Saturday, November 17, 2012

One week into the hols...

Holiday time! Been a busy week so far. Early in the week, visited a friend about to get married.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
We went out for a makan in Penang at Agua at Straits Quay... This was the sticky pork ribs that we had, together with some tapas. I forgot to take the snapshots of the rest of the food. 8(
5 of us, 3 adults and 2 kids. Was a get-togerher with this about-to-get-married-sweet-young lass, a friend made via volleball. My fondest memory remains the 1000 volleyball digs which we dig together. And we decided to just go out and do the 'girl-thing' one more time before she ties the knot officially. So, we took another drive from Gurun to Penang.

Friend and I have also brought our kids for badminton. Age shows these days... bones are creakier, muscles ache more readily and easier too. But the kids seem to enjoy the sessions. I think the after-the-games sessions of makan are incentives too. Lol! We've done swimming too, though after all the hard hitting session with a teenager full of energy and refusal to 'lose' to an aunty ( I still win), my muscles are rebelling too... so not much swimming got done.

Holidays can be a stressful time for kids and parents these days. School and tuitions keep most of the kids busy during term. During the hole, it becomes a challenge to keep them occupied. For kids who read, the problem more or less gets solved. When I was a kid, I remember school hols as times when my bro, together with neighbourhood kids would have activities all lined up. And we didn't need any adults to plan our time for us! The day would begin mostly with 'dawn-badminton' at the open badminton court near our house, late mornings ping pong sessions, afternoon insect hunting or a game of real masak-masak... followed by more badminton in the evenings. And, as and according to the musim, games of baguli (glass or white ones), top-spinning, kite-flying would compliment the rest of the activities. By the time nightfall came, we were mostly bushed. And so parents today find the need to take their kids for holidays... which I feel do not solve the problem of filling up all the free time, still. Physical play is good, even necessary but I think many of our children these days only play on the console... with their fingers mostly. (sigh) It's not very safe out there these days and parents are busy.... A generation with lost childhood in the making.

Am still hanging on to my World History on Coursera. Just finished my 4th essay yesterday with a couple more days to spare from the deadline, this being the 8th week of the course. I realised that it's harder to get any real academic work done during the hols as compared to during non-hols time. Have 4 more weeks and 2 more essays to go before the course concludes. Have done 20 peer reviews too. It's not easy hanging on and there are times when I have entertained the idea of abandoning the written assignments altogether but so far each attempt has brought pleasant surprises in the sense that I realise that they help me consolidate information and make sense of the bigger picture in ways I never did! That got me staying on.
This is a video from one of the founders of Coursera. Quite compelling her arguments. Found her explanation on how students can follow a more personalised curriculum and the statistics and the efficacy of the different types of teaching and learning educational. Technology will change the way education is delivered, that's for certain. And I think we're slow in adapting and adopting it.
2 Sigma Problem
This one helped me understand why some of the work among some kids that I've been doing has been quite effective. Individual tutoring's achievement score is 98% as compared to lecture style which only produces about 50%. And it goes back too to the importance of attention, I supposed.
But from my own experience on Coursera, I think what they have done and are still trying to do is quite fantastic. I've enjoyed the last 8 weeks of learning. And I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can complete it.

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