24 Jan 2008.
We, Hafiz and I were asked to join the SMART training at IPIK Cheras.
The greenery that surrounds IPIK Cheras
From the looks of it, the training might be an annual event for EP-Tech Malaysia. Anyway, we were there for experience. We went to see how the training was conducted for such specific audience. We were part of the team to understand the training process. The training was done in 2 sessions, both morning and afternoon. Each session has 2 different groups (36 per group).
From my observation, both trainers were similar yet different (discuss later).
Let’s talk about the morning session which lasts for 3 hours : 0830-1130. The morning session had 4 attentive and supportive lecturers observing the session. One of them is Ms.Aziah, the coordinator for this workshop.
Mr.Kuruvilla got the most claps from the audience for being the first to volunteer.
Another method to write. The lecturer wanted to experience. Then experience was narrated to the audience on the spot. Kudos for the sharing approach.
It started off with the usual pre-test procedure.Pre-test is a form of knowing your audience first or in short, audience analysis. In this case, unfortunately, the function of the pre-test was not fully utilised. The information from the pre-test were not adapted during the training. Sometimes, during training, we tend to forget the full function of an item. Or was there another function which I missed out.
While the pre-test was conducted, we were busy installing the software in most of the students’ laptop. The comments for “why being a teacher” were noble and passionate such as
–Teaching is a noble profession,
–Influence from the parents,
–Would like to impart knowledge,
–I love kids.
Then Fenny moved on to introduce what is SMARTBOARD.
It was a 45 minutes interactive-all-rounder (if there is such a word) training. Explanation was clear enough for the audience to comprehend. Clear with step-by-step instruction and repetitive if some were still vague. The lecturers were also immersed in the training. They (the lecturers) will be asking further questions. There were time allocated for student-volunteers for certain activities. We heard lots of OOOhhs… and AAhhhs… everytime Fenny showed them amazing new items one can manipulate with the SMARTBOARD.
Boy, were they having fun! This group was serious yet lively. Student-volunteers have full support from the audience including the lecturers.
The audience was indeed attentive from the beginning to the end. After the talk, it was the group activity session. Instructions from Fenny were:-groups of three, name your group, a limit of 5 slides, 5 minutes presentation time, the content-activity designed using the smartboard as a tool, preparation time: 30 minutes. Those without laptops proceed to the computer lab to do their work.
It was fascinating to see how the students design the activity with the basic compressed newly received knowledge. Looking at the prior knowledge, most students are well-versed (scale of 4-5 – quick scan from pre-test) with the Internet, usage of Microsoft Words, PowerPoint. At the same time, judging from the laptops, and the items they had on the laptop like p2p software, computer games, I would say, this group is OK with technology.
Now, time to present. Despite the fact that Fenny did not mention anything about target audience or learning objectives per se, each group had one slide with the target audience, and learning objective(s). Something to take note of. By the way, lecturers did not say anything about it.
The first group presented a simple Maths activity for lower primary.
After presenting, there were feedback from Fenny and yours truly. The feedback for this activity was the numbers were too small for kids to see plus the graphic book picture would prove to be a distraction for kids.
Next group is Haiku. Another activity on Maths.
For this group, we had the lecturers to give feedback. The most verbal lecturer was none other than Mr.Kuruvilla.
The following group had another feedback from Mr.K. It would be better to put fish instead of stars. Objects that are used must have relations with one another. Make sense.
The next group, Successful Park, had the activity which didn’t quite match the LO.
This group created the activity for Standard One kids!! Look at the amount of words use for one activity. 100% words. Small and big words. Small in the sense of size and big in the aspect of vocabulary. 7 year-old kids would be turned-off.
J.A.C.S was the next group.
This group was able to apply what Fenny has used in her presentation. The application of covering the screen. Reminder: This method was not taught during the training.
The third last group.
The group illustrated on spelling activity. First, they show what are the stationery which will be taught. Next, rearrange the letters of each stationery.
The second last group.
Level:pre-school. Activity:How to write alphabets. A simple yet effective activity.
The final group.
Feedback (from Mr.K)-They could have used the interactive dice. Get rid of the LOVE graphic. No connection. Take out the leaves background. Again, no relation. It also proven to be a hindrance. Cannot see the number “1” clearly. Colours too light.
To sum up morning session, the students had proven themselves quite skilled in using the smartboard. If given the time, they could have designed marvellous lessons. Of course, the content and the context part need more practice and understanding and exposure.
-End of morning session-