demystifying the learning process

saw this not-too-new 2017 article on mindshift introducing some ideas teachers can help students to see the (true) nature of learning, and help them develop useful habits of learning. these ideas were proposed by Barbara Oakley. ignore the title of the article cos to me, EVERYONE struggles, from time to time, and whether one would like to admit it or not.

some lines, including words from Oakley, in the article that caught my attention:

“…the common experience of students who reread their notes and think they know the material — only to enter a test and find that they cannot retrieve the information. ”

“students tend to equate speed with smarts, Oakley suggests sharing this metaphor: ‘There’s a race car brain and a hiker brain. They both get to the finish line, but not at the same time. The race car brain gets there really fast, but everything goes by in a blur. The hiker brain takes time. It hears birds singing, sees the rabbit trails, feels the leaves. It’s a very different experience and, in some ways, much richer and deeper. You don’t need to be a super swift learner. In fact, sometimes you can learn more deeply by going slowly.'”

“Learning is all about developing strong chains.” (cf. chunks)

“familiar metaphors allow a learner to draw on a concept they have already mastered and apply it to a new situation. Or as Oakley says, metaphors ‘rapidly on-board’ new ideas.”

“…’Pomodoro Technique.’ Developed by Francesco Cirillo, this strategy uses a timer to help the learner work and break at set intervals. First, choose a task to accomplish. Then, set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer goes off. At that point, take a five-minute break: stand up, walk around, take a drink of water, etc. After three or four 25-minute intervals, take a longer break (15 – 30 minutes) to recharge. “

“…I would tell students, you don’t just have to be stuck following your passion. You can broaden your passions enormously.”

one idea chunk came to my mind as i read the article: micro-learning. what myth(s) are pple propagating with this term and it’s associated ‘benefits’ for learning i wonder. is learning fast? how often is learning fast?

写在 lesson co-design之后





这两句话对于说话的朋友或许是不经意的,但从教学的角度无疑是另一次evidence of learning,同时也肯定了我和老师们一起学习时所投入的精神是值得的。当然,这一切也不能忘记最关键性的一个人 —— 谢谢玉云无私地带着我让我有机会和老师朋友们一起学习成长 (:

sentence … phrase … word

was browsing the book that i’ve gotten recently, and saw the above/below:

this is one of the making thinking visible strategies to facilitate deeper thinking. shall save it for our future meeting that requires participants’ pre-reading (:

affordance 能供性

“affordance” 一词在最近的聊话中经常会涉及。但其实也不是最近的事,应该是12470在2014年开始时就已经常要接触到了。but i just realised i have not blogged an entry on this so very important term. so here we go:

affordance 华文我选择使用“能供性”作为翻译。affordance在我们涉及科技的谈话中,它其实是指 technological affordance. 但无论affordance也好,能供性也好,这两个词都还是太抽象了。如何解释得较容易理解和被接受,我尝试将能供性进行扩展,即:



增强版乐学善用互动平台 (aka iMTL)中的协作便利贴为学习提哪些可能呢?

  • 每个学生都能有机会发言了 (every student has a voice;从语言学习的角度,能够作语言输出是关键的)
  • 学生都针对同学的发言进行交流讨论 (meaning negotiation & meaning making in collaborative learning;从学习的角度,意义的理解的建构或许不是他人可以灌输的)
  • 你还想到其他的能供性吗? (:

i shall end this quick post here. 如果你在作报告或写论文需要整理文献出处,feel free to cite this post:

Tan, Y. H. (2018, May 17). Affordance 能供性 [Blog post]. Retrieved from


陈育焕. (2018, May 17). Affordance 能供性 [博文]. 取自

若要对affordance有进一步的了解,欢迎参考拙文中的说明 (:

lastly, 要谢谢 Thomas忠伟 for engaging in knowledge co-creation together at Keming Primary this afternoon, and inspiring this post (:

聊一聊 bearing fruit

was asked by 林振南老师 to join in the first iMTL NLC meeting of the year on 11/4 (wed) held at 老家SCCL. during the sharing of experience by an invited CL teacher on-stage, something on screen caught me eyes. take a look and see if you see what i see:

hint: it’s the ‘a’ word (:
i cannot fully describe the excitement of seeing the word on screen; not just once, but it appeared a second time in another slide later. what’s the significance of the sightings?

going back in time, 2 months ago on 20/2 (tue), i was at yio chu kang primary, and had two rounds of conversation with two groups of CL teachers on the topic of 《华文、学习、科技》. and 慧芬 who’s on stage was among the YCKPS teachers. i recalled it was the first time for some CL teachers to hear the term affordance (能供性); for a rare few, it’s probably the first time they were hearing technological affordance in the way i described it. the sessions were but a short 1-hour. and how do we know if teachers’ were impacted? what evidence(s) of learning do we have? it may not be easy to answer these qns, for many at times, learning is not fast, and it’s hardly evident in short term courses/workshops many at times.

and i am very thankful for 林振南老师 for asking me to be there, and of course PMTT林季华老师 and Dr. Sim SH for allowing me to be there. as a result, i had the chance to catch glimpse of the evidence of learning! not sure if the other close to 70 CL teachers (ST, LT & (P)MTTs) saw the significance. but it definitely tells me that what i’m doing is worthwhile doing, and i shall continue to pursue opportunities to influence CL teachers’ ideas and practice of CL, learning, and ICT. lastly not to forget, i am also grateful to 玉云 for allowing me to learn from & with her at YCKPS (: