Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MC Online and MediaCorp host LuV Chinese Sharing Session

A prevalent challenge faced by many Chinese language teachers in Singapore is garnering their students’ interest in learning the language. To counter this problem, Marshall Cavendish Online (MC Online) and MediaCorp recently organized a sharing session for Chinese teachers on how the integration of Infocomm Technology (ICT) in Chinese lessons can effectuate more interesting and engaging lessons for students. MC Online and MediaCorp’s joint collaboration - LuV Chinese - an innovative multimedia curriculum that instills interest in learning Chinese was the highlight of the event.

The session took place on 21st September at The House of Tan Yeok Nee Conference Centre (Chicago Booth University) and was hosted by MediaCorp artiste, Guo Liang. Held for the third year running, this year’s session saw a turnout of 99 teachers from 35 secondary schools.

The session kicked off with guest speaker, Ms Wu Jing from Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) who stressed the importance of new media literacy in classroom teaching and the methods of integrating multimedia in Chinese lessons to stimulate students’ interest.

Ms Wu Jing gave an illuminating presentation on using multimedia to improve classroom teaching of the Chinese language

This was followed by a sharing of experiences by 3 Chinese teachers on their usages of LuV Chinese in classrooms. Representing Catholic High School were Ms Leong Se Yean and Mr Ng Seng Hong who provided a comprehensive lesson review on LuV Chinese.

Mr Ng intrigued his audience with his insightful lesson review of LuV Chinese

Ms Chen Qiao of Hillgrove Secondary School next illustrated how LuV Chinese’s informative videos could improve students’ composition skills.

Ms Chen Qiao emphasized the benefits of LuV Chinese videos in improving writing skills

Rounding up the sharing session was Ms Lei Hong of Yishun Secondary School who explained how she used LuV Chinese to choose “The King of Chinese” amongst her students.

Ms Lei Hong closed the session with her engaging summary of LuV Chinese and its appeal to students

A joint development by MC Online and MediaCorp, LuV Chinese encapsulates a thrilling blend of discussion-based online activities and enthralling videos underscoring Civics and Moral Education themes. This exciting digital curriculum aims to spark students’ interest in learning Chinese and help them become more confident speakers.

After the sharing session, Mr Jasmond Ng, MC Online’s Assistant General Manager of Sales and Marketing took the stage to highlight the new contents available for LuV Chinese’s Secondary 3 and 4 syllabus.

The newest additions to our LuV Chinese contents are revealed

The event ended on a lighthearted note with a lively quiz, followed by a networking reception where participants were also treated to animated product demonstrations.

Teachers became children again as they vied amongst themselves to answer the quiz questions

The teachers enjoyed the LuV Chinese product demonstrations and were eager to try it out themselves

MC Online would like to thank MediaCorp and all participants for making the event a successful one.

For more information on LuV Chinese, please drop us a message at info@mconline.sg or visit http://www.mconline.sg

A big thank you to MediaCorp and our guest speakers

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WrITers, IgnITe! Awards Ceremony 2012

Young minds were set alight once again at this year’s WrITers, IgnITe! national primary school writing competition. Jointly organized by Yuhua Primary School and Marshall Cavendish Online (MC Online), this annual essay writing competition is supported by MC Online’s Writing Buddy and took place on 24th May 2012 at Yuhua Primary School.

Eager students registering for the writing competition

This year, 62 Primary 5 students from 17 primary schools put on their thinking caps and authored creative essays based on the situation “While chatting with your schoolmates online, you noticed that some of them were making fun of a particular boy in school. They also said embarrassing things about him that you knew were untrue.”

With the prevalence of cyberbullying in today’s digital age, writing an essay centred on this salient theme brought students’ attention to the dangers of online oppression and also underscored their sense of civic responsibility. This essay competition not only challenged students’ literary and creative skills but also helped them grow to become concerned, socially aware citizens.

Students from various schools excitedly awaiting the start of the competition

Students settled down in the computer labs and prepared to type away

The prize-giving ceremony was held on 13th September 2012 at Yuhua Primary School. MC Online wishes to congratulate all participants for their creative merit and outstanding efforts.

The prizes and certificates are ready to be awarded to the deserving students

Students eagerly anticipated their turn to shine onstage

The top 3 essays:

1st place: Ho Jun Yong Nicholas of Woodgrove Primary School
2nd place: Charles Lim Jun Hao of Woodgrove Primary School
3rd place: Anthea Low An Teng of Yishun Primary School
To read the top 3 essays, please click here

Congratulations to our top 3 prizewinners who won themselves a netbook (1st prize), camera (2nd prize) and iPod shuffle (3rd prize)!

