Saturday, 29 November 2014

Classtools' QR Code Treasure Hunter

This could be a suitable game for kineaesthetic learners, essentially learners who are constantly on the move and simply cannot sit still. Fancy an afternoon of running around the school looking for posters stuck with QR Codes and scanning in the QR Codes with a tablet to reveal questions online? After doing so, learners key in their responses to the questions online using the tablets.

This is what a student will typically see on their smartphone/tablet after having scanned in the QR code.

Here's how this can work.

1. Submit!
Input a series of questions and answers using QR Treasure Hunt Generator.

2. Create!
Get a QR code for each question.

3. Display!
Put the QR codes around your school.

4. Begin!
Students find and answer the questions.

A case study can be found here.

1) Refer to QR Treasure Hunt Generator for implementation
2) Search for 500 most recent quizzes from 500 Most recently created quizzes using the QR Treasure Hunt Generator
3) Using QR Codes in the Classroom

My Own QR Code

After viewing the latest visual QR codes, I decided to create my own QR codes recently. QR Codes are essentially ways to link to content online using a QR Code scanner. They are great for promoting and marketing. Look at some of these designs below.

Some of the really beautiful visual QR code designs can be found at VisualLead Designs

Starbucks QR Code Picture QR Code
Starbucks QR Code
Avon Lady Christin QR Code qrcode design
AVON Cosmetics QR Code

I was quite amazed by the versatility in design by visualead. Unfortunately as I am only using a free version of the Visual QR Code, it is not ad-free. Both however do a nice job of redirecting to my blog when I tried using my QR Reader on my iphone.

Look at my 2 creations below.

1. VisualLead

2. QRStuff

Edshelf - Your perfect search engine for educational apps

Not sure of where to find an app that meets your needs? Go to to type in key words to search or explore their Collections for specific apps.

You can also write a review after using a listed app by becoming a member.

Read through members' reviews to find out usability and functions of the app.

Some of the collections that I most frequent are:

Adaptive Learning
Classroom Management
Computer Programming

Monday, 24 November 2014

Backchanneling and Informal Assessment Comparison Chart

On the topic of back channelling and informal assessment, here's a link to 9 useful tools for gathering feedback and learning from students as suggested by Richard Bryne from freetech4teachers

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The problem with 1:1 Computer Programmes

I was just reading two related articles on technology integration in the classrooms with the use of 1 to 1 tablets. A very interesting read about how Technology Integration may fail without the proper management of these critical success factors. We all know that Apple apps are interesting and engaging in the classroom, however the LAUSD iPad experience provides valuable learning lessons for us. 

Besides the bidding process, the planning and implementation of the LAUSD iPad also ran into amok. 

Some questions for us to ponder about before a TI. 

1) Visioning - was the vision communicated well and clearly to all stakeholders? 

2) Top-down strategies - was it a case of top-down call or were there programme owners who OWNed it? 

3) Training - how comfortable are users with the platform? is a one-off training adequate? 

4) Control versus Risk-Taking - do we trust our students enough that they will use the platform for educational purposes or are we imposing so many restrictions on them because we are afraid that they will hack into our systems?

5) Parents' Concerns - how do we address parents' concerns and insecurities of using technology as a replacement for pen and paper homework?

Read the 2 articles here:
1. The LAUSD iPad Initiative: 5 Critical Technology Integration Lessons
2. Engaging Parents with Tech Initiatives

We Are Teachers

A very useful resource on lesson plans, resources, posters and community of teachers. Go to We Are Teachers

Here's one of the posters by Paul Reimer on Mathematics.

For more posters and printables, go to the tab on Lessons & Resources >> Classroom Printables

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Yes!!! I've finally got my blog ranked on the Teach100 site. Very humbling start at rank 727. I do hope that as time goes, I will be able to push up the rankings of my site. Here's to the start of educational technology and transformation in the sunny island of Singapore as I fly my Singapore flag uphigh.

See it over here? That tiny flag of ours?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Back channelling and Exit Ticket

Wouldn't it be great if there was a common space for teachers and learners to meet online and communicate while a lesson is going on? The concept of back channelling is largely similar to an open and transparent platform for reflection after a workshop/lecture/lesson. It allows participants to share their takeaways.

The backchannel is the conversation that goes on alongside the primary activity, presentation, or discussion. It extends conversations beyond the classroom, and gives all students a voice.

One of the questions that I have as a teacher is how do I assess how much my students have learned or have they really understood? One way to capture this is to set up a backchannelling platform online and give students Quiet Time to reflect on their learnings. From the comments posted, I will be able to assess their learning and address their misconceptions or reinforce their schema in the next lesson.

Another way of using back channelling is through the use of an exit ticket. An exit ticket strategy can help participants process new concepts, reflect on  information learned and express their thoughts about new information.

For more ideas on how to creating a back channel exit ticket, check out Silvio Rosenthal Tolisanao's video.

A great tool to use for this purpose will be TodaysMeet.

Matt Miller has 20 suggestions on how to harness TodaysMeet. Check them out here.

55 Quiz Makers and Polls from Classroom Aid

Classroom Aid's list of 55 quiz makers and polls. Some of these applications such as Edmodo, Kahoot and PollEverywhere have been tried and tested by me.

Click on the link below to find out more.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Learn from

Check out this tutorial from

20 Puzzles to programming the Angry Bird game.

Quite fun, ain't it? Makes programming fun and less daunting! Comes with interface screen and code screen.

The Hour of Code

You've heard of Earth Hour, but have you heard of the Hour of Code? has launched the Hour of Code event internationally aimed at spreading computer science education to 100 million students across the globe. It will be held on Dec 8 to 14 of 2014. Corporate bigwigs like Mark Zuckerberg, John Doerr and Rich Barton have all contributed to this cause by donating a collective 1.25 million to crowdfunding website - Indiegogo.

