As I have been completely distracted by correcting student work, exams and writing reports, I have been neglectful of writing about the fourth and last day of this exciting conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I also wish to write up my reflections, but that will take a bit more time and be published next.
The morning session started a little later on the last day – 9am! I spent time trying to take photos of all the Innovative teachers’ posters, collect the flyers etc that had been prepared. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to print business cards and take little gifts. This was a customary gesture from all other participants.
When gathered into the conference room, all groups were given another hour or so to complete their collaborative lesson plans. Our project was on ‘indigenous shelter’. The judges then announced the 6 projects that were to be presented to all of us. Each presentation was delivered after which the judges made reflective comments. They constantly reminded us to keep in mind the different cultures and language barriers. From these 6 presentations, three were chosen to be the finalists and announced at the gala awards dinner.
It was time to then dismantle our poster displays. The area looked so bare after they were taken down, as there would have been 100 or so in total.
After lunch, the student section of the conference presented their proposals to the teachers. They also had worked in small groups, cross country/culture etc and had come up with projects to spend their proposed $1000 on. We heard about rural schools in the Phillipines, where they struggle to get qualified teachers. The teachers they do get live in the city and take Monday to travel to school and Friday to return, so students get three days of education. One group wanted to bring them internet access, establish online lessons for 24/7/365 learning and teach them how to use the technology. They also felt that by teaching the rural students, the general community would benefit as the traditional craft workers may find an online market for their wares and help pull them out of poverty.
Another group wanted to give out computers to the poor in the slums of Jakarta Indonesia and teach the young how to tell their digital stories. These would be published online. A third project was to ensure that business would be environmentally aware and the fourth wished to create online collaborative sites for global young people. The students presented confidently, capably and with a maturity beyond their years. Questions from the assembled teachers were answered admirably.
The afternoon sessions soon ended and most participants went to dress for the gala dinner, but I gathered my bags and caught the fast train out to the airport as it was time for me to fly home after another amazing experience and step in my e-journey.