(i) KEY TAKEAWAY(s) from the 3-day Workshop?

An incidental point of learning during the workshop was in terms of classroom management. For instance, when the task requires students to produce a video, we need to be mindful that there’ll be 4-5 groups in class recording at the same time. Appropriate spatial allocation is hence crucial to ensure that the quality of the recording will not be affected.

It’s important to constantly remind ourselves how we must ensure that the activities designed will enable a full utilization of the 1:1 facility, especially in group activities, and that we will not end up with a situation where students use only one of the four computers in a group to complete a group task. This may translate into a situation where there are free loaders in the group which is definitely not what collaborative learning is about.

The workshop has also widened my repertoire in terms of teaching resources in an ICT-pervasive environment. There are so many tools/platforms/facilities online which I wasn’t aware of previously. It’s really made me re-think how classroom teaching is going to be so different an experience, come January 2010. The challenge is how we could leverage on the use of ICT in conceptual-based teaching, and also in terms of developing students’ soft-skills and competencies.

(ii) Any question(s) that you would like to ask?

I will like to find out more about the differences, both qualitatively and quantitatively, of the effectiveness of teaching and learning in a 1:1 classroom, as compared to the traditional mode of teaching which we have been accustomed to.


It has been a meaningful workshop as while sharing with John our planned activities that we intend to engage our students, he mentioned that teachers of his school have done some of the activities. Hence, it is a relief that we are on the right track. The next challenge will be how are these activities going to be infused into our lessons and these activities are meaningfully crafted to aid our students to grasp their content knowledge. There are a lot of ICT tools available in the market and choosing the right tools to engage our students is important. At the end of the day, it is good to always ask ourselves “Are we using the appropriate ICT tools for our lesson?”


First day was uneasy, second day tried to sink in, and the last was a relief... :D

We have been riding on this wave of change and hopefully one day (in 4 years time) will lead the wave of change. I am sure everyone of us in SST feels the challenge of inadequacy and wishes that we could transformed into a Tech-guru overnight (at least I desperately wish to be tipped by the magic wand of technology)!

I have always believed that the path to fulfillment is a JOURNEY full of doubts and challenges that will take you to places and times where you will be forced to confront the great UNKNOWN. However, NOTHING is impossible to a Willing Mind. As with all things, it is not what you are that holds you back, it is what you THINK you are not that keeps you in place.

May SST, Singapore leap beyond what is, into an Exhilarating world of WHAT CAN BE.

Together WE Leap, Together We Can!! ^^

Collaborative Learning

In this Maths lesson on Golden Ratio, students make measurement on some objects, picture of building or even their body parts. They enter the measured data collaboratively into Google Spreadsheet and calculate the ratio of two measured quantities. From the calculated data, they discover that Golden Ratio happens in nature, architecture and human body. Somehow, nature follows the law of Golden Ratio, this is an important concept to incorporate in their future product design.

Reflection on the 3-day workshop

This 3 days have indeed been a meaningful session. I have managed to link up with Saeed through skype where he shared with me how to use Boinx (Chroma Key). It is indeed interesting how people from different countries can share knowledge with one another with the advancement of technology. That aside, when we are planning a lesson, we often want to incorporate ICT into it. We often have to ask ourselves, is this effective use of technology? Or are we using ICT for the sake of ICT? In order to prevent that from happening, we have to constantly ask ourselves the reasons and purpose for using the particular ICT tool, vary them so that students do not get bored using the tool over and over again. We would not want to end up that each student have 5 blogs to write each day. We need to use ICT tools effectively and meaningfully.

Key TakeAway and Question

Even though I missed a whole day of PD on Wednesday, I realised I didn't miss much because I got to share some of my lesson ideas with John on Thursday.

He gave great comments to help me to sharpen the lesson ideas and provided more Web2.0 applications for me to explore.

What I took away from whatever time I had at the PD sessions was that our ICT-enabled lessons must help students reach the key understanding(s). THAT must form the basis of our lesson design even before we look at the effective use of ICT or creative use of Web2.0 applications.

So my question is: If we know ALL our lessons must help students reach the key understandings, how have we been monitoring this or what do we intend to do to monitor this?

Random thoughts...

Being here for just 3 months, web 2.0 tools no longer astonish me.   Feeling has changed from a "wow, I did not know such tools exist" to a "ok, so this tool allows  collaboration, what's new?"

It could mean that we are already moving ahead of the rest of the schools.  I can imagine I will still be ignorant of such tools if I am still in my previous school.  It could also mean that such novelty will be lost to our students by June next year and they will no longer be excited by such learning experiences.  Of course, if this happens, it does concur to what we had in mind during the Strategic Planning, ICT is IN us.  While others are showcasing their ICT lessons, we will probably go "hmm...isn't this the norm?"

