ICT Teaching Methods Offers a New Way to Teach for Volunteer Chinese Teachers in Australia--Highlights of the 4th Training Session of 2011 for Volunteer Chinese Teachers

[Source]    the Volunteer Center [Time]    2011-11-14 16:37:00 

Volunteers experiencing teaching with the iPad

Melbourne, November 7th, 2011 - Twenty-three volunteer Chinese teachers sent by Hanban to teach in Australia had their 4th (also the last) teaching-skills training session at the University of Melbourne. The training session was hosted by the Department of Education of State of Victoria and co-sponsored by Hanban. Kerry Law was invited by Ms. Zhao Yuanlin and Mr. Clinton from Victoria’s Department of Education to give several lectures. Ms. Kerry, a well-known Chinese teacher from Doncaster Gardens Primary School, is one of the forerunners in promoting ICT (Information and Communication Technology) teaching methods in Melbourne. She introduced a number of new teaching concepts to the volunteers during the training.

At 10:00 a.m., Ms. Kerry began her lectures with an interesting short video. She first gave an introduction to ICT teaching. ICT teaching is a kind of new teaching mode that has emerged in Australia in recent years, adding a new element (information and communication technology) to the traditional teaching system which consists of 3 elements (teachers, students and teaching materials). The four elements work together to create a new teaching structure. ICT can not only make up for the shortcomings of traditional classroom teaching, which is somewhat tedious and old fashioned, but can also closely follow the requirements of the Information Era, being regarded by many as the developing trend in classroom teaching. Ms. Kerry gave a PPT presentation to introduce the origins, objectives, development and prospects of ICT teaching. After a short break, she shared ICT teaching resources with the volunteers, including dozens of websites, such as Chinese Online, which enjoys great popularity in Australia, Wikispace, Toondoo and Tag Galaxy, as well as some language teaching programs. The online resources combine Chinese teaching with interesting games, songs, and short cartoons and thus make Chinese learning vivid and visual, and overall more appealing to young Chinese learners.

Afterward, the volunteers discussed the applications of the iPad in Chinese teaching. They were fascinated by colorful Chinese games on the iPad. Ms. Kerry said that she has committed herself to promoting ICT teaching at Doncaster Gardens Primary School for 4 years. Today, these teaching methods have not only received wide acceptance among the school’s faculty members, but also gained the great support of the Principal. Moreover, Chinese programs are enjoying great popularity at the school due to the spread of these teaching methods.

After the discussion, Ms. Kerry allowed the volunteers to experience teaching with the use of iPad games, such as “writing Chinese characters”, “Chinese stories” and “spelling contest”. With the help of various kinds of mass media, IT technology has turned learning into a kind of entertainment and enjoyment, which has been the dream of several generations.

The volunteers were reluctant to say goodbye at the end of the training session. The ICT teaching methods not only helped the volunteers broaden their horizons, but also encouraged them to put forth new ideas. Just as Ms. Zhao Yuanlin said, “ICT is the future direction of Chinese teaching.” The volunteers stated that in the Information Era, they could better promote international Chinese teaching only through ceaseless learning.

Ms. Kerry with the volunteers

Contributed by Li Hongjin, volunteer from Penleighand Essendon Grammar School