Category Archives: education

On tutoring

Awwww! Someone found OnTutoring useful!

From http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/a/o/aog103/Tutor%20Manual/feedback2_mxplan.html :

This set of instructions for the tutor to take into account when
tutoring is very helpful and lets the tutor know that it is not all
about lecturing the student in the session. The student should speak
more and the tutor should let the tutee set the agenda, this is how
the tutee will really learn the subject matter. Also the tutor must
keep a positive attitude so that the tutee stays positive about the
subject and does not just give up. I chose this list because it is
more descriptive than the first list, and it is more of an agenda
helper while the last list was overall ideas that should come natural
to the tutor.

I can use this list because it entails that the tutor will carry out
these tasks so that the tutee is comfortable working with me. I think
it is important for every new tutor to know that this is very
important. You want to make the student feel welcome in the tutoring
center, and you want to feel comfortable and personal in a session.

I would remove the parts that mention reading/writing because I am a
math tutor, but overall this is a great list that every tutor can use.

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Random Japanese sentence: A spot of shut−eye は、また猫のいねむりともいわれている。猫は1度に2〜3分しか寝ない癖があるからだ。 “A spot of shut-eye” is also called a cat nap because a cat is in the habit of sleeping only a few minutes at a time.

Education brainstorming

Big thanks to Cindy A. Trinidad, Roy C. Nicolas, Dominique Cimafranca, Charo Nuguid, JM Ibanez, and Clair Ching for sharing their education-related insights with me. They helped me think about what I want to do after graduation. =)

Cindy shared how seminars on teaching technique greatly helped her
manage her classes. She runs an end-user training company that caters
to children and adults. This is how her new hires learn how to teach:

  1. Take a course even if you already know the content. You need to
    learn about technique.
  2. Practice and play around with the product until you feel comfortable with it.
  3. Practice teaching the subject to your teacher, who can give you
    feedback on unclear or incorrect things.

We all think that teachers have to spend a lot of time walking around,
keeping an eye on students’ progress and making sure everyone can keep
up. =)

Cindy also shared with us her thoughts on the need for good textbooks,
and the abysmally low pay for writing such!

By asking questions, Roy helped me narrow down what I want to do.
We came up with something along the lines of:

  1. Find out who my market is and what they need. I’d like to focus
    first on finding highly-motivated teachers in private
    technical/vocational schools and colleges. I want to find out what
    they need.
  2. Profit! ;)

Heh. Well, must figure that out sometime.

That isn’t the only way, though. Dominique told me about Positive(?),
an initiative to help improve computer science education in colleges.
(Whee! I’ll just piggyback on that.) Charo told me about Voice of
America(?) and that one can actually do quite a lot without major
financial backing.

Anyway, here are the main insights:

  • I might be able to turn this into a business. A business means I
    might be able to attract other people to get into it.
  • I might also be able to get this funded by philanthropists. To do
    that, I need a good program.
  • I can start small. Let’s change my corner of the world first.
  • Motivation is key. We spent a bit of time talking about how to deal
    with closed-minded people and people who don’t want to share their
    knowledge. I’m in favor of going after people who don’t need to be
    persuaded to share their knowledge. I want to find people who can’t
    help but teach.
  • Mentoring is very important, but most teachers are on their own in
    classrooms. Waah. Maybe there should be something like
    Toastmasters, but for teachers… ;)

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The Power of the Human Spirit

Irine Yu pointed me to the speech delivered by Intel Excellence in Teaching awardee Dr. Josette Biyo:

When your job becomes your mission, your primary concern is giving your best in everything you do. Knowing that you have contributed
significantly towards the creation of a product which can make a difference in your company and the larger community is reward in itself.

We can make a difference no matter who or what or where we are. If we know _why_, then the _how_ follows. =)

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Outreach: CompSAt I.T. Literacy Training for Public School Teachers

In Manila and want to help out?

Check out Mark Punzalan’s post:

CompSAt RnD has an I.T. outreach project entitled “I.T. Literacy
Training for Public School Teachers” (what a mouthful!). This is a
project with DISCS and ACED (Ateneo Center for Educational
Development). Through this project, we aim to provide grade school
and high school public school teachers with I.T. literacy training to
help them teach their students about computers. You may not be aware
of it, but a lot of public school teachers have little experience with
computers, and the average Ateneo student probably knows a LOT more
than they do.

We NEED volunteers for the training sessions. Training sessions will
be held every Saturday from 8-12 in the morning at F-227, starting
this Saturday, Dec. 10. DISCS will provide the curriculum for
instruction (simple stuff like using Word, Excel, the Internet, etc.)
and possibly refreshments.

We only need two volunteers every Saturday. We’re sorely lacking in
volunteers. If you want to help out, please contact me via email or
mobile phone (see my contact details below). We will be having a
meeting this Wednesday at 4:30 PM, venue TBA (probably at Faura). You
can drop by even if you don’t notify me, but it’d be better if you let
me know beforehand. Feel free to ask your friends to help out. More
volunteers are very much welcome! :-)

Thanks, and have a nice day!

Mark C. Punzalan
Vice President for Research and Development
The Computer Society in the Ateneo
[email protected]

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E-Mail from Mark Punzalan

Reflections on the lab

([[[[2005.11.23#2]]]] [[[[teaching#5]]]] [[[[TeachingReflections#23]]]])

I discussed the grading scheme for the Decision Support Systems class
today. One of the good things about being a teaching assistant is that
you get to see work by lots of students, turning up a lot of good
ideas in the process. <grin> I showed off a project that got
perfect marks from me because it was well-thought-out and creative.
All students worked on a Microsoft Excel decision support system for
investments. (Yes, I spent a small chunk of my life showing how to
make Microsoft Excel do strange things.) I particularly liked that
project because the group made an effort to adapt the interface to the
personality of the user, and they also coded a simulation that
randomized the ups and downs of each investment according to its
volatility. That was cool. =) Nice graphs, nice user interface.

As for project 2: I’m a little concerned about the spread of the
class. Some of the students have finished their project already. They
either leave the class after my explanations or continue working on
their other projects. Others are just now asking me about little
details I thought I pointed out a number of times in the past few
weeks. Hmmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with attendance or
seating arrangements, or the fact that I taught a slightly different
mix of things in a slightly different way each time I went over the
basics (thrice!). The students who experimented a bit on their own
seemed to do very well, but then students like that almost always do.

Learning designers

In College Matters… Sometimes, Kathy Sierra writes:

Maybe there should be third-party “learning designers” who you pay to plan and choose the best options and put together a perfectly tailored custom program from a variety of learning vendors (instead of throwing all your learning eggs into one school basket) that still includes some general education, but in the way that makes the most sense for that particular student, and uses both online, distance, and *some* face-to-face learning.

Hmm. Now there’s a fun idea. I like tailoring things to fit people’s individual needs, and I’m crazy about teaching…

祖母が生きているうちに、電話もコンピューターも一般的なものとなった。 In my grandmother’s lifetime, both telephones and computers have become commonplace.

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