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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Backwards Planning for Success

Creativity and Assessment Process MShaw.jpg

This infographic is to help in my understanding and planning for promoting creativity and its assessment in the local schools in Hong Kong.

Looking first at the end goal – what you want your participants to know, understand, and be able to show, is nothing new.  The Understanding by Design Framework is effective pedagogy that ensures what you intend, happens.  (PDF resource available here)

The Primary Years Programme (PYP – International Baccalaureate) has assessment models that are extremely student-focused to ensure success and cater to the diversity of learners within any classroom.  These methods, again, not new, but valuable ‘best practices’ to strive for, formative being the most important for my purposes in the local schools of Hong Kong.  Have a look at the ‘Making the PYP Happen’ PDF.

Bloom’s revised Taxonomy (2001/1956), aids in task creation with a plethora of verbs that help target the Higher Order Thinking Skills, analysing, evaluating, and creating, so important to our students today.  There are many outstanding resources available online (one here).

Evaluating your current school’s assessment practices.  I’m looking at a blend of the valuable Confucian heritage cultural practices and influences in local schools and the above-mentioned methods to integrate the best of each.

Creativity in an ESL Environment.  Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity – 4 important C words for the 21st century classroom.  These are helpful hints on how to work with English as a second language learners with limited vocabulary and comprehension.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.



Upcoming Workshop

Associated with Blossoms Education Centre, HK, I am presenting a parent and children’s workshop entitled,

Tips to help Primary students learn English through free apps

Blossoms Talk Poster

I will be discussing the potential of mobile technology as a valuable partner in a well-rounded approach to education.

The following is the essence of the talk portion of the workshop, followed by various apps and their value to parents, children, and educators.  Please forward this workshop to anyone you feel would benefit from attending.  They need to register here.

Technology-assisted language learning for efficiency

People are interacting more frequently with their mobile device while going about their daily routines.  This highlights the level of engagement these devices bring, connecting people to their interests, and providing a powerful platform of diverse apps that allow for ‘on the go’ creating.  The most common use for mobile devices includes texting, gaming, photography, phone calls, mapping, and Internet searches.  However, these devices are capable of providing experiences that are active, engaging, and individualised for each user.

Technology-assisted language learning promotes the enjoyment, ease and mobility of their device coupled with a myriad of carefully selected apps that boost a variety of educational outcomes.  Typically, it begins with helping participants ‘open their eyes’ to the potential of their device in aiding learning in a personal and dynamic manner.

The ‘On-the-go’ concept is driven by these key goals,

the ability to work and learn from anywhere and anytime (Internet/Wi-Fi connection required with some apps)
the ease of transference of files and continuation of work on a variety of devices for flexibility and convenience
sharing of work, learning, and results
availability of apps for almost all curriculum and interest areas

Technology-assisted language learning involves a blend of traditional and 21st century digital skills aimed at offering a broad and balanced set of learning engagements.  Mobile technology can:

build skills in a playful, gaming environment catering to the individual
promote reading and writing in a variety of authentic context reinforcing skills of the future
translate spoken text into numerous languages for further development in written and oral form
instant feedback on the success of the participant
provide competitive-style activities which increase in difficulty and highlights errors for reinforcement
allow for meaningful interaction for collaboration beyond the classroom walls
promotes interactive problem solving skills that drive inquiry
encourages creating and multiple ways to share
provide constantly updated information which builds research strategies
motivate student-driven ownership over their learning

Carefully chosen apps that have a proven longevity and serve a variety of purposes are recommended.  Students become familiar using them in many subject areas, and can access them online, as well as on their computer, e.g., Cloud technology with Microsoft Word and Apple Pages.  A translation app will provide the ability for students to dictate words and sentences for easy development later from their device or computer.  Multimedia apps can allow for adding dialogue to photos for presentation purposes, e.g., Shadow Puppet.  Note taking apps aid in students making notes, diagrams, and scribing their collaborations with others on a variety of documents types, e.g., Penultimate and Skitch.