Which lead to the question, "what's next?".  What must be something that we do that differ us totally from the rest?  hmm...a sudden thought just popped out as I am writing.  We could equip all students with basic programming knowledge using object-oriented programming for all students such as Alice (Get to know about this from the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch).  Individual subjects can create performance task which required students to use Alice.  

hmm...or we could offer Computer Studies as another "O" Level subject?

The other idea that caught my attention is the focus on quantity rather than quality.  This provides an environment for students to explore and improve.  Of course, the belief is that eventually the quality will come through.

Key Takeaway

One of the takeaways that I had while attending this workshop is the idea that a lesson experience should encompass around the students learning. There is indeed a tendency for us, teachers new to a 1-to-1 learning platform, to dictate what are the tools that the students would use in their learning and assessment, because we are still very much dictated with the tools that WE know and familiar with. But I would like to think that this will eventually evolve over time, as we gain more experience, and as our students get to be more proficient in the various tools and platforms that are available to them, we would reach a stage whereby we would not even be needing to dictate the specific platforms of presentation or repository, just a mere outline of what we intend to assess would probably suffice for the student to know what are the tools that would satisfy the teacher's given criteria.

Thus I would see some form of evolvement of the student-teacher interaction over time, and to me, this is indeed something exciting...can be quite discomforting sometimes, but definitely exciting!

My Reflection

We have been through many PD sessions and each PD session should (theoretically) up our knowledge and skills. For each passing day, we are getting closer to the starting line (and not the ending point). So should we be panicking? or should we feel confidence in welcoming our 1st batch of students? Whether all our past PD sessions were effective, the real test would be seen in the classrooms real soon. PD sessions would only be effective if we approach it with an open mind, with the willingness to learn and our commitment to apply the new learning.
So are we ready? or at least ready for the 1st year to truly give students a whole new way of learning?

My Reflection...

... the constant reminder of the alignment & inclusion of "Innovation" in an effective ICT-enabled lesson - which drive the quality of our lessons another level up.
What makes the ICT-enabled learning experience different from others? How do we incorporate our distinctive flavours in the learning experience - the SST experience that we want to create.
... remain focused while we attempt the integration.
Keep in mind the "onion diagram": #1 What's Worth being Familiar with? #2 What's Important to Know and Do? #3 What's the Big Ideas & Core Tasks - Enduring Understanding? How does ICT play its part in #3?
... another constant reminder of empowering students - provide learners the opportunities to uncover the knowledge (importantly) with appropriate scaffolds.
Time was cited as the concern in several discussions. Good to ask ourselves: How did we choose the topic when designing the ICT-enabled activity?
Did we pick the area that's worth the amount of time and effort to help students master the understanding before we start thinking how ICT come into the picture? or we just pick an activity that ICT could be integrated easily? Often, such learning activity turns out to be good-to-have (i.e. where's the focus: #1 or #3 when designing the activity?)
... emotional hook vs real world applications to the learner.
Our examples sometimes pitch at the "adult" experience. Examples like famous overseas landmarks, stock exchange are relevant real world application; however, learners might not be able to associate to them. They would remember better how to compute the measurements to enlarge their toy to its maximum yet could pass through the classroom door as compared to calculating the size of a model of the Merlion if it were to shrink by a given factor.

2 out of a few observations that set us think further...
  1. On the use of animation/video... How different is the way we use animation/video, compared to the existing practices in schools? It's a standard (model) answer and an undeniable fact (since days in 1st Masterplan) - Animation/Video helps students to visualise what they could not see with the naked eyes, hence students are able to understand what's abstract and could be presented in 2-dimensional drawing in the past. After more than 10 years, it's time for us to find a breakthrough in the way we use the tool. What more could SST offer?
  2. It is obvious that online mindmap facilitates collaboration and construction of collective knowledge/ideas. The question is, how different it is when using an online or hardcopy mindmap? Both modes enable collaboration and collective knowledge construction. We could put the hardcopy mindmaps up on the wall and do a gallery walk, use post-its to provide feedback. One colleague said, "The online mindmap allows students to organise the information easily during the discussion whereas the hardcopy mindmap does not provide that degree of flexibility." This is an example how an online mindmap serves as a productivity tool (reduces the hassle and time when completing a given task). The key benefit we can rip from this "live" tool: It records students' thinking and learning at various stages (snapshots). It allows students to re-organise & expand the ideas as they increasing/ on-going gain deeper understanding of the concept, the inter-connectedness/ relationships of ideas. Coupled with the rest of the assessment modes/ tools, it forms part of the "scrapbook". The online collaborative mindmap provides "live" evidence of learning.
Though zooming into the learning activity seems myopic, it's where the action takes place and what the learners exactly go through. I wonder, without these fundamental blocks, how would learners appreciate the bigger scheme of things?

