Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final reflection on course 5 project

This project has been a fantastic learning experience for the students. I am amazed by their team work and the effort they have put in beyond school time. They have shown enthusiasm and skill in applying digital technology to the project. You can read my previous blog posts to know the process of this project and what the students achieved from it.

After spending three weeks in this project, besides all the positive aspects in the teaching and learning activity, there are certain concern that I would like to address here:

1, The amount of time spent on a project is normally longer than the curriculum setting.

It is necessary to maintain a good balance in between project based lessons and other normal classroom teaching and learning activities. Teacher must make sure that the core value of a project is to carry students into deep understanding of the taught concept or the research problem.
As Phylosophy of ISB PK-12 World Language states, " We believe world language learning happens best with a communicative approach, where learners actively construct and monitor their understanding through meaningful engagement that often extends beyond school setting."
Project based learning seem to meet above requirement with a great deal."

2. Having respect for the copy right when students go online searching for images, pictures important part of teaching. I noticed that some of the pictures used in students' project work are from Google image. I should have emphasized on this before the project is started.

3. Lastly, during the process of project, we confronted the frustration of having not enough laptops in school computer carts. Some students used their own laptops with different softwares built in, different brands...and their project made in their own laptops can not be played in school laptops, ....this happens from time to time, and this caused the delay of submitting their work punctually as they need to make adjustments to their project, or make it worse, they have to redo the work once more.
When this problem occured, I start to admire the 6th graders in ES ISB becuase these students will have 'one to one' laptop program next year. When will this move up to HS?

Display on the students' final project works done with different media tools

In middle of April, my two classes of Mandarin Chinese level three students finished the video storytelling on Chinese Idiom project. ( actually we should have done around 9th April, but the school was closed because of the Red Shirt's demonstration.) Below is the students' projects.

There are in total 13 projects done by 13 groups of students from the two classes. I select 8 projects below, which are presented in different media tools, such as window movie maker, animation, powerpoint, flash...some students choose their favourite digital tools that they have used before, some students learned a new tool during the time of making the project. For the display of the total 13 projects, I uploaded them into PartherNET.

(1) 盲人摸象 By Philip Kim, Jin Woo Chung

(2)画蛇添足 by Ching Chak, Nantithon Thana

(3)守株待兔 by Baik dong Jin, Cho Won hee

(4)如鱼得水 By Suk Young, Peige and Preston

(5)塞翁失马 By Liya, Wei

(6)画蛇添足 By Tipbapa, Chung YunJae

(7)塞翁失马 By Pichaporn, Natnicha

(8)对牛弹琴 Christon Fam, Turk Nelson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Content Based Lesson- The power of Digital Storytelling

On 6th April- ISB high school professional learning day, in World Language session, we were introduced the interesting teaching methodology- "content based lesson"; we also watched a video demonstrating on how it is carried into classroom teaching practice.

Content based lesson
Here are some of my notes taken during the professional learning day-
-What does it mean to be an influent speaker?
-We are talking about interesting thing to require language;
-We constantly put content in the language to create motivational outcome;
-We stay in the textbook where some content and concepts are chosen, grabbed, that the textbook is used as a resource, but we do not want to be used by textbook.
-There are reasons to learn vocabulary and grammars.
-Language teachers are not waiting for the students to talk aout something interesting untill they are proficient in the target language;
-Language functions like a transparent window to see through-that viewers see things through window without being aware of its existence. When students speak that language, they are talking something so interesting that they are not aware of the language itself and focusing on the content of that language instead.

By what tools, methods and instructions, can we polish this window to make it transparent?

The power of video storytelling

Automatically I am thinking of this project-Chinese Idiom Video Story.

