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Welcome to the eleventh edition of the termly
SHAMBLES newsletter
..... of relevance to International Schools
in S.E.Asia (& friends)
for aims, purpose & mailing policy

Apologies if you have received more than one copy of the notice of this newsletter -
To subscribe to the newsletter just send a blank email to newsletter-subscribe@shambles.net
or click on this logo to subscribe to the RSS feed

CLICK HERE to download a summary "Word.doc" version of the February 2006 newsletter (240KB)

INDEX (in no specific order)

Welcome Google : Librarian's Newsletter-
New Shambles Website Developments International Schools Websites
Keeping Up-To-Date Advertising on the Shambles website
Mandarin Speaking and Listening elearning awards
TOEFL Practice Online The US$ 100 Laptop
Free Software I.B. : International Baccalaureate
ICT Technicians Asia Listserv Intel Thinking Tools
Naace : ICT Educ .Professional Assoc. Web 2.0
CES (USA) & BETT (UK) & MacWorld Weather Game (+ sailing)
Naace is the professional association for those who are concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology
PageQ is a dynamic web page player. PageQ allows you to create an online slideshow of your school webpages .. VERY EASILY!
Support Shambles with a donation (through PayPal) if you feel suitable - many thanks if you do  .... Chris
   search ALL schools worldwide

"The Education Project Asia" (Chris Smith) is a consultancy designed to offer support to International Schools in S.E.Asia ... particularly in the area of integration of ICT across the curriculum.

Apart from maintaining the "Shambles" website I also provides on-site support to schools in the area of "ICT Across The Curriculum" .. ICT Reviews / audits / staff inservice / inset / parents evening /
... my ePortfolio is at www.shambles.net/csmith

New Shambles Website Developments
www.shambles.net/      www.shambles.net/pageq/shambles.pgq.html

The modifications on the Shambles website continues in response to feedback ... the "Safe Web Surfing" page has been updated ... of particular interest to k-6/Primary Schools.

There is also a new 'Shambles' online web presentation using a utility from a company called "PageQ" ... this is a brilliant addition to a school P.R. strategy providing a display (slideshow) of school webpages in ANY browser on ANY machine connected to the internet.

Also a 2006-2007 A3 Academic Planning Calendar (Word format) is available for downloading from HERE

Try your own subject or interest area by clicking here :
| Assessment Recording and Reporting | International Baccalaureate | Games | Photography | Headteacher or Senior Manager |
| School Counsellors/careers staff | School Nurses | Art and Design | Design and Technology | English | ESL |
| Economics and Business Studies | Information Literacy | Information Technology | Geography | History | Mathematics | Music |
| Modern Foreign Languages | Physical Education | Religious Education | Science | SEN |The School Library |
| The ICT Technician Room |
... and (for primary / K-6) a 'Topics' area.

Keeping Up-to-Date

How can teachers and administrators in International Schools keep up to date in a way that is not too demanding on time.?

See this area on Shambles that lists some of the less painful options.

Mandarin Speaking and Listening (free audio lessons) 
www.shambles.net/mfl  |   www.chinesepod.com/

Shambles has a very extensive area to support Mandarin teaching and learning which was mentioned in the last newsletter and resulted in some welcome feedback.

This term I would like to highlight ChinesePod.com .. if you are a Chinese language teacher or student then I "GUARANTEE" that this FREE resource will make your life easier ....

These daily audio lessons are between 10 and 20 minutes each .... the two presenters do an excellent job and have a very comfortable teaching style .... you can simply listen to them on your computer or subscribe to a podcast to automatically suck the lessons into your iPod or other mp3 player. The audio files can also be downloaded onto your own computer for use when needed ... a brilliant resource.

I find it amazing that this is offered for free ... they do charge for transcripts and exercises on paper ... and I hope you are able to support them in this way ...... my only wish now is that something similar becomes available for learning Thai.

TOESL / EAL / EFL Online Practice and Assessment

There is a comprehensive area on Shambles to support ESL ... which includes a subsection "ESL and Assessment"

There are now a number of new links in this area to websites offering ESL / EAL / TOESL online assessments, some for free.

Free Software
http://www.shambles.net/pages/school/freesoft/  |  www.shambles.net/pages/staff/freestuff/

The most regular presentation I do at conferences and workshops seems to be "Free Software and Resources to Support Teaching and Learning" - regardless of curriculum area ... from ESL to Science to Mandarin.
There is great potential here for schools to save lots of money !
The two relevant areas of links on Shambles are above.

Each year a website "TechSupport Alert" list their choice of the "46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities" at www.techsupportalert.com/best_46_free_utilities.htm .... it is worth a visit.

ICT Technicians Asia Listserv: self-help group

SEASTEG : South East Asia Schools Technical Exchange Group
This is new listserv (mailing) list to provide a self-help group to anyone providing technical support in International Schools in S.E.Asia ... to be able to ask questions and share ideas and solutions of a technical nature.

To join send an email to SEASTEG-subscribe@topica.com
To send a message or question to the group then send an email to

There is also a page on Shambles specifically designed to support ICT Technicians and Managers in Schools which lives at www.shambles.net/technicians

www.naace.org       http://tinyurl.com/9bjww

Naace is the professional association for those who are concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT).

Naace now has an 'Institutional Membership' category for whole schools which allows three named people within a school to be the contacts for Naace benefits.

If you would like to find out more visit the Naace website at www.naace.org and for information on Institutional Membership CLICK HERE

Join now to be eligible to attend the Naace Annual Strategic Conference and to receive the Spring editions of Naace termly publications due out at the end of February.

Join Naace
click for more details about Naace Institutional Membership

CES (USA) and BETT (UK) and MacWorld ... from afar
http://www.cesweb.org/   |    http://www.bettshow.co.uk/

An interesting start to the year in that there were several major exhibitions that have some relevance to ICT in Education ...

: Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and
: British Education Technology Show in London ... and right in between was
MacWorld with Steve Jobs giving the annual blockbuster announcements on all things Apple
.... and this all happens during the first 2 weeks of 2006.

So how do you keep up-to-date with what is happening in all of these if job demands or finances mean you cannot spend the start of the year flying around in business class.

The 'web' to the rescue of course .. more so than ever before .... here's what I did .... in addition to visiting the official websites ....

click to go to the Steve Jobs keynote presentation click for more info about the Consumer Electronics Show click for more info about BETT
CES with over 150,000 visitors and 2,500 exhibitors was extremely well covered by an independent 'gang' from Engadget would had a dedicated web site at http://ces2006.engadget.com/ ... these guys really did work hard to bring together all the latest news as soon as released in Las Vegas.
But an even more 'lazy' way to feel a part of CES this year was for me to use Podcasts .. in particular from the guys at TWIT and Digital Life TV (which is a video podcast) .. and listen to them when convenient.
Keynotes | Bill Gates | Paul Otellini CEO, Intel Corp. | Terry Semel Chairman & CEO, Yahoo! Inc. | Sir Howard Stringer (Sony) |

MacWorld was a 'no brainer' ... just view S.J.s' keynote on the Apple Website ... an excellent presenter .. and subscribe to MacWorld Podcasts

BETT described as "the world's leading educational ICT event, attracting over 600 educational suppliers and 27000 visitors" was a more difficult challenge.
"iPod in Education" , the website of David Baugh, had a podcast feed from his site at http://ipodined.org a Podcast of his own presentation about Podcasting.
The "Blast/UltraLab/Apple" group published a Podcast ... mainly 1 minute music clips with a couple of interviews all done by students ... sounded a brilliant fun & learning experience.
A number of 1 minute Podcasts from the Naace lounge went live in the very early hours of Saturday

OK .. so I gave up looking for "information" Podcast coverage of BETT ... the BLOGosphere must have it covered ... so on Friday 13th I searched Technorati for the tag "BETT" ... ummm lots of German Language sites ... but in English only a few BLOGs were highlighted that mentioned BETT and in most cases it was simply a 'mention' ... by Saturday this had risen to over 3,000 posts, most that I looked at were short accounts of how great it was ... and a few pics .. it turned out that most of the posts displayed were because Technorati picked up the word "BETTer" ... a search for "BETT Show" came up with only 200 posts.
The EdTechUK BLOG was the most informative that I looked at

The TES BLOG did have " Prof's vision for a better BETT" from Stephen Heppell where he talked about what he thought was missing .... interestingly enough he did not mention "Podcasting" and "BLOGS" being missing as a means of making BETT more widely available.

I did find RM's own Virtual BETT Show ... but strangely it only had RM products in it?
BETT themselves published a daily newsletter downloadable as a giant pdf file. but it was really a misnamed brochure of what was to come rather than a newsletter of what happened.

Teachers TV produced an excellent online roundup one week after BETT.

CONCLUSION : BETT let itself down in the area of getting itself out to the wider world community .. .... BETT could learn from the CES and MacWorld coverage ... 2/10 ... could do much better ;-(
Come on guys .... for BETT 2007 .... let's see someone using the technology to reach a larger audience ...

Google : Librarian's Newsletter

In December 2005 Google sent out the first edition of its newsletter designed specifically for Librarians.
The newsletter was conceived at the 2005 ALA conference in Chicago, where Google hosted a booth in the exhibit hall.

