Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Successful Lesson.

I had a whole class to myself last night. Carey's grade 6 geography class in Virginia was great. We introduced ourselves, I invited a Malaysian special guest, the class watched the videos made by my students in Malaysia, and I was able to answer some of the questions the American students had. We connected via Skype, and it only disconnected a couple time.

Email From Carey & Link to her Geography 6 Blog:


Today was amazing! Words can't even describe it.

Here is our first "completed" video. It is actually a photo story, but
you get the idea!


Tech Task #13.

I made a Podcast using Audacity. It's a Podcast teaching a some very basic Bahasa Malyau (The Malaysian Language). I talk about numbers, food, and how to say hello, how are you?

Bad news is my Padcast never made it to iTunes. I converted my audio to an mp3, and copied the URL into the spot on the iTunes store, where it says submit your Podcast, but it times out everytime. Does anybody have a solution for this ??

Long House Visit.

Last night I went with Tashia, Sharlene, and almost the entire SK Mador staff to a long house. Our night started off with the ladies of the long house meeting us at the door with bottles and bottles of rice wine. We were taught about the Iban culture, we danced, some sang kareoke, ate dinner, cut the bomboo tree down, and were even given gifts. It was definitely one of our best nights in Sarawak.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tech Task #3

I added Will Richardson to my Google Reader list, and read his blog "Why is it so Hard for Educators to Focus on their own Learning ?".

Will Richardson writes about how teachers are missing out on the fact that they need to focus on their own learning. He says we need to change our thinking so we can learn from the technology that's available to us, instead of just using it as a way to communicate.

US Students Project.

Did You Know?

We are doing a collaborative project with students in Malaysia. Mr. Jackson, our mentor teacher is working with them. We need to make a video entitled, “Did you know?” about our culture. What are some interesting things about our lives and where we live? It may be more difficult than you think! Often, we are so familiar with our surroundings that we don’t know what would seem weird to someone across the world. In order to look at our own lives more clearly, we are going to study it as a geographer would. Do you remember studying that way back in September?

We will use the 5 themes of Geography:



Human-environment interaction




Each group will study an aspect of life here using those 5 themes. You will do research and will come up with some interesting facts about your topic. You must find at least 5 facts for each theme. From the list you have, we will make a video just like the one Mr. Jackson sent to us for the students in Singapore. Each group will need to take photos to put in the video.


School Life

Social Life


United States


Tuesday: Each student will find at least 3 facts from each category. You may come up with one from each category from stuff you already know, but you must research to find the other two.

Wednesday: Groups meet to decide which facts to use. Decide what would make good photos to use. Take photos if possible.

Thursday: Start making videos. Students from Mrs. Dawson’s Digital Film Editing Class will be helping us.


You will be graded in the following manner:

Group Work Rubric: 21 points

Research: 20 points

Video Rubric: 20 points

Final Project. (email from Carey)

I love that you keep tossing ideas!  I am the same way and I think it
makes you a great teacher! I assigned some of my students to focus on
school stuff so I think it will be covered in what they are already
doing, but I will make sure. We are using Photostory so it isn't video
per se, but it should work. They are supposed to start the recordings
today. Scripts are written, photos are chosen. Should be good. It may
be a little long. I am going to try to get them to speak slowly, and
hopefully the photo references will help.

I have to say that personally, you have already touched me with this
project. I just about fell out of my chair when you said there wasn't
internet access at your school. It puts things into perspective when my
students are doing a slide that says that 9/10 students at our school
have iPods.

My students are LOVING this project. I attached the sheet that I used
for this project for them.

I hope next year when you have your own classroom that we can continue
to collaborate!


Mentorship & Final Project Update.

Mentorship & Final Project Update.

Where do I start? I feel that the opportunity to collaborate with Carey, in Virginia, has been priceless, and definitely the most valuable project I've been apart of since being in Malaysia. Thanks to my situation I've given her class the opportunity to discuss topics such as location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, and regions.

My students in Malaysia have been able to practice their English speaking and writing skills. I also moved them into groups and they had a chance to work cooperatively, which doesn't happen very much in Malaysian education. They've been learning about what schools are like in Canada, and the US. I've taught also taught them about our houses, food, weather, and sports.

