Another dot in the blogosphere?

I am back from my short family vacation to Georgetown, Penang. I was last there in November 2015 and enjoyed the trip so much that we paid it another visit.

While my wife and son chilled the school out of their systems, I wandered around the city with fresh Poké stops and gyms telling me where to go.

This is what part of the city looked like in game.

Georgetown, Penang, in PoGo.

And these are just a few of the cat-themed murals that litter the place.

#Cat got your tongue? No, cats caught my eye in #georgetown #penang revisited.

A post shared by Dr Ashley Tan (@drashleytan) on

The art was not the only expression of creativity in the city. I noticed how some shop owners set their public wifi passwords — a sourdough place used “fermentation” and a book-and-cafe place used “nookienook”.

I also appreciate Apple’s simple but quality-of-life wifi connection feature — only one of us had to type in a wifi password and connect successfully. After doing so, the phone would prompt the first person to share the password with everyone in a trusted list to connect to the same wifi network. This process is illustrated here.

I do not know if Apple has a name for this feature. If it does not, it should call it Easy Peasy.

I reflected twice on getting a mobile connection while travelling in Malaysia. The first time I relied on a Digi prepaid SIM; the second time I went with Maxis Hotlink.

I just returned from a short trip, this time with neither a mifi device and nor a Malaysian prepaid SIM card.

Local telco providers have made it a bit more convenient to get connected overseas. Emphasis on “a bit“ and not on “convenient“.

If you are on a postpaid plan, you might have the option of applying for a data plan without removing your sim card and not breaking the bank. However, these options are not likely to be as cheap as getting a Malaysian SIM the moment you land in a Malaysian airport. The telco kiosks for such prepaid SIMs are typically positioned right before you hit immigration counters.

A better deal might be had with a Singapore prepaid SIM. I use StarHub and I could use my allotted local data overseas. I ensured that I had:

  • enough purchased data
  • activated the data roaming option in the app (see screenshot below)
  • activated the data roaming setting in the phone
  • ensured the APN was set correctly (see screenshot below)
  • at least $3 in the prepaid app’s wallet

Data roaming setting in StarHub prepaid app.

The prepaid app provided clear instructions and automated the APN setting. I only found out the minimum wallet amount after receiving an SMS from StarHub once I arrived in Malaysia.

$3 minimum wallet amount required in StarHub prepaid app for roaming.

Your telco might disable the tethering function. This means that you cannot share the prepaid data plan with other devices. This was the case with my prepaid plan with StarHub. However, I discovered that the tethering was enabled once connected to Malaysian providers. Your mileage might vary with the overseas country’s telco service you connect to.

It has taken years for us to reach this “seamless” state and I very much appreciate it. I can still remember a fellow traveller and I getting anxious about getting connected in Denmark just four years ago.

Note: I have not been asked to describe or promote the service by StarHub nor have I been paid by the telco to do so. I am sharing my experience as a reminder of my travel needs and to help others in their decision-making.

As well intentioned as this tweet is, its brevity does not allow for caveats or elaborations.

When wisdoms are distilled into 140, or now, 280 characters, they hide the thought processes that generate them. They also create potential misconceptions. I address just two of the latter.

While it is true that the issue is not consumption vs creation, far too many learners still spend far too much time at the consumption end of the continuum.

This creates more problems in teaching, e.g., teachers trying to engage their students by getting them to consume what they present instead of empowering students to create.

Emphasising curation is not wrong, but this is nowhere near as important as content creation. Curation is mostly collating the work of other; creation is making your own.

If no one creates, what is there to curate? We should not just depend on the goodwill and effort of others. We should make and share openly and responsibly.

‘Nuff said.

Tags: , ,


Video source

I enjoy Matt Pat’s video essays because he puts a lot of work into them. The fact that they are easy to digest belies the complexity of their content.

In this latest instalment, he used the recent (and frankly overdone) examples of Yanni/Laurel and Brainstorm/Green Needle to illustrate how subjective our perceptions can be.

At the very least, we should take away these concepts: Our senses are easy to fool and what we perceive is not the same across the board. These are fundamental concepts in rigorous teacher education programmes. And yet we try to school students with singular approaches or adhere blindly to standards.


Video source

This SciShow Psych video explains why we seem to forget where we put things. We do not register events that are mundane and when we operate on autopilot.

The video is also a reminder that our brains are designed to forget. It takes conscious effort to first pay attention and then to try to remember. So if we try to understand the learner and learning, we might do better as a teacher while teaching.

This EdSurge article says that The Key to 21st Century Classrooms Isn’t Tech. It’s Evolved Teaching.

No, not quite.

“Evolved teaching” is important, but that could apply to any other issue, e.g., inclusiveness, individualisation, socioemotional learning, etc. Nonetheless, I agree that “evolved teaching” is necessary for meaningful, seamless, and powerful integration of technology.
 

 
However, there is no simple, reductionist answer to something as complex as designing and implementing a “21st century classroom”.

Just what is a 21C classroom?

Certainly not just the timeframe. There are classrooms that are years ahead and still far too many that are decades and even centuries behind. All these are in developed and developing countries.

Why is the phrase delimited by a “class” and a “room”?

Yes, lessons take place in a classroom, but learning extends outside of it. Follow learners over a period of time and you will realise just how much and how often learning — technology-enabled or not — happens outside the four walls.

The title reduces the issues to a single key and lock. There are many keys for many locks. The locks will keep changing shape and so must the keys we forge.

I also take issue with reducing the importance of technology and how it evolves. If there is no new and rapid development of technology, there is also no pressure to change.

What readers and writers of such articles need to focus on is evolved mindsets. Mindsets shape attitudes, attitudes shape behaviours. Behaviours like teaching, for instance.

Complex problems cannot be reduced to simple lock-and-key statements. They sound good as rhetoric, but they cannot and should not be given as advice or implemented as policy.

http://edublogawards.com/files/2012/11/finalistlifetime-1lds82x.png
http://edublogawards.com/2010awards/best-elearning-corporate-education-edublog-2010/

Click to see all the nominees!

QR code


Get a mobile QR code app to figure out what this means!

My tweets

Archives

Usage policy

%d bloggers like this: