Thursday, 17 December 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hi All,
I am off on a holiday as this is the last day of school for this year. I am having a 'low tech' break which will be back to basics. I am going with my family to Lake Toba in North Sumatra to spend 3 weeks at my husband's village, Balige.

We will live in a traditional house and my plan is to ride a bike to the next village each day where I will learn to weave Ulos - the traditional cloth of the area.

To wish you all seasons greetings, I have embedded the player for our school's Radio Station. Please listen to Priska from Grade 10 sing 'O Holy Night' which I recorded live in the SWA Theater. Her voice reminds me of KD Lang. Incredible to know that she has only been singing on stage for the past year.

Subscribe Free for future posts Add this player to my Page

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Band Concert Video

This was one of the videos shown at the SWA Theater during the band concert yesterday. It was made by Grade 8.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Who Am I? Beliefs

In Grade 1 the students are making mini presentations about their beliefs. This is one example by Kayla. She is taking a photo of herself using the webcam to put into her Keynote.

The Grade 1 students are easily able to make multimedia presentations independently. All of this work is currently being collated and put into a digital portfolio. The teacher will burn each student portfolio to DVD to be sent home for the parents to see.

We decided to save the keynotes as a Quicktime movie so that parents can view them on a Windows computer as well.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The 10s Play Trini Dewi Theatre

Today the 10s played Trini Dewi Theatre at the soft opening. This is a video of the rehearsal.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


I made this Prezi last year. There has been a lot of improvements made to this app since then. Take a look at my presentation about 1:1 at SWA. Of course things at SWA have changed too. Our 1:1 laptop program now begins in Grade 4, Grades 1-3 share a mobile Mac lab and Kindy have sets of iMacs in each classroom.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Support Documents for K12 Online Conference

I will update this post as the support documents post for my K12 Online Conference Presentation.

More to come later ...

Saturday, 21 November 2009

My Facebook Results

I tried the "How Facehooked Are You?" quiz and my result was Good Facetime.

How Facehooked Are You?
Good Face-time You're on your way to becoming a Facebook addict, but you're not quite there yet.

How Addicted to Facebook Are You?

Created by Oatmeal

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Learning with Smartboard

Today 5 students from University Pelita Harapan visited SWA to learn about how technology is used in the teaching and learning process. When visiting Grade 4, the Uni students got to learn first hand from the kids how to use the Smartboard for Maths. They all agreed that using the Smartboard is really engaging and helps to consolidate concepts.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Interactive Storybook using iPhone/iPod Touch

I just found this today and thought that I'd share it here on this blog. SWA has just bought 15 iPod Touches to use as a part of our Digital Library resources and for class activities. I really like the way this syncs in with the story book holder. Next term at SWA I am planning an iPhone Game Creation EX (After school activity). I would like to share this with that group as something that we could try to produce as well.

Sky Diving via The Green Screen

Today the Grade 10 had some fun trying out Sky Diving via the Green Screen. Take a look at the demo video.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Blogging with MYP

As a part of SWA's new Netiquette program in MYP, I will be teaching a lesson a week in online learning. To get things started I have been teaching all the students to create a blog and getting them enthusiastic by customizing it with templates and widgets. Here is an example of one of the blogs using a beautiful template from BTemplates.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Playing Enter Zon in Intermediate Chinese Lessons

Here are some Middle School students at SWA playing the online role playing game 'Enter Zon'. It has become very popular as the game is quite engaging and encourages kids to immerse themselves in the language.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Google Safesearch - Updated Service

When you're searching on Google, SafeSearch, is a feature that lets you filter sexually explicit web sites and images from your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, SafeSearch helps you avoid content you may prefer not to see or would rather your children did not stumble across.

Today they launched a feature that lets you lock your SafeSearch setting to the Strict level of filtering. When you lock SafeSearch, two things will change. First, you'll need to enter your password to change the setting. Second, the Google search results page will be visibly different to indicate that SafeSearch is locked:

Even from across the room, the colored balls give parents and teachers a clear visual cue that SafeSearch is still locked. And if you don't see them, it's quick and easy to verify and re-lock SafeSearch.

To use SafeSearch lock, go to the "Search Settings" page on Google. For detailed instructions, check out this video:

I will teach my Parent class this afternoon about using this new feature.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Apple Remote Desktop Monitoring

Here at SWA we monitor all the Macbooks in the school using Apple Remote Desktop. It is truly a powerful tool that enables all teachers to see the student's screens whenever they need to. Our IT Tech Dept monitors every screen in the school. We use an Internet filter but Remote Desktop enables us to interact with students through chat, control the screen, view a whole class at once and lock the screen.

