Friday, January 29, 2010

Did You Know? 4.0

How is this relevant to KDU? To you as teachers and students?

21st Century Learning Tools for the Classroom

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Career Manifesto

1. Unless you’re working in a coal mine, an emergency ward, or their equivalent, spare us the sad stories about your tough job. The biggest risk most of us face in the course of a day is a paper cut.

2. Yes, your boss is an idiot at times. So what? (Do you think your associates sit around and marvel at your deep thoughts?) If you cannot give your boss basic loyalty, either report the weasel to the proper authorities or be gone.

3. You are paid to take meaningful actions, not superficial ones. Don’t brag about that memo you sent out or how hard you work. Tell us what you achieved.

4. Although your title may be the same, the job that you were hired to do three years ago is probably not the job you have now. When you are just coasting and not thinking several steps ahead of your responsibilities, you are in dinosaur territory and a meteor is coming.

5. If you suspect that you’re working in a madhouse, you probably are. Even sociopaths have jobs. Don’t delude yourself by thinking you’ll change what the organization regards as a “turkey farm.” Flee.

6. Your technical skills may impress the other geeks, but if you can’t get along with your co-workers, you’re a litigation breeder. Don’t be surprised if management regards you as an expensive risk.

7. If you have a problem with co-workers, have the guts to tell them, preferably in words of one syllable.

8. Don’t believe what the organization says it does. Its practices are its real policies. Study what is rewarded and what is punished and you’ll have a better clue as to what’s going on.

9. Don’t expect to be perfect. Focus on doing right instead of being right. It will simplify the world enormously.

10.If you plan on showing them what you’re capable of only after you get promoted, you need to reverse your thinking.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Di Malaysia, Guru Boleh?

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube at School: Bane or Benefit?

A recent article at Slate by Nicholas Bramble discusses the value of social networking for learning activities in American classrooms. He argues that schools should not ban Facebook and YouTube but incorporate these sites in class assignments.

Teachers, have a look at the article and the comments below it. Then comment here, or there. What are some of your experiences in your classrooms with student internet access on their mobile phones or laptops? Harmful or helpful?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Holland-Code Party

Use the Holland code to enrich your understanding of your personality in relation to possible career choices. Check out this interesting article entitled The Party.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He Wrote the Book on Teaching, Learning, and Research

Wilbert "Bill" McKeachie shares lessons from his 60 years of teaching, research, and learning in a 2009 interview here, He literally "wrote the book", the first one, on research-based teaching and learning in 1951. Teaching Tips has been updated 12 times, the latest one in 2007. (I own the 8th edition from 1986.) McKeachie also founded the first teaching and learning center in the USA in 1960 at the Univ. of Michigan. He was a psychology professor. From the above-cited interview of him at age 88, I've culled a few teaching tips...

Three Tips on Becoming a Better Teacher
  1. Genuinely care about your students and their learning. Learn their names. Spend time with them after class, over coffee or tea. Share your passion for learning.
  2. Talk about how to improve your teaching with colleagues and students. Elicit student evaluations about one month into the course rather than at the end. Discuss student concerns in class and be willing to adjust your teaching.
  3. Maintain enthusiasm for teaching by accepting new challenges, teaching new subjects, and staying current with student culture.

Professor McKeachie has inspired a countless number of teachers over his long career and shown us how to improve our teaching. I plan to buy the latest edition of his book asap, which, by the way, is now a collaborative effort covering many new topics.

People inspire people. Who has inpired you to be a better teacher? How so?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Glad to be new at KDU -- Dr Nelson

Hi, I'm Dr Todd Nelson, the guy in the picture with my beautiful wife and daughters. (My wife is with me in KL, but my daughters are in university in the US.) I'm just finishing my first week at KDU as a trainer in the Teaching & Learning Centre. Still getting oriented, learning the work environment, staff, students, and all the acronyms! Met my first batch of new students today in an orientation session that I led called "Loving Learning for Life". It was great to meet new students from three Southcentral Asian countries (Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan), plus one student each from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, and Zambia. And then, of course, all the Malaysian students! The whole lot are a great group of young people, seemingly eager to learn. I'm looking forward to my new role here in KDU's TLC. I'll be in the main campus TLC for January, then based at the Section 13 campus after that. Please feel free to come see me at either place.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quote of the Day

"A teacher is a person who never says anything once",
Howard Nemerov.