Monday, February 20, 2012

writeup for eduLab Physics

eduLab@AST will be a place where teachers with good ideas for an ICT-enhanced lesson or curriculum can come together to collaborate

What is GOOD? Example of eduLab@AST-Physics.

eduLab@AST-Physics lead by Loo Kang, an ETD physics senior specialist who support teachers to develop-prototype computer models (Christian, Esquembre, & Barbato, 2011) and the teachers themselves can test-bed learning activities with their lesson ideas while ensuring pedagogical soundness with a suitable augmentation with real life experiments. The complete lesson packages are shared freely on eduLab@AST-Physics and  to enhance scalable across schools to benefit the wider learning community, much like the PhET simulations (PhET, 2011), except that Singapore teachers are designing the computer models too

1.    MOE-ETD-ETC Education Technology in curriculum.
A new Education Technology in curriculum (ETC) section in ETD structure of the re-organization lead by DGE Ms Ho Peng, articulates a nexus in ETD to connect CPDD and ETD. Working as one MOE, leaders in ETD, CPDD and AST expressed interest to scale up computer models in Singapore Physics Education in all 167 Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges that offer Physics.
2.    NRF-MOE eduLab001 project
National Research Fund (NRF) & MOE funded NRF2011-eduLab001 Java Simulation Design for Teaching and Learning project (Wee, 2010). A project consists of 5 schools, River Valley High, Yishun Junior College, Serangoon Junior College, Innova Junior College & Anderson Junior College to pilot lesson packages developed from January 2012 to December 2013, lead by the same group of innovator-teachers.
3.    Across levels and schools.

1.    Computer models on vernier caliper (Hwang & Wee, 2012b) and micrometer (Hwang & Wee, 2012a) have been implemented in the Secondary 3 curriculum through teacher leadership of  Lead Teacher Ning Hwee Tiang @NJC IP-programme , after attending a workshop on Physics by Inquiry with Simulations Design for Learning (Wee, Lee, & Goh, 2011).
2.    Computer models has also spread to the primary school curriculum @ACS junior  through the teacher leadership of Mathrew Ong and Sze Yee, eduLab designers who saw the ability of using simulations as learning environments where students are empowered to play, explore and form personal theories about the physics in the computer models as oppose to memorizing facts and watching PowerPoint presentations.

How do teachers work with Loo Kang
Through face to face meeting, Loo Kang got teachers excited about customizing (Wee & Mak, 2009) computer models and through emails, discussions on NTNU Java Virtual Lab  (Hwang, 2010) and schedule meeting at teachers’ school, research on the these lessons are enacted with the teachers as leaders of their own intervention.

Exploring the Process of Scaling Up (Dede, n.d).
Depth –
  • Open Source Physics gives teachers educators an authoring toolkit to create quality and useful computer models (Esquembre, 2010) and video analysis and modeling Tracker (Brown, 2011).
  • Key to improve educational practice of lectures, too much teacher talk etc, through computer models blended with real equipment or laboratory, supports learning 24/7, anywhere, anytime.   
  • EJS has been used by professors and school teachers since 2003, the community has grown with NTNU Java virtual lab and Open Source Physics comPadRE.
  • Open Source EJS and tracker and also open source the computer models is the real game changer, as compared to others so called innovation learning programme, need for game server, lots of money to sustain the practice to other schools etc.
Spread –
  • A global diffusion framework, licensing curriculum materials and computer models under creative commons attribution or GNU General Public License Version 3.
  • Though expertise is require to create new computer models, to remix and share lower the burden of technology specialists
  • run on Java runtime standalone without the need of bandwidth resource, constant monitoring of students' mouse movement etc.
  • no password, no student accounts to manage, anyone can contribute.
Shift –
·         Teachers can be owners of the computer model they help to improve on, Loo Kang has remixed and own 65 computer models spanning O and A level Physics which is continually improve upon, TheMattHatter  and engrg1 is journeying to port over to primary school curriculum space.
Evolution –
·         Yes, users and teachers continue to feedback to Loo Kang on ways to improve the computer models, and the computer model or lesson has a life on its own always evolving :)