A few essential questions surfaced (at this level)
1. How effective is the use of ICT in the learning activity?
This re-examines our understanding of the tools and its role in the learning experience.
2. How different would the learning experience be in the absence of ICT?
This checks if we are merely substituting the conventional "tools" with ICT, or leveraging on the strengths of the tools.
3. How different is this way of using ICT different from existing/known practices?
What's the SST experience that we want to create with Technology?

GIS on a Mac

This is the GIS that we've recommended to our geography teachers...

Useful Ideas

There are some nice phrases that the students can compile and share with their friends. One of the ways to compile these phrases is using Wiki as a platform and categorizing them into different themes.

I like the "Go Chinese" website which can read and translate passages for the students.

1:1 Classroom Management

The Tech & Learning online publication offers some fabulous reading and ideas for teachers integrating technology. The following article, on managing a 1:1 classroom, offers some very practical strategies.


VoiceThread is a tool our teachers began using last year are very excited about -

"VoiceThread is a web-based communications network for K-12 students and educators. Simple, powerful and safe, Ed.VoiceThread is a place for creating and collaborating on digital stories and documentaries, practicing and documenting language skills, exploring geography and culture, solving math problems, or simply finding and honing student voices."

Acquisition Tools

Kodak's Zi6 is a great little still and video camera for primary research, in-class recording, documentary field work, etc

Technology Rubrics

This site has lesson plans, worksheets, teacher tools, and tech rubrics targeted at different age/grade grouping. There are rubrics specifically for podcasting, video, multimedia projects and more

Professional Learning Communities

This site is a social networking site for teachers of English -

There are social networking sites for all disciplines and grades. To keep up with the constant changes to teaching and learning, teachers we are encouraged to create their own professional learning communities. is a great place to start

You might even consider creating a for your own students.

Primary Research

In the past, students would be expected to conduct primary research once or twice in their entire time at school. With the shift to learner centre, holistic practices and access to ICTs students are expected to personally engage in their own knowledge building - this means students need to gather and analyze data from original sources and surveys.

The Writing Lab, The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University have put together this site is provide teachers and students with direction for Primary Research -

Blog Worth Exploring

Westley Fryer writes on his site, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, that he uses the site to "...digitally document my own journey of learning and collaborate with other educators and lifelong learners around the globe."

This site is worth exploring - there are many interesting resources embedded in the blog. For example, what happens when a child's (his daughter) YouTube video gets 70,000 views and people leave both supportive and hurtful messages. The article is well worth reading for teachers and parents in 1:1 initiatives -

A Blog/Wiki Worth Exploring

Educational Origami -

This is a great site to explore to find ideas and strategies for engaging students in higher order thinking in technology rich learning environments. Andrew Churches, the site creator, has done a great job identifying the importance of using Bloom's Revised Digital Taxonomy to focus technology integration -

There are also valuable resources dealing with Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences and an interesting check list for the use of digital alternatives to traditional approaches to teaching and learning -

Intel Resources for Assessment

Intel provides some good resources for your consideration of assessment.

There are many useful ideas on this site. The link below is to checklist for, as the site indicates, "... an overview of the methods, purposes, and instruments used for checking for understanding and encouraging metacognition. These methods help teachers check for understanding while they help students think about their own learning."

Checking for Understanding and Encouraging Metacognition

Florida Center for Instructional Technology

The USA state of Florida introduced a massive state-wide 1:1 programme started in 2003 with Apple. The state has put a lot of resources into supporting the initiative. This site has a lot of useful ideas.

Home -

Technology Integration Matrix -

Wireless Laptops in Education -

How do we ensure a fair assessment?

In a group, students were given different roles and are assessed individually based on the roles. Is this a fair assessment if the different roles requires different levels of commitment/work from the students? How do we then ensure that the roles assigned to them requires the same level of commitment? Is it necessary that they are the same level? Differentiated assessment?


How do we find these web 2.0 tools? any key word searches?

One useful idea

I found that the use of word cloud as very useful, especially for iPW and English. It would be very helpful in getting them to dissect really difficult articles.

A cool free on-line quiz site

Stumble onto this free on-line quiz site ProProfs Quiz School as I am creating the activity for 24 Oct.
Like the interface and features, check it out!