Students can benefit with a partnership with a mobile technology-minded mentor.  This association guides their interaction making the best use of the device and apps, and helping them to harass the full potential of their mobile device.  Preparing for the future involves training with the people who are helping to create the future.

That Perfect Graphic

Finding that perfect piece of clip art graphic can be a time consuming task for anyone pursuing a unique, personal look to their work.  There are numerous image sites that provide free graphics for a variety of situations, e.g., pixabay.  Another alternative is what I am sharing here.

Adobe has put out apps that allow for image capture and simple manipulation to create that perfect piece of clip art, in this case, vector graphics.  Using these two, free apps provide a new perspective to photo taking, learning about the best ways to capture the outlines of your desired shapes.  Once taken, you can use other apps to colorize or 3D-ify them, which I’ll mention later.

Finder Finder, Today at 5.48.02 pm

Adobe Capture

Finder Finder, Today at 5.41.12 pm

Adobe Shape

Both of these apps (available for Apple and Android devices) capture shapes for conversion into vector clip art.  Adobe Shape is solely for this purpose, syncing all creations with your free Adobe account.  This syncs your images for use with any Adobe computer apps you may have, e.g., Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Illustrator Draw or Adobe Photoshop CC, however Adobe Capture offers other capabilities for gathering colour schemes, shapes, brushes, and looks.  These features are especially useful if you are wishing to extract colour themes from photos for use within other works.  Brushes take on the shape of your saved vector graphic for adding creative brush drawing within Illustrator and Photoshop documents.

Here is an example:

I want to create a music sheet for students with a musical instrument graphic, a recorder.  Here is the original photo taken after using Adobe Shape.

JPEG image-A1C2164E37C8-1

Here are two examples of taking the graphic into Pages (Mac) with a simple title added:

Recorder Challenge 1This is the same image copied, and flipped horizontally, with a shadow added to it.

Recorder Challenge 2Here is the same image with an added yellow line around/within the recorder from another app for Mac called, Logoist 2.5 (a fantastic app).  The image was enhanced, then copy-pasted back into the original Pages document.

This gives you an idea of how you can use Adobe Shape and Capture ‘on the go’ from your mobile phone to your finished document.  You will never look at small trinkets and unique objects the same way now that they can be captured in these two apps.

Another way I used the apps was to draw an image on paper with pencil.  After following the routines with editing the picture, these apps smooth out your lines making your artwork look even better – I’ve very humble drawing skills, but this helped me realise my thinking.  I could fill the shape with another colour, or add 3D effects to it.

JPEG image-2F33525BF79E-1Download and have fun!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions.

Interactive English

English On-the-Go!, Digital Storytelling, and Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival Training

I am offering two tutoring courses in learning, refining, and polishing the use of English through a variety of routines, activities, and resources, including mobile technology.  This approach is tailored for each student, blending the goals of the child, parents, and school.  I provide a holistic method to develop the child’s positive self-image and practice meaningful reflection to nurture intrinsic goal setting routines.

Please contact me to set up a free consultation and trial lesson.Shaw English Courses Oct 15Hk Speech Festival Training Oct 15

Meet the Teach

As many fellow educators start a new school year traditionally in August or September, Meet the Teacher Night is a usual practice in many schools.

Here is a novel way to introduce yourself and your students with a variety of useful free apps that are mobile and can be completed from your device anywhere.  Within these apps, you can take photos, modify your appearance (Disney), and use intelligent layout tools to create very impressive products for your website, newsletters, or classroom walls.

This graphic is part of a mini-presentation I will be making at the upcoming TeachMeet with the 21st Century Learning International in Hong Kong on Tuesday, September 8th.

Meet Your Teacher

Tutoring Available

I am pleased to offer my services for all ages.  Please refer to the ad below.

Tutoring Service Marshall Shaw

Name that Christmas Tune

Christmas Challenge

How many of these Christmas favourites can you name in this famous Christmas arrangement by Leroy Anderson played by the Boston Pops Orchestra?

Here’s a list…

Joy To the World; Deck the Halls; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Good King Wenceslas; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Silent Night; Jingle Bells and Adeste Fideles

If you are interested in the background of this collection/arrangement, see here.

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