Cyber Wellness Train-The-Trainer

“Why Can’t Cyber Wellness Training be Effective?”

For two hours, Mr. Poh Yeang Cherng of Kingmaker Consultancy opened up and freely shared the “trade-secrets” of how he engages youths effectively on cyber wellness. From strengthening facilitation skills to designing effective curriculum, it was to be the first ever cyber-wellness train-the-trainer for educators (conducted by a training vendor).

The staff team of Mayflower Secondary School were brought through a roller coaster ride into the world of social media. From “Privacy & Online Reputation” to “Cyber Bullying & Responsible Online Expression”, sixty Mayflower teachers were immersed in the wonders of Social Media – through the eyes of a teenager.

Participants were enlightened on the how business models of social media platforms imposed privacy risks on the unsuspecting youth (and adult). Most were shocked at the extent to which web companies tracked personal information.

Teachers were also brought through multiple case studies of cyber harassment and cyber bullying in the teenage online world. The case studies and resources were specially handpicked for teachers to use in Character & Citizenship Education classes.

“The materials that were used were helpful. I can see how I can use them during my lessons.” Anonymous.

An overwhelming 96.4% of all teachers indicated agreement (and strong agreement) with relevance and usefulness of the content, as well as the quality of delivery. It was also noteworthy that there were no single negative rating for the workshop!

“Really learned a lot about cyber wellness. Excellent workshop” Ms Norhidayah

“The session was crisp and an eye-opener. Positive information that can bring about a change.” Ms Vijaya.

“Very good. Strongly recommended” Anonymous

“Yes do it! It’s an eye-opener.” Ms Parimala

Kingmaker Consultancy is pleased to partner Mayflower Secondary School in this exciting journey for Values Education. This is a significant effort to empower teachers for cyber wellness training. This workshop also complements a separate project to train student leaders to conduct cyber wellness presentations for their peers and juniors (more on that in the next post!).

Kingmaker Consultancy conducts quality train-the-trainer workshops for educators in cyber wellness and media literacy. Mr. Poh Yeang Cherng first conducted a train-the-trainer in 2005 for 26 trainers from 6 authorised training companies through MDA funding. Since then, he has also trained many social workers and counselling professionals. This workshop is significant as the first collaboration between commercial vendor and educators. Contact us to find out more how this may fit into your school’s plans for cyber wellness!

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Media Literacy

The recent debate over two controversial advertisements highlighted the need for media literacy training.

While the industry’s self-regulatory group (ASAS) acknowledged indecency and called for it’s removal, it was ironically some man-in-the-street who feel otherwise.

Studies show that only 8% of advertising messages are processed by our brains, with the remainder influencing us in ways we do not even begin to realise.

That means that 92% of advertising messaging influence us without our awareness!

Women take in unrealistic ideals of beauty and slimness; body parts (especially of women) are objectified and influence attitudes towards sex and violence. Our expectations, attitudes towards ourselves, others and relationships are but some of the domains affected.

An advertisement like the ones in question uses sex to sell – the message has little relevance to the product/brand.

Media literacy is especially important in this era where we are bombarded with media messages. We need to learn how to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages.

Kingmaker conducts quality programmes to teach media literacy.

  • 670 MOE International scholars learned how to interpret different and sometimes conflicting news messages of the same subject.
  • 270 Guangyang Secondary students learned the subtle effects of “sexy media” and how computer games are more than mere entertainment.

All these involve the ability to ask right questions about the source and intent of the messages. Kingmaker teaches a framework for interpretation and uses relevant case studies to educate media-savvy youths.

Contact us at info@kingmaker-consultancy.com for more information!

“Not-Just-Another-Project”

Cyber Wellness Discovery Challenge

Not-Just-Another-Project

It would take all of these words (and more) to attempt to describe the journey of 21 students from Tanjong Katong Secondary School in the past seven months.

Four groups of students selected their own cyber wellness problem to research. They searched for information, interviewed friends and conducted surveys to determine the actual extent of the problems in school.

With help from Kingmaker’s training and research consultants, they next embarked on an exciting journey to create their very own cyber wellness programme for their juniors and primary school students.

It would prove to be no ordinary programme. Far from the usual static posters and powerpoint presentations, the students were empowered to design impactful experiences of their own.

Through modelling by Mr Tan Hee Guan, they learnt about the principles of facilitation and were able to craft impressive questions on their own.

That was topped up with beautiful posters integrated into a “first-person interactive journey” on Mission Maker.

Sharp presentations with slick delivery – these pale in comparison to the exciting real-life sessions they will be conducting for young children in the coming months.