One question

How do we assess a video? What are the criteria?

1) Content
2) Technical-sound, camera angle, light
3) Creativity

One useful idea

Just found out about this website from John. Would explore this further. :)

Turn your Mac into a TV studio! BoinxTV is a pioneering live production software for creating Live to Disk, Live to Internet and Live to Stage video. Record stunning studio shows, podcasts, sports events, concerts, sermons, lectures and more using your Mac and multiple cameras.
One useful idea:
Use digital camera to take pics of dissected specimen. Import the graphic into an application and insert labels and descriptions for each of the specimen parts. Students may also draw the specimen based on the pic they have taken and calculate magnification for their drawings if they have placed their dissected specimen against a ruler before a pic is taken.

One question to address:
How do we teach students to validate the reliability of information they obtained since nowadays with the use of ICT, information highway is heavily loaded with input from all sources.

One question

I don't have 1, but a few:

What are the various media components (hardware, software, knowledgeware) that CIS is currently using? Any Art, Design or Media-based specific programmes that leverages on ICT? What are the platforms or programmes in CIS that looks specifically at Innovation/Creativity/Critical Thinking, or contains a iteration of these elements?

One question

How do we go about incorporating outdoor field work with ICT?

One Useful Idea

The use of the, Clustrmaps and are useful information and presentation tools for students. Definitely tools that we can explore further to enrich the learning and teaching experiences of both students and staff, especially as a means of communication by the students, for the students.

TWO useful sites and is a site where you can find engaging speeches by professionals in their respective industries is to chart statistics over time, beginning from the 1960s, uber cool!

New Idea

Manage to get into Sketchup for students to create 2D and 3D drawing.
To explore the use of this free Google application for topic in Ratio and proportion.

One burning Question...

Having the international profile of the students in mind, what are some of the effective strategies or ICT pedagogies which can fully engaged students and ignite their interest or passion for learning Chinese Language?


The Media Showcase platform where the teaching and learning journey could be recorded, archived and and shared by peer practitioners.


Are there interesting uses of ICT in physical education that you know of and could share?

Useful Idea

Posting comments in students blogs could be a good motivator for them to continue to blog especially if the comments were from the school leaders and not just the teachers per se. The other thing was that capturing their learning is a powerful feedback tool to parents than mere verbal/written comments. Lastly, wordle is fun!


In a physical classroom, a range of Cooperative Learning Strategies are used engage students to brainstorm, discuss, collaborate, etc. to construct knowledge.

Still in the physical classroom, now with every child equipped with a computer in front of them...
How has this "classroom setting" change the way we employ similar cooperative strategies in a technology-enhanced environment?
(with students continue to be engaged in face-to-face discussion, etc)

Useful Idea

Discover one interesting way to use word cloud for learning :D
All the while, I thought word cloud is just a fanciful way to present text that made up a passage - as a "decor" to the website. It has never crossed my mind that it has a place in T&L.

Tapping of the fact that the size of each word is dependent on its number of occurence, relative to other words. The most frequently occurred word will be given the most 'airspace'.
Hence, in a way, gives us an idea the key emphasis of a passage.

Have made an attempt using our school's website - the Overview of our Curriculum and I get this (click at image to see enlarged version at Wordle site):
Wordle: SST's Approach

So, key words that catch people's attention when they read the Overview are "Students", "Learning", "SST", "Integrated Approach"... Oops! Where's applied learning? Where's Technology? Where's Science?

Here's another attempt based on the number of times each word I entered into the textbox:
Wordle: SST

Potential for T&L:
(1) Summary - Generate a word cloud to surface key words/emphasis to have some notion what the passage is all about first before reading
(2) Writing - To check whether we have put in enough emphasis on the areas we want to highlight in a message.
(3) Visual - one way to do a communicate key messages across - with key words that we want people to takeaway.


What is considered an effective ICT lesson? What criteria should we design to measure the level of effectiveness?


What kind of programmes and activities that we can do for parents (who are not ICT savvy) so as to equip them with the basic knowledge in the use of ICT? In a way, we need to help parents so that they can also have the "language and fluency" to communicate with their children who are digital natives? Do we also need to do "continuous PD" for parents??

Useful Idea

Capturing the growth of students in learning (via discussion threads; video clips) and showing that to parents during "Meet the Parent's Session" will be a powerful way that we can engage parents and make understand how their kids really learn and grow. The traditional report card has too little information/static for us to engage the parents in a meaningful discussion/dialogue so that both school and home can better support the kid's learning.