Imagine you are in SST... a school with class size of 20-25, every student having a portable computer in front of them... They are learning your subject with ICT...

Describe, based on your experience coupled with your imagination,
  • The interaction between Teacher-Student, student-student in the class
  • The kind of tools/resources that they are using in the learning activity

Put down your thoughts - in text/diagram/etc... in one powerpoint slide.

- Newspaper Article (Lesson Idea by Sok Hui)

After discussion... further development of ideas...

Lesson: Mother Tongue (Chinese)

Description of learning activity:

  • Students are divided into groups of 4. Each group is assigned to read an article from online Zaobao.
  • Students read on their own the article assigned to the group. While reading on their own, they could make use of 一声通to listen to words that they do not know how to pronounce and to use 金山词霸to find out the meaning of idioms they do not understand. This individual activity allows students to learn new words and vocabulary at their own pace. It also gives them time to understand the article and prepare for a meaningful discussion within their own group later. [Leveraging on 1:1 computing for personalised and self-directed learning within a bigger activity]
  • In their own group, they brainstorm on the key points of the piece of news and discuss how to go about reporting the news. They will search for relevant and appropriate pictures and video clips to be added to the presentation.
  • Using Newscaster, students put the script and various media together to create a newspaper report.
  • Each group will take turn to present their report. Facilitated by the teacher, the remaining groups (i.e. the audience) post questions to clarify areas of doubts in the production. In an event that the report deals with some controversial issues, the audience could further debate on the topic (stretching beyond the current activity).

[Leveraging on small class size - richness of discussion and focus of the topic]

  • Having fewer students implies there are fewer groups [5] and therefore each group can deal with a different topic. Since there are fewer groups, there is an opportunity for all students present and more time could be allocated for discussions arising from the topic (e.g. the reporters having to defend what they reported while audience questioned the authencity of the report). This adds richness to the whole activity. With fewer number of groups, the teacher could give more attention - to provide feedback and guide each group more closely was they prepare their report presentation.
  • ... while in standard 40-student classroom, there is high likelihood of repeated topics and in the usual practice, only selected groups identified to present and there is limited time available to engage students in further discussions.

Points to ponder...

  • What are students assess on? (criteria? content? skills?)
  • How to assess students' understanding? (what format? feedback? marking of end product?)

- ICT in an EL Classroom (Lesson Idea by Salena)

After discussion... further development of ideas...

Lesson: English Language

Description of learning activity:

  • In this classroom, students are engaged in multitasks... (to be continued...)

- ICT in Science Lessons (Lesson Ideas by Kin Chuan)

After discussion... further development of ideas...

Lesson: Science - Physics

Description of learning activity:

Scenario 1:

  • At the beginning of a lesson, students are given handouts to guide them in their actvity, where they learn with given applications like applets and simulations to explore and learn concepts on their own.
  • The handout scaffolds for them, providing cues getting them to observe patterns or phenomenons generated by the applets/simulation, jotting down data/observations, prompting them to ask questions for deeper thinking [leverages on 1:1 computing for individual learning]
  • Students would also post questions arises from their observations in the discussion forum to seek clarification or understand better on the topic they are learning. While students post questions in the discussion forum, teacher would scan and group the questions into broad categories (possible 4-5 groups).
  • At this juncture, using the handout, teacher elicits from students the key ideas/ observations they gather from the self-learning activity.
  • Divide the class into groups of 4. Assign them to one category of questions that's posted in the discussion forum. In the small groups, students discuss the possible answers to the questions raised, based on what they learn in the whole-class discussion (facilitated by the teacher). They could carry out internet search for deeper understanding.
  • The group will post their answers as a thread in the discussion forum. Alternatively, the group could extract the questions and post a collected response in a blog posting.

Question to ponder...

  • How do we leverage on smaller class size to improve the way activities are carried out?

- ICT in a PE lesson (Lesson Idea by Aidil)

After discussion... further development of ideas...

Lesson: Physical Education

Description of learning activity:
This activity has the potential to become an inter-disciplinary learning activity.

  • The class is divided into a few groups, each with its own role to play... (to be continued...)

Learning in a 1:1 computing clasroom

Dear colleagues

In this activity, we simulated a 1:1 computing learning environment that we would be having, a less than 9 months time!

As discussed, such learning environment warrants a change in the way we design and manage the learning activities and students' behaviour. These shape a very different learning experience for students and ourselves!

Some points highlighted include:

  • Are we comfortable with having learners with the portable computers in front of them and looking at their own screens instead of looking up at the teacher (in a usual classroom). Do we perceive that they are not paying attention? Can we trust that they are actually looking at things related to the lesson?
  • Having 1:1 computing does not necessary mean learners are working on their own. They could be assigned individual work, but have brief discussions with their peers (to either get help or clarify on the task) - just like what you went through.
  • With a wide range of application software installed in the computer, we could design activities that allow learners choose different medium of expression, yet all working with the same goal (converging to a common learning outcome) - this is illustrated in your outputs to the activity (above)!
  • Then what's the teachers' role? To go around checking if any help is needed and monitor the progress. What do we do when some complete the tasks earlier than the others? Could we leverage on the same platform that they are working on and get them to provide peer feedback or engage them in deeper learning?
  • The activity does not end with work submission (to the blog, in this case). How do we check understanding? Facilitation by teacher to get the individuals to share and to build on what's shared. Of course, this is only possible to be carry out effectively if the class size is small.

If you have any further ideas, or would like to highlight potential implementation issues or concerns... please feel free to enter as a comment here... we'll see how we could manage and address them together...

Survey - PD Guide