Technology in Hong Kong Schools

We are happy to present today some insight from Iris Qiu on the state of education in Hong Kong and how technology is reshaping the way students are taught. Don’t forget to check out her awesome ShowMes on learning Chinese (like this one on making egg fried rice)!


Iris QiuI am currently working at 3D Avatar School (3DAS). 3DAS is an online education company that uses 3D gaming technology to run live classes. It is a school that is trying challenge the traditional classroom teaching model. Being a high-tech education company, we are willing to try any new tools which can help us to enhance our online offering. And guess what has inspired us so much lately? ShowMe! It is such a useful tool. We plan to use it in following ways:

1. A demo video on our website to show how our classes use our technology platform. It is up already: http://3davatarschool.com/mandarin/

2. Free ShowMe videos on our blog: http://3davatarschool.com/teamblog/

3. Produce some video lessons as a supplement to our classes. For example, there will be ShowMe videos about Chinese Characters, Pinyin Systems, Synonyms etc. (Under development.)

4. Post videos created by our teachers, so that our clients can choose teachers based on videos they like. (Under development.)

HK Schools Receive Funding

In fact, technology is transforming the way of traditional teaching and learning. In Hong Kong, we (as educators) are not the only fans of technology.

The Hong Kong Education Bureau has been promoted electronic teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools recently. There is a three- year project – School E- Learning Polite Project that has received government funding of HK$ 60 million. True Light Middle School of Hong Kong and its three affiliate schools received about HK$ 2 million from the project fund to buy 96 iPads for English teaching.

In the meantime, the City University of Hong Kong financed itself to buy 400 iPads and iPod Touches for the newly promoted “mobile- learning” scheme.

“Around 400 students from the departments of Asian and International Studies, Biology and Chemistry, Electronic Engineering and Information Systems have enrolled in the scheme. They have been given hundreds of iPad or the iPod Touch for learning. More departments are expected to join the scheme in the new academic year.” (CityU NewsCenter)

New "Mobile-Learning" Scheme

I would say using technology to enhance teaching and learning is a trend in this century. We found that both teachers and students love iPads. This is not only because iPad is portable and has a multi-touch screen, but also because there are so many innovative apps coming out. iPads , ShowMe and many other educational apps have great potential in teaching and learning. We are still on our way to maximize their potential. Finally, I hope under Hong Kong’s high pressure, exam-obsessed education system, technology would bring some fun to the students.

 

Building an ePortfolio: add a ShowMe to the mix!

I’ve spoken to many educators about how they might use ShowMe as a tool in their classroom and the idea of using them in ePortfolios and ePubs has come up many times. This is a fantastic use case and one that I hope to see more educators adopting. Portfolios on a whole provide an opportunity for reflection, to demonstrate progress, and to exhibit pride in ones work. Pride, I think, is the most important of the three to a student’s long term education. Pride builds confidence, it creates a hunger for learn more, and it encourages growth. It’s something that is missing from a lot of traditional educational opportunities and we need to inject it back.

That said, why do we need ePortfolios? Simple: the internet is forever, paper is not. An ePortfolio can follow a student from grade to grade, it’s not static like a stack of papers or a binder might be, and it can be easily searched with tags or good ol’ command + F. Best yet, it’s available to whoever you like, no matter their location in the world (everyone’s grandma is on the internet now, and she wants to send your work to her best friend). At the same time it will teach students to instill value in their work and direct their own course of study. As a result, they will also learn how to be better digital citizens and navigate media.
I’ve found a few places to host an ePortfolio like eduBlogs and foliospaces, as well as standard services like google sites and WordPress. I’ve yet to see a sleek timeless and simply designed example so if you know of any, I’d love to collect more resources. Also, if your students are including ShowMes on their ePortfolios, it would be great to see some examples!
 

Team ShowMe creates lessons too!

The team at ShowMe is just as dedicated as you to spreading knowledge. For the past two weeks we’ve gathered in a room here at HQ with our iPads to each create lessons to share with all of you! We’re making this a weekly event so watch out for our new uploads. You can see them first by following Ling, San, Karen and me over on ShowMe.com.

Hopefully Ling will continue her chinese lessons tonight!

 I’ve discovered San is a music theory expert! 
 And I’m no Martha Stewart but I’m sharing some handy baking tips!

If you’re ever in the area and want a live and captive audience, come grab a slice of pizza at ShowMe HQ and get your knowledge on.

 

Lifelong learners: where and how to continue your education

Lifelong Learners

We’re all about creating an engaging learning community here at ShowMe that not only assists students as they grow but is also a resource for life long learners. Our wealth of lessons created by our educators will continue to expand and we hope your mind grows alongside it!

 

That said, there are many ways for you to engage yourself in learning opportunities. Just yesterday I read on MindShift that Stanford University has launched three free online classes open to anyone and everyone world wide. Instead of students watching a whole lecture online, everyone will be watching a series of 10 minute video clips and answering quiz questions to track their progress. You can send questions to the community and the professors while you watch, the ones voted up as most valuable will be answered first. Welcome to the 21st century! You can read the whole post over on MindShift.

I love that Stanford has created a program for this because it not only gives access to an amazing university but it also reminds us that everyone learns at their own pace, in their own way. I can see unschoolers using this, college students wanting to delve deeper into a subject, or people like me who just like learning everything about anything.

Everyone learns at their own pace, in their own way

There are several other organizations that make it very easy to continue growing your mind

  • TeachStreet: Easily search your city for already existing classes being offered in a whole host of areas. Yoga, Cooking or even private lessons on the banjo–so many opportunities!
  • Udemy: This is the “Academy of You” and allows anyone to create and publish their own online course. This site is great for individuals who need to learn on their own time.
  • Skillshare: Skillshare is not only focused on getting you to “learn anything from anyone” but also the large social aspect to learning as well. The best Skillshare classes where you can learn something and make new friends!

