Tuesday, March 30, 2010

World's Most Beautiful Libraries

Majlis Guru-Guru Cemerlang Workshop (25/3/10)

On March 25th, TLC facilitated a workshop with 50 teachers from the Majlis Guru-Guru Cemerlang Wilayah Persukutuan. It was a time of fun, interaction and learning devoted towards enhancing and enriching the educational experiences of our students.

The teachers started off with an activity which made the point that our physiological and emotional are largely (if we believe so) within our control. This helps us to observe and manage the states of our students to ensure optimum learning during class.

This was followed by interactive lessons on public speaking, doing set inductions (starting a lesson creatively) and learner-centered pedagogy. The teachers showed their creativity and determination in producing sparkling posters presenting why and how learner-centered education can be achieved.

Overall, 'twas a wonderful day. Congratulations to everybody for being a great sport! Check out their gorgeous master-pieces below (smile):


Plagiarism Facts

Did you know that....
  • 80% of college students admit to cheating at least once?
  • 52% of 1,800 students at nine state universities had copied several sentences from a website without citation?
  • More than two-thirds of 2,100 students from 21 campuses copied or plagiarized work done by another student?
  • 15% of high school students admit to obtaining a paper from a term paper mill or website?
  • 50% of high-school students surveyed by Rutgers University see nothing wrong with cheating?
  • 90% of students believe that cheaters are either never caught or have never been appropriately disciplined?
For more information, check out this webpage by SR Education Group.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Village Connections

Check out a new site called Village Connections, "a place where people are invited to share their thinking about ground-up development in an interdependent world. Like a village square, it is a place to meet, talk, exchange views and concerns, including with academics and policy makers."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Web 2.0 Marketing for Educational Institutions - What Should Happen Before

In considering an e-marketing strategy oriented around Web 2.0 technologies for educational institutions, it’s best - in line with the theme of Seth Godin's Meatball Sundaes - to go back to the overall ‘structures’ and ‘culture’ of the organisation and work from there to the gadgets and tools (e.g. blogs, twitter, facebook, the works). The spirit of a visionally transformed corpus must come first, then the flesh of technology will follow.

It would help to use Godin’s principles cum questions for Disney (see p.223-6 at the end of the book) :

1. Direct communication between producers and consumers – after students fill up the forms or make an enquiry or initiate the ‘first contact’ with XYZ College, do they hear from it again in a way which isn’t intrusive and which in fact brings delight? Do these potential and on-going clients receive anticipated, personal and relevant messages (a Godin mantra)? And, of course, do they receive it in the medium they prefer (e.g. some may not like email)

2. Direct communication between consumers and consumers - the New Marketing is consumer-driven i.e. ultimately the students are the Marketing Department because their Word-of-Mouth is more powerful than all the brochures and flyers. What is XYZ doing to encourage student reviews, student influence, student sharing? This goes beyond ‘friend2friend’ promotions and must go deeper to ‘unofficial sharing’ (see no. 3 below)

3. Amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities – how much does XYZ respect the influence and voice of everyone who visits our sites, of our students, our partners, our clients, etc.? Does XYZ ‘host’ any platform or space as a way of allowing and encouraging peer reviews of educational products? Is XYZ seen to ‘amplify’ the voice of the average man on the Web?

4. Stories spread, not facts – what’s the ‘story’ of XYZ's next educational offering? What’s the ‘story’ of its new lecturers, its next events, its latest branch? What will people be spreading after they attend or are exposed to its latest function, PR event, communique, etc.? (Note: here is where YouTube, Facebook and Blogs could be most effective, because every upload is a potential story – colleges need to give people a reason to include it into their RSS feeds)

5. Extremely short attention spans – how is XYZ tackling the fact that students and consumers nowadays have extremely short attention spans? (Tip: send shorter and more frequent messages instead of longer and less frequent ones); this is also where content must always catchy, helpful and worth remembering! Again, people need a reason to ‘come back’

6. Tuning in to ‘spare time’ – why would the average student want to think about XYZ college in his/her spare time? What would make the college attractive/engaging enough for young adults to want to make room in their minds for XYZ marketing/community material after classes?

7. The Long Tail (mass customization/diversity) – what is XYZ doing about the customization of education? Instead of giving ‘fixed’ educational offerings to students, can they be allowed to choose what and how they wish to study? Can XYZ raise the level of student-selection and student-design of programs?

8. Google and Search Engine – apart from manipulating search engines such that XYZ ‘shows up’ more often, can the college offer great experiences which many students will talk, blog and/or leave updates about thus leading to more serach-result pages with XYZ at the top? What can the college do to encourage more people to hyper-link to the college’s website or blogs? (Tip: provide online education!)

9. Triumph of the Big Ideas – what redefinition or reinvention or re-conceptualisation is XYZ pioneering? Is XYZ known as an innovator, constantly coming up with new products to get people talking?

10. Shifts in Scarcity and Abundance – what is so rare that people intuitively value (e.g. clean open and creative space)? What’s so abundant that people hardly bother anymore (e.g. classes!)? How does XYZ College stack up in the abundance/scarcity ratio and is it focusing on improving this ratio?

Godin’s point is that unless the above are dealt with effectively, unless the ‘spirit’ of the organisation has changed, simply adding more gadgets or Web 2.0 tools may be nothing more than a fa├žade (which people can very easily ignore anyway). So it’s best to get the substance and culture right – the technology will take care of itself.

The substance is key; the gadgets merely the key-chain.

Myths that Retard Real Learning

Below is a presentation designed for new KDU College students. To start, just click the arrow at bottom of the box. If the Prezi takes too long to load (a gray bar moves across the bottom of the box), you can use the link directly below the box and go to the Prezi site and see it there; it loads faster.)

One of my high school aged daughters used to claim Myth #1 when she studied with the TV or iPod on, Facebook, Hotmail, and MSN tabs open on her computer, and study notes in her lap. "Daddy, I study better this way. I like to multi-task." Now I'd like to say, "Busted!" and point to John Medina's brain research, published in Brain Rules. (But she's doing very well now in college, anyway, thank-you-very-much.)

Would you like to argue for or against any of these so-called "myths"?

Check out Brain Rules for some humorous and helpful presentations on learning and life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Conference Checklist

Notice how seminars, workshops and conferences are always OVERFLOWING with bottled water and sweets? What do they think the participants are? Dehydrated kids visiting the doctor?

What's supplied in abundance reveals what's prioritised. If H2O and Hicks rule the day, it would suggest that thirst and bad-breath are the main concerns of conferences. 

Yes, of course there're loads of pencils and paper but, in my experience, they're never nearly enough per participant. I gotta steal from the other (usually vacant) seat.

So what else, at 'international conferences', could be in supplied in cart-loads? What, if made more generously available, would encourage learning, interaction, and so on? How about:
  • blogging facilities
  • mind-mapping gadgets
  • coloured pens (for the visual-heavy folks)
  • post-its' (and I don't mean merely for the 'group activities')
  • analytical templates (to guide those who've yet to figure what they're doing at the place e.g. what are the three most helpful things of this talk? etc.)
  • free-flow coffee (for the insomniacally-challenged, of which there usually many at workshops)
  • white-boards and/or flip-charts all over the walls (which everyone is encouraged to use)

Keep the list going. Most importantly, use it the next time you organise a get-together for like-minded people.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mr Jon's Edu Apps

Some fun and fantastic Web 2.0 applications for use in teaching and learning. Almost a one-stop resource place!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Top 25 Web 2.0 Applications to Grow Your Business

Google Calendar, Campfire, Freshbooks, Proposable - the list by Neil Patel goes on.