"This introductory issue features an article written to address one of the most frequent questions we've heard from librarians: How does Google index the web, and, more important, how does it rank the results?"

Google Librarian Center
click to visit the
Google Librarian Center

The second newsletter
20 January 2006
is available HERE

International Schools Websites - Showcased

I thought I'd try something different in this term's newsletter .... use a BLOG search engine to find Blogs that mention International Schools

So off to Technorati and insert "International Schools" into the search box : WOW .... some very interesting returns .... TRY IT and it looks like the students are writing more than anyone else.

STOP PRESS : OK I do have one primary (k-6) school webpage that I think does have a rather unique fun menu leading to the material for parents ... but I'll keep it anonymous ... just CLICK HERE.

Advertising on Shambles

Not many schools have taken up the advertising options on 'Shambles' which is a surprise as our pages do come up high in search engines.

'Shambles' is a free service because of sponsorship and advertising ... your support would be appreciated .. email me for more details if interested csmith@csmith.info

Support Shambles with a donation (through PayPal) if you feel suitable - many thanks if you do  .... Chris
European eLearning Awards 2005

These eLearning Awards support teaching and learning at European schools by awarding excellent resources, effective services, working ideas and imaginative solutions.

The Awards target schools at different levels, teacher training centers, and also cater to the needs of different types of learners. This is a 'low effort' way of seeing some examples of excellence in the use of eLearning. Entries are not just in English but in different European languages and so might be of double interest to your modern foreign language colleagues.

for the 2004 winners

for a complete gallery of entrants by country


The US$100 Laptop
http://laptop.media.mit.edu/   |   www.shambles.net/pages/school/emate/

2005 saw the announcement of the US$100 laptop ..... they are not yet in production and will not be available for sale to individuals. The laptops will only be distributed to schools directly through large government initiatives.

There is an eight minute interview about the $100 laptop at Andy Carvin's Blog ... requires QuickTime

There are a number of new machines now appearing that may help us move closer to the "one student-one machine" scenario.
e.g. see Nokia 770 Internet Tablet | Dana Wireless ||

Information about Tablet PCs in Schools can be found on Shambles

click to see more pictures


International Baccalaureate : I.B. : Language Conference
www.shambles.net/ib      http://tinyurl.com/9vm3q

The I.B. section on Shambles at www.shambles.net/ib continues to grow ... many thanks to all who have contributed.

I.B.'s 1st Global Language Convention 8th to 10th April 2006 in Singapore
The Global Language Convention 2006 is the 1st International Language Convention organised by the
International Baccalaureate Organization, Asia Pacific (IBAP)

The Convention brings together leading educators, specialists and veteran teachers, language experts and
vendors to discuss, debate and share their expertise and perspectives on language teaching challenges and best practices. Some of the key issues to be addressed include:

  • Second Language Acquisition and Cognitive and Affective Issues
  • Bilingualism and Early Childhood Education
  • Multiple Intelligence Differentiation and Language Acquisition
  • The Bi-Cultural Dimension and Bilingualism
  • Asian Language Issues
  • ESL/EAL Teaching Modules
  • Fostering Additive Language Acquisition
Intel Education: Interactive Thinking Tools

There is not the space here to describe these free online tools in details ... but I would urge you you to visit the site for more details.

| Visual Ranking Tool | Seeing Reason Tool | Showing Evidence Tool |

"Increase student learning with these interactive, online tools designed to promote higher-order thinking in any subject. Each tool features an online workspace where students create and save visual representations of their thinking. Classroom strategies and teacher-tested project ideas suitable for K-12 classrooms will help you get started."

Visual Ranking Tool
Students show their reasoning and discuss differences in their conclusions as they use the Visual Ranking Tool to prioritize and compare items in lists.

Seeing Reason Tool Showing Evidence Tool

Seeing Reason Tool
Seeing Reason Tool prompts students to investigate cause-and-effect relationships in complex systems. Students use an interactive causal mapping tool to create maps that communicate their understanding.

Showing Evidence Tool
Students use the Showing Evidence Tool to construct a well-reasoned argument and defend it with credible evidence. The interactive workspace prompts students to assess sources and analyze evidence.

Web 2.0

The term "Web 2.0" (pronounced "web two point Oh") was conceived in 2005 to describe a new breed of websites that use newer web authoring tools, are low learning curves (for the user) and support a co-operative and sharing environment .. and usually with a FREE option.
ALL done in a web browser

It is difficult to say exactly what a Web 2.0 site looks like although there is an online "Validator" that attempts to do this.

