|Title||ASEF ClassNet Programme Brings Out the Best in Us!|
Mrs Noor Ezah bt Abu Bakar/Head of Language Department at SM Sains Seri Puteri
|Venue||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
As a member of ASEF ClassNet, I have lots of things to share about this commendable International Programme. I was first introduced to ASEF ClassNet programme by Ms Chin Siew Siew, my former colleague of Sekolah Alam Shah Putrajaya (Malaysia) in 2009. I feel grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to learn what ASEF ClassNet is all about. Initially, Ms Chin offered a few Online Collaborations and I chose “Chain Stories” so that my students could express themselves creatively in the English language. The Online Collaboration was coordinated by Ms Helene Tind, a very dynamic teacher from Herfoelge School (Denmark). I was glad that Online Collaboration was conferred the Merit Award for that year.
In April 2011, I became the Head of Language Department in SM Sains Seri Puteri in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and introduced the ASEF ClassNet Programme to all the English language teachers and students in the new school. Participating in ASEF ClassNet is such a mammoth project and a daunting task but we never sigh. The number of student participants grew year by year ever since I made it compulsory for all 16-year-old students to participate in the Online Collaboration. The others were also encouraged to join. In 2013, our students participated in two Merit Award ASEF ClassNet Online Collaborations, “The Time Machine” and “Chain Stories 2013”. This year, we mobilised more than 200 students and wrote 40 chapters in “Story Trees” as well as a new story “ASHACE”.
The exciting part about ASEF ClassNet is there are numerous interesting and challenging ASEF ClassNet Online Collaborations every year for teachers and students to collaborate. We are actually spoilt for choice. There are so many talented and creative teachers and students across Asia and Europe and we get the best of both worlds – engaging in interactive on-line collaboration, and uniting people from Asia and Europe. The ASEF ClassNet programme also serves as a good platform for sharing ideas and expertise among teachers. Besides sharing ideas, knowledge, culture and expertise, the ASEF ClassNet helps to facilitate and foster good ties among members. In addition, we get to learn a country’s dos and don’ts through the participation in Online Collaboration work for “The Time Machine”.
We are very happy to see the final version of “The Time machine” video produced by Mrs Maria Antonietta Sessa and her students from I.I.S. Galilei Vetrone (Italy). They came up with a really creative and interesting video where they put together video clips contributed by the different members into a common video, and it seems that the students in Asia and Europe “acted” in this video. My students really enjoyed doing the video and the story board.
In 2014, my experience with “Story Trees” is more challenging. Besides writing two stories for the “Movie/Drama” and “Fantasy” genre, my students came up with a novel idea to create a story “ASHACE”. We worked really hard for 4 days producing the story with 31 chapters. Other teachers helped to do the proof reading. There were lots of challenges we faced such as missing and corrupted files. Some students even had to spend time rewriting the whole text. Eventually, we managed to overcome everything tactfully with the help of the students’ committee. I would say that it was a big success to complete this exercise within 4 days. We believe that with team work, everything is made possible. What is more exciting is we plan to publish “ASHACE” fiction novel soon. We plan to bring “ASHACE’ novel to Hungary to give the honour to Mrs Zsuzsanna Szalayné Tahy (main Online Collaboration Coordinator for Story Trees) to pen off her signature and pre-launch the book.
Later this year, our school will organise an exchange programme in collaboration with Ms Anjali Handa from St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School (India), as a reciprocate visit which includes a homestay with St. Mark’s families. (Ms Handa brought her students visited our school in 2012). My students and I are really looking forward to meet our ASEF ClassNet members in September and December. After India, our next destination will be Hungary. We are confident that the exchange programmes will help broaden our horizons as well as to enhance our collaboration with them for our future activities.
Ultimately, the ASEF ClassNet programme has influenced the students and teachers in many ways. Besides being more IT savvy, we also managed to equip ourselves with creative ideas, keeping abreast with the advancement of technology. For years, we have been working hard, hand in hand between the two continents to share knowledge, embrace change and accept our cultural differences. Thank you, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and ASEF ClassNet for realising our dreams.