To embed media technology into language teaching is not for the sack of the use of techonology itself, it is a powerful tool by which the teaching and learning activity can be lifted up to a brand new level.
" The focus on technology and software features often distracts us from what we should be examning. Many of us spend too much time fidgeting with and worrying about bullets and images on slides instead of thinking about how to craft a story which is the most effective, memorable, and appropriate for our particular audience." -Presentation Zen

" ...Just possessing information alone is hardly the differentiator it used to be. What is more important today than ever is the ability to synthesize the facts and give the facts context and perspective....human being who teaches us, or inspires us, or who stimulates us with knowledge plus meaning, context, and emotion in a way that is memorable. And this is where story comes in. Information plus emotion and visualization wrapped in unforgettable anecdotes are the stuff that stories are made of...What people want is something fundamentally more human. They want to hear 'the story ' of your facts." - Presentation Zen

" storytelling combines the best of two worlds: the 'new world' of digitized video, photography and art, and the 'old world' of telling storytelling is more than a technique. In fact, it has become something of a movement among artists and business people."
-Dana Atchley

What I found exciting in this "Chinese Idiom video story" project is the students' engagement in the process of producing the story, combining the idea of their story with the particular media tool they choose, videoing, editting subtitles, recording story in one's own voice, inserting music...Meanwhile teacher needs to allow students to make mistakes, and create a conducive learning environment where everyone can learn from each other including teacher's learning from studnets, giving them adjustable timeline and showing care and understanding of their frustration and difficulties arise in both use of target language and digital technology areas.

" The best methods are therefore those that supply comprehensible input in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production." Krashen

This is one of the Chinese Idiom video story made by my Mandarin Level 3 students-Christian Fam and Nelson.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What emerges from the interface ?

Before I tried to conduct the quizzes and class work online, I have always given my students the
hand- outs as either study materials or paper work for them to submit on the due day.

What is the point of asking students to produce an online worksheet or complete an online reading comprehension?

What is the purpose of asking the students to find relevant information on Internet instead of giving out the well-prepared hand-outs?

Are there some extra learning happening in the process?

I am glad to offer my positive findings here.
  • To submit Online work by typing Chinese characters in PinYin has significant impact on the students' realisation of how importance of studying PinYin. When students are asked to produce an online worksheet, they also need to use the Chinese dictionary to find the new words and phrases, which also requires the application of the knowledge in Pin Yin to their performance task. This is more than 100 times of reminders to the students of the importance of Pinyin. And they all take PinYin very seriously.
  • In order to understand the Chinese idiom very well, the students can go to Internet searching the relevant information on it, either watching the cartoon video story from YouTube, or googling the content of the story in different language, by the end they come to the clear understanding of the particular idiom. They can compare different versions of the story, and eventually form their own understanding. " All individuals acquire the thinking skills that enable them to learn on their own." In the process of finding the meaning behind the Chinese idiom, students are able to " Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying the misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, point of view or bias. " (AASL)

Chinese idiom story in different types.




  • Above all, throughout this process, we are fostering our students to be an independent learner.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

General Schedule on Digital-age learning assessment project

This project was actually planed in first semester in 2009. See the post Digital-age assessment project. In the middle of March 2010, my two Mandarin level 3 classes finished the chapter on Chinese Idioms, and it is time now for us to practise this project.

The Ultimate Performance task for this project:
Each group of students is to produce a Video Story on the assigned Chinese idiom.

The general schedule on this project:

1. First Stage: Pre-video story ( 15th-24th March)

A. Study of the reading material on the relevant Chinese idiom:

1) Each group focus on the study of its own idiom. It is accessible on Panthernet.
( 15th-17th March)

2) Each group works on its own worksheet, which highlight the new vocabulary, the new sentence drills and give examples on how to use those words and sentence drills. ( 15th-17th March)

B. To conduct online tests to ensure the understanding of the reading of the Chinese idiom.

3) Each group takes the online test activity by uploading its worksheet to panthernet as the group work during class time. ( 18th-19th March)

4) Each group tells their own idiom story orally in front of the class by showing the worksheet in smartboard, explaning the new words and expressions and so on. ( 19th-22nd March)

5) Each group takes online reading comprehension test on its Chinese idiom story.
( 23rd-24th March).

2, Second stage: The process of making video story
( 29th March-9th April)

C, To create a new story based on the understanding of the assigned idiom.

6) Students work with their group to draft the outline of their story. ( 29th-31st March)

7) A role-figure in the story is distributed to each individual and afterwards students rehearse the play. ( 1st-2nd April)

D, To apply the media tools into their story.

8) Students do the recording, videoing or picturing, editing the story by choosing one of the following media tools: ( 5th-9th April)

3, The third stage: Post-video story

Each group uploads their video story into panthernet and display their performance task. By doing so, students exchange their knowledge on the Chinese idioms and create the new understanding of the taught subject.