Charles Lim Jun Hao, 2nd prizewinner (left) and Ho Jun Yong Nicholas (right),  1st prizewinner

Anthea Low An Teng, 3rd prizewinner

Merit award winners included:

Patricia Tung of Admiralty Primary School
Natalie Pak Shi Min of East Coast Primary School
Fan Chiang Kai Hsin of Lianhua Primary School
Chia Jia Nuo Daniel of Nan Hua Primary School
Kowsalya Ganesan of Northland Primary School
Lohitha Muddu of Northland Primary School
Wong Man Shun of Northland Primary School
Alyssa Savier of White Sands Primary School
Lim Zhi Yu Kimberly of White Sands Primary School
Kelsey Law Kar Tse of Yishun Primary School

Consolation award winners included:

Ang Tze Xin of Fernvale Primary School
Donovan Yong of Henry Park Primary School
Jeffrey Xie Fulin of Nan Hua Primary School
Zhang Zizhong of Qifa Primary School
Charlene Ngon Jing Ru of West View Primary School
Shamine Pang of White Sands Primary School
Joylyn Tan Yong Ying of Woodgrove Primary School
Natasha Lee of Xinghua Primary School
Yupar Tin Win of Yishun Primary School
Laura Jiang Feng Yan of Yuhua Primary School

Congratulations to all our participants!

Participants enjoyed reading the top 3 entries of the competition

MC Online wishes to thank Yuhua Primary School for hosting the competition and prize-giving ceremony, and is grateful for all their efforts in jointly organizing WrITers, IgnITe! 2012.

Thank you Yuhua Primary School!

WrITers, IgnITe! Top 3 Essays

Ho Jun Yong Nicholas
Woodgrove Primary School

1st Place

I sat nervously in my seat, squirming about as beads of perspiration formed on my neck. My fingers were jittery as I was fiddling around with my green pencil case. Audible footsteps could be heard and Mr Lee, my austere form teacher, emerged into the classroom, using all his might as he carried a stack of heavy papers in his hand. “Class, I am giving out your English papers,” he barked. Oh dear. English was my worst subject, and I did not study for the examination. I had been scoring straight ‘C’s for the semester, and if I scored terribly again, I would be in hot soup with my cantankerous mother.

“Peter,” my fierce teacher called. My heart started palpitating wildly as I thought, “Oh no, he’s staring at me sternly. What if I did terrible?” However, once I approached the teacher, he broke into a wide smile and announced that I had scored 92 marks, the highest in class. I was sceptical at first, but once I too a glance at my paper, I let out an enthusiastic “Yahoo” while jumping up and down maniacally, forgetting my dignity. At last no more scolding, no more lecturing, no more caning! “Ring!” the school bell went and I stuffed all my belongings in my haversack and dashed out the door at breakneck speed.

 When I related the good news to my mother, she patted me on the back and whispered, “Good for you, son!” As a reward, I was allowed to use the computer for as long as I wished. “Hmm, what’s there to do?” I muttered. Out of the blue, a suggestion struck out of my brain like a lightning bolt – a chat room! Of course, why didn’t I think of that? I immediately turned on the computer and clicked on the icon for the Internet. As I could not contain my excitement any longer, I kept making a mistake typing the web address. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I was in and logged on.

 I met my classmate, Adam and at least five other classmates of mine online and wasted no second to chat. We began having a heated discussion about our exam results and other frivolous things about school.

As my hands flew over the keyboard typing a reply, Gerrard, one of my classmates, sent me a suspicious web link that caught my attention. Out of curiosity, I decided to just click on the link, without bothering to find out if it contained any viruses. To my horror, it was a website to vote Vincent, one of my classmates, to be the biggest weirdo online. The webpage read in big, bold letters that Vincent was a coward and a liar and also was pea-sized. There were also countless vulgarities up there. A mixture of three expressions came over me as I continued to read the article. I was so afraid that I lacked the guts to continue reading, so I hurriedly closed the window, logged out from the chat room and shut down the computer. I plopped myself on the sofa and think out of perplexion, “Why would these people do this to Vincent?” I felt myself getting angrier and angrier that I was going to throw a tantrum, but fortunately I simmered down and tried not to let those wild thoughts run in my head.

