Digital Literacy

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First Month in Digital Literacy

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
― Robert Frost

It is the first month of the school year! Welcome to the Digital Literacy blog site for Grade 4 to Grade 10. I met new and interesting students again this school year. The classes discussed what they can expect from digital literacy, computer lab rules as well as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. As a review, we played the Space Game using the Socrative app. It was an exciting activity for them as they raced their way to the finish line. It was indeed an excellent way to loosen up in class.



To orient the students with what we have in the Upper School Library, and to give them a refresher course on how to search for books in the library, they played the library scavenger hunt. It is a delight to watch them run around the library with a purpose. They were racing against time and competing with their classmates to prove that they are the best and the fastest. Here are some snapshots of the activity:

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Next feature will be about the digital citizenship lessons.



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Makers’ Fest 2017

Makers' Fest 2017 Tarp ASSEMBLY (1)

We are thrilled to showcase what the Chinese International School Manila students can do! From users of technology, CISM students are continually being empowered to becoming creators of technology.

In the morning of May 22, Ms. Feli with Mr. Carlos  opened the ceremony with the ribbon-cutting at the Lower School Library. The opening video showcased the student’s Makers’ Fest project for 2017.




The Grade 4 students gave presentations on Earthquake preparedness and the Grade 5 students made a Green Screen booth.

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Students from the Early Years and Elementary School were our excited visitors. They went around the exhibits to try on the various creations of Middle School and some High School students.

With the use of Scratch, students programmed games for different interest levels and assigned subjects. They use alligator clips from Makey Makey and attach it to the foil or clay to enhance the gaming experience of the users.

The group assigned to “Arts” designed a game that gives the player an opportunity to paint after finishing a level.

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Another favorite Scratch program of the crowd is the race between the human and robot. Inspired by their PE subject, they created a simple-turned-popular game.

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What happens when you combine physics, digital literacy with fun and creative students. They will give a knock-out game entitled “Wire Game: Down to the Wire.”

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This group make learning fun. The next group made an interactive quiz for the gamers to practice their English skills.

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Who wants to do sword fighting and cajon playing? In collaboration with Social Studies, the Grade 7 students created these interactive games to show highlights in Peru and India’s history.IMG_7292 IMG_7252 IMG_4048 IMG_7300

The grades 8 and selected grades 9 and 10 students created their Apps using MIT App Inventor. This is an introduction to programming and app making tool that uses visual, drag-and-drop building blocks.

Students made apps that will help learners of basic Math, English, and Art skills.

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Here are the projects of the Robotics class. CISM has some amazing programmers and robot builders. They were asked to identify a problem and provide a solution using robotics. Here are their inventions:

Race Car robot with remote control 

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Door Opener

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Bartender or automatic water dispenser


FRMR – a robot that rakes the soil and plants the seeds.

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The winners for each category are the following:

Best App: “My Schedule”



Best Scratch and Makey Makey Project: “Cajon in Peru”



Best Robotics Project: “FRMR”



Here is link to the video showing the highlights of the Makers’ Fest 2017. Enjoy!

This would not be possible without the help of the whole Digital Literacy and Library Team — your Makers’ Fest Team 2017




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Genius Hour – Where passions come alive

“You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution.”
- Angela Maiers

What if you can learn about anything that you wanted? What if you were given one block every week to pursue your passion? What would you do?

An exciting semester was it for the selected Upper School students who were given time to work on their own Genius Hour Projects.

What is Genius Hour? Genius Hour is a class block dedicated weekly to “empower the students to pursue their own passions. It transforms classrooms into a place where students want to come in and learn.”

Student projects range from learning how to crochet, wakeboarding, forming a band and even composing a song. Some students tried to learn how to ride a skateboard, learn how to play the ukelele or piano, take photos, learn badminton, learn programming, write a comic book, make an expensive painting, learn how to bake and learn how to jump higher or run faster.

Here are some photos during their presentation:

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It was indeed a great learning opportunity for students to be in charge of their own learning and at the same time be responsible of managing their own time and resources.

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On the afternoon of May 22, the “Best Genius Hour Project” was chosen and the students who composed a song won.

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It was indeed a wonderful experience and we look forward to next Genius Hour event!

Congratulations, from your Makers’ Fest Team!


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Grade 9 Robotics

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal,
you do not change your decision to get there.” – Zig Ziglar


The Grade 9 students, though with limited time, took on the Robotics unit with much confidence. To review previous lessons and exercise in Robotics, the class was divided into groups who were assigned to discuss and give their classmates a “walkthrough” of the challenge assigned to them. These challenges included the following:

Walled Maze Challenge – robot must travel from point 1 to point 2 then avoid the walls using the ultrasonic sensor.Walled Maze Challenge




The Vacuum Challenge simulates the movement of the vacuum cleaner. The robot is programmed to go around the table until it bumps a wall then moves back and afterwards, keep on going around.



Intersections Challenge -Students must program their robot to drive around the block, stopping at each line for at least one second, completing one full lap around the block to beat the challenge.Intersections ChallengeIMG_3496


Close Shave Challenge – the students started their robots behind the black line. With a toss of a coin, their programmed robot will move either to the edge of the first, second or third tile.

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After review, students learned and practiced the use of the Move Block for the Gripper. This allows their robot to pick up a ball and drop it to a specific bin Using the switch block in programming and light sensor to detect the brightness or darkness of the ball color, they made their robots decide which one is red or blue. After it grips the ball, their robots will move from one to the next station and drop their ball in the correct bin.


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Snapchat Geofilter


It is official!

CISM has its own Snapchat Geofilter!

Dragon Online (CISM’s Digital Arts club), in partnership with Digital Literacy organized a Snapchat Geofilter competition. All students were encouraged to join and send their entries. Time during Digital Literacy classes were given to students to enable them to design their own geofilter that will represent CISM.

Here is the chosen design from one of the grade 9 students. Winner was announced during the Upper School Assembly.




Here are some snapshots using the CISM geofilter:

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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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Advance Robotics

“When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re coming apart.”
― William Gibson, Zero History


This year, the Grade 10 students took on a review of previous learnings from last year as well as embarked on new experiences in building and programming their robots.

Each group had two to three members. Members build the robot, add needed sensors and figure out the best possible position of its parts. Other members on the other hand look into the programming part of Robotics. He or she looks into the sequence of each block and determines the relevant one to use.

The Grade 10 students unlocked the challenges in Robotics, applying the principles and techniques learned in class. With the gripper attachment, using the motor block, their robot grabs a ball and releases it based on the need. The Switch and Logic block enabled their robot to determine the color of their ball and determine its next step. The Loop block helps their robot perform repetitive tasks as well as make the robot follow the black line in order to reach a certain destination. To simplify long and complicated blocks, they maximized the use of “My Blocks.”

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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!