More kindergartens using technology to encourage learning through play

Samantha Lee writes about a project in Singapore where children are becoming movie directors

The kids write their very own movie script for their stop-motion animation video. With a S$4,000 Innovation Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore they bought a laptop, digital camera, projector and a screen for this project. The kids then use Lego blocks and other recycled materials as props and photographed the scenes, eventually stringing the photos together to moving illusion (like how we flipped the end of our books to create movement). Through this project, the children learn the basics of animation and understand that Television is really about moving images. They also get to be introduced to technology early in life and be comfortable with technology in future – a basic expectation we have for the generation of tomorrow.

The children use a mix of lego and other recycled materials to create the scenes.

In full, Photos on Asia one

Tips for TechCautious Teachers

Kevin Fairchild mentions an article which includes a range of tips for teachers who are not used to technology and not sure where to begin.

Some people get excited by finding new websites, new tools, new strategies for students: the more, the better.  Other people get easily overwhelmed with too much new information: how can you select the valuable from the worthless?

The article by Brianna Crowley mentions some great pragmatic suggestions including giving yourself time to learn

Sometimes, to understand the potential of a tool to enhance your classroom, you have to dive in and experiment, giving yourself permission to learn and play before you fully commit

In full

Communicating in Research

Leigh Hall of the Education Disruptions blog writes about a project where they are encouraging teachers to collaborate and wondes how best to do this. They have set up a VoiceThread

Although I’ve just sent out one VT, I am hopeful it will work well as a means for communicating information about the project. First, teachers can watch it at their own pace. Second, they can watch it as many times as they want (some of it or all of it). They can also leave comments if they need help with something that others likely could benefit from.

They look at how the voicethreads can be explored further and note how if this had been done as a face-face workshop they would not have the advantage of the recordings being easily available for review

In full

OLPC Applications in Burkina Faso

ecowle from Tulane University reviews the status of the OLPC program in Burkina Faso. There was a workshop held in 2008 but the outcome of the discussions was that OLPC was not appropriate to be integrated at that time.

The OLPC would not be useful in Burkina Faso for many reasons. Foremost the current infrastructure, i.e. bad connectivity, lack of energy, etc., could not support the OLPC. There are no resources available for technical maintenance of the laptop, and there are other problems within the educational sector that are much more pressing (lack of school rooms and bad working conditions for teachers).

The post also reflects on the importance of learning practices and methods in addition to technological considerations

In full

eTwinning Learning Lab

Tea describes an eTwinning learning lab that she has launched in Spanish about using Web 2.0 tools.  She demonstrates an answer garden which anyone can type in to answer the question

One of the first activities was to create an AnswerGarden with a question which Web 2.0 tools have you used before. By providing a link to your blog or any page, you get feedback and brainstorming.

In a follow up post she provides a list of a range of Web 2.0 tools that have been used in the Learning Lab including Animoto, Prezi, Vimeo.

The full list

How technology reveals bad teachers

Steve Taffee reflects on the changing technologies in the classroom with overhead projectors, writing on blackboards, powerpoint presentations. He says that technology  reveals much about how teachers approach teaching and manage their classrooms,  offering examples including questioning the stand and deliver approach of teachers and

Does the teacher struggle to get the technology up and running and freak out when it fails? Chances are that they may be disorganized and fretful in other aspects of their teaching such as when textbooks change, the forget a lesson plan at home, or a fire drill interrupts the class period.

He closes with wondering about the difference between mediocre and great teaching practices using new technologies.

In full


Malaysia launched blueprint for education system ICT reform

Thanya Kunakornpaiboonsiri reports on the recent 2013-2025 blueprint which will provide 4G access and virtual learning platforms across 10,000 schools:

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak unveiled the plan to embed ICT in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and parents through the expansion of 1BestariNet (Wi-Fi) programme to all schools.

Also, the government will increase the number of ICT devices until the ratio of student-to-device reaches 10:1. He added that the ratio can continue to be lowered further subjected to the availability of funds and impact assessment.

In full

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012

Jane Hart has compiled the latest Top 100 Tools for Learning which are based on submissions from educators around the world. There is an interesting analysis of each tool and how it has performed.

Some of the top 10 have stayed in place once again, Wikipedia has nicely slid into 10th and Twitter continuing to hold top slot. Some newbies this year include Instapaper, Flipboard, Pinterest, Zite, Doodle and Quora

In full

Upon reflecting on how I became an EFL teacher in Venezuela

Miguel Mendoza writes

I have been teaching English for more than 20 years. From teaching children to adults; from teaching students to training teachers; from EFL to ESAP; from using board and chalk (I still do!) to computers, flipcams and smartphones; from teaching F2F to emoderation; from being trained to teach able-bodied students to “training” myself to teach and care for functional diversity students; and from contemplating a career in arts to choosing my second best: teaching English. And from this last revelation, and maybe you sitting on the edge of your seats, you might be wondering how I ended up taking the road of teaching – and not exactly the one less travelled!

He explains his journey from early influences in childhood and his incredible work with EFL teachers in Venezuela,

In full

Technology and Learning

Angel C de Dios on the Philippine Basic Education blog, describes recent thunderstorms that resulted in people manually adding their purchases  up in grocery stores without calculators. He reflects back on his experiences with calculators and his son’s with computer, wondering about the use of technology and understanding

on one hand, it may seem that introduction of technology into classrooms is a sure winner. Back when I was in high school, scientific calculators were not yet widely available and I could not afford to have one. So in trigonometry, we were using tables. That was quite tedious so it paid to commit into memory the sine values of special angles like 0, 30, 45, 60 and 90 degrees. And knowing the sine values at these angles, one can derive the cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant and cosecant values. Having to work with these functions manually, one did have a greater opportunity to appreciate what they represent. Thus, the downside of technology is that the use of scientific calculators can take the entire picture into a black box.

In full