Monday, 28 October 2013

Bitstrips for Schools

The fad is in...with this quirky and cute BitStrips application that is taking the world by storm. I must admit it is indeed a really cute app. Unfortunately I am unable to get my hands on the ITunes version to work probably because of the exponential take-up rate over the last couple of weeks.

Just to reminiscence about BitStrips which I used 3 years ago in a Secondary 1 class to create a portrait poem. Here's a few to recollect....

Friday, 25 October 2013

STEM Education

Many people lament that researchers and engineers work long, painful and laborious hours that see little products or innovations to fruition. Looking back at my secondary school days, I wasn't quite your bright spark of a science student. Physics was passable because I tried hard enough and Math was a breeze because of intensive practice.

For a sustainable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education, we have to allow students to be creative in classrooms, be experimental and even take a little risk. How do we excite students about STEM? What can we do as educators to truly encourage innovation from students?

Check out the Center for K12 STEM Education where students create hydroelectric power generator and make use of 3D-printing to unpack what they learn in the classrooms.

The Center for K12 STEM Education

Symbaloo Again

Here are more webmixes on the Symbaloo Gallery that I found.

For Physics

For Chemistry

For Biology


Recently, something called Symbaloo caught my eye as I was searching online. Essentially, it is a webmix portal that aggregates online content into 1 common webspace that is visually appealing and easy to use. Some people will call it a grid of bookmarks. As a user, you are able to create customizable tiles linking to URLs of online resources. The drag and drop feature allows you to drag the tiles around while categorising content.

Currently I'm trying to create a webmix for English based on the 4 prime skills of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, Grammar and Vocabulary. They will be placed along the 4 corners of the Webmix Grid. Once it is ready, I will post it here.

If you are interested to find out more about SymbalooEdu, the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) from an academic's perspective, you can read a review from Christopher Harwood, Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore.

A Review of SymbalooEdu

For a video tutorial on Symbaloo and how to create a webmix, watch the video below.

Let me post a few of the top webmixes created by Symbaloo users.

1. Tech for Teachers

2. Library Symbaloo

3. Educational Gamewebsites

Saturday, 7 September 2013

QR Codes

I'm reading up on QR codes and was wondering how it can be incorporated into teaching and learning. It will be great if students have mobile devices and a QR code scanning app that allows them to do JIT learning.

Here are some great ideas according to this website.

Top Ten Reasons:

1.Inclusive learning that meets the needs of all learners by extending or supporting learning

2.Links to podcasts to provided auditory learning materials

3.Links to videos to provided visual learning materials

4.Links to external resources - readings, journals or websites

5.Instructions how to undertake a task that can be text, auditory or visual

6.Formative assessment method where students are directed to an Forum to provide feedback

7.Formative assessment of students' learning by linking to an online questionnaire

8.Links to group activities

9.Links to 'just in time' learning

10.Engaging with outdoor learning

To create one, go to: Sparqcode

Saturday, 20 July 2013


I finally had the chance to use Popplet in class. Students from my class were divided intro groups of 3 to 4 to create a mindmap on their situational writing task. They had to discuss in their groups the task using a RAPFTR framework and Activities map. Here's their unfinished products:

Group 1 Popplet

Group 2 Popplet

Group 3 Popplet

Group 4 Popplet

Group 5 Popplet

Group 6 Popplet

Group 7 Popplet

Immediately, I am able to have a bird's eye view of which groups have interpreted the Register and Tone of the task correctly and which ones are off-key. Also this tool allows them to pen out their ideas visually as compared to the conventional point and bullet form. As a teacher, I can also compare their quality of ideas visually.

The Flipped Classroom: Turning the Traditional Classroom on its head

The Flipped Classroom: Turning the Traditional Classroom on its head

Was very intrigued when I first came across this term on Edutopia and decided to do a google search on it. Then it came to my realisation that the concept of a flipped classroom means we turn the tables on the students. It is a pedagogical approach where students watch video lectures online and participate in online discussion forums with their peers and teachers. The teachers become faciltators than provide direct instruction in the classroom. The students then come to classrooms to discuss and clarify with the teacher.

I wonder what profile of students will work best with this model? Essentially, this approach has longed been in use at university levels and even in NIE where learners are more independent and motivated. Whether it works for others is questionable. I leave that thought to you.

Here's a interesting site on Flipped Classrooms and how two high school teachers in 2007 conceive this concept of the Flipped Classroom.

Knewton's Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Friday, 5 July 2013


A very inspiring and useful resource for all educators funded by George Lucas Educational Foundation. There is a variety of rich content on topics such as teacher leadership, classroom technology, PBL, SEL, game-based learning, flipped classrooms, assessment and much more. It is a must visit for all teachers! I will take my own time to explore its sections.

Visit it here: Edutopia


This is an excellent classroom behaviour management tool that will excite students and help promote better teacher student relationship.

Best of all, it is entirely free to use.

1. Create cute avatars of your students. You can even add/customise your own avatars!

2. Reward them for positive behaviour in the classroom.
    There are 6 affirmative actions available. Every positive action earns them 1 point.

3. Likewise, award them Negatives for negative behaviour in the classroom. Every negative action negates 1 point. You can even customise your own behaviours.


4. Track attendance of students!

5. Random name generator!

6. Timer function to keep students on task for assignments!

7. Generate reports to track daily/this week/last week/this month/etc's behaviour progress.
    There are 2 modes available: Donut or Trendspotter!!

Need I say more, voila, use it now!


Monday, 1 July 2013

Hero Machine

Here's a character portrait creation tool. Great for students who are into anime and comics. They get to create their own action super hero. You can use this to create character sketches and even learn about characterisation through physical features and behavioural traits.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

ESL Website

Great website to practice English Grammar. This is highly interactive with Flash features, complete with colour, graphics, music and animation!

ESL Classroom Games

Saturday, 9 March 2013


Here's how I used Padlet, formerly known as Wallwisher, as a post-camp reflection tool. The Sec 3s just went on their adventure camp. What better way to find out AFIs, strengths, weaknesses and after-thoughts of the camp than through this tool?

Padlet allows the embedding of text, pictures, videos and hyperlinks.

Hopefully, it is more stable than Primary Wall and less susceptible to lagging and crashing. I have yet to check the shelf life of the posts. I do hope they last beyond 2 weeks online.

There are also privacy settings that allow you to switch to private view than public.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Primary Wall

Mr Jeff Mak shared this idea of using Primary Wall as a brainstorming tool and ideas bank during one of our weekly meetings. 

Primary Wall is an informal and fun way for students to post their thoughts on a topic. Recently, I got students to decide on a stand for a topic and to post 1-2 reasons to support their stand. This was a pre-lesson activity to check their prior knowledge of the topic, which allowed me to decide on how to angle subsequent lessons. It is also a way for students to check if they have the same arguments as their peers or whether they have come up with a more unique line of reasoning.

Class: 3I6 - Majority agreed with the motion.

Class: 3I7 - Majority disagreed with the motion.