Watch this interesting video below with keynote comments by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey on What Most Schools Don't Teach.

Read about Hadi Partovi on why he started this initiative. He noted that there has been more computer science jobs than there are graduates. He feels that his home country of Iran and United Kingdom lead the United States in terms of providing a computer science education. In the United Kingdom, computer programming is an integral part of the school curriculum. Everywhere else, part of the world needs to catch up.

Well said indeed, most of my Computer Engineering and Computer Science graduate friends have long since relinquished what they had learned in school and taken on jobs in other fields of business, insurance, finance and many more. 

I remembered that when I was 16, the World Wide Web became my window to the world. I was one of the few students in my class to have Internet access in 1997. I created and updated my very first Geocities website that year and learned HTML code by reading up from The possibilities were limitless - I created a personal homage website, a class website and even a full-fledged e-commerce website with shopping cart facility.

You'll learn from the Hour of Code event that computer programming is accessible to all and is suitable for anyone ages 4 to 104+.

Check out the event, tutorials and how you can contribute at

For tutorials on how to create your first Angry Bird or Pac Man programme, go to Khan Academy for free lessons.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

27 Ways Teachers Can Enhance Retention and Knowledge Transfer Infographic

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How Can Teachers Assess Students’ Understanding Infographic

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How AudioBooks Help Raise Reading Scores Infographic

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Tips for Effective Vocabulary Instruction Infographic

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Gagne’s Instructional Design Model Infographic

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Teachers’ Instructional Strategies Infographic

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The Roberto Marzano’s 9 Effective Instructional Strategies Infographic

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Marzano’s 9 Instructional Strategies Infographic

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This is a very cool real-time interactive quiz game that scores learners according to accuracy and speed. What you can do with this application, Kahoot It, is to create your own quizzes. You can get multiple users to access your Kahoot It quiz page at through any mobile device - tablet/handphone/laptop. 

Once a learner is at that page, a unique game pin is generated. All the learner needs to do is to key in this game pin on that webpage to establish a connection to the quiz. Every question has a timer attached to it. As the learner thinks about his response to the question, the timer does a count down. At the end of the quiz, learners are awarded points based on their accuracy of answers and speed of answering.

30 Facts About Gamification in eLearning Infographic

30 Facts About Gamification in eLearning Infographic
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Exploiting the Pedacogical Potential of Interactive Whiteboards Infographic

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21st century Teaching Infographic

21st Century Teaching Infographic
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An argumentative essay topic for this year's GCE O Level English examination paper.

Introducing Coursera, the world's best free online learning portal. Absolutely OTOT and SDL supported. Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

The Gears of Gamification in Education

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What's the relationship between gamification and customer retention? Can this be applied into classroom to drive student learning?

Look at the infograph to find out more. A Brief History of Gamification Infographic
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Buzzing with Buzzle

An informative website with snippets of interesting trivia and information. What's buzzing with Buzzle?

A good read for grade school kids.

Check out Buzzle

Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across Disciplines

The Scream by Edvard Munch

"I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature."

An innovative idea that encourages students to think beyond the literal comprehension of a visual. 

While teachers are struggling to teach visual literacy to their students through a gamut of advertisements, pictures, leaflets and brochures, the question really is what approach should be used.

Abigail Housen, a Harvard graduate, has been studying how varying degrees of exposure to visual art has affected people's viewing experience since the 1970s. Built on the foundations of aesthetic development that guided Piaget and Vygotsky, she uses an approach known as the Aesthetic Development Interview (ADI) to get interviewees to talk about a given image.

In this approach, no questions are asked, thus insuring that the interviewer does not influence the interview. The subject is simply invited to talk as if s/he were thinking out loud, talking about what is seen. The interviews are taped, and then transcribed and coded using an empirically-derived coding manual. A temporary aesthetic stage is assigned in this process, and this scoring is then compared to a clinical analysis, arrived at by an independent reading of the entire interview.

I've always wished that there was time to explore pieces of art work in class. There's so much to be gleaned in terms of insights and perspectives from artwork.

'A picture is a poem without words' ~ Horace.

For Vimeo's video on how VTS can empower children and unlock language learning and creative thinking, watch this video on Visual Thinking Strategies

For more on VTS, check out Visual Thinking Strategies

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the Scream image above. I will be ready to remove it should there be any copyright infringement.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

N3 Cluster ICT Symposium - Survey

Dear attendee of the Sharing Session titled Collaborative Learning using Popplets and Titanpad in Writing of Expositions

Thank you for your participation and we will love to hear from you if you have any feedback regarding the sharing.

Here is a short survey about the session.

Feedback Survey

Saturday, 28 June 2014

What the 21st century classroom should look like

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Language Learning Goes Digital

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

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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.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


My recent visit to the Educational Technology Division's workship yielded an introduction to this multi-modal literacy game known as Admongo. I believe it stands for Advertisement Monger and targets children from grades 3 to 9 to equip them with the critical thinking skills to be able to navigate through today's media rich world.

For instance, how do they know that an advertisement is biased? How do we ascertain if it is reliable and therefore trustworthy?

Funded by the Federal Trade Commission, it is an interactive website that teaches core ad literacy concepts through an entertaining game with multiple levels and challenges. The game is working its way into classrooms and libraries to assist children in learning this core, 21st century skill.

For lesson plans and materials, visit Admongo

Saturday, 8 March 2014

A case for flipped classroom

I love this video on flipped classrooms. It is something that I endeavour to try out in class. The author is trying to explain how the approach of flipped classrooms should work.

 Why I flipped my classroom