Keep tabs on this blog for more updates to come!

Can Teaching Copyright Be Fun?

“I hate teaching about copyright!”

That was one experienced trainer’s comment three weeks before delivering Kingmaker’s latest cyber wellness workshop on the subject matter. He had previously taught this subject matter with another service provider.

While most recognise the importance of respecting intellectual property, educators find it extremely difficult to handle the tensions in copyright.

  1. Protecting publisher’s rights vs propagating good inventions
  2. Upholding personal integrity in the face of widespread abuse

Yet through a concoction of engaging videos, case studies and experiential learning, 263 secondary one students from Guangyang learned not just about the dos and don’ts of copyright, but also began to embrace the value of respect for content creators. They were highly engaged by the fresh content from recent case studies in Singapore.

Even the teachers were following the videos & case studies.

“My friend used to jailbreak. After the talk, maybe he will stop.” – Brian Teh

“It is amazing and educates you at the same time.” – Bryan Ong

“The workshop is nice, motivating & good” – Neo Shi Jie

“The trainer is good and helps us understand more about cyber wellness” – Lim Min

The best reward for the above-mentioned trainer will surely be the excellent ratings and comments he received for his session. “This workshop rocks!” – Tan Kian Wee

(Note: The word cloud generated at the top of the post were actual feedback gathered from students)

Cyber Wellness & Media Literacy in a Cross-Cultural Context

In July 2011, 670 Chinese scholars spent time with 12 staff from Kingmaker Consultancy, learning about cyber wellness, media literacy and how they may apply the skills and concepts in adapting to a cross-cultural setting in Singapore.

They took part in lively sessions of debate, research, collaborative learning and presentations. With guidance and expert consultation provided by Master Trainers Poh Yeang Cherng and Jiow Hee Jhee, the scholars were able to identify and analyse key issues in various cyber wellness topics ranging from pornography, video game addiction, social networks and cyber bullying.

Particularly relevant and impactful were the case studies highlighting differences in Singapore and China’s Internet cultures. The scholars were also taught a critical thinking framework on evaluating news reports from different sources.

The workshop was overwhelmingly well received. More than 90% of the respondents “agree” & “strongly agree” that cyber wellness is important in their lives. There was special commendation for the quality of the trainers & the participant learning on cyber wellness & media literacy.

Reviews for Workshop

“The workshop is very clear and (helped us) relax us a lot. At the same time, we know more about internet and how to get away from abuses of internet.” – Chen Jiaqi

“(We were) well engaged in discussion and presentation.” – Gong Lin

“We can cooperate with each other and do thing together. What counts most is that we can learn from others and get inspired.” – Wang Nan

Kids and Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming is fast becoming the dominant past-time of kids in IT-enabled Singapore. From mealtimes to bedtime, it’s rare to find a child who is not connected to either the iPhone, Nintendo Gameboy, Playstation Portable or a mobile device of some sort.

Many parents worry about the impact of such a radical change in the development of the child. However, no one actually knows the actual long-term impact of such activities on our kids. From a research perspective, short-term experiments are inadequate and there are also significant ethical issues involved in testing children. Anecdotal evidences abound but research is relatively sparse.

So “parent knows best” is still important at the moment. What can a parent consider in deciding your child’s exposure to computer games? We’ll approach the issue from both a game-feature perspective and a child-centric perspective.

(1) Child-centric considerations

There is no hard and fast rule for “necessary exposure” of kids to games, even in the Internet age. It is more important to understand your child and his/her inclination. If the child is musically inclined, he may be drawn to the music in games or he can be directed to other offline musical activities. Similarly, you can direct a body-kinesthetic boy towards sports instead of action games.

Although there may be kids who are especially drawn to games, they can still be directed to alternatives provided you understand their motivation & inclination. In a nutshell, you can control when your kids start playing games.

(2) Game-centric considerations

You can also control what kind of games your kids will play. Not all games are created “equal”. Modern game design adopts sophisticated approaches to analyse how features can serve to keep gamers playing. Here it is very useful to have some basic knowledge of games so that you can influence the types of games you children start on. Kid-friendly games may show cartoonish content but also expose them to a culture of consumption. Fighting games engage with the action but also decreases empathy in children.

So choose games carefully. Look at the game ratings for boxed games. For online games, search for reviews especially from parenting resources. In the next few posts, I’ll highlight some useful websites.

Finally, the Internet age is just as good a time to bring our kids outdoors compared to the past. Do not just fight the trends of computer gaming. Instead counter it with plenty of viable alternatives. In that way we also give our children plenty of choices, making them resilient.