As a teacher I like to use it to guide the students in their work. I send messages about what they are doing to help guide the students more individually. You might argue that walking around the class has the same effect. For me Remote Desktop allows me to send my students off to work on a project in a quiet place away from the classroom. I don't have to worry that they will be off task as I can see their screen and know what they are up to.

On the technical side our on site technicians can help students with troubleshooting remotely. Just yesterday in Grade 3, one of the students was about to use iMovie to edit a documentary, only to discover that his laptop (from the laptop cart) had iMovie '08 instead of '09. I used iChat to contact our Tech Dept and they were able to install iMovie '09 remotely.

The photo shows the student waiting for the update with his screen locked via Remote Desktop so that he cannot press the wrong key during the installation. The problem was solved within 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Remedy - Jason Mraz - video by Yoga Gr 10

The 'Make your favourite song into a music video project' has been quite successful with this Grade 10 class. Here is one of my favourite videos that was filmed and edited by Yoga. This is his first attempt to make his own video. I think that he has a lot of potential.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Playing with the New 3CCD School Camera.

Today I tried out the new school video camera which has 3CCD technology. It is a shoulder camera and one that I've not used before. I took some shots of the MYP building and the main cafe in the Admin building. It really is a pretty place to work in.

21st Century Shopping Documentary

This documenary was made by a Grade 3 student. All the students have been learning about different money systems as a part of their latest inquiry. Liam created this documentary by himself. He was able to edit, add voice overs, music, titles, transitions and credits. This is only one example of the films that were created by Grade 3. Each student has made their own documentary. The students in Grade 1-3 share a set of laptops on a cart.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Trying Out Apture

Today through reading online I learned about a tool for sites called Apture. It enables the user to enhance the site up adding links to other media. It is very easy to use.
I have now added it to this blog. You can see the site page here Apture.
I can even embed videos which can be very handy.

Hey, this is cool - link to Twitter. Just click the link to see the pop out.

You can see a demo of this here - video of Apture. Which I embedded via Apture.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

States of Matter - An Inquiry

The Grade 2 students made an inquiry into States of Matter. Next they will each make a personal inquiry into reversible and irreversible changes. The results will be made into a digital presentation using Keynote and Photo Booth.

Digital Nation - the sequel to Growing Up Online

I have used the content from the PBS documentary "Growing Up Online" many times in my seminar presentations. Now there is a sequel that is currently being developed. This program is called Digital Nation.
Here is a quote from the website about its' content:
"Digital Nation is a new, open source PBS project that explores what it means to be human in an entirely new world -- a digital world. It consists of this Web site as well as a major FRONTLINE documentary to be broadcast in winter 2010. Our production team is posting rough cuts and raw footage on the web, and gathering input, feedback and stories from users as we go."
I really like the episode from Korea about game addiction. See it here Gaming Addiction. I will show that film at my parent seminar on violent digital games this afternoon.
I like the interviews with Marc Prensky about eBooks and find the interactive Digital Native Map (see screen capture on the left) truly fascinating.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Violence in Video Games - Parent Seminar

Virtual Monas - created by Grade 5

Take at look at the sophisticated work in this Sketchup model that was created by a Grade 5 student. This was done as a reflection exercise after a field trip to the real monument.

Using Sketchup in Grade 1 - Yes Grade 1!

Today the students in Grade 1 made virtual restaurants as the final activity in the current Unit of inquiry about Healthy Food. The students had already made food drawings using Kidpix and Keynote presentations about what's in their lunch boxes. Today we decided to be risk-takers and try using Sketchup. I was quite prepared to change the activity if it was too hard.

So what happened? Amazing things happened! I am a firm believer that if you can use technologies you should so long as the activity is age appropriate. Some teachers prefer to only use some programs with certain classes. I think that by the time the Grade 1 kids are in Grade 5 (when we usually introduce Sketchup) there will be new software developed anyway.

So we tried it. Only after a few basic instructions the kids were off and running. One boy had finished his base, roof and windows and then went ahead trying out the different fill textures. I told him to 'go for it' and not wait for the teacher.

Soon others were looking at his screen and asking for his help. Even the class teacher was learning from the students. Of course there were some kids that needed extra help and more time - but doesn't that always happen?

By allowing the kids to go ahead the task was quickly completed and the fast finishers were able to help out their friends (which they loved to do).