The following day in school, during recess, I spotted Vincent sitting on a bench in a corner, sobbing away. I made my way next to him and asked with concern, “What’s wrong, Vincent?” In between sobs, Vincent told me that he had been bullied by Gerrard and his sidekicks most of the time and when he reported to Mr Lee, Gerrard and his gang suffered a heavy punishment, and started writing nasty things about him as a part of revenge. I assured him I would stop that before it got out of hand, and accompanied him to see the principal.

Once we reached the office, I told the principal every detail about what had happened. The principal told us he would discipline Gerrard and his gang for their actions and would go look for them now. We found him and his gang at the school gate, drinking alcohol. The principal towered against them and boomed, “Hey! Why did you cyberbully Vincent?” Gerrard’s shoulders began quaking and stammered, “ I…I…” “You don’t have to explain, go to my office now!” thundered the man. “Y…Yes, sir,” the group of six boys mumbled and followed behind him meekly.

Vincent watched as the principal and six boys disappeared, then became as happy as a lark, cheered and thanked me profusely. He even gave me a high-five that almost took off my hand! I smiled and returned the high-five. Putting his hand on my back, Vincent offered to buy me a drink at the canteen after school today. I politely rejected his offer, and my greatest wish for now was that the boys would be severely punished.


Charles Ho Jun Yong
Woodgrove Primary School

2nd Place

“It was the previous Sunday. I had gone to Facebook, a social website, to meet up with Darren and Jane. We were going to chat about school matters over there. We met up in the private chat room Jane had specially created for the three of us. We mainly chatted about homework and school life. But when Darren changed the topic, they suddenly mentioned John (the victim of cyber bullying),” I recounted.

I continued,” Jane and Darren then told me about how they met. I also realized that both Jane and Darren avoided John. It appeared that John, Jane and Darren were in the same class last year. John had constantly told on them and Jane and Darren were scolded by Mr. Lee, their last year teacher, for their mischievous acts. Naturally, they had a strong hatred against John and wanted to get back at John greatly.”

I stopped to catch my breath, then went on with my recount,” They decided to get back at John by emotionally hurting him. They had planned to spread nasty rumors about him, which I have no idea of since I left the chat room in the middle of the conversation. However, I believe that they did forget to erase all trace of evidence and probably forgot to permanently delete the chat room. So it is possible to find out what they were talking about. “

“Thank you very much Sonia. You were a great help to helping us in this case. If you would now please log on into your Facebook account and go into the chat room, please?” praised and requested Mrs. Wong, the form teacher of my class. Mr. Lim, the disciplinary master who was investigating the cyber bullying case, had placed his laptop on the wooden table that was in the middle of his personal office.

With a few clicks of the mouse, I was already into my Facebook account. There, I opened up the chatroom, which I correctly assumed that Jane and Darren had forgot to erase. There, Mrs. Wong, Mr. Lim and I gathered enough evidence to confront the culprits of this fifth cyberbullying case of the year.

The next day after class, Mrs. Wong called up Jane, Darren John and I to Mr. Lim’s office. When Mrs. Wong opened up the door, there, Mr. Lim greeted us with a stern look. “ What do we have here. What do you have to say for yourselves, Mr. Darren and Mrs. Jane?” They had denied having done anything wrong. However, when I opened up the Internet browser, and signed in my Facebook account, I presented them with the definitive evidence, which to be more specific, the chat room.

Realising that they were caught red-handed, they confessed to their actions. They had spread the rumors and meekly mumbled an apology. However, the culprits were not let off so easily. They had to spread the message that everything they said was false and having spread the rumors to many students, who in turn spread the message to many other students, this was not an easy task. They still had to accomplish the task, by crook or by nook. And they did it.
After solving the fifth case of cyber bullying at Woodlands Primary School, Mr. Lim and I let out a sigh of relief. Another case, solved!

Anthea Low An Teng
Yishun Primary School
3rd Place

Let it go. This is what I learnt from this experience. My best friend died, all because of me. I learnt to forgive myself. At first, I felt so guilty that the waves of pain and guilt that had only lapped at me pulled me under. Slowly, I began to break past that wall of pain and guilt.
Monday: I got called names on Faithbook.

Tuesday: Many untrue things were said about me.

Wednesday: I was bullied during recess.
Thursday: My refuge, drugs.
Friday: Feels better. I a-

As I stared at Kelsey’s diary, the half written Friday entry, I cried.
I cried.
The events that led to this flashed through my mind, playing over and over again in my head. It was my fault! Had I not passed that snide remark about Kelsey off as teasing, Kelsey would not have left this world. What happened? You might be wondering. Hear my story.

“Ring!!!” The school bell sounded. I dashed home immediately and plopped my bag on my bed. While waiting for the computer to start, a series of thoughts tumbled over one another. Have my friends tried out my new creation? Do they like it? I hope so. Faithbook. That’s what I created. I signed into my account and boy, there was a number of people online. I felt on top of the world. My creation was a success! I scanned through the lists of names of people who signed up for Faithbook to support me. He was really a goof friend no matter how fat he was. But who knew that my creation would be a weapon of destruction, a weapon that would end my best friend’s life. A chat room popped up, it seemed that my classmates had already made their way though Faithbook. After some casual greetings, we talked and joked around.

Out of the blue, Faith asked us, “Don’t you think Kelsey is very fat? Gabby, why do you even want to be friends with him?” Kelsey saw it and sent a sad face. Jasmine even mentioned that he probably ate ten meals a day and that he never bathed and had body odour. I knew that was not true. A hot tide of anger raised through me. In the end, I decided to pass it off as teasing. On Tuesday, the same thing happened. Kelsey was mocked and jeered at on Faithbook again. I felt useless. They were using my creation to bully my best friend. During the next few days, Kelsey always wanted to hang out with me. This time he did not even tell me anything.

I felt so hurt.
I felt all alone.
I felt like a useless friend.

When Faith and her gang said mean things about Kelsey, I did not even do anything to defend him. He was probably angry and hurt. It was all my fault. Finally on Thursday, Kelsey showed up, but he look different. His eyes had dark circles all around them and he looked really weak. Kelsey was really quiet throughout the whole day. He did not tell me anything. He looked so tired that I decided to leave the questions for another day. Who knew that there would be no tomorrow for Kelsey?

On Friday, Kelsey was writing his diary. He was about to write, “I am feeling much better.” When he slumped to the floor with a loud thud. He never finished his diary entry. When Kelsey’s mother, Mrs. Audrey, heard the loud thud, she rshed into his room and found him half-dead. She was close to hysteria. She laid his head gently on her lap and stroked his hair, there was no time to seek help and she understood that, all she wanted now was to spend her son’s last few moments with him. Memories of Kelsey since he was a baby flashed though Audrey’s mind. The joy of being a mother, Kelsey first steps. The sight of his angelic smile and lovely eyes. But now, the sight of Kelsey’s agony-etched expression twisted a knife deep in her heart. “ –M-Mum, I-I l-love y-you. I’m sorry.” With that Kelsey closed his eyes for the last time. Thud. Thud. Thud. Kelsey’s heart stopped beating, never to beat again. “He’s gone. He’s gone. He’s gone. Kelsey’s gone. My Kelsey’s gone.” Audrey screamed inside her head. She broke downed and let go off Kelsey.

Kelsey would always be remembered by me and everyone as the kindest, most encouraging and most helpful boy they had ever met. At his funeral, I explained how Kelsey had left a message for me. About how he had been bullied on the internet with the harshest, meanest words that anyone could use. He was also bullied physically. The pain he had felt was excruciating, he felt like he had been trampled by bulls, punched by a prize fighter, ran over by a bus and submerged in acid but all at one go.

People die. Things get stolen or rot away and perish. It is time to move on. Let it go. There are some things and even people that we cannot hold onto forever. Life is like a thin string. Full of knots, but smooth at times. At the same time, life is like a bubble, it can pop at any time, anywhere. Treasure your friends and family.

Monday, September 10, 2012

MC Online at Marshall Cavendish Education Global Conference 2012

The incandescent dawning of the day brought forth a dynamic start to the annual Marshall Cavendish Education (MCE) Global Conference 2012. The event was held from 29-31 August and was hosted at Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel. As an integral constituent of the Marshall Cavendish organization, Marshall Cavendish Online (MC Online) was undoubtedly a part of this prestigious event. The conference was a cosmopolitan melting pot with 92 international delegates comprising of teachers, curriculum specialists and government representatives amongst others. The attendees came from 14 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Namibia, Panama, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam.

International delegates eagerly awaiting the start of the conference

The illustrious event was graced by eminent luminaries such as Señora María Jesús Honorato, Curriculum Coordinator of Chile’s Ministry of Education (MOE), Mr Tn Hj Suhaila Abdul Karim, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Brunei’s MOE, and His Excellency Luis Fernando Danús Charpentier, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile.

South American delegates with Miss Lee Fei Chen, Times Publishing Limited’s Head of Publishing (top row, centre)

The 3-day conference featured talks and presentations illustrating the 21st century education landscape with a focus on Mathematics and Science curriculum. In addition, the event also included a highlight of the essentialism of Infocomm Technology (ICT) in the educational practices of today. Congruent with MC Online’s core principles, the beneficial role of ICT in achieving the core competencies of 21st century learning was also underscored.

As a significant purveyor of superior e-learning services and solutions both locally and internationally, Marshall Cavendish Online (MC Online) was indubitably a prominent feature in the conference. In tandem with the main focus of the event, MC Online’s digital curriculum for mathematics, Math Buddies, was showcased to an enthusiastic crowd who lauded the concept of online learning in educational practices. The delegates were intrigued by Math Buddies and did not hesitate to sign up for free trial accounts to try out the interactive curriculum for themselves.

Buoyant product demonstrations were given to the enthusiastic delegates

An end-to-end solution that incorporates a perfect blend of interactive multimedia activities and Mathematic principles, Math Buddies offers a refreshing change to traditional classroom teaching and learning. With online tools to aid teachers in their instructional techniques and provide additional guidance to students, Math Buddies utilizes an all-round approach that injects fun and joy into teaching and learning mathematics.

For more information about Math Buddies, please visit www.mymathbuddies.sg

The conference was opened with an address from Miss Lee Fei Chen, Head of Publishing of Times Publishing Limited, followed by enlivening presentations by acclaimed speakers Professor S. Gopinathan, Professorial Fellow of NIE Singapore, Dr Yeap Ban Har, Principal of Marshall Cavendish Institute and Miss Ling Yuan, Special Assistant of MOE Singapore. Professor S. Gopinathan analysed the opportunities for equality of education in Singapore and the imminent challenges faced amidst increased income disparity whilst Dr Yeap Ban Har expounded on methods to improve curriculum structure using the Singapore curriculum and the United States Common Core State Standards as a pertinent example. Both he and Miss Ling Yuan rounded up the day’s talks with a comprehensive overview of Singapore’s science and mathematics curriculum, providing delegates with an in-depth perspective on how to establish greater competence in global education through new learning theories.

Professor S. Gopinathan delivered an animated presentation on the education policies and equity in Singapore

Participants were then treated to a tour of the National Institute of Education (NIE) to see how teachers in Singapore are trained before returning for a fun-filled night of dinner and entertainment.

The foreign delegates mingled with local educators from Singapore schools at the networking dinner

On the second day of the conference, participants were invited to visit various primary and secondary schools for a more practical overview of the instructional and learning methods of Singapore’s education system.

The delegates had lots of fun visiting the local schools and interacting with the students

The conference continued with lively presentations given by esteemed speakers including Miss Peggy Foo, Lecturer from Marshall Cavendish Institute, Dr Yeap Ban Har and Señora María Jesús Honorato. Miss Peggy Foo gave an enriching commentary on Lesson Study in the context of the professional learning community as a way to facilitate professional excellence and improve teaching and learning practices. This was followed by a highlight of equitable practices as a way to enhance learner’s mathematical knowledge by Dr Yeap Ban Har and a detailed explanation of the approach taken towards implementing Singapore mathematics nationwide in Chile by Señora María Jesús Honorato. Participants were indeed given a discerning perspective on some of the educational solutions and practices that engage and build students’ knowledge.

Señora María Jesús Honorato gave a rousing presentation on Singapore mathematics implementation in Chile

The last day of the conference concluded with invigorating talks by effervescent speakers Dr Ho Boon Tiong, Principal Consultant of Classpoint Consulting and Mr Paul Tan, Head of the ICT department in Nanyang Girls’ High School. The former emphasized the importance of designing science curriculum through an interdisciplinary and inquiry-based approach to develop students’ potential for the 21st century whilst the latter underscored the positive impact of ICT in education by sharing his observations and experiences of using ICT in teaching and learning. Participants were given illuminating insights on the approaches and mindsets needed to attain and master the skills required of 21st century learning. What a great way to round up the conference!

Dr Ho Boon Tiong captivated his audience with his presentation on science curriculum for the 21st century

The delegates enjoyed themselves right to the end of the conference