Thanks to Carey and her class I've been able to test, and think of different ways to connect with classrooms around the world. We've Skyped, used Google Docs, Bloged, shared videos on YouTube, and emailed. Each one of these programs was brand new to me, but I'm feeling more confident with them, and I'll be comfortable using them in schools. With practice I'll become more efficient and more likely to try new technology ideas.

My mentorship has taught me how wonderful technology is, but at the same time I've spent many frustrated hours trying to download something, or make something look just right, and I wanted to toss my computer under a bus. Technology is wonderful, but I haven't been able to count on it like I should. I've had to rewrite more discussion posts because of a lost connection then I can keep track of. If the technology is available to you and it's reliable teachers need to take advantage of it. My school in Malaysia has three very old computers(that don't get used), and four laptops. They have working projectors in three classes, no internet, and to make photocopies they need to drive a school down the road and provide their own paper. Thanks to this experience, and my mentorship I've realized, and want everyone to realize how fortunate we are to have the technology we have. Don't take it for granted, and don't let it go to waste. The teachers in Malaysia would loose their socks if they ever saw a Smart Board, or a cart of laptops that could access the internet.

Collaborating with Carey has taught me that there's really no limit to learning, I have plans to do a project with my friends in Penang once they become teachers. Carey and I would also like to try a mentorship again. I think it's great for both teachers, it brings different ideas together, and we can learn from eachother. It also gives the students something fresh, and something to look forward to. I can't think of any disadvantages to teachers collaborating, teachers can always learn from each other and from each others students.

Based on the connections I've made with Carey and her class. Using the various forms of technology, and creating a project for her class in the US and my class in Malaysia. I would grade give myself 30 / 35.

Social Learning.

Social Learning.
There have been times, while being in Malaysia, that I have felt far away from home, from the U of R and from my comfort zone, but other times I felt like I was no further then a couple hours away. This is definitely because of the technology that is available to us. If there's anything I need to know it's not hard to find out. The the Internet provides the opportunity to connect people, connect classrooms, and connect communities. While being in Malaysia we've written to community newspaper, schools newsletters, while keeping up to date with friends and family. I've connected my class in Malaysia with a class in the United States, and posted my thoughts on my blog for people at home, Canada.

I've made great connections because of this class. Obviously Dean and Alec, E Comp. Professors, are great connections to have. Their classes are always changing and improving the technology in classrooms. I have had nothing but success with my mentorship partner, Carey Pohanka, we've learned a lot from each other, and from our students. Carey has even suggested that we continue to collaborate next year and possibly for years to come. And I've learned lots from my classmates, I don't think I have met any of them in person yet, but can't wait to meet them, and hopefully encourage them to participate in the Malaysia exchange. I've had great times commenting on each others blogs, chatting during class, and writing emails back and forth saying, “What's up with that?” I got a connection to school division from a classmate, they've emailed me their responses to survey questions, we've discussed final projects, and I think the most important thing is that my classmates have always been the first ones to tell me that something on my blog wasn't working. Thank You.

Being so far away and still staying connected seems to be one of the themes of my trip. And I hope by me being over here I've made others realize that potential to connect with other places in the world. I think teachers possess a social bond that helps us create these connections. I don't think these types of relationships can be found in many other professions either. Education can always be improved no matter where you are or who you are. Teachers don't always have to reinvent the wheel, we can learn from each other, then adapt to make things fit in with our classes and our students. I recently registered for Twitter, and know I know why the 455 class was going crazy about it. Twitter is the Hub for social learning. There is no limit to the connections you can make, and Twitter is just a single tool that can keep everyone together.

I'd like to think about the connections I've made in these four short months.

  • Principals and teachers at over 10 Malaysian elementary schools, and 1 American Elementary School.

  • Professors at 2 Malaysian Colleges, and 1 Canadian University.

  • Students from 3 different different campuses.

  • I'll be going to Australia soon to meet up with friends I met working at a summer camp.

  • My friend Sarah, who's on this exchange, has accepted a teaching job in Thailand.

