Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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.


  1. Eric,
    Can you provide some links to some of the work you've done with the students?

  2. Wow, Eric! It sounds like your semester in Malaysia was not only beneficial to you, but your students were learning a lot about our lives and culture. It's too bad that Internet is so displaced there, but you really were a great addition to our class. When are you coming back to Canada?