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.