As far as the social learning that I've done specifically in this class; I feel that whenever I've needed to find something out, or see an example of an assignment I've always been able to rely on my classmates. I hope that they keep posting to their blogs, and I would encourage the first and second year students to ask me any questions they might have in the future. Once you become a teacher I feel you then enter a social circle of teachers (A Teacher Club), and I've seen how the networking operates, teacher workshops & inservices are very social places. Passionate teachers always want to know what other teachers are doing in their classes, what's working and what's not, this is very important for teachers to understand. Education changes by the second, teachers need to change too. It's not acceptable to teach the same units for 15 strait years. I feel that is a habit of older teachers, and hopefully soon to be retiring teachers. We need to continue to grow, continue to improve, and continue to learn from each other.

I don't know about a grade for this section. 12/15 seems good, Based on the opportunities I've made to share learning, I never missed a class, and commenting to classmates (emails & blog).

Friday, April 3, 2009

FINALLY ! ! ! Tech Task 11.

I used ANIMOTO to create a 30 second video story about a bottle of Coke being attacked by a monkey. I love the effect of the finished product, but it took me almost 2 hours. I could make a better analysis of the site if I was able to use better internet. Downloading images and audio took the most time, and every download seemed to cancel at least once. The site was very simple to use, and I could teacher someone elso how to use it easily. The final product definitely looks more professional then anything I could make on my own, say using PowerPoint.

You could use this site in the classroom to let students build their own stories. You could provide them with a digital camera, or there was an option to use the pictures already on the site. There's also the option of using your music or music from the site.

At the end I had the option to remix the video, upload it to YouTube, or put it onto my iPhone, I don't have an iPhone. The ANIMOTO site knows where its users are going with their videos, and they make it simple to transfer them.

I would give the ANIMOTO site an 9 / 10.

Click HERE to see my video.

I also used One True Media. This site was very simple and easy to use, but I found if you wanted to use better effects in your story you had to pay for them. Like Animoto, One True Media allowed me to publish my video to YouTube. Uploading pictures was again very time consuming, but I'd like to use both these sites once I get home. I think I'll use one of these story telling web sites to make a presentation of all the things I've done on my trip. Click HERE to see my One True Media video. I liked this site because it didn't create a set length, like Animoto. When using Animoto I lost three of my pictures becuase the video could only be 30 seconds long.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Final Project Update.

I got an update from Virginia today. The students there are hard at work on their Did you know project. They are using Photo story with audio. They should be ready by Tuesday & we figuring out a time that we can share them with each other.

I've been thinking up ideas with my class in Malaysia. We have lots of ideas, now we need to practice our English.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Translation ?

One of my biggest struggles while teaching over here has definitely been communication. So far I've been using a translator with great success. I'll ask the class who speaks the best English, then have that student help me teach the class. It's even more difficult to teach in Sarawak because English is the 3rd language of most students, in Penang English was their 2nd. The native language in Sarawak in Eban, and then they learn Bahasa Malayu, the national language of Malaysia, and English is the third language students are taught. I'm teaching in a rural school, most students are very poor, and they speak no English when they are at home.

This is going to by my greatest obstacle when completing my Final Project. I've started making a list that describes Malaysia with the students in grade 5. A few speak very good English, some speak no English, and others are to shy to speak to me at all. I have three more classes to complete a "Did You Know?" video with teh grade 5's that will be viewed by the cooperating class in Virginia. I think my translators will be the stars of the film, but we'll have to see how things go tomorrow.

Learning English.

The Principal, or Head Master, has to teach at least 5 hours a week in Malaysian schools.

This is the standard when teaching English. Teacher reads, then students repeat twice, then teacher will ask the students to spell and they will repeat the spelling.


I went to a different school in Sarawak today. Every class from grade 1 to 5 had their room set up the same. "Slow Leaners" sat at the back, the middle learning level group sat in a group off to one side and the advanced group sat to the other side.

How do you guys feel about this?