CLICK HERE to visit the main Shambles Web 2.0 page

go to main shamb;es web 2.0 page

Weather Game

'eWindward: Outsmart the Weather in a Race Around the World is the third in a series of award-winning, interactive broadband learning demonstrations by Cable in the Classroom , the cable industry's education foundation.
"Introduce a unit on weather by playing Windward. Generate interest and enthusiasm as students see how weather concepts affect a sailing race around the world.
Play Windward at the end of a weather unit. Students can put their weather knowledge to use sailing around the world."


Click to Set sail in this free multimedia game and see if you can outsmart some tough weather challenges.

For fun ... I've produced tee-shirts with a theme of "EDUCAUTION" ... see some of the examples at www.shambles.net/shop
If you have a "prompt line and response" you'd like on one of these shirts then just email the text to me ... I'll make it for you ... but you'll have to buy it online yourself.
Putting "U" into "Education



Firefox - Web Browser

In November 2005 a new version of Firefox (1.5) was released ... a direct competitor to Internet Explorer used to browse the www. I can now recommend that schools consider this new version for several reasons related to education, including :
    - it does load most webpages faster
    - you can easily customise the icons to be larger
    - it uses "tabs" so that multiple pages can be in the same window
    - you can customise the browser more easily to make it student (teacher) proof
    - apparently less security problems
These are just five of many new features .... try it and see !
BUT the Browser war is not over ... Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 is already HERE ... and looking Good !

SEAMC 2006
23rd to 26th February 2006
The South East Asia Mathematics Competition 2006 will be held in Hong Kong between Thursday 23rd and Sunday 26th February 2006. The competition is open to all International schools within the South East Asia region.
editor note: have you used the Google Calculator function ? www.google.com/help/features.html#calculator
and did you know 'Eleven plus two' is an anagram of 'Twelve plus one'

TechEx 2005 (Conf / Exhib / Workshops)
www.patana.ac.th/TechEx a few of my own informal 'snaps' can be seen at www.shambles.net/techex2005/
TechEX successfully took place in November 2005 at Bangkok Patana International School, Thailand with 500 teachers from International Schools in the region attending.

A list of the presentations given can be seen at www.patana.ac.th/TechEx/presentations.asp

Congratulations to the Patana team for the brilliant organisation ... especially John Tranter

"Dasher" ... free software for SEN ... and others
At the BETT (UK) ICT&Edu. Exhibition there were a number of 'fringe' events .... one of these was some free software called "Dasher" demonstrated by David MacKay ... for writing without a keyboard.
There is a video of the presentation available online        HERE

It's not often that a piece of software makes me go "WOW" these days .... but this one certainly did .... if you are working with students with severe physical learning difficulties then you MUST view this video and also visit the "Dasher" website ... it's even multilingual with some Asian languages.
I'm most grateful to Leon Cych at Learn4Life for making me (us) aware of this.

Football World Cup 2006
http://tinyurl.com/d3d6x   (414kB)
Here you will find a FREE Excel Spreadsheet for storing Football World Cup 2006 results

Poem About Teachers
Do you want to know what I make?

Google Earth for the Mac
Google Earth for the Mac was launched last month

Those of you familiar with "Rubrics" may well appreciate this one designed by Art Wolinsky and made online using the rubistar online tool .... and the topic is "What is Your B.S. Quotient?"
This was based on a BLOG article from Doug Johnson
CLICK HERE for Rubrics area on Shambles ... lots of info

Send a picture to be displayed on the front page of www.shambles.net
On the front page of the Shambles website is displayed a large image which changes every time the page is refreshed or when you visit next time.
You can see all the images together at www.shambles.net/randomimages
The image is taken at random from a 'pool' of images .... if you have a picture of your school or students / children that you would like to go in this group of images for display then just send it to me by email ... Chris Smith csmith@csmith.info

Shambles Poster for Staffroom Noticeboards : Full of I.T.
It would be appreciated if you could download and print out this A4 notice for your staffroom noticeboard.

That's IT
The next newsletter will be 3rd May 2006 ....
... and did you know "The Morse Code" is an anagram of "Here Come Dots"


Any feedback you can give about this newsletter is always appreciated .... especially ideas or contributions for future editions ...

If you know of any new international schools opening in the region - Brunei Burma/Myanmar Cambodia China Hong Kong (HKSAR) India Indonesia Japan Laos Macau Malaysia Philippines Singapore South Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam - then please let me know csmith@csmith.info

email Chris Smith

ePortfolio at www.shambles.net/csmith
Thought for the day ...
"You can't always get what you want .....but if you try....
sometimes you just might find you get what you need."
M. Jagger & K Richards, 1969

If you know of any commercial companies or organisations that might be interested in sponsoring a future newsletter then please feel free to forward this newsletter to them .... many thanks.

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