Author Archives: annemirtschin

Global Education Conference 2014

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Technology allows us to take learning beyond the textbook and enables global education to take place on a scale previously unheard of. The global education conference is a wonderful way to learn about the world from the world and with the world. It is an amazing conference that brings all corners of the world together and makes so many connections possible.
If you are involved in global education, we would love you to consider presenting. There is still time to submit proposals for this exciting conference but please ensure it has a global education element. Final submissions have to be in by November 1st.

You can read more from any of the following flyers that may be of interest to you. Please note that we are looking for more student presenters.

Make sure you mark these dates on your calendar and set aside some time to participate in one or another – presenting, moderating or simply participating. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Global Selfies

A global selfie featuring people from Indonesia, Australia and China

A global selfie featuring people from Indonesia, Australia and China

What can you see in this picture –  sights, feelings, atmosphere??? Selfies are a great way to capture learning, experiences and learning and can now be done on a global scale!

A fun linkup was held last Thursday after school with Endang from Indonesia and some of her helpers to created global classrooms with students in Pekalongan, Indonesia. Unfortunately, our students had just gone home on their school buses so I connected with  three lads who  wanted to know what Mystery Skype was. Instead of telling them, they participated in a mystery skype. Questions that could only have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer were asked until they worked out where I was from.

Li Min, our Chinese language assistant who is helping with our mandarin Chinese language program at school, came into the room after hearing the laughter, so they had fun working out where she was from. She hails from Wuhan, China. This added another accent to the mix of conversations, so the chat was used, together with audio,  to ensure we all understood each other.

They then asked about the global projects that students in our school have been involved in and what projects we are currently involved in. Year 9 and 10 students have just started a Global Selfies project through Taking IT Global, so I mentioned this. Immediatley, hearing the word selfie Mumtaz Kwizime pulled out his phone as if to clarify that is what we meant.

The second selfie taken!

The second selfie taken!

We asked if he would take a selfie of all of us involved, and above is the result! I love the photo. What do you think? What can you see in the photo? How do you think our connection went?

Connected Classrooms with Skype

At 9am  Friday 31st October, the inaugual #skype2learn twitter chat will take place in Melbourne, Australia (gmt+11) time. This will be 6pm Eastern Standard or 3pm Pacific, USA on Thursday October 30th. See timeanddate for your day and time.

It takes place on the last day of the official Connected Educator Month and the theme will be “Connected Classrooms with Skype”. The hashtag will be #skype2learn. Skype has been a long term favourite of mine as it is free, user friendly and people across the globe are able to use it readily. The twitter chat will use some of the following questions over the hour of dedicated conversations:-

  1. Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what your interest is in education
  2. Why do you use skype for connecting?
  3. How have you used skype for learning?
  4. Share your favourite stories and learning outcomes
  5. Where do you find connections?
  6. What tips do you have for those who are new to using skype?

If this is your first experience with pariticpating in a twitter chat, see How to participate in a twitter chat

What other questions could we explore with each other. Please join us and learn of the power of videoconferencing and skype in the classroom.

Below is the scribd poster for this session

https://www.scribd.com/doc/244543616/Twitter-Chat-Connected-Classrooms-with-Skype

Sovling technical issues on a global scale!

Skype for initial call then keeping contact open

Skype for initial call then keeping contact open

There is a saying that “if your product is good, the market will come to you!” The same saying can be applied to a person who has a strong online presence. If you are interested in global connections, have a strong profile, blog, share what you are doing and push it out there, others will find you and seek connections with you.

I was delighted to get an email from a university lecturer, Mariko Eguchi, in Japan who is working on global competencies with a number of countries including USA, Taiwan and Russia but was seeking interested secondary teachers in Australia. I immediately responded and said yes I would be interested as Mariko offers linkups via both skype and polycom. We get lots of skype contacts but global polycom users are more difficult to find. The visuals can be clearer with dedicated videoconferencing equipment so I was keen to try our school equipment with Asia.

Year 12 dress up day

Year 12 dress up day

Yesterday we used skype to initially connect, and used as a backchannel while we tried dialling each other over polycom. Year 8 girls happened to be in the room as were some year 12 students. It was their final day of school and they had come dressed up! Always a great opportunity to show off their costumes if it is on a global scale!

I could ring Mariko using polycom but she could not ring me. It was decided to test the connection with the school that she wants us collaborate with this Friday.

Skype opens our learning spaces

Skype opens our learning spaces

Polycom videoconference was next

Polycom videoconference was next

Testing is essential and to ensure we covered all possible potential complications, I booked a room for us to meet  through our Education Department just in case. Mariko then used skype chat to tell me that I cannot ring her on her mobile unit when outside the university, I have to ring her! We then tested the room connection immediately through the booked room number, but although Mariko could see me, she appeared as a blue box to me and also to her.

Resolving Mariko's lack of video

Resolving Mariko’s lack of video

Mariko is back on video

Mariko is back on video

Gary Schultz, a virtual learning officer with our Education Department was messaged. He came into the room virtually and immediately to try and resolve the problem. As there was still no solution, the central office digital support technician was contacted who also immediately looked at the back end to find all was well on the Australian side. It was suggested that Mariko’s camera was not working. She contacted her technician who was on site. She came in immediately and resolved the problem. The actual linkup takes place tomorrow so fingers crossed all goes well.

How fortunate were we to have almost immediate virtual and face to face help and that technicians from 2 countries could work together and resolve the problems.

Global Seasons

collagerr

There was a time when I thought all the world enjoyed 4 seasons!

Being a member of several global skype groups means that there are always lots of interesting interactive conversations over the 24 hours of the day. The weather and associated seasons of the year is always a popular post for conversation. As we, in southern Australia enter spring, other countries move into autumn (