What else do you notice?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sarawak, School Experience

I've finished up one week at SK Mador, Elementary School in Sarawak. It's been great so far. I've found myself hanging out in the grade 1 room a lot, which maybe a little odd because they know the least amount of English in the entire school. Today I taught them the colours blue and green and they can all spell them. Tomorrow I'm planning on yellow and red. School runs from 7:00 - 1:00, and the students only get one 20 minute break for a snack. There is no playground or recess supervision here, and there are no substitute teachers. If a teacher is away there is no replacement, the students just sit in the classroom and wait for the next class. The majority of the students live at the school and only go home on weekends. There's a completely different approach to teaching and learning here that I'm still figuring out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tech Task #12, ( A Good Video? )

Well, I was watching MTV a couple nights ago and thinking about this Tech Task, I don't know why. They were showing throwback music videos from the '90s. I enjoyed it for a while, then realized how bad the videos actually were, well compared to the ones of today. It's cleat that artists are spending more and more on their videos, and so I thought... Why Not? Let's see if these new aged videos incorporate the same elements we talked about in class of "What Makes A Good Video"

I YouTubed for a while, and decided to check out the Much Music countdown and make my review on whatever the #1 was. Turned out to be Danny Fernandes... Never heard of him. and the song Fantasy.

- The producer used lots of different shots and angles in this video. Almost too many.
- I liked how the video was telling a story as well as showing shots of the artist.
- They used different colours in the shots. Black & White when it was just him, then colours, Yellow & Gold, when there were shots of him with the girl.
- The video definitely looks better then the one's I was watching the other night.

- Well I didn't like the song, reminded me a little to much of Craig David.
- I think there were almost too many shot and angles used in this video.
- And I didn't like his hat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tech Task #15 (Google MAP)

I had some fun looking up some of the places I've been in the past year. The title I gave my map was "Places I've brushed my Teeth in the Last Year". I think I got most of them. I had a great time looking at the places I've been in Penang. Click HERE to take a peek at my map.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This was an assignment about SPACE for a comparative education class. These are my favourite spaces around the Penang campus.

Did You Know ?? (Video for Collaboration)

Hey Class, Check out this video and then think about your own "Did You Know?" video.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Class Collaboration Becoming International

I had my first day at an elementary school in Sarawak, Malaysia today. I will be visiting the K-6 school for the next three weeks. I've created my own "Did You Know?" video, while at the Singapore Zoo. My plan is to have the classes in the United States and a class in Malaysia create their own "Did You Know?" video. The videos will be put on YouTube and watched by the students. I'm hoping this will create questions and discussions in all the classes. There are so many differences between the two education systems. I'm hoping that this will bring these differences forward and teach the students something new. I know that there is a lot both classes can learn from each other.

Tech Task #14 ( PODCASTS ! )

I only wish I knew about Podcasts as soon as I got to Malaysia. I found my favourite show, PTI, on iTunes list of Podcasts. PTI, Pardon The Interruption, is a sports talk show where two guys argue about current sports topics. I found out that Terrell Owens plays for Buffalo now, and I have listened to them discuss all about the NCAA tournament. I downloaded 6 episodes as soon as I found them, then listened to them all night.

I also found an Educational Podcast about photography. I chose this one because I've been taking so many pictures since I've been over here I was thinking how great some of them could have been if I knew what I was doing with a camera. This podcast gives some tips and tricks to photography. It also teaches how to build your own frame and cut glass for your photo, something I never thought about doing before. There were many other Podcasts that I was interested in, and I won't hesitate to use Podcasts as resources in the future.

To get full episodes of ESPN'S PTI, click HERE. You can also find Around the Horn, and The Bill Simmons Report, both are sports talk shows. Bill Simmons is a huge Red Sox & Celtics fan and always has celebrity guests.

East Coast Malaysia.

Hi Everyone.

I've been without internet for a while. Last week we traveled to the east coast and spent three nights on Perenthian Island. We took a boat island hopping, snorkeled, and spent tons of time in the ocean and on the beach. We drove 5 hours and took a 45 minute speed boat ride to get to the island. We couldn't even compare the beaches on the east coast to the ones in Penang.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Using Blogs In A New Way

YAY !! I created a new blog. This blog is for an Indigenous studies class I'm taking we had to create a homepage. I used the space to introduce myself and make a list of resources that have common themes linked to topics we've discussed in class. I think it looks pretty good, and it was a lot easier then making the homepage on WebCT.

Feel free to leave your comments by clicking HERE.


We saw the giraffe when we were off-roading, it was pretty scary.

I hung out with that thirsty monkey on Friday at the beach. We shared a Coke.

Singapore means "Lion City" and this cool dude protects the city. The lion head is also a national symbol of courage, strength and excellence.

My Weekend In Singapore

Singapore was great, a definite change from the Island I'm living on. Singapore is a very young country, gained its independence in 1965. One of our cab drivers sad that Penang right now is like Singapore was in the 60's, Singapore is much more advanced then the rest of Malaysia. It is a very clean city, $500 fine for littering & it's enforced.

We spent one day on a beach called Sentosa Island, it is considered the most southern part of the Asia continent. We took a cable car to the Island, like at a ski resort. We spent most of the day on the beach, but traveled around the island on a tram, and visited an aquarium before we left.

We spent Saturday at the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. I saw lions, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, and the list goes on. You can take your own tour of the Zoo by clicking HERE.

Nothing was planned for Sunday so I walked to a beached only 20 minutes from the hostel I was staying at. My friend Tashia and I were walking along the beach when we heard a party going on somewhere. I had to go check it out. What was going on ?? The colourful festival of Holi. It's celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of 'good' over 'bad'. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other 'Happy Holi'. They also cover themselves in all sorts of colours, by rubbing coloured powder and paste on each other. A lady invited us in, gave me lunch, and explained what was going on.

Click HERE for some more facts about Singapore.

Class Collaboration.

Here are some of the notes that Carey took during our first meeting.

See how we run our classes
Interaction with students
How we use technology

teach a class in skype
collaborate on the wikis
Blogs (maybe)
Make an introductory video
delicious tag: geography6p
delicious username: jackseri
delicious username: capohanka
unit planning on asia
send out a survey - set an assignments

access to curriculum

Class times:
11:45 - 12:30

Monday, March 2, 2009

So You Want To Solve The Rubiks Cube ???

2nd School Visit !!!

This morning we went to visit the Almashoor Islamic Girls' School, it's a secondary school. The girls met us at the gate with drums and singing, while they took pictures of us and we took pictures of them. Then we went up to the media room where we were given a presentation about the school and its history. We got a tour of the school, from our own personal tour guides. Finally we were served lunch and treated to some entertainment provided by the students. Oh, then we signed autographs. haha. not kidding.

I made a list of a few things I learned during my visit.

- exams determine what stream the students study in. Students are either Science students or Art students. In each each stream they divide the students into classes depending on their test scores. Almost every student strives to be in the top class.

- While we were there so were the dentists. The students receive annual check up from optometrists and dentists.

- Every student is required to participate in 3 extra curricular activities. One sport, one club, and one service activity.

- The students play a huge part in running the school. The students are their own police (check uniforms and watch for bad behaviour). The librarian is also a student and students work in the school store (students are allowed to eat sweets during class because they think it helps them stay awake). Students are also responsible for decorating their own home rooms, and changing bulletin boards monthly.

- Teachers work out of an office not a homeroom.(men work on one side of the office and women on the other side) Teachers go to the students homerooms to teach them. The department heads get an air conditioned office.

- Students are split into 2 streams (Art & Science) and Math and Science are the only subjects taught in English.

- The students attend classes from 7:40 - 2:15. They start early because of the heat, and classes are only 35 minutes long.

- Students take 12 courses in a semester.

- They have a prayer room at school, because many students are required to pray 5 times a day. Men and women pray in different parts of the room, a curtain divides them.

- They students have their own ID cards, but they're like debit cards. You can put a balance on the card and use the card to buy meals and items from the store. The cards are also used to do attendance. Students swipe the card when entering the class, this shows they are present and is also linked to the internet, which parents have access to, so they can see if their students are attending class.

- There are never discipline problems, the biggest problems they face are when a teacher asks a student to do one thing they want to do three.


After visiting the war museum I guess the guys felt inspired to go paintballing. 20 guys came out for the fun. They called this a speed course, games would only last 5-10 minutes. We played games similar to capture the flag. My team went undefeated.

Penang War Museum

Saturday morning I went with a group of English students to an outdoor war museum in Batu Maung. This was a base camp used by the British during WWII, it was later taken over by the Chinese.

We saw were prisoners were kept, toucher chambers, ammunition rooms, meeting rooms, we even climbed through underground tunnels that were used as escape exits (top picture).

The museum was all outdoors, and no one has tried to recreate any of the scenes. The way I saw it was the way it was in 1939.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Same Video From YouTube

Hey, And here's the same video. But I figured out how to get it from YouTube. It really is amazing.

Maybe I'll make a video on the steps to solve the Rubiks cube for those of you who want to learn... But then you'd know my secret. & it's not peeling the stickers off.



I think I sound like a chipmunk, but who likes the sound of their own voice ??

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My 4 Pictures (Tech Task 10)

I used an Open Office Drawing program to, it's like power point to create my picture. Then I couldn't get it to upload from that program so I did a Print Screen, and pasted it into Paint. Once I saved it in paint I could upload it onto my blog.

I wanted to use pictures that could let people see what kind of person I am. I love to travel, I love working with kids, and I love having fun. The first two pictures were taken in Malaysia, the middle picture is from summer camp in the US, these should show that I love experiencing new things, and going on adventures. The bottom picture is me with my family, Mom, Dad, Nicole, and Kylee. The idea behind my picture is that no matter where I go I will always remember where I'm from and the people who care about me.

YouTube SUCCESS !!!!

After many hours of uploading, and downloading, and uploading, and downloading, and uploading and downloading my little video has found its way onto YouTube.

Honestly though, adding a video to YouTube is extremely easy, much easier then I had originally thought it would be. I made an account, then clicked where it said upload in bright yellow (you can't miss it), then hit video file. The video I had created was right there in front of me to select. Then of coarse was the fun of waiting for it to upload, many games of spider solitaire were played.

I will definitely use YouTube again and would not hesitate to have students in my class create their own accounts to be able to upload their own videos.

Here is the link to my video on YouTube !

Monday, February 23, 2009

My First School Visit

These are my friend Tiffany & Jainjing, two grade 6 students at an all girls school in Penang. I talked with the two girls for an hour this morning. The purpose of my visit was to collect data for a math assignment, but we talked about lots of stuff. The two girls were both very smart and math was their favourite subject. They are the oldest students in there school, and they will go to the secondary school next door for grade seven. They go to school from 7:30 until 1:05, along with the grades four and five. Grades one through three attend school in the afternoon from 1:30 until 5:00. They are taught by mostly female teachers, but they said there were five male teachers at the school (5 men & close to 50 women teachers). They don't mind wearing their school uniforms because they said they are used to them, and then they don't have to worry about what they are going to wear in the morning, there are just the two different uniforms.

As I mentioned the girls were very smart, they were doing work equivalent to grade eight work at home. They said they are taught in a very structured format. Their lecturer will gives them notes and examples, then they use manipulative's to solve practice questions, and they have an assignment from a text book to wrap up the class. Classes are only 30 minutes long though, somedays they'll have two math classes in one day. They have no homeroom and travel from class to class similar to high school, they don't have the same classes with the same students.

I had a great time visiting the school, I met the head of the school, the principal, and saw the field, the cafeteria, and inside some classrooms.

Mentorship Blueprints and Success on Skype !

I guess it was over a week ago already, but I used Skype for the first time to talk to Carey Pohanka in Virginia. It worked great and I've used it since to talk to friends in Florida, Texas, New Brunswick, and Australia. I'm hoping my mom and dad can get it set up so I can talk to them too.

I've started playing with some ideas of what I hope to accomplish with Carey's grade 6 Geography class. She sent me a link to the online text book they use, which is awesome, and I found a chapter that focuses on culture and religion in Southeast Asia. Perfect. That's where I am right now.

