “Can Design Thinking Help Schools Find New Solutions to Old Problems?” in fb feed

a few quotes that grabbed my attention:

“In education we do not typically engage our users — our students — to find what is causing them to be disengaged,”

– i believe we do engage our students but to what extent, and how often, especially when our students are many.

“The biggest challenge is mindset, the mindset of your teachers and staff,” … “If they have a traditional mindset, then they’re not going to be willing to learn from the process.” And the process of getting to know stakeholders, thinking outside the box and trying out creative solutions, even if they don’t work, is crucial to success. Learning along the way is just as important as finding a workable solution… but educators haven’t been trained to think like that. They are looking for answers that will make the daily task of teaching students easier.”

– the last sentence “They are looking for answers that will make the daily task of teaching students easier” resonates. as teacher educator, what can we do to shift such a mindset? (:

designing ICT-integrated lessons with TPACK

thanks to colleagues at CPDD, our article written for CL teachers, by CL teachers is now published (:


the Chinese title reads 《基于TPACK的华文资讯科技教学设计思路》. in essence, the short article promotes the idea of considering TPACK when designing ICT-integrated CL lessons. teachers may adopt any starting point in their design, whether it’s content, pedagogy, or technology. suggestions are given in the article so that TPACK, which is essential for the design to facilitate learning in students, is considered. teachers would also be constructing their own TPACK during this design process. the pdf can be downloaded from the local mirror:

陈育焕、张永慧 (2015). 基于TPACK的华文资讯科技教学设计思路。华文老师,59, 32-36.

it is also appropriate for us to express our thanks to Si Hui for her invaluable comments to our draft here. the acknowledgement wordings (本文承蒙林思慧老师(目前为西澳大学博士生)为初稿提出宝贵的批评与建议,谨此特致谢忱。) were removed when the article was published.

and last but not least, here’s the high-res translated TPACK in Chinese 中文/华文 diagram for download, in case any fellow CL teachers would like to use it in their work, there’s no need to recreate the wheel (:

150322-TPACK translated to Chinese

thanks to for making the original diagram for free distribution (:

how to compute spot reading for PM2.5 index

it’s common knowledge to go to NEA’s hazeDOTgovDOTsg to obtain the 24-hr and 3-hr average PSI reading (:

but for whatever reason, if you would like to know the past 1-hr reading (aka spot reading) for the PM2.5 index, NEA also provides the data to us. as it is data, you will need to do some quick manual ‘computation’ to turn it into useful information. here’s the steps:

1. visit the Pollutant Concentration page

2. scroll slightly down to find the default 24-hr Sulphur Dioxide readings.

3. click on the dropdown listbox, select 1-hr PM2.5.

4. visit AQI calculator hosted by, and key in the readings from NEA webpage to obtain information about the air quality for the past 1-hr.

5. if you are lazy to go through steps 1-4, you could either visit the AQICN website, or download the Asia Air Quality app in Google Play Store or iOS App Store, OR

6. perform steps 1-3, and remember that any reading above 55µg/m3 is in the Unhealthy range.

Screenshot 2015-08-25 21.40.44

//update 14/9

recently i’ve been posting screenshots to fb timeline to update on AQI spot readings. these are but widgets from the asia air quality app (instructions for iOS can be found on

2015-09-10 14.57.19

//update 25/9
do note that AQI & NEA’s PSI readings may not be equal. AQI shown above takes a direct computation of PM2.5 figures only. PSI on the other hand is a composite figure; the details on how to compute PSI can be found under NEA’s FAQs, or a direct link from here.

//update end

teaching in the 21st century video

this piece of prezi presentation turned up in my fb history this morning. it was an item from my timeline 3 yrs ago. the presentation captured thought leaders’ ideas on what teaching and learning is about in the 21st century classroom:

the ideas are from 2010, and 5 yrs later, how much has our (CL) classroom changed?

thank you fb for having this neat, surprising history feature (:

tool – doctopus

chanced upon this tool via astro pro‘s fb feed. installed as a google sheet add-ons, it’s a very useful admin tool for teachers who are using google docs/drive to assign and monitor students’ work. there are a couple of videos on the official site, here’s one HOWTO video to start with: