Business Week in Wilderness School

The business week started Tuesday night, 7 June, with 4 female entrepreneurs in different industries sharing their journeys of starting their own businesses. These women were raised in completely different backgrounds yet all aspired to do the same thing: to create something on their own. Some of them grew up in Europe or the countryside, yet they all gathered in Australia, as they believe it is a land of opportunity. Each of the women highlighted that inevitably there will be setbacks and doubts during the process, but one thing was to do the thing you are passionate about. This will strengthen your ability to persist and endure, for doing business is never smooth sailing. This mindset allows entrepreneurs to succeed in their businesses and led them to now tell their own success stories and encourage the leaders of tomorrow. One other key point that concluded their speeches was that it is very important to build network. Therefore, Entrepreneur Story also attended the night to promote how they provide a community for people to build a network. To finish the night, there was post-talk teatime where students had the opportunity to talk to the guest speakers and receive encouragement from them. It was truly a very valuable experience because how often do we get the chance to interact so closely to the leaders of businesses?

Enterprising women

Business week promotion posters
Business week promotion posters

On Thursday, another three successful women came to speak to us. These women are performing highly in their respective career areas: marketing, accounting and human resource management. From this sharing session, we learnt that some people find their pathway straightaway while some may take longer to figure out their real passion. Emily Harris, the human resource manager at Bailey, was one of the fortunate ones who remained in the same industry since University. Emily was able to pursue a management position due to work experience undertaken during early stages of her study. This emphasised the importance of initiative, and also being courageous in taking on leadership roles.

Overall, both events were very inspiring and motivating. The best aspect of business week was that the talks highlighted that becoming a businesswoman is not about business theory but real life experience. It is beneficial to young people particularly to those interested in making the mark in Australian business. To quote from the gentleman who represented Entrepreneur Story at the end of the night, he said: ‘do it now, not tomorrow, not years later, do it now.’ Thank you to the Business and Career department for organising such wonderful function.

Stage 2 Business & Enterprise student

Lowell So

 

Featured image by Olu Eletu published on Unsplash 

Preparing for ISTE: Technology builds a global classroom

This year, our school is invited to participate in the ISTE 2016, another exciting global collaboration. It is an education technology conference from June 26-29, and I will be attending and speaking. To prepare for the conference, I am going to have a review of my learning experience using technology in school.

I would like to divide my experience into sections, this post only covers the use of technology to construct a virtual global classroom.

I participated in two projects last year:

  • Flat Connection Global Project 2015 (FCGP)
  • Connected to students in Norway using blogs and Skype

These projects gave me the opportunity to connect with American and Norwegian students on various platforms.


Flat Connection Global Project 2015 (FCGP)

The Flat Connections Global Project is a collaborative project that uses Web 2.0 tools to support connection, communication, collaboration and creation (FCGP, 2015). These tools include Google Doc, the Ning, iMovie, and our own blogs.

I was a team leader in the Flat Connection Global Project 2015, and my topic was Learning Analytics.

The project outcome is called a Video Creation Process. Everyone involved in the project created a communication video that shares our research and the ideas based on the topic.

The video I made has won two awards:

  1. Multimedia Meta-Awards- Third place
    (Explanation: the best multimedia works overall from the SIX topic winners in each group.)

    Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 12.36.32 pm
    Screenshot of the Awards Slideshow presented at the FCGP 15-1 Awards Ceremony
  2. Multimedia Awards – First place in Learning Analytics 
    (Explanation: These awards go to the best multimedia works)

    multimedia
    Screenshot of the Awards Slideshow presented at the FCGP 15-1 Awards Ceremony

    Here’s the video I made for FCGP 2015, tell me what do you think!

Connected to students in Norway using blogs and Skype

After doing the FCGP, we created another global classroom with students in Norway. Instead of co-creating, we aimed to learn about each other’s culture through technology. We researched about Norway and designed questions for them to answer. We had Skype sessions with the teacher and students separately. Students in both schools were paired up as study buddies. It was an interesting learning experience.

I made a video concluded my experience in this project. I also documented each stage of the project in this blog, you’ll see the interaction of students on the comments!

Here’s my video:

Please stay tuned for my next section about ISTE preparation!

 

 

Featured image by Benjamin Child published on Unsplash

An article for school magazine – International students

International boarders day trip to Kangaroo Island on 19th April, 2016.
International boarders day trip to Kangaroo Island on 19th April, 2016.

 

Wilderness School encompasses a rich diversity of cultures alongside an excellent learning experience. Teachers and students are respectful of different cultural backgrounds. This relationship enables our school to build a harmonious learning environment where individual confidence is treasured by the celebration of diversity and curiosity. As an International student, I aspire to share the uniqueness of my culture with people who have been raised in different cultural backgrounds. This valuable exchange of knowledge extends through and beyond our school community.

 

Being this year’s International Student representative, we have established a new committee to broaden our traditional perception towards International students and acknowledge the majority and minority cultures around the campus. To achieve this, we aim to organise activities that will foster intercultural understanding between all students, and allow an opportunity to interact with Wilderness international students. In an assembly last week, we presented visual statistics about our school’s cultural backgrounds, which was informative and interactive. We also invited international students to share videos about their home countries to the middle and senior school, which the audience greatly appreciated. Furthermore, we formally introduced the International Students committee and following this, we introduced all of our international students whose home-based is overseas. The highlight of the assembly was when we distributed treats and snacks representing different cultures to teachers and students before they were dismissed. This assembly was the first of the many activities that we have planned for 2016 leading up to International Day in Term 2.

 

The committee’s ultimate goal is to build a bridge between international and local students and make Wilderness a home away from home. Together, all students no matter what their cultural backgrounds have learned to embrace the differences of our unique individuality.

 

 

 

Lowell So

International Students Representative 2016

Report overview

Should Social Media Be Used In Education? 

eLearning-image

Background of investigation 

Social media is unquestionably widespread in today’s society. It plays the role to facilitate communication and open the door to the outside world without physical presence. These features are suggested to be beneficial to education alongside the emerging convenient technology. It is, however, argued that social media is a form of entertainment that cannot be put together with education because students’ personal growth is put at risk.

The following points formed my body paragraph:

  • What is social media?

Information technology is dominating the 21st century and making information more accessible throughout the world.

  • Why social media?

There are good reasons why educators incorporate social media into their classrooms, in particular for educational improvement and innovation.

  • The advantages of using social media in classroom

Experts have also outlined other valuable features of social media in the classroom, including a strong peer network, enriched school-wide communication, and shared knowledge beyond school community (Lynch. M, 2016 and Ramasubbu. S, 2016).

  • The disadvantages of using social media in classroom

It can be challenging to decide the most appropriate social media for students from the many options. Apart from that, the danger of distraction while using social media is a general concern shared by many (Lynch. M, 2016). Additionally, some teachers’ hesitation of using social media in classroom is driven by the ‘fear factor’.

  • Solutions to the problems

In regards to online safety, it can be achieved by teaching students digital citizenship and awareness of privacy breaches (Ramasubbu. S, 2016). Above all, it is important to implement constructive policies to facilitate E-learning and give staff appropriate training to inspire students (S. Ramasubbu, 2016).

Reflection

Society is largely immerged in social media despite some people attempt to resist it. Looking at the prospect of 21st-century education, to embrace social media rather than resist it is the best option in the foreseeable future.

 

Featured image by Bethany Legg published on Unsplash 

The importance of having a plan

encore apps image_0
Image found on learningpool

We use a plan for the following purposes:

  • Overview of the topic
  • Logical sequence of ideas
  • Construct a flow of ideas in each paragraph
  • Tidy up language (from sentences to technical words)
  • Organise the reference list + insert in-text reference in the body paragraphs

Besides writing a plan for the whole report, it is also important to write a plan for the body paragraphs in detail information. An order paragraph should look like:

  •  Topic sentence ( a general statement)
  • Explain the idea
  • Give examples to support (1 – 3)
  • Concluding statement to finish the current idea
  • Connecting sentence to the next body paragraph

I have done a plan according to the guidelines mentioned above so as to facilitate me writing the research report. It looks like:

Screenshot of my own work on Microsoft Word

 

 

Featured image by Image by Bench Accounting published on Unsplash

Email interview

Handwritten mind map
Handwritten mind map

I conducted an email interview with an online educator two weeks ago. I found Mr. Kemp as a suitable teacher to help my investigation, therefore, I sent him an email through the contact page on his blog. In the interview, I asked two questions and he answered in a very concise way. These response has helped me understand and answer my research question. Please read the mind map above for details.

 

 

Featured image by Taduuda published on Unsplash

Mind mapping my research

 

Handwritten Mind Map
Handwritten Mind Map

I did this mind map when I was reading the first three articles about my research topic two weeks ago. When I was doing it, I often used simple language to capture the key ideas in the articles. In order to enrich my understanding of the topic, I looked up the Internet for some examples of social media involved in education. I considered it to be part of my findings though it is a piece of informational text rather than an article. I think jotting down the key ideas while reading the articles is a good practice in research because it gives me a broad overview of the topic and enables me to form a connection between sources.

I am going to do a similar mind map for other sources as well as some of my research processes, such as my email interview and my process table. Using different tools to synthesize information collected elevates the quality of the whole research, which is a more ideal and practical way than merely focusing on quantity of sources.

 

 

 

Featured image by William Iven published on Unsplash

Research methods and sources analysis

laptop-google1

How I find and locate resources

Handwritten Mind map
Handwritten Mindmap

I looked for relevant information on my research question through various online tools, including Google search, TED talks, YouTube videos, different news website and educational websites, and sources recommended by teachers. I am very lucky to have talked to Ms. Julie Lindsay about my topic before starting it because she gave me insightful comments and shared a Diigo file with me on exactly what I am looking at. It has saved a lot of my energy to locate sources because she has gathered a number of articles and website links in relation to my topic. My ESL teacher also sent me two very useful articles to get me started, these articles gave me a fundamental understanding of social media education and with specific examples. I realized that teachers are very useful ‘tools’ when doing research because they are more experience in finding sources and it can be very beneficial to us in terms of time management. I have also planned to do an interview with somebody who is credible and knowledgeable in order to enrich my findings. I think it would be a good idea to interview an author from any of the educational blogs that I have been reading and the interview is most likely going to be an email or skype interview.

Sources analysis

Handwritten Mindmap
Handwritten Mindmap

I ensure that the sources I use are reliable even though they may not be relevant to answer my question directly. I have picked only three out of all my sources to do a sources analysis mindmap. I have analyzed how reliable, current and credible the sources are. Please read the mindmap above for details.

 

 

Featured image by Jeff Sheldon published on Unsplash

Starting an investigation

 

Mind map by hand

How did I start my research?

We were introduced to a new investigation in ESL class and we were asked to choose any topic that we are passionate about. Our ESL teacher suggested us to pick an issue that has social, political or environmental impact, so I started brainstorming about it. The burgeoning involvement of Internet has inspired me to look into the role of social media plays in today’s society. “Social media” was a concept only, and our research should be a specific question. I then thought about different major areas in 21st century which bonds with social media, including political, education, medical, environment, entertainment and the list goes on.

After discussing with my ESL teacher, I decided to investigate social media in relation to education. I refined my topic from “Social media learning” to “Social media in education” considering the criticism in social media learning, it was very one-dimensional. In order to have a debatable topic of a controversial issue, I looked at the Internet briefly to ensure the potential of counterarguments in the chosen topic. My investigation question has set to be “Should social media be used in education?”, and I have carried out my investigation by reading articles and keeping tract of my research by using a journal and drawing mind maps for each articles as visual notes.

Featured image by Blake Parkinson published on Unsplash

Reflection On Women’s Movement

The first topic in ESL of our final year in high school is about women’s movement. This topic is highly relevant to us because many heroes have fought so hard, or even sacrificed for the benefit of this generation. We read the story of a physicist who majored in radio astronomy, Ruby Payne-Scott. In her story, we could feel the underlying tragedy for many women back in the 20th century. Ruby was only one of the unfortunate victims living in severe discrimination whose story was published, and many more have gone unnoticed. Ruby’s expertise was held back by her gender, something that she couldn’t change and couldn’t deny. It is a great loss in the scientific discovery because Ruby could have left a mark in radio astronomy if she had stayed in the laboratory. We then started our own explore in women’s right, and I found another significant woman in women’s right history, Betty Friedan. Friedan was a writer and she was called the pioneer in women’s movement. Her publication of ‘The Feminine Mystique’ impulse women to stand up for the ‘second wave’ of women’s movement which they mainly strived for sexual freedom and equality in general. Friedan was unlike Ruby, Ruby was repressed by the society, and Friedan founded the NOW and became an activist.

Image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Peter-hall.ruby.payne-scott.jpg
Ruby Payne-Scott Image from Wikipedia labeled for non-commercial reuse
Betty Friedan Image from Wikipedia labeled for non-commercial reuse

 

I reflected after reading their stories. We take everything for granted nowadays and have forgotten how people in the past deeply desired all we have. We should be thankful for what they did when we weren’t even born. I could not imagine the pressure each woman bore back in the days before liberation. When we are born with this privilege, we should use it wisely, and speak up for women still living under persecution as the recognition to these past heroes.

Featured image by Mr Cup/ Fabien Barral published on Unsplash