Day one of the conference commenced this afternoon at Le Meridien hotel, Kuala Lumpur, where posters were put up by each of the teachers attending the conference. Mine looks like a bit of a crooked patchwork quilt, as I have just put 25 A4 laminated sheets up on the board, showing “My global classroom in a digital world” This is in stark contrast to the other professionally put together poster exhibits from my fellow Australian counterparts.
I love the Korean exhibits as they are just so beautifully and meticulously put together – beautiful artwork! At 5pm all attendees gathered on the 6th floor of the magnificent Le Meridien hotel for the opening session and introductions. Approximately 15 Asian countries are represented, with numbers being down on previous years, due to the Swine flu epidemic and the global recession. The Japanese and NZ educationalists had not yet arrived.
Janet, from Arts-Ed aptly outlined their innovative approach with primary students from Penang. More details can be found at arts_ed website where community based heritage education programs take place. We have been all placed in small groups where we will work on a collaborative project based on a given topic. My team includes a teacher from Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. I am lucky in that English is the spoken language but some of my group members speak limited English, so this will test our group skills.
Our group topic is Indigenous Shelter Systems and tomorrow we will spend time looking at traditional Malay homes and look at how spaces reflect cultures or values. The sites will be looked at through the eyes of children and a presentation will be made back to the conference. Six presentations will be chosen further to be uploaded onto the MS website. (I am experiencing what my flatclassoom students have experienced.) ICT will be used to understand the cultural heritage. It is so interesting to find out from the other teachers what their innovative ideas have been that enabled them to win MS awards for Innovative teaching.
A fabulous reception completed the evening where a full range of Malaysian foods was served. Looking forward to tomorrow!