We would love to hear more ways that you are growing your own learning community!

 

Making the flip

As mentioned yesterday, there was a conversation bubbling from the overflow of #edchat about flipped classrooms. Many great resources were shared and we thought it would be helpful to post them all here!

The flipped classroom (or #flipclass on twitter) is a movement started by Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, two high school teachers in Colorado. However a similar method of teaching, named the Thayer Method, was pioneered in the early 19th century at West Point. The idea is that at home, students watch videos, lectures, demonstrations created by teachers which saves class time for discussion, labs, and activity. Thanks @ccassinelli for this definition!



A great video explaining how a flipped class works and why it might work for you!

So, where do you start you ask? Right here! First, Jon and Sam cover helpful information about beginning the process of flipping your classroom. There is also the Flipped Class Network, a social network for flip classroom teachers, or check out Principal Greg Green’s blog on how they are flipping their Michigan high school. For essential resources across the internet, Jerry Blumengarten has got you covered on his flip class site.

How do you plan on using ShowMe in your class to help you make the flip? We’d love to hear and see examples!

 

#edchat and building your learning community

Today I sat in on the 12PM #edchat on twitter and was totally amazed with what unfolded in only an hour.

I can’t emphasize how awesome #edchat is

For those of you unfamiliar with how it works, every Tuesday at 12PM EST and 7PM EST a huge group of innovative educators and passionate teachers participate in a world-wide chat across the interwebs. They share many ideas about classroom teaching, the goals they have, and most importantly, they help anyone in the community.

I cannot emphasize how awesome #edchat is and the important knowledge that every educator can gain from just listening. You don’t even need a twitter account! Start by going to Twitter and searching “#edchat”.

Today’s topic was: “How will you approach this school year to improve over last year?”. What a great variety of responses! From engaging parents more with social media to focusing on creating collaborative learning environments it is clear that these teachers really care about their students and the future. There was also a whole conversation about flipped classrooms; you can follow that one here: #flipclass. Below is a sampling of my favourite!

So, if you are a teacher, an education innovator, or simply want to be inspired, I highly suggest you check out the next #edchat. It is an excellent way to extend your personal learning network. Follow @ShellTerrell, @TomWhitby, and @web20classroom for more info!

 

How-to ShowMe: a lesson in creating a great ShowMe!

We want to help you use ShowMe in your classroom so we’re adding something new to our blog, How-to ShowMe!

You can find our entire collection of How-To tutorials for using ShowMe here. 

Rafranz Davis

We have so many great teachers already who have been sharing how to create ShowMes like theirs so we thought it would be perfect to add it here as well for the whole community.

First up: an excellent post by Rafranz Davis, an exemplary high school math teacher in Dallas, Texas. Rafranz first posted this on her blog in May; make sure you check her out because her writing is a must-see for any educator! You can also follow her on twitter at @mathwhiz.

Today in Algebra 1, I had an opportunity to test out a few apps with my students. The one that we LOVE the most is the one that shows the most promise so far for sharing and creativity.

ShowMeApp gives students the opportunity to do a little whiteboard screencasting on the iPad and it’s pretty amazing. At first, I had issues with the app because there is no way to currently type out the initial equation…but we found a nifty workaround.

To get your equation in a “text” format:
1. Our workbooks/textbooks are in a digital format, so we saved the worksheets in ibook.
2. Zoom in to the equation that you want to solve and use the “screenshot” function of the Ipad take an image.
3. Download the Photoshop Express App(free) and Crop the image down so that the equation is clearly visible.
4. Open The ShowME app and insert image. Before hitting “ok”, resize and move the image to a location that you want.
5. Record

Below is a video of a showme created by one of my students…It’s her first one.

 

InspireMe Contest – Win an iPad 2!

We like to learn. That’s why we’re looking for the most awesome, informative, and inspiring ShowMes from our community. And guess what? We’ll reward the creator of the ShowMe with the most number of Facebook votes with a brand new iPad 2!

Win an iPad 2!

Do we have your attention yet? Please view additional InspireMe Contest details at http://www.showmeapp.com/contest

To submit your entry, please go to our official Facebook Contest Page.

Deadline for submissions: Aug 15
Voting period: Aug 16-27
Winner announced: Aug 28

Some ideas for getting the word out about your ShowMe entry and gathering those Facebook votes:

1) Promote your completed lesson on your Twitter, Facebook, personal blog
2) Are you a teacher? Encourage your students to vote/participate to make their own lessons!

 

ShowMe Blog Relaunch!

Have you checked out showmeapp.com recently?

A lot has happened since we last wrote, most importantly – ShowMe’s official launch into the Apple app store! Come download us today for your iPad and give us a test drive.

We really appreciate all the user feedback received, both during the beta phase and post-launch. Huge thanks to everyone for supporting us through the early stages as we continue to learn and evolve the product. Your input is invaluable – keep it coming!

In other news, we had an awesome time mingling with teachers at ISTE 2011. For those unfamiliar with the conference, ISTE brings together thousands of enthusiastic ed tech professionals and corporate representatives from around the world for five days of professional learning, collaboration, and hands-on demonstration of new technologies for the classroom.

Found someone presenting ShowMe at ISTE 2011!We were pleasantly surprised to see one of the ISTE attendees demoing the app 🙂

This is only the beginning for ShowMe and our amazing group of content contributors. Hang tight, there are many more exciting things to come!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!