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Welcome to the fifth edition of the
SHAMBLES newsletter ...
designed to be of relevance to International Schools in S.E.Asia (& friends)
for aims, purpose & mailing policy

Apologies if you have received more than one copy of the notice of newsletter -
To subscribe to the newsletter just send a blank email to newsletter-subscribe@shambles.net

CLICK HERE to download a summary (Microsoft) "Word.doc" version of the March 2004 newsletter (150kB)
CLICK HERE to download a summary (Adobe) "Acrobat.pdf" version of the March 2004 newsletter (200kB)

INDEX (in no specific order)

• Welcome • Rating Teachers and Int. Schools
• Subject Departments - Resources • Int. Schools Websites Showcased
• Free Software and Resources • Advertising on the Shambles website
• International Children's Library           • Student Model United Nations in Brunei
• 14-19 Reform (England/Wales) • Science Laboratory Design
• ICT supporting SEN learners • Linking with Other Schools : Globally
• USA National Technology Plan • Textbooks on CD -Physics in a Thai School
• Religious Education and Diversity • USA Elections
• Student Film Festival in Hong Kong • Design of ICT (computer) Work Areas
Fieldwork Online Training is world-class personal professional development - online. We provide certificated, non-award-bearing training courses for all staff in schools, and we're developing award-bearing courses. Teachers, school managers, governors/Board members and non-teaching staff can access these courses entirely online in any country worldwide.
looking for an upgrade to Hotmail or other web-based email system ... but with additional features .. and still free ? ... try mail2world : individual and whole-school solutions
Effective ELT software with comprehensive teacher support
Free CD Software for : education - games - home - garden - life style - productivity  ... most of the time you only pay packaging and postage

'The Education Project Asia" is a consultancy designed to offer support to International Schools in S.E.Asia ... especially in the area of integration of ICT across the curriculum.

Apart from maintaining the "Shambles" website Chris Smith, ICT consultant, also provides on-site support to schools and since the last newsletter has worked with schools in Singapore (ICT School Review), Brunei (conference on elearning), Malaysia (general ICT support to staff), Thailand and Hong Kong.

Subject Departments on Shambles .... now nurses and careers staff

The modifications on the Shambles website continues in response to feedback received .... the latest two sections of 'work in progress' are for "School Counsellors/careers staff" and for "School Nurses".

The 'counsellors' page has a new 'real time' facility to allow students, staff and families to find information about colleges in the USA .... in conjunction with Hobsons.

I should be grateful if you would forward this information to your nurse and careers staff with an invitation to provide suggestions and feedback on the pages.

Try your own subject or interest area by clicking here :
| Headteacher or Senior Manager |
| Mathematics | English | Science | Information Technology | Geography | History | Religious Education |
| Art and Design | Design and Technology | Music | Modern Foreign Languages | Physical Education |
| SEN | ESL | The School Library | The ICT Technician Room | ... and (for primary / K-6) a 'Topics" area.

Free Software and Resources
www.shambles.net/ICT and www.adders.org/freeware/doodlepad.html

Many of the teachers I've worked with will know that it is a personal crusade to find good software and teaching resources that are available free (smaller schools breath a sigh of relief when they hear this).

There are many links on 'Shambles' to free resources, a good starting point is the ICT page and then click on the "Free Software" button on the right of the page.

But there are also a surprising number of people out there, on the 'net, who obviously care for students and just want to help by providing free resources. One example is "Grey Olltwit's website" .... I think his name is really Simon. For some free graphics software he has written for younger students see his program "Doodle Pad" .... it strengthens your faith in human nature .... many thanks to Simon and all those like him.

International Children's Digital Library (ICDL)

The International Digital Library for Children was launched at the end of 2003 with the aim to create a digital library of international children's books. The Library opened with 200 books in 15 languages representing 27 cultures, with a five-year plan to grow to 10,000 books representing 100 cultures.

Books can be read online and access is free, mainly for children aged 3 to 11.

Languages include Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Farsi, French, English and Russian.

Working Group on 14-19 Reform: interim report (England & Wales)

If you are a school offering a "British" curriculum then you should keep an eye on the developments being discussed for students aged 14 to 19. A Working Group on 14-19 Reform was set up in spring 2003 and have now published their interim report.

Between February and May 2004, the Working Group will be engaging with a range of partners and stakeholders to seek their views on the proposals. The full interim report is available in print form (telephone UK 0845 602 2260) as well as at the Working Group's website.

The final report on the working groups findings and suggestions for change to the 14-19 education system will be published at the end of 2004.

ICT supporting learners with special needs - free 2-day online professional development event

Becta (UK) Online conference - "ICT supporting learners with special needs" 9 -10 March ... the conference will focus on using ICT to support learners with special needs in Literacy and Numeracy.

The SENIT online community is a forum for teachers, advisers and others working within education to share practical advice about how ICT can be used to support pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities. Its members have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share about using ICT to support learners with special needs both in mainstream and special schools and colleges.

In parallel to the conference (also online) will be an Exhibition area - where suppliers show products appropriate to the conference themes. and also a Resource area - where teachers and other practitioners share resources.

USA National Technology Plan ... consultation

The National Education Technology Plan for the U.S. Department of Education is being developed as part of a long-range national strategy and guide for using technology effectively to improve student academic achievement - either directly or through integration with other approaches to systemic reform.

Until March 12, 2004, they are seeking your input on the Plan .... this is your opportunity to contribute. After this deadline then the final outcome will be available at their website.

You can also sign up for emailed updates.

Religious Education and Diversity
www.godchecker.com/ and www.shambles.net/religiouseducation

One of the pleasures of working in an International School is the range of cultures and religious beliefs that are brought to the community by students, staff and families.

There are lots of relevant (reverent?) links on 'Shambles' but one I just could not resist highlighting is "Godchecker" ... this recommendation is for your review only and does not necessarily support all the views of the site .... quoting from the site itself :

"Godchecker is 100% non-denominational. All Gods are welcome, whether Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Slavonic, or of No Fixed Abode. The Gods are queuing up to get in!

The Godchecker database aims to cover all Gods of mythology, literature and legend. Pagan culture is covered with Celtic deities and more Earth Mother Goddesses than you can shake a willow stick at. And if you're seeking knowledge, wealth or immortality, you may pick up some tips. Our current research has led to some very promising ideas involving snails and beetroot."


Hong Kong Schools Film Festival

Hong Kong International School played host to the HK Schools Film Festival in February managed by the school Film Club with teacher Richard Friedericks advising.

Richard is building an area on the school's website "DragonNet" which will archive the event .

HKIS Film Club

There is a list of multimedia links on Shambles (click here) .... and I cannot resist reminding readers about how much easier it is in the classroom if you have Apple Computer(s) (as well as others)

If you are looking for an excellent multimedia course for teachers over Easter then have a look at www.apple.com/uk/education/ati/ ... unfortunately (or should that be "fortunately") it is in England .... should we ask for it to be moved to Asia?

Websites which allow reviews of International Schools and Teachers
www.internationalschoolsreview.com and http://ratemyteachers.com/index.jsp

This could well be a contentious issue .... there should always be at least one in each newsletter .... this time it is websites that allow teachers to comment on the International Schools they work in .... and also another which allows students to comment on their teachers.

Quoting from the "Rate My Teacher" site .... "The purpose of the site is threefold. First, it is to help facilitate a positive change in the way parents, students, and teachers alike look at the education system and therefore to encourage structural changes with regards to school and teacher choice. Secondly, it is a place for students to have their opinions validated. We all like to be heard, especially when it comes to life issues such as our education. Opponents of the website clearly believe that their students are not astute enough to form a valid opinion. Interestingly, about 60% of the ratings on the website are favourable. Based on the emails we receive, it is obvious that students using the website have a keen interest in their education."

The "International Schools Reviews" site say "We have 89 schools covering 48 countries ..... there are many wonderful opportunities available in the world of international teaching .... ISR can help you find the right school for you"

One of the dangers of such sites is that the only people that post information there are those that have been upset by the school or teacher ..... and so contains many negative comments .... there is often a reluctance to also share the celebrations as well, leading to biased views.

The owners of these particular sites say that practice shows that this is not actually happening ..... the challenge for International Schools might be to consider how best to use these opportunities rather than ignore them ..... sounds like a great topic for a class or a staff meeting .... "ICT and Social Responsibilities"

International Schools Websites - Showcased

In each newsletter I highlight a few of the webpages from International Schools in S.E.Asia, this month is one related to Special Educational Needs.

There are very few schools solely dedicated to providing support to SEN students in the S.E.Asia International communities. One school that is (possibly the only one) the J.C.Sarah Roe School (Hong Kong) with a website at http://www.jcsrs.edu.hk/

The Principal outsources much of the design and hosting aspects but it is very clearly a site with students, staff and families in mind as reflected in the content .... and pictures .... congratulations.

Advertising on Shambles

Not many schools have taken up the advertising options on 'Shambles' which is a surprise as our pages do come up high in search engines.

'Shambles' is a free service because of sponsorship and advertising ... your support would be appreciated .. email me for more details if interested csmith@csmith.info

Student Model United Nations meeting in Brunei

The International School Brunei organised and hosted the "2nd Borneo Global Conference" (Model United Nations session) in February which was attended by several International Schools in the region .... with to theme "Co-operation, Understanding and World Citizenship"

Quotes from students included :

"The Hadrah was brilliant" (Charlie)
"I've taken part in the Modern United Nations but the Borneo Global Issues Conference has a wider perspective which challenges you more" (Wendy)
"I've merged my resolution and I think we've made progress and I'm looking forward to the rest of the conference. I'm a bit nervous about it but I feel confident. It's too late in the day for profound things!" (Victoria)

Science Laboratory Design for Teaching and Learning

Building new science laboratories or refurbishing old ones can be a nightmare. What results is not always the most suitable for modern science teaching and learning. Teachers are not always involved in the development of the design and have to make do with whatever they are presented with. The Laboratory Design for Teaching and Learning software aims to address this issue. As an easy to use
Laboratory Design tool for schools & Colleges,

The software will enable both 2D and 3D images of science laboratories and prep rooms to be created by teachers and technicians. It will be a communications tool that allows the sharing of ideas between science departments, architects and designers.

This resource is available free ... see the press release at the link above for details.

Linking with Other Schools Worldwide - The Global Gateway

On 10th February, the UK Secretary of State formally launched Global Gateway, a kind of educational ‘dating-agency’ for schools, as he described it in a preamble to his address.

The Global Gateway features a partner-finding database, enabling schools worldwide to link up, and live online operators to help with enquiries. It also contains a resource bank of materials for teachers, headteachers, young people, parents, governors and local authorities - all of which are aimed at encouraging the global perspective in education.

Textbook on CD - What a Physics Teacher in Thailand is doing

Ian Jacobs is a Physics teacher at International School Bangkok (ISB) who follows his calling with an unassumed and quiet passion .... one of the indicators of this is that, for the older students, he has thrown his paper-based text books away and has a 'home grown' one that is on CD.

The magic of this project is that the stars of the CD are the students themselves .... as learners and educators and as authors of content.

Possibly, as the Internet infrastructure improves in Thailand, this project may migrate to being online.

CLICK on this image for more info from Ian

Ian can be contacted at ianj@isb.ac.th
  and is keen to meet others with similar projects in order to share experiences and ideas

USA Elections 2004

Many International Schools have the USA elections in their curriculum this year .... a round-up of candidate information, policy issues, and more, is available from Grace York of the University of Michigan Documents Center.

This may be the only page you need to tell your students about in order to start this particular journey.

Design of ICT (computer) Work Areas

Just a couple of months ago I was asked to collate a set of pictures showing different options for designing teaching and learning areas that incorporated ICT ... in particular computers. Hence the page which can be found at the link above with photographs and advice on design.

One sidebar to this task was one ICT co-ordinator who just did not want to consider the option of the new(ish) flat screen monitors which are said to be preferable to the older CRT ones ... for a number of health reasons.

It turns out that he was just talking about his setup at home and that his choice was specifically to help his house guest keep warm in the winter months ...... Click here to see the culprit 

That's IT

The next newsletter will be May 2004


Any feedback you can give about this newsletter is always appreciated .... especially ideas or contributions for future editions ...

If you know of any new international schools opening in the region - Brunei Burma/Myanmar Cambodia China Hong Kong (HKSAR) India Indonesia Japan Laos Macau Malaysia Philippines Singapore South Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam - then please let me know csmith@csmith.info


Best wishes to teachers attending the EARCOS conference in Bangkok starting 25th March
also I hope you have a happy
and restful Thai New Year

email Chris Smith


"In theory, there isn't any difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." - Yogi Berra

If you know of any commercial companies or organisations that might be interested in sponsoring a future newsletter then please feel free to forward this newsletter to them .... many thanks.

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