Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dream to the Power of N: 2018 Taichung

Sharing simple but effective lesson planning workflow with international education

 Around five years ago, a grassroots movement began to shape the landscape of education in Taiwan. Some teachers dared to dream big and open their classrooms to share creative, innovative, and more student-centered teaching practice on social media and other platforms. It quickly caught on everywhere and won more teachers to come on board. Since then, workshops to pass on passion and strategies of their know-how have become so popular that teachers are willing to attend even on weekends.

One of the prestigious pioneers that started this whole campaign is Alex Wang (王政忠). He enjoyed an established reputation to ignite many teachers' passion to challenge the status-quo. The name of the workshop, as the title suggests, indicates an idea that teachers will benefit their students more if they get support. An estimated one thousand teachers participated in this two-day event.

I got invited to share at the workshop and of course, talked about my favorite topic, international education. Nobody would deny that the most important purpose of learning English is to communicate. With the new national curriculum guidelines repeatedly stressed authentic situations for students to use their knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems, the interdisciplinary collaboration of different subject areas and other important issues, such as environmental protection, gender equality, and so on, have been highly valued at recent workshops. Based on this idea, I organized the presentation carefully to demonstrate the flow of my lesson planning that helped me deliver so many wonderful lessons on the journey.

My teaching practice can be categorized into Skype, AIESEC, Video, Inbound, and AR and VR. I went over each of them with a quick introduction and video clips edited by myself. Following that, I demonstrated how to prepare students to talk about the beauty of their hometown with a series of activities, paragraph writing, rehearsing by making English speaking videos with OBS, and finally, a live Skype video call with Albert. Also, using Google Street View to take panoramic pictures and creating a VR English campus guided tour arouse many teachers' interest.

I was too ambitious to cover as much as I can within three hours. If I would do this again, I should set aside more time for the hands-on activities, instead of lecturing that much. Other than that, I grew more confident in presenting in English, making strides in inflection and intonation. I am really proud of my simple and effective lesson planning framework that I derived from so many teaching demonstrations in and outside of my school. For the participants, I hope this would be the biggest takeaway of the workshop though they don't necessarily take interest in international education. Last but not least, I can't thank those teachers enough who gave me positive feedback and support, especially with one of them coming all the way from Taipei just for this workshop.

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