Digital Literacy

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“The most disastrous thing that you can ever learn is your first programming language.” 
― Alan Kay

The Grade 6 CISM students practiced their Scratch programming skills and inched their way to creating fun computer games. As preparation, during Digital Literacy blocks, the students practiced the techniques by making Scratch programs that make their sprites Dance, build a band, draw automatically, introducing themselves and interpret poetry.

The Grade 7s CISM students on the other hand explored advance techniques in Scratch programming. The skills that they learned were executed in their Final project: Rube Goldberg. It was a collaboration between Physics and Digital Literacy.

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For both grade levels, Makey makey kits were incorporated with Scratch to make tangible applications of their programs. It was wonderful to see them extend their learning of coding to something that they can touch, step-on or manipulate.




The Grade 6 students’ final projects consist of Ping pong game, Physics game, and Dance pad to name a few.

Here are some of the pictures of the Grade 6 students:

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Hour of Code

Hour of Code

The Upper School students of Chinese International School Manila (CISM) participated in the worldwide Hour of Code just this January.

What is Hour of Code? It is “an hour of introduction to computer science, designed to demystify ‘code,’ to show that everybody can learn the basics of computer science.” Originally, it is celebrated during the Computer Science Education Week. For 2016, it would be from December 5 to 11. This celebration is in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper in December 9, 1906. However, for us in CISM, due to numerous preparations and events held last December, we decided to move the Hour of Code event to the first school week of year 2017.

So when the students came back from the Christmas break, all the Grades 6 to 10 were given time during Digital Literacy block to choose their own game and learn coding. They were given freedom to choose from the student-guided Hour of Code tutorials. These are self-guided, giving them opportunity to work at their own pace and skill-level.

The most popular “How-To Guides” were Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code, Make a Flappy Game, Code Monkey, and  Minecraft.

At the end of the block, the students celebrated with their certificates.

Here are some snapshots during the CISM Hour of Code.

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References: (2017) Retrieved from:

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Five Tips to Start the New Year

“Always remember that there is a unique story behind every student that data alone can never tell.”
— Stevin Smith

Hello Everyone!

To start the year, let me share with you five (5) tips to begin your 2017!

1. Password update. The New year may prompt us to make new passwords. One suggestion is to type your new year’s resolution as your new password. It can be “spendtimewithfamily” or “submitontime.” This way, by typing your password frequently, you will remember to work towards your goal throughout the year.

2. Back-up your data. Duplicate your files. To help us out, here is a link to “A Beginner’s Guide to PC Back-up” by Eric Griffith of PC Magazine. For Apple users, here is “How to Back-up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.”

3. For parents, Bond with your teen-age kids. Show them how to use technology well. How? According to Mike Buchanan, parents can help their kids be responsible users of technology. He mentioned that we can show our kids how to update privacy settings or guide them in maintaining good digital footprint. We can also teach them how to be safe online and help them if they become subject to cyber bullying. It would be a perfect time to tell them that they are not alone and someone is there to help them handle it.

4. Take selfie no more? Instead of extending your arm for that much needed photograph, you can try using your iPhone earphone as alternative. The + plus sign (used for volume control) can be your camera remote. Press it to signal shutter release. Say cheese.

5. Share. Be a Good Samaritan in your own small way. Log on to and answer the questions as prompted. To help end hunger, ten grains of rice will be donated through the World Food Programme every time you answer the question correctly.

Here are photos of our students who took the Free Rice challenge last semester:





“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

― T.S. Eliot (Little Gidding)

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Christmas Time

As we enjoy the Christmas season, the time of merry making, spending time with family, and giving of love and gifts, we celebrated in class with some holiday apps. We downloaded “Charades” and “Holiday Charades” both by by FatChicken Studios. They are both available in the App Store for free.

Here they are:


So it is a wrap. Thank you 2016.

Have a Merry Christmas and a spectacular New Year Everyone!

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Interactive Media

Interactive Media

To harness the benefits of technology, students were given the opportunity to review for their upcoming examinations while using interactive applications available online.

We partnered with their mathematics teacher to come up with tasks to maximize ThingLink. According to its website, ThingLink is the leading platform for creating interactive images and videos for web, social, advertising, and educational channels. With the uploaded image or video, one can tag anywhere and assign link to videos, online references, and many more.

Here are some of their submissions:

Desmos Graph (Quadratics, Rational, Exponential, and Polynomial)



T1 Calculator







Another activity was a partnership with their English teacher. Students were asked to use Sutori as an online timeline where they can post the various events that happened in the book “The Night” by Eli Wiesel.

Sutori is an online interactive timeline that allows students to add images, videos, fun facts, and quiz questions.



If you are a fan of Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), this weblink is for you. It was indeed a great find. The objectives of this activity are:

  • Learn forensic science and apply your knowledge
  • Test your detective abilities

Here are some of the pictures while they were solving Case 2: Canine Caper:








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Digital Media

“The final magnificent spark of a firework is only the last seconds of the fall. Though it’s invisible to most, it’s the way up that creates all the impact. ”
― Charlotte Eriksson

When your students perform beyond what is expected, when you see the other side of them, it makes all the time worthwhile.
For the Digital Media class, I asked the students to explore Garage Band and make some music. Seemingly, they were just tinkering with the buttons but amazingly, they produced very nice original sound.





Here are some of their creations:



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Robotics Programming

I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.
- Confucius

Students were very engaged while building the robots. Some students were tasked to begin with the structural components of the LEGO mindstorm. They were instructed to go around the tables where they can find kits containing pegs, beams, and wheels. With these, they will build connector components and structural components using axles, bushings, and gears.







In due time, they built their robots based on pictorial instructions.





Those who were confident in building robots and knowledgeable in the use of LEGO NXT MINDSTORM were assigned challenges and exercises to manipulate the robot and apply programming skills.


Maze Challenge


The Wave Challenge


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History of Robotics

“I look at pressure as an opportunity to go out there and prove myself”
- Von Miller

“Robotics is the science of designing, building, controlling and operating robots.”

Each student from Grade 6 to 8 were asked to research about specific inventors that has contributed to the development of robotics in the course of history.

To be fair to all students, we used an online random picker in assigning names and topics. It is found in

Below are some pictures taken during the exercise. It was fun watching some of them get competitive even during the turning of wheel.


Below on the other hand are some pictures of students doing their report in class:

Watson the supercomputer who beat Ken Jennings in the game Jeopardy.


Spirit and Opportunity – the Mars Rovers


Roomba – the robot vacuum cleaner


Kismet – Robot that can show emotions


Garry Kasparov – the World Chess Champion who won against Deep Blue but lost the second time.


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Technology In The Workplace

Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born. – Alan Kay

The students in the ninth grade were immersed to the effects of technology in the workplace. They studied various issues and benefits brought about by technology. After each lecture, they were asked to provide their own insights and opinions on the current trends and issues of technology like globalization, upskilling, and deskilling. Students were given opportunity to formulate their voices on Telecommuting. Would they be in favor or against it? What advantages and disadvantages do they see?

With robot inventions happening everywhere, some sectors in our labor force are in danger of being affected by the development of robots. Since some work involved repetitive tasks, some robots do it more efficiently than human hands can do.

With this, students were asked if their future careers are somehow affected by the technological innovations. Will they need to be more information-technology literate? Indeed. However, as the video in “Are Drones Taking Our Jobs” by Andrew McAffee, it is a great insight not to be afraid of the changes but to focus their attention to unleashing creativity, alleviating poverty, and helping mankind.


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Anti-Cyber bullying

In CISM, we are one in standing up to Cyber bullying. What is Cyber-bullying? Does it happen to our kids? As defined by Common Sense Media it is ‘the use of digital-communication tools (such as the Internet and cell phones) to make another person feel angry, sad, or scared, usually again and again.”

We want to make our students feel secure and free from the feeling of being embarrassed or harassed both in school and in the online community. To make students feel aware of the emotional effects of cyber bullying, we showed a video about Stacey. Afterwards, students were asked to create posters to empower them that they too can standup to bullying. That they can also help other students who are being bullied and offer help.

Here are some of the posters that they made: