word recognition n memorisation

chanced upon cram.com from a mailing list:

150127-cram

two games for any singe list. a taste of it:
http://www.cram.com/flashcards/games/jewel/chinese-characters-1001-1100-1779469
http://www.cram.com/flashcards/games/stellar-speller/chinese-characters-1001-1100-1779469

time will be sucked away by the games, but this could probably be time well-spent to recall and revise any characters set that a teacher desires a student to learn. yet to collect empirical evidence to proof that it works 😛

an insightful sharing of personal experience of the flipped classroom

the idea of flipped classroom(s) has gained attention in the recent 1-2 year or so. in her blog post “The Flip: End of a Love Affair“, Shelly Wright shared her flipping experiment and why she gave up flipped instruction. at one glance, it appears that the idea of flipped classroom doesnt work, but in fact as Shelly shared in her experience, the experiment worked out so well that her class has moved beyond the usual conception of a flipped classroom. not sure how many teachers would be as excited as me in learning how things had worked out and evolved. one thing i’m quite sure is Shelly plays a key role in this evolvement. imagine, a teacher who only asks students to watch videos at home, and babysit students in class to do their homework and act as a tutor if help is needed doesnt appear to be the way a flipped classroom will work out imho.

one of her ending statements serves as food for thought too:

“I’ve learned that inquiry & PBL learning can be incredibly powerful in the hands of students. I would never teach any other way again.”

 

Free Education Technology Resources eBook

my student colleague Grace Yeo shared with us this “EmergingEdTech’s 2012 Free Education Technology Resources eBook” released earlier in the year by EmergingEdTech.com under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.

while i’m not sure if all the ICT mentioned are still “emerging”, it does give a good list of tools which teachers can explore or revisit, which includes:

  1. Blogs (it’s listed first! but no, this is not the reason why i blogged an entry of this ebook :p )
  2. Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools
  3. Educations Games & Fun Tools
  4. Educational Videos, Lecutres, and Podcasts
  5. Facebook
  6. Free resources
  7. IWB
  8. iPads and the list goes up to 13 (:

visit the EmergingEdtech.com to sign up for their mailing list to grab a copy of the ebook, or download the local mirror here (thanks to emergingedtech,com for releasing the document under the CC-BY-NC-SA license)

enjoy (:

learning analytics

saw this post by dr ashley tan on learning analytics. while looking at the infographic, i’m just thinking perhaps the day when learning analytics can be realised could be the day that learning for the sake of exams can (finally) be replaced with learning for the love of learning. and when that day comes, some teachers may sweat and feel helpless, cos one may not know how to teach not for the sake of exams while at the same time, teach with the support of machines (generalised to include both hardware n software)  :O

source acknowledgement: OpenColleges, via another dot in the blogosphere

Reflection – Social Media and Participatory Learning

am cross-posting this from my ‘note’ from a doc i dropped in fb group: edsocialmedia.sg

If one were to do a Google/Bing search, you’ll notice that the most widely cited definition of Social Media is the following:

“a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010)

Personally, I observe that Social Media is but a term that took over the limelight of “Web 2.0”. If we look at the popular social media platforms (facebook, YouTube, twitter, etc.), these platforms spot Web 2.0 technologies in the backend. So what’s Web 2.0?

The term “Web 2.0” is computer science-ish, because “0.9, 1.0, 2.0 …” is used by software developers/companies for software versioning. In other words, Web 2.0 can be understood as ‘newer release’ of Web 1.0 (a term that doesn’t exist before ver. 2 appeared). Web 2.0 is first used and discussed at a conference between O’Reilly and MediaLive International (Tim O’Reilly, 2005[1]). Though it’s in the year 2005, one can already see that the various names that have grown (or waned) over the years (for e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr, Google AdSense). So what are common among these names and social media platforms?

Personally, I think one word captures it all: participation.

Just take a minute or two to think of the information and communication technologies (ICT) that you may have used or come across lately, do these ICT encourage participation in one form or another? Commenting, tagging, (re)tweeting, Liking, sharing, etc. are the actions that are commonly involved, and one form or another, I summarise them as “participation”.

What is the value of Social Media for education? Why use Social Media? I would think the answer can be found if we try to answer, “What is the value of participation?” for education. Back in 2004, some educators (including myself[2]) have begun to explore the use of blogs (then called “weblogs”; aka “edublog”). In the use of blogs, participation comes in two forms: posting and commenting (and commenting on comments).

Posting as the first form of participation, allows a student to practice his/her writings (language teachers would like this), and in formulating the contents, the student can practice his/her thinking skills (all teachers will like this), clarifying his/her own understanding of a topic or some subject matter (all teachers will like this too). “But this isn’t too different if a student does it in an exercise book or a piece of foolscap paper?” Yes, excellent question. The value-addedness of blog (and I’m arguing for other Web 2.0 ICT and Social Media platform) is the writing is now placed in a public space. Not just the teacher, but peers and even anyone on the internet, can now appropriate the contents posted. This calls for the next form of participation.

Commenting is the second form of participation in blog. By commenting on a peer’s blog post, or comment(s) under a post, I begin to bring my view and understanding of the matter to the public domain too. While viewing my friends’ comments, I may begin to clarify my own understanding, and it doesn’t stop here! I could further engage my peers in discussing their views while clarifying my own thoughts. Learning is deepened if this is carried out properly. Teachers, at the start, will need to scaffold the students, or in simpler words, teach students when to ask questions, how to clarify thoughts, how to respect others’ ideas, how to build on others’ ideas, etc.

Using Social Media for learning and teaching is to engage students in a participatory mode of learning. It is grounded in Vygotskian’s theory of social meaning making (Vygotsky, 1978)[3]. Once a teacher integrates Social Media as part of his/her lesson design, s/he embraces the socio-constructivist way of learning. Indeed, to some teachers it may involve a paradigm shift, a shift in his/her epistemological beliefs. Are you ready? (:

References:

[1] http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html
[2] http://incsub.org/blogtalk/?page_id=64
[3] Vygotsky, L. (1978). Minds in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[This reflection was written in the morning of 3 Nov 11 (Thu), the last day of the 3-day TWA Programme @NYP). It’s not meant to be complete in nature, but this serves as some consolidation of the three days’ learning and my past explorations, which can be found in my storeroom http://EduBlog.NET . Thank you dear friends@NYP who have put in a lot of efforts to pull together the programme. It’s meaningful to me personally. “Thank You!” once again (: ]