So, I want to put a mini unit together, three or four lessons, and teach the unit to her class while I'm still in Malaysia. Maybe a little crazy, but we're both ready to give it a try and I'm pretty excited.

So far we've set up a shared account using Google Docs, I've visited the schools online website, and we've used Skype. (plus email, but I don't think that counts anymore)


After many hours of uploading I'm am sooooo happy to finally have "My First Video" on my blog. My next project is to create a video to introduce myself to the classes I'll be partnered up with, and for anyone else who visits my blog. I'll get to that in the morning, I think the beach might be a good place to film, well better then my dorm.

Frustration # 1. Right now YouTube is blocked everywhere on campus. So I need to hit the drawing board, and I might have a hike ahead of me tomorrow. Is there anyway around such censorship ?

Frustration # 2.I don't understand why some websites work so well and others, like the U of R site, work so poorly. It's like someone knows that I need to get on these sites and is preventing me from doing so. I have not been able to get onto Web CT since I've been here, but I can write and post this blog with ease. I don't get it..

My First Video.

These are some of my greatest moments from the past two years. 1. Watching the Riders win the Grey Cup in Toronto with my best friends 2. Working at a summer camp in Maine, USA & making some great friends 3. Getting to see Elton John front row with my whole family 4. Traveling to Malaysia. Eating with my hands, and all the other things I tried for the first time

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On Sunday Feb. 22 two eighty kids came from an orphanage to play games with me and my friends. We played ten different games and there were scores involved. My team finished 2nd out of ten groups, we're pretty excited. Then we ate lunch.


Here I am absailing, or repelling. I'm using my right hand, as a break to stop myself from falling. The right hand controls the speed you want to fall. After I felt more comfortable I started to kick myself off the wall as I dropped to the ground. Wish we could do this in Saskatchewan.

Camping in Pangkor

I joined a group of after degree students for a four day camping trip from Feb. 17-20. This isn't an after degree student in the picture, it's the son of one of the lecturers who joined us. We were really busy. We kayaked, hiked, and repelled ourselves from a cliff (about 80 feet). We prepared all our own meals, lots of rice and fish. Our tents were pitched right beside the ocean, and the six of us (Canadians) gave swimming lessons to the locals. It's interesting that they live on an island, therefor surrounded by water, but most of them are very afraid of it. In Malaysia only wealthy families are able to afford swimming lessons.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thaipusam, Feb. 9 / 09

Thaipusam is a holiday celebrated in Malaysia. Thaipusam honors Subrimaya, son of Shiva and an important deity in southern India. The three-day festival is held in the month of Magha according to when Pusam, a section of the lunar zodiac, is on the ascendant. They give thanks to the gods by giving offerings, and by making their own sacrifices.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tech Task 8. TED (Technology. Entertainment and Design)

Reed Kroloff : Architecture, modern and romantic

Reed Kroloff describes architecture as the built form of our cultural ambitions. He wants us to think about architecture in a different way. He want us to see what we build as a sign of what we want and the ambitions we hold. An example he uses is making a custom house with all one of a kind pieces components and compare that to a cookie cutter house where an architect will manufacture 50 houses all the same. Why do we make 50 houses all the same ? Because it is cheaper to build 50 houses the same then 50 houses that are all different. We are capable of making 50 different houses, but we're lazy.

He also uses many examples from restaurants and explains that our surrounding's can make us feel good in places where we might not, therefore architecture provides us with feelings (ie. comfort) and entertainment.

Getting Started "Traveling Through the Dark"

"This presentation examines how to get started using educational technology through metaphorical analysis of William Stafford’s poem, Traveling Through The Dark. He looks at the obstacles teacher’s face, the process of implementing technology into the classroom, and the role that others can play in the process." (K12 Conference)

This is a presentation by Steven Kimmi. Steven talks about his feelings after his students had completed their state tests (a standardized test). Even though the preliminary results showed all his students passing, he didn't feel good about the situation. He said his instruction lacked excitement, and he couldn't find ways to engage his students. He wasn't happy with himself as a teacher.