The results were very good and now the class teacher will repeat this activity during Maths lessons (connecting it with the current work on 3D shapes) to further develop their understanding and skills.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Open Office for Kids OOo4Kids

Today I tested OOo4Kids or Open Office for Kids. It was fast loading as promised and I found the interface to be easy to use with lots of icons. First go to the website to download it OOo4Kids For installing on the Mac just double click the .dmg file to start the process and then drag the program icon to your Applications.

There are four different options: word processing, drawing (which includes a mind mapping feature as you are able to add what is known as 'call outs'), presentations and spreadsheets. The fifth icon is for opening a file.

It is important to know that OOo4Kids saves in its' own format unless you choose the 'save as' option from the menu. There are many formats to choose from. I really like there is a one click button that allows saving as a PDF.

Here is the word processor. Easy and visual - just like it should be.

Here is the drawing app. There are lots of customizations which are really easy to use.

This is the presentations wizard. You can use templates or make your own. There are a lot of features here that allow children to make a truly multimedia show.

This is the spreadsheet feature. It is a much simpler version compared to Excel.

I think that this is a fast, easy to use software that has a nice price tag. Schools should be taking advantage of OOo4Kids as it is affordable and user friendly.

Podcasting in Grade 5

The learning in a 1:1 laptop program never ceases to amaze me with how sophisticated and deep it becomes. Here is a podcast created by two Grade 5 boys. The process was to explore the workings of one of the human body systems. Initially as front loading the students watched the Human Body episode from the Magic School Bus and then took one minute of the film and created their own voice over explaining the scientific process. An example of their work in that activity can be seen here in a previous post - Body System Video
This time we wanted to go further. The students at SWA use the LMS Studywiz and were able to upload their podcast images to Studywiz to compare with the other students in the class. They were also asked to draw one image using Artrage. You can download a free trial version here.

The above screen capture was taken from SWA's Studywiz. What you can see here is the title page of the podcast and the student responses. I love the comment "Extraordinary and elegant work" made by Hansen. The students turned their images (online downloads and picture book scans) into slideshow screens ready to be placed into their podcasts as it related to the information being presented. This makes the podcast a multimedia experience. By using Studywiz, the students were abe le to share their work and get feedback from their peers. This helped them to make decisions on what images they would choose for the finished work.
Here is one of the finished podcasts.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Digestion Lesson - 21st Century Style

This film clip was created by Grade 5 and has used parts of the Human Body episode from the Magic School Bus. The Grade 5 students were asked to take 1 minute of film and explain the digestion process by making a Photo Booth movie capture and inserting it into the film using the picture in picture technique. The students were asked to research the digestion process first, to develop the script for their voice over. As well as this the students added a sound track to fit with the action in the film. This clip was made by Ena. Each student in the class made their own movie.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

21st Century Learner Keynote

Today I am presenting as the keynote speaker at the Open University in Jakarta. I will present a session about the 21st Century Learner. This is a national educational seminar and the theme of the seminar is "The Impact of the Internet on the Younger Generation of Indonesians". I will speak in Indonesian today as this is my second language and the participants in the conference are all Indonesian speakers. I have embedded my presentation here for you to view via Slideshare.

Friday, 30 October 2009

21st Century Learning - Anywhere, Anytime

This film was taken on location on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. The Grade 5s from SWA went on a four day trip to learn more about how mining impacts the local environment. The students took their school Macbooks with them so that they could record their learning on location. Indeed portable technologies have empowered learning allowing it to be 'just in time'.

Antagonist vs Protagonist Comic

Here is a creative use of Comic Life in an English lesson. The students were asked to create a debate comic about Magellan. The students had to create both sides of the argument about whether Magellan was a hero or not. I think that this is a wonderful language activity that develops open mindedness. Click on the images to view them at full size.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

ICT Integration - Making it Easy

We have 5 lovely new iMacs in each of the Kindy classrooms. I wanted to set them up so that the students can use them independently as much as possible. Given that the users are as young as 3 years old I needed a strategy ...
First I changed the iMac settings for the desktop changing the icon size to the biggest one and increasing the text to 16pt.
Next I asked the Kindy teachers to send me links of sites or flash game files that they wanted to put on the computers. I also changed the dock so that only the most commonly used programs were shown there and I increased the size as well. A bigger size makes it an easier target for young users to click on.
Then I went into the requested sites and games and took a screen capture to be used as the icon for the game. This screen capture was dropped into Img2icn to create an icon for the shortcut.

You can see the Img2icn in the picture above. Download it here IMG2ICN

Next I dragged the link to the desktop to make a shortcut.

