Well, I just completed week 3 at the American International School here in Saigon, Vietnam. I signed a one year contract to teach 2 ICT classes part-time for about 40 high school students ranging from the 9th – 12th grades. This most likely will be my last year teaching IT at this school do to my limited amount of time I have outside of my company.
This year my curriculum and syllabus were prepared for me before the school year started. As usual, I decided to add an open source component to my curriculum. My students were very receptive and by the end of week 3, the majority of my students already installed Ubuntu Linux on their laptops or netbooks. Ubuntu has come a long ways since my first Vietnamese student installed Ubuntu nearly two years ago. I only had to take about 4 netbooks home the last week to get them running properly, mostly just wifi issues. One of my brightest student was able to get the hda sound card to work after some tweaking. He also had the coolest laptop running Compiz. Yes, I allowed the Mac users to keep running their Macbooks in class 🙂
For the individual IT projects, I decided to make it interesting for most of my students. My students had to either design an airplane with X-Plane‘s Planemaker, design their future Saigon house with QCad, or edit music with Audacity. For the first quarter, I want them to learn how to use their chosen software (over half decided to use QCad which surprised me). The goal by the end of the year is to match the Audacity students with the Planemaker and QCad students. I want all the student groups to create a movie of their QCad or Planemaker projects. This seems quite exciting from an IT teacher’s point of view.
For me, one of the goal of these IT projects is to get my students to teach themselves how to learn the new software. You will be amazed at how fast Vietnamese IT students can learn new software. I also found them some really nice YouTube tutorials as well that will help them thanks to the help of my students (See below).
I am looking forward to my final year with my IT students. Hopefully by the end of the year, I will post some good movies of my student’s IT projects.