He knew he needed to make a change to his teaching, he needed to implement technology into his class, he had to light a fire in his students. He realized that the world is changing, and it's easy to pick the easy way and be a teacher who doesn't change with the times, but he later says if you don't change you'll be lost.

At the end of his presentation he realized that its not about the end point, it's about everything that happens along the way. The journey is when the learning takes place, and you can't teach to a test.

"The best teachers don't expect kids to learn the way they teach. The best teachers teach the way kids learn" Dr. Pedro Noguera

He also mentioned


I agree with Steven's presentation. As a teacher you need to keep up with the world around you, that's changing everyday. By using technology in your classroom you will find it easier to engage your students. Teachers need to use blogging, pod casts, and videos in their classrooms to support their teaching. Children get excited about using technology, I've seen it in classes I've worked in. Teacher's need to be more concerned about how their students learn, because every student learns differently, and they need to teach to the student not the test.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have installed all kids of widgets already. I have a quick view of my hotmail inbox and my calender of upcoming events. I have also added Google Reader and Delicious widgets. These are great to have on my iGoogle page because I can look at so many different pages at once. One problem I'm having is that because there are so many widgets on my page it takes a while for everything to load, this also might have to do with a weak internet connection.

I have also added a weather application because I love to know how much hotter it is here then at home, and I have a dual clock that shows me the time at home and my local time.

I have added two countdowns, one is counting down the seconds until the Superbowl kickoff, and the other is counting down the days until my birthday, which also happens to be the day after I get back to Canada, and it's also the date I'll be all finished school !!!

I also have sports headlines, live scores, world news, and a converter(for temperature, weight, and speed conversions etc.)

I see myself using all these widgets in the future because they show me the information I check most frequently. As a teacher it will be important to stay updated on current events, and it will be good to have quick access to Google Reader, especially if you have your students blogging.

My Delicious Account

Malaysian Wedding

We got dressed up and went to a wedding today. We went to 3 different houses and ate all day.

Tashia's wearing a traditional outfit called a baju carang.

Answers To Quiz

I Will Post The Answers To The Canada & Malaysia Quiz On Feb. 1, 2009

Google Docs.

I just finished using Google Docs for the first time. I had to write an essay for another class and instead of writing it in a normal word processor I used Google Docs. Google Docs was constantly automatically saving my work, and when I was finished I was able to share it with a classmate so she could read it over.

I would love to have students write all their reports using Google Docs. They can easily share papers with each other for proof reading, and peer conferencing. When they are finished their assignment it's so easy to have them email it to me for marking. By having students use Google Docs in class I wouldn't have to haul papers around to grade them, I wouldn't even have to lug my laptop home with me. I would be able to access all the students assignments from any computer. Google Docs is easy to operate, and you'll save a tree.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Years !!!

Today is Chinese New Years ! ! !

Chinese Culture is rich in its culture and traditions . They have their own beliefs and New Year traditions. Although the Chinese New Year , Nian, lasts only two or three days including the Chinese New Year's Eve, the Chinese New Year season extends from the mid-twelfth month of the previous year to the middle of the first month of the new year. A month from the onset of the Chinese New Year, it is supposed to be a good time for business. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration material, food and clothing.

Quiz Comparing Canada & Malaysia

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Time Blogger

I am a fourth year education student at the University of Regina. I completed my internship last semester in a grade 4-5 split at Massey School.

This semester I am taking three online classes, which are the first online classes I have ever taken, through the U of R. I am taking a comparative education class with a professor at the U of R and we talk about the differences in education between Canada and Malaysia. I am taking two classes at the Institute Perguruan Persekutuan Pulau Pinang, which is a teaching college. I'm taking a mathematics class, it's taught in English, and a Bahasa Melayu class, learning how to speak the Malaysian language.

There is a 14 hour time difference between Malaysia and Regina. So when it's 6:00 Wednesday night in Regina it's 8:00 Thursday morning in Malaysia.

I'm excited to start a blog because hopefully I can use it to keep friends and family at home up to date on where and what I'm doing.

Living In Malaysia

Jan 21, 2009

I'm three weeks into the semester and I'm getting more comfortable everyday. The heat and the food were major adjustments, but I love both of those things here.