Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

By Date: June 2004

Presenting on eLearning

Today I will present our new project ePlato EduWare System to Microsoft and their business partners.
eLearning is all en vogue in Singapore right now. However your mileage there does vary quite a bit. So my opening slide is this:

A fish stinks from the head

Posted by on 16 June 2004 | Comments (1) | categories: Software

Free WIFI Singapore style.

This week the ComunicAsia exhibition takes place in Singapore. The exhibitors proudly announced, that they provide free WIFI access during the exhibition. All local ISP support the exercise, so I powered on my laptop and looked at the available networks. Then I learned it is "free as in beer" but not "free as in speech". The login page prompted me with user name/password and the remark that I could use my ISP's or IPASS credentials.
So happily I provided them only to be prompted, that I supplied wrong credentials. Since I'm in the trade I know what credentials are, otherwise I would feel confused. The message should have been: "Sorry I can't process your user name/password, this is what might have happened and this are your support options..."
So I went to the support desk to learn: a) The WIFI hub has hiccups due to high demand and that you need to supply a business card to be issued an user name/password. The ISP support the show, but don't provide live authentication. Fishing for customer data I would say.

Posted by on 15 June 2004 | Comments (0) | categories: Singapore

Protect our children from this protection!

Kid Stuff

Children are now so important to this county, they're getting the red carpet treatment. Last week, it was announced that roads leading to schools are being paved red, so drivers will know to keep an eagle eye out for crossing cows, snails, kangaroos, turtles, kids and other endangered species.
Clearly, children - in the words of the DHL Megacor "you don't have to" TV commercial - don't have to learn the proper procedure for crossing roads. No more "look right, left and right again". Just cross. It's the drivers who have to learn to stop for the kids.
This is not an isolated incident. It is but the latest innovation in the nationwide urge to protect kids from everything. Just the other week, we were told it is illegal to discipline kids using "harsh, humiliating, belittling or degrading responses of any kind, the deprivation of meals, isolation and the restriction of movement."
The proper way to discipline a recalcitrant child is with dignity and firmness, clearly explaining why his or her action is wrong. This is the way to do it:

Teacher: Can you please be quite?
Student: [ignores teacher]
Teacher: You! Yes, you with the big mouth! Stop talking!
Student: You can't talk like that to me. I can report you.
Teacher: I'm sorry. I won't do it again. Can you please keep quiet, pretty please?
Student: Why?
Teacher: Because I asked you nicely.
Student: That's not a good enough reason.
Teacher: Because then I can teach you important things.
Student: They're not important to me. Try again.
Teacher: Because Confucius said you must obey your teachers.
Student: Con who? That's it - you've used up your three lives, dude.
Teacher: Yes, I understand. I'll try harder next time. I apologize for interrupting you.

What next? Guaranteed degrees, secure jobs and eternal youth?

via IS Magazine Singapore.

While this story is fun to read it also provides a flashlight how people see education here. My personal believe is: You have to make children responsible for their actions to the extend they can cope with this responsibility. This includes to be very clear and consistent about how, why and where you set the limits and how to enforce them. As The Oracle would say: "It's all about choices and consequences".  

Posted by on 08 June 2004 | Comments (0) | categories: Singapore