After waiting patiently for a driver to collect me from our hotel in Kuala Lumpur and enjoying a drive from China Town to the edge of KL, I could not contain my delight at meeting the Taman Burkitt Maluri School students face to face when I first walked into their classroom. Nurul and Zainuddin accompanied and another staff member whose role it was to take photos. This is a Malay school and in true Asian tradition, the welcome and greetings were warm, friendly and hospitable. The IT class had worked in real time with my IT class, so I felt as though I knew them.
First, using a powerpoint presentation, they showed me what they learnt in their subject and this correlated very closely with the course that I follow with my students. Next, they showed me images of their school and activities. I found this really interesting. Each student then came up to me, one at a time, welcomed me with the Malay welcome (two hands, I think, as I am still unsure of protocol) and introduced themselves, told me their favourite sport, foods etc and each student asked me a question. At the conclusion of the introduction, I received a small gift.
It was then my turn to speak to them about cyber safety. I had created a blog post that they could go to, and then complete the activities give. A cybersafe in Kuala Lumpur wall had also been created and the students approached this task in a very mature manner and gave some very thoughtful and different responses. As I left them to visit the year 7 Kodu class, they were making their avatars. Thank you students for your wonderful gifts. They will be much treasured.
The year 7 group of boys who are using Kodu – a MS game making program are part of a global trial. They demonstrated their knowledge with pride and showed me the wonderful games they had created – ranging through a number of themes, including some impressive educational games! I was fascinated as they discussed their games. The boys usually attend the afternoon school, but had come in especially, in the morning to demonstrate to and share with me. Thank you boys – I was most impressed and my students will be quite jealous! It is hoped that we can linkup online and have these boys teach my students how to make a game with kodu.
At the conclusion of my visit, the principal met with the staff concerned and we had another wonderful meal – I love the food in Kuala Lumpur!
A special thank you to my special and innovative colleague, Zainuddin who took time off from the conference that he was convening, to spend time with me and to organise the students. Thank you to the principal, staff and students for your warm welcome!