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A two week seminar in Shanghai:
Integrating ICT in Education
- program and impressions by Prof. Edna Aphek
- part 3

4.Israel- China initial communications, misunderstanding and cultural differences
Our embassy in Shanghai served as a go between us and the Shanghai Academy, during the month of April and the beginning of May. As our visit was nearing, direct lines of communications between our hosts and us, were opened.
Here are some of the faxes I sent directly to the coordinator of the program in the Shanghai Academy.
The Chinese e-mail didn't work and I used the fax system instead.

The first fax arrived in Israel on May the 17th, and I must say we were quite surprised. Our hosts wanted us to conduct workshops with 60! Students participating in each workshop. We didn't know what to do.
Our idea of a workshop was 25-30 participants, the first suggestion was to divide the group into two. As you'll see this idea was rejected by our hosts.

Fax no.1 sent by Prof. Edna Aphek to the seminar coordinator in the Shanghai Academy
Foreign Affairs office
Institute of General Education, Saes
Jerusalem, 21.5.2000

Re: IT & Education- Seminar in China

Dear Coordinator,

Thank you for your letter dated May 17th, which my colleague, Mrs. Wagner and myself read carefully.
In continuation of our previous correspondence we would like to note the following:

a. The seminar will be conducted in two sessions, each a week's duration.
b. Number of participants in each round- 30.
Total 30 each week = 60 participants in two weeks.
c. All the computers should be connected to the internet
d. Its most desirable to have a computer viewer
e. It is imperative that a technician attends all the sessions during the seminar
f. Are all the computers in the lab connected via a network, if they are, by which network?
g. What version of the Office software is installed in the computers? (95? 98?)
h. We would be grateful if we could have a half day tour of one of the schools, so that we could get acquainted with the Chinese method of integrating the ICT in the classroom.

And looking forward to meeting you soon,
Prof.Edna Aphek

The issue of the participants isn't resolved.
The study tour is also questioned. I am sending a second fax.

Prof. Edna Aphek, 42 Hatayassim St. Jerusalem, Israel 92509

Foreign Affairs office
Institute of General Education, Saes


Re: IT& Education- Seminar in China

Dear Prof,

Thank you for your fax dated 22.5, which we read carefully.
Here are some of our comments and requests.
a. We would very much like to have a computer viewer (projector, could it be rented?)
b. Any Office version in English would do.
c. The half-day tour is part of the seminar and will be used as a case study. Please arrange for a half-day tour of one of the schools during the seminar.
d. Neither Mrs. Wagner, nor myself have ever conducted a seminar with more than 30-35 participants.
However, we want very much to accommodate you.
After lengthy discussions we decided upon the following structure:

Seminar will be conducted for two weeks.
5 days Mon.- Fri each week.
8 teaching hours per day (45 minutes teaching hour).
Seminar method of teaching mainly workshop, cooperative learning and projects.
Group discussions, case study analysis and short lectures.
We'll be teaching the entire group 7 hours a day and then meet for an hour with representatives from among the students.
These representatives will serve as our "assistants".
These representatives should be the best among the learners, and preferably quite good in English.
We would need the interpreter during our daily meeting with the representatives.
This procedure will take place every day. Thus we'll be using the MLI method- Multi Level Instruction.
Please choose the representatives prior to our arrival.

This and more, in order to conduct the seminar in the manner you are asking us to, i.e.: with 60 participants, we would need an additional computer room, in which there should be at least 6 computers all connected to the internet.

d. We would like al the participants to bring with them some sample material of their work (computer teachers, coordinators, supervisors, etc) in the various schools, and sample material of their students work.

Please be advised that we might be making some slight changes in the course material during the seminar as might be needed.

With best wishes and looking forward to meeting you soon in Shanghai
Prof. Edna Aphek

Our suggestions weren't accepted. We were totally ignorant of the learning habits and arrangements in Shanghai and weren't at that stage flexible enough to accommodate our hosts.
The number of participant's issue wasn't resolved. The intervention of the Israeli Vice Consul in Shanghai was needed, and a compromise was reached- only 42 participants.

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