Then I right clicked on the new shortcut and selected "Get Info".

Next I took the newly created icon and dragged it onto the thumbnail until it changed the image.

Finally changed the name into something short and there you have it, a lovely shortcut ready for the desktop. Now all the students have to do is double click to go to that website. These shortcuts can be kept in a documents folder so that teachers can drag out only the sites to the desktop that they want their students to access for the lesson. It takes only a few seconds. This way the young students can use the iMacs much more independently.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Making a Music Video IT Lessons

Here are some initial results of the grade 10 IT project "Make a Music Video". I have uploaded Gillan's video to the SWA You Tube Channel. The footage has been captured by the students to match with the music track that they had chosen themselves. Each student in the class is making their own music video. This project was initially story boarded and then shot scene by scene.

A Teaser Video Preview

In these photos you can see the grade 10 students shooting the footage for their "Make a Music Video" project. So far the students have made story boards to match the song lyrics and record any special props or camera angle notes.

Here is an example from one of the Grade 10 students who has quickly put together their first shots for their personal music video. I really like the angles that have been used here. It shows their knowledge about camera angles and composition. Well done Yoga!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Tweetboard (Alpha)

I just installed Tweetboard on this blog. You can find it by clicking on the small tab on the upper left side of the blog. The link to the Tweetboard site is

This app allows the user to log in right on the blog to make a Twitter update or to check their own Twitter updates. As we know, fewer clicks makes the whole user thing more friendly. I personally love Twitter as it enables me to carry on conversations with people from all over the world. By choosing like minded people to follow, I am able to control what I have access to. Twitter for me can be inspiring, funny or informative. The secret is in learning to express yourself in 140 characters or less.

Mr Bean Speaks Chinese?

At SWA we have three languages, English (language of instruction), Indonesian and Chinese. Chinese lessons are taught by native speakers and streamed into beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. I have been working with one of the five Chinese teachers at school over the past week. Rachel wanted to use more technology in her teaching to make the lesson more engaging for her students. She liked the idea of teaching the students to dub a movie.

The original idea was to take a Chinese movie but I suggested to use something that the students are more familiar with, like Mr Bean. Mr Bean has very little dialogue which makes it the perfect choice as students can create a voice over that explains what is happening rather than trying to match with a person speaking.

I asked the class of Grade 8 students to choose three different Mr Bean movies so we could download them from You Tube. The students chose the Camera One, The Baby One and The Swimming Pool One. The students were immediately engaged and started to ask for vocab that they didn't know.

We asked the students to take only 2 minutes of the clip and to add voice overs but this was allowed to be creative and not necessarily follow the original video. After that the students changed the Macbook International settings to ITABC for Chinese characters and created subtitles.

The end results have now begun to be published on the school LCD screens at the school cafes for the other students to watch. I have uploaded Marc's video here for you all to see. Chinese is a second language for Marc and I think that he has done exceptionally well. This video was shown recently in a shopping mall at the 21st Century Learner Seminar hosted by iMac (Apple) in Indonesia. It got a lot of attention and drew a big crowd.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Simple Technology and Determination - A Winning Combination

I wanted to share this TED Talk that has inspired me so much. William Kamkwamba also keeps a blog
I think that the quote in the screen capture below from his blog is really moving as is makes me realize just how much I take the Internet for granted.

It makes me wonder 'What can I do to help connect others to connect to the www? Today I visited a government school seeking to raise the quality of its teaching and learning program. The school had two computers, one laptop and one Windows PC for the whole school. The PC was locked up in a cupboard along with a wifi router. It was clear that this computer is rarely used in the teaching and learning process. The school has Internet access but not even the principal had an email address. It made me realize just how much I now take for granted in my current school. It was a sobering moment ...

My eBook has had over 10,000 views!

I just got an email notifying me that my eBook, "Movie Making for Kids" has had over 10,000 views. Take a look.

Myebook - Movie Making for Kids - click here to open my ebook

Saturday, 24 October 2009

21st Century Learner

SWA students presented at Summerecon Mall Serpong today as a part of the iBox seminar on 21st Century Learner. Two Grade 5 students presented about making a virtual Monas (Indonesia's national monument) and two Grade 8 students presented their Mr Bean film clips with student created voice overs in Mandarin Chinese and Chinese character subtitles. The students were fantastic. Many people could not believe that the work was student made. The students made a quick demonstration of the process which had the audience mesmerized. The presentation drew a big crowd in that shopping mall. The first minute is in Indonesian for the benefit of the audience.