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Shambles Newsletter for International Schools in South East Asia   (but being read by many more worldwide)
Newsletter November 2008         aims, purpose & mailing policy
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We have stopped producing the Word.doc version of the newsletter, it seems there is no demand, but if you would like it to be available in a downloadable version then let me know.

Index (click on the number to go down to the article)           

item one  Shamble "What's New"   item seven  Conferences, Courses, Workshops
item two  International Schools Island   item eight  Librarians and media staff
item three  Second Life : Speaker Series at Asia Time   item nine  Mixed Bag
item four  International Baccalaureate   item ten  School Visits
item five  Curriculum   item eleven  Atomic Learning
item six  Personal Learning Network PLN   item twelve  Recruitment

Atomic Learning ... international schools group-buy programme.

item one Shambles "What's New"

.. as usual ... just too many new links to mention ... so the usual 'tasting'

Statistics :
Don't miss Flowing Data ... explores how statisticians, designers, computer scientists, and others are using data to understand more about ourselves and our surroundings.

Carbon calculators :
New Shambles section ... tools for calculating your carbon footprint

Species Extinction Clock :
I do feel a sadness when finding applications such as this ... just one of a growing number in the environment / conservation / climate change sections of Shambles.






item two International Schools Island

International Schools Island is really looking good (if I do say so myself) ... in Second Life, the 3D online virtual world.
I've run a number of presentations in-world since the last newsletter and feel I've now moved from "novice virtual educator" to "now having fun" .... and learning even more from other residents.
- Blog :
- SLurl :

New Residents:
New residents who have set up home in i.s.i
ISC Research: SLurl =
The ISC Research's tag line is "mapping the world of international schools" ... and there is no doubt that they have the most comprehensive database of international schools worldwide ... with free access to schools themselves.
If you are in the UK in the education/technology world then you quite likely know this organisation already .... "EdICTs has developed a reputation for high level, impartial and confidential professional consultancy, delivered by professionals with an extensive background in the planning and delivery of education to achieve real learning objectives. We are very keen to work with all relevant stakeholders to develop schools which are not simply new ‘old’ schools"
Click to join Second Life now  ... it is free       Home page of International Schools Island (in Second Life) on the Shambles website   You need to already be a member of Second Life and Logged on in order to use this link to the International Schools Island You are already on this page international schools island calendar ... events in second life and in the real world you are already on the sponsored page so this link is not active international schools (k-12) group isi Blog recording the growth of an island


Join Second Life ... it' s free

"'s not cutting edge
if you don't bleed a bit."

item three International Schools Live in SL "Speakers Series" .

International Schools "Live" in S.L. (Speakers Series)
A series of regular meetings are planned to run in Second Life (3D online virtual world) that are designed to have relevance to international schools communities and to also take place at a time convenient to those living and working in Asia.

Initially 3 sessions are planned for November as a 'pilot' series and then, if there is demand, a regular series during term time.
For these sessions think a cross between "Larry King" and "Oprah Winfrey" ... with guests on the sofas ... and audiences invited to contribute.

Full details at Google Doc
Wednesdays ... times: | S.L. time 4:00am | Thailand 7:00pm | Hong Kong 8:00pm | Tokyo 9:00pm |
Venue: International Schools Island: | SLURL | BLOG |

12 November: topic ESF / TOEFL
with Fire Centaur owner of English village and teacher in South Korea
19th November: topic Libraries / Information Literacy
with Dianne McKenzie (Hong Kong Librarian) and Doug Johnson of BlueSkunk fame
26th November: topic Recruitment / Interviews / Applying for jobs in Int.Schs.
with Jon Zurfluh Head of School, Pudong Campus, Shanghai Community Int. School
and Jeff Utecht of Thinking Stick fame, teacher at ISB, Bangkok.

For more details of the format and invited guests see the Google Doc.

If you have not tried Second Life ... it is FREE ... visit their site, register, choose your avatar name, download the viewer .. and fly over

If you would like to share your own experiences in international education
... and try out the sofa
.... then PLEASE email me

photos taken on international schools island in second life
item four International Baccalaureate I.B.

IB Newsletter click here

3rd IB Asia Pacific Teachers' Convention
17-19 March 2009 Furama Riverfront Hotel, Singapore
“Assessment for Meaningful Learning”

IB Asia Pacific Regional Workshops & Conference
IB Asia-Pacific Events organizes a programme of internationally recognized workshops and conferences that promote the sharing of knowledge and information amongst IB Schools offering Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme. These events create opportunities for professional development and networking for teachers and coordinators from around the region.



The Shambles website is saturated with curriculum info ... just use the search box at the top right corner of this page to find your particular interest.

UK National Curriculum in Action
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) have improved and expanded the National Curriculum website to include guidance and materials from National Curriculum Online and National Curriculum in Action
On the National Curriculum website you will now find guidance and tools for curriculum development and design, case studies of the curriculum in action, current and future programmes of study and examples of pupils' work all in the same place.
"We've also added new material to the secondary subject pages, improved the Curriculum in Action search and added a facility to enable you to easily bookmark pages, or to save copies of pages in a portfolio for later use."

New UK KS3 Curriculum
Get a quick 15 minute update on this at Teachers TV


item six Personal Learning Network        

In October I put a day aside to try and retake control of my own "Information Overload" ... so much is coming in that the word "drowning" comes to mind.
So I decided to quantify and visualise my own Personal Learning Network ... click on the hyperlinks here to see it.
This has ended up being a day well spent ... it still doesn't mean I read everything that is pushed at me (or pulled by me) ... but at least I feel a little more in control.

One specific example is the management of RSS feeds ...
I used to subscribe using a Firefox Plug-in , then Bloglines and then Google Reader.

In Sept I became aware that Web 2.0 Start Pages could be useful as RSS readers/Aggregators (thanks to David Warlick) ... and it is working out brilliantly using Netvibes see

Chris Smiths Personal Learning Network PLN

Chris Smith's Personal Learning Network PLN

item seven Conferences / Courses / Workshops

Mathematics in Bangkok
a) ATCM Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
15th to 19th December
b) Autograph
Workshops for secondary Math(s) staff .. venue Harrow, Wed. 10th Dec. 2008
Provisional programme ... download (Word doc 44k)
For details email Douglas Butler or facilitator Alan Catley

International Children Educator Conference (ICEC)
27-29 November 2008 at the International Christian School : Hong Kong
Our primary target audience is for those working at English language international schools serving the expatriate community. The conference will be in English.

21-22 February 2009
English Language Teaching (ELT) in Cambodia

Shanghai Learn 2.0
OK .. this was held in September ... but one outcome is that the 'Ning' has some excellent additional resources .... including Podcasts from many of the sessions.

EARCOS Weekend Workshops
One of the advantages of an EARCOS membership is access to a programme of weekend workshops across the region.

Literacy in the 21st century classroom and library
15th November 2008 : Singapore
Organised by The Singapore librarian network.
The programme includes two special guests, representing both traditional and new literacies: Marjorie Kirkland, the incoming president of the Children's Book Council of Australia, and Kerrie Smith, the assistant manager of EDNA (Educational Network of Australia) with responsibility for online professional and learning communities.

iNET Australia (online conferences)
email Debra Byron
a) Students: What do you do for fun? : 10 November to 21 November 2008
b) Educators: Student leadership : 24 November to 5 December 2008

Int. Conf. on Popular Culture and Education in Asia

11-13 December 2008 in Hong Kong
The first two days of the conference will be devoted to academic presentations.
The third day of the conference will also feature practical workshops for local teachers on popular culture and pedagogy.

3rd Bangkok Teachers Network Conference
28th February 2009 venue: Patana

  Web 2.0 Workshops in Singapore and
17th and 18th November 2008 in Singapore
Four half day workshops (a) What is Web 2.0 (b) Blogging (c) Podcasting (d) Social Networks and Virtual Worlds (inc. Second Life).
In house programmes are also possible in individual schools and organisations ... for details contact Cheng Fun at Synergyst in Singapore

Brochure from

For a list of workshops from Chris Smith visit
Workshops from Chris Smith (a selection)


item eight Librarians and Media Staff

Recipients of the IASL School Librarianship Award
Congratulations to Dana Dukic .... awarded the IASL School Librarianship Award for service in the development of school libraries in Croatia and Hong Kong.

Google Librarian Newsletter
The title says it all ...

SLLAPS: Second Life Librarians from Asia Pacific Schools
information at

Free email account with address
Would you like a free email account with the domain name
If yes then just send me an email with your first name / last name / and the username you would like and I shall create it for you. The actual email engine being used for this is Google's gmail .. so very reliable, confidential and trustworthy.
After I've created the account for you then just log in at to send and read email ........ ONLY for librarians and library staff.



 Mixed Bag

  Do you know of any International Schools for Sale?
Do you know of any International Schools that may be 'up for sale' now or in the future?
If so then please pass this invitation to the appropriate person ... with a request to contact me ... I will then pass the details on to the potential purchasers in complete confidence.

Google Earth "PRO" is Free for Educators
Yes ... free ...

Google Teacher Newsletter
Title says it all ...

Two important days coming up in November
19th November : World Toilet Day :
28th November : Buy Nothing Day :
(can you see me smiling as I type this?)

International Education Week (UK)
17 to 21 November 2008
International Education Week (IEW) is an excellent opportunity to show the world how an international dimension has benefited your school, college or organisation. The Department asks everyone at all levels of education to join in the celebrations.
Email with details of any international events your school is planning to hold.

Old Media Isn’t Completely Deaf: The Guardian Offers Full-Text RSS Feeds
"The Guardian, one of the UK’s biggest newspapers, is breaking ranks with its dead tree counterparts and offering up its content in full-text RSS feeds. The Guardian in turn becomes the first major newspaper in the world to do so."
... they have a brilliant weekly education section

Universal Education Search
We have explored ways to build a scalable, extensible, federated search for all educational resources on the web.

Time Lines
I think that building time lines is a brilliant learning strategy ... this probably comes back to my own visual learning style. We are now spoilt with the number of online web 2.0 tools to enable us to not only build timelines but to do so collaboratively.
One example is, a website that allows students to create and explore multimedia timelines.
"You can see a review of xtimeline for the “Safe Web 2.0 for the Classroom” list at It’s also got great ideas for timeline projects for students"

Short Story Contest for Young Writers (12-18) Hong Kong
An annual CULTURE short story competition for Young Writers is now underway with WIPS and Dymocks Booksellers as sponsors.
The theme this year is "Feast": a panel of judges will select the winners and give feedback to the top entrants. The deadline for receipts of entry is Friday 28th November, 2008
Dymocks will offer coupons worth $1000, $800 and $400 to the top three winners. The winners will also receive a one-year subscription to CULTURE Hong Kong. The winning story will be printed in the magazine as well as in the WIPS annual journal and directory, IMPRINT.
email Christine Bruce, download (pdf) Poster and Application form

Early Years: Leading to excellence. (UK Report)
Leading to excellence is in two parts.
Part one reviews childcare and early years provision at the end of our three-year cycle of inspections.
Part two describes good practice in how providers organise, lead and manage their settings to promote positive experiences and outcomes for children.

British Council Newsletter (Hong Kong)
November: British Council 60th Anniversary Scholarships & British Chevening Scholarships | Science Alive 2008 | British Council team running for charity | Verbatim Theatre – The Will to Build | The Pirate Party | Arts in the Park - Mardi Gras |

UNESCO 'The Courier' Newsletter
This latest issue focuses on Human Rights .... marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Google Project 10 to the 100
Helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike .... the question is ... what would help and help the most?.




brilliant fun for young studentsBomomo : brilliant fun for young students



There are several areas on the Shambles website that link to resources to support students going on school trips .... or "Educational Visits"
| Schools Trips | Risk Assessment | First Aid | Web 2.0 Collaboration |

Maekok River Village Outdoor Education Centre
The Maekok River Village Outdoor Education Centre in Northern Thailand has now opened a super new facility to further improve what we offer to visiting student groups.
Our programmes also continue to diversify and expand with more academic field studies, community projects as well as D of E and AYP provision.
Over 1500 students from 40 schools would have visited us this year alone.
Contact Bryan Massingham

The Forbidden City
Now has it's own dedication virtual online 3D virtual world. ... amazing
The Virtual Forbidden City is a 3-dimensional virtual world where visitors from around the world can experience the Forbidden City in Beijing
You can explore the magnificent palace as it was during the Qing dynasty, which ruled from 1644 until 1912, the end of the Imperial period in China.
While it provides an immersive and compelling experience in its own right, the Virtual Forbidden City also provides an unequalled way to plan a visit to the Palace Museum in Beijing, as the Forbidden City is now known.
If you are lucky enough to be able to visit the Palace Museum, you will be much better able to find your way and to understand the significance of places and things that you encounter because of your experiences in the Virtual Forbidden City.
What a brilliant resource if you are planning a school trip to Beijing ... not to be missed.


The Forbidden City .. virtual world


Atomic Learning is offering a group-buy programme to International Schools that provides access to the Atomic Learning Technology Skills Collection at a reduced rate.
The Technology Skills Collection includes over 37,000 training tutorials on more than 110 software applications pupils and teachers use everyday—Plus over 200 technology-infused lesson plans, workshops and more.

This group-buy programme allows you and other International schools to combine individual purchases and realise volume pricing not otherwise available to your individual school. The promotion provides the potential of reaching USD 1.45 per pupil and teacher, for all participating schools!

limited time offer so act today to take advantage of the special pricing.
Details at


28 November 2008


Phew ... can you believe how quickly the time goes ... here we are again at that time of the year when many teachers in international schools have to decide if they are staying on next summer in their present school .... as many resignations need to be tendered in January.
Lots of info on the Shambles Recruitment Area

Recruitment Fairs
Most of the Recruitment Fairs are listed on the Shambles Calendar

Teachers TV
Teachers TV have several relevant online TV programmes .... including "Top Tips for Getting that Job ... Life coach Gladeana McMahon gives her top tips for successfully securing a job, from application to interview"

Recruitment Talk in Second Life
Don't miss the session in Second Life on Wednesday 26th Nov (7:00pm Thai Time) with input from China and Thailand ....



 Advertising on Shambles

'Shambles' is a free service because of sponsorship and advertising ... your support would be appreciated .. details at

Shambles statistics for October 2008 ..... 317,640 Visitors and 543,051 Pageviews

Support Shambles with a donation (through PayPal) if you feel suitable - many thanks if you do  .... Chris
Support Shambles with a donation (through PayPal) if you feel suitable - many thanks if you do  .... Chris
   search ALL schools worldwide
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take a guided tour of the Shambles website
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Visit the Shambles 'Forest of Theme Blogs' ... just click on this button
"second life" 3d online wirtual world ... information for k-12 educators

email a friend or colleague about the shambles newsletters
Chris Smith
ICT Consultancy

available for
consultancy work
in schools
related to ICT
Computer / Technology
school reviews / audits
development planning
inservice training
parents sessions

Use of ICT across the curriculum and
use of the internet
I also speak
at conferences
and run workshops

Workshops from Chris Smith (a selection)




Shambles Puzzles
If you have received any
of the Shambles Puzzles
then some solutions

  STOP PRESS (last minute items)

VIDEO: Electing a US President in Plain English
This newsletter was published as the USA was voting for their new head honcho .... and the results are now in .... congratulations President-Elect Barack Obama

UK university lectures on iTunes
University College London, the Open University and Trinity College Dublin are putting lectures onto iTunes.

Chemistry Experiments Gone Wrong
5th November is Guy Fawkes day .. this seems a particularly apt URL ;-)

Happy Birthday ictopus
Passed your one year anniversary ..... (ICT online primary user support) is a free support service for primary education.

British International Schools being Inspected?
A UK Government’s recent announcement regarding the inspection and recognition of British Schools Abroad.

Free email account with address
Would you like a free email account with the domain name
If yes then just send me an email with your first name / last name / and the username you would like and I shall create it for you. The actual email engine being used for this is Google's gmail .. so very reliable, confidential and trustworthy.
After I've created the account for you then just log in at to send and read email .... ONLY for teachers in international schools.

.. and while here why not listen to some music,
use this mini-browser

Shambles Poster for Staffroom Noticeboards : Full of I.T.
It would be appreciated if you could download and print out this A4 notice for your staffroom noticeboard.
download Shambles A4 size poster for staffroom noticeboards


That's IT
The next newsletter will be February 2009


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


It would be appreciated if you could tell
colleagues about the Shambles newsletter

"The principal goal of education is to create [individuals] who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done."
Jean Piaget

"There's a crack in everything, it's how the light gets in."
Leonard Cohen

Follow me on TWITTER

email Chris Smith
ePortfolio at
Chris Smith's Personal Learning Network PLN

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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