Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Podcasting and vodcasting workshop at Hougang Primary School ~ Singapore
February 25th, 2008

This morning I awoke early, reworked a powerpoint for today’s presentation and went downstairs and grabbed a taxi to Hougang Primary School. Wai Tuck, my friend at the school had emailed some teaching programmes from the school and I generated some ideas for possible podcasting scenarios in preparation for today’s podcast workshop. I arrived at the school at 7:30AM and Wai Tuck graciously organised some breakfast for me. I had spaghetti with a spicy curry, plus some juice, fruit and coffee. Singaporean schools have excellent canteens with a large variety of freshly cooked hot food ~ Chinese, Malay, Indian and even Western food. I had a nice curry with rice, chicken and dried anchovies for lunch as well. Beautiful!

Hougang Primary School is a neighbourhood school. It is surrounded by Housing Development Board blocks and sits opposite Hougang Secondary School. It is an incredible primary school. It is four storeys high. It is colourfully decorated throughout. It is has incredible facilities and includes an agricultural plot, live animals and birds, a fernery, climbing walls and even a modern, well-equipped dental facility. The technology facilities are also incredible. The students were polite, graceful, greeted me as they passed and made one feel most welcome. That is one thing I miss a great deal when I am back in Australia. I shall post a gallery of photographs tonight if I have time.

I conducted two podcast workshops today. One was held in the morning from 9:00AM to 12:30PM for those staff that taught during the afternoon shift at the school. Then I conducted a second workshop from 1:30PM till 4:30PM for those staff that taught in the morning. Singaporean teachers do work very hard. The school day starts with assembly at 7:30AM each day and completes at 6:00PM. There were about 90 participants in all. All of the participants were attending the workshop during their free time. The teachers often conduct and supervise extra curricular activities before or after teaching time and as a result the average teacher is spending approximately ten hours each day at school.

It was quite a task today. I covered GarageBand [pdf], Audacity [pdf], Quicktime [pdf], ProfCast [pdf] and Propaganda [pdf] during the course of the three hours. During the afternoon session I added Blogger and illustrated how easy it is easy to set up a vodcast using Blogger and a simple RSS feed subscription in iTunes. The upload did not go that smoothly however I think I managed to get the point across. I have added some photographs of the participants below. Resources utilised for the podcast workshop can be found at this dedicated page.

At the end of the day I went for a tour around the school and then took a number 235 bus to Hougang MRT and caught a train to Clarke Quay MRT. I walked up Eu Tong Sen Street to the Funan Centre, banked the cheque I received for today’s workshop and walked back to the hotel. Took a break, wrote this post and now I will grab a bite to eat. I am off to Nanyang Technological University in the morning to conduct a pre-conference workshop. Topics being covered tomorrow include WordPress [pdf], Swickis [pdf], bookmarks [pdf], Flickr [pdf], Twitter [pdf] and whatever takes the participants fancy in that wild and woolly world that is the read~write web.

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