Indonesian Teacher Calls CN, “The Future”

Ines Puspita is one busy woman.

Ines Puspita, Deutsche International School of Jakarta
As an educator at the Deutsche International School of Jakarta, Indonesia, Puspita is responsible for not one, but several courses, ranging anywhere from grades 4-9 in a variety of subjects. Her integration of technology in the classroom began with the use of Facebook, where she soon realized that while the social environment of the popular site helped her students stay connected, it also created a great deal of distractions. “I wanted to incorporate something more appropriate for my classes,” Puspita commented. “I needed a platform to use with Facebook that was not just social, but also academic.”

Puspita was searching for a network that allowed her students to develop concrete social media skills, something she believed would help her students connect with other learners abroad. “Because I teach so many courses, I needed an environment that was controlled, where socializing and interaction was not only encouraged, but necessary” Puspita stated.

A member of the CN community since its release in 2012, Puspita has seen CN evolve. Its development over only a two-year span has allowed for the creation of features that she and her students frequently use. For Puspita, the tasks tool helps her stay organized. “Putting my tasks into groups helps me remember what class I’m focusing on depending on the day,” she commented. “It helps me stay in line with the curriculum.” The tasks tool can be customized, color coordinated and tailored to any course matter, so directions are easy to understand and even easier to follow. The freedom of how to assemble them makes categorizing lesson plans simple.
Jakarta skyline (Google Images)

Puspita discovered that CN helped her better communicate with her children’s parents. Through CN email, she could contact them quickly and receive feedback from them faster than trying to find time for conferences amidst conflicting schedules. “Conferences can be very difficult and time consuming,” she elaborated. “CN has saved me a lot of time when dealing with parents.”

Puspita also offered a very real and interesting perspective on her experience with the network. CN has helped her special education students, specifically students with Autism, develop confidence to formulate their thoughts on her course topics. “Some of my students who struggle with communicating or interacting with their peers have found CN to help them shape their voice,” she said. The diversity of learning backgrounds that CN supports only enforces why technology can be a true game changer in classrooms everywhere. Students who need more attention, as well as more advanced students, can both seek benefits from the site. Its free-form environment is friendly and inviting to students.

A post featured on Puspita's profile on the CN
Through her innovative lesson plans and the help of CN’s features, Puspita witnessed a positive response. “They enjoyed having power,” she noted. “Power to them in class at their age makes them feel responsible for what they’re learning.” The “power” her students are referring to includes CN functions such as the post, quizzes and poll tools. “They even started competing against each other by seeing who could earn the most seeds!” Puspita exclaimed. The implementation of the Anar Seed reward system has proved and continues to prove that positive reinforcement in a learning environment is not only unique, but critical in helping students continue to use technology they can trust. 

CN’s latest feature is the Anar Progress Bar, which visually allows learners and instructors to see how a student is performing in a course based on the number of seeds they accumulate. “Having that visual makes it easier for me to assess their progress,” Puspita noted. Puspita’s students have benefitted from the network so much that they are currently working on a video project for on YouTube about CN that is helping them learn media production skills such as editing and screen capturing. “The goal of this project is to campaign CN’s benefits,” Puspita explained. “My students wanted to create something based on what they believe other students would want in their classrooms.” The video will answer questions like: Why do students need CN? What features would be most helpful to them? And other perspectives geared towards student voice.
Indonesian Flag

To connect, as defined by Google, indicates a contact or coming together, so that a real or notional link is established. CN starts with connecting, but doesn’t stop there: through creating new additions, building on feedback and expanding its benefits across the world, CN is changing the way elementary and secondary students of Jakarta using technology learn and grow. “Course Networking is the future,” Puspita concluded in her final remarks.

                       Where will it take us next?   

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