Saturday, 28 June 2014

What the 21st century classroom should look like

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Language Learning Goes Digital

A very nice infographic shared by Middlebury Interactice on the benefits of digital learning as well as common myths debunked.

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Padlet and PollEv - A lethal combination of weapons?

Don't get me wrong. I did not watch Lethal Weapon of late. I'm just saying that Padlet and PollEverywhere make good tools for teaching Oracy. Finally, I had the time to combine the use of these 2 wonderful applications in a single lesson. The focus of the latest lesson in June was Oracy - Spoken Interaction.

I like the fact that Padlet is very intuitive and easy to use. It also allowed me to embed videos and audio to stimulate interest before the actual task.

Most of my students were quite hooked and inspired by the video of the Sky-diving crew in the video. I could already hear their whispers of how they want to try that when they are older as the video was played. To watch the video and view their responses to the 3 questions that I posted on Adventure and Extreme Sports, click 4N6 Day 4 Oral - Adventure Activities

For Road Safety themed questions, click Road Safety

For Elderly themed questions, click Elderly

You could create multiple links on Padlet with its own individual page, and then invite different groups to view videos or articles on the subject. In my case, I wanted my students to read the short article on Population White Paper and understand the visual infograph on an aging population because although they understood what it meant, they did not seem to be able to explain it clearly. After the receptive segment, you could invite them to respond to your questions. You can even follow through by getting them to peer review and read each other's comments.

After they are done answering the 3 questions in about 20 minutes, I will invite 3 students to the front of the class to present their answers for the 3 questions. To ensure fairness, the 3 students were picked randomly using an online name picker.

It's a pity that we do not have tablets at the moment, but with access to computers and Internet, students can do a real-time American idol style voting for their friends too. The judging panel is the whole class and not the teacher.

Here's what each of them will see on their computer screens. Each person is entitled to vote only once.

Finally, here's what the results look like:

Very useful for collaborative learning and peer assessment.

Monday, 2 June 2014


I am currently in the process of evaluating PollEverywhere. I was hoping for a free online polling tool that will help to capture the responses of the audience in real-time. I'm using the free educational version which allows me to get the responses of up to 40 persons in a class. This was what I created and intend to do in class, albeit there may not be adequate time again. It is an English Situational Writing lesson where students are given 2 samples of a letter to mark. They are suppose to score the letter against the rubric for Task Fulfilment. To get a sense of how Cambridge markers assess the scripts, this will be a good lesson to teach comparative skills and situational understanding.

These were some of the screenshots of how I intend to invite a response from the audience. There are 4 ways that the audience can send in their responses.

For academic purposes, it is best not to use the SMS function lest people incur any messaging costs, so I have opted for the web link option instead where the audience will access my poll webpage. The free version also does not seem to allow the SMS to be sent through. I have tried a few times and it failed.

Present the results in percentage form.

There is even a pluggable PowerPoint version of PollEverywhere where it allows you to login to PollEverywhere inside PowerPoint, add slides to view your poll results instantly. I am sure there will be more practical uses of this tool in time to come. If you know of any other better free online polling tools, please contact me.

Learning is Playing

This must be one of the most inspiring posts that I have had in a long while. How nice would it be if learning is playing? And playing is all about learning? What if your students actually tell you that lessons were fun?

What better way to learn game algorithms than by playing the game '2048' yourself? Inventive thinking at its best.

At the very same time, I sourced this as I went through some ETD digital publications.

Have fun trying them out and some of them are really addictive. There's a whole load of listings cutting across subjects such as English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Geography. Some are even inter-disciplinary and multi-subject based games.

One of the very promising ones that I tried my hand at was EnergyCity where players are presented with real-life situations of a natural resources depletion and are required to come up with an urban energy portfolio that is sustainable. As they play, they are challenged to keep the energy metrics of the city going. It is funded by National Geographic and titled the Jason project. This game reminds me of the SimCity game where I used to play decades ago. I remembered my settlements used to burn on fire because I had no defences against natural disasters.

Another interesting game on linear equations was Save the Zogs. A very simple game to teach beginners x-axis and y-axis plotting.

I think DGBL is here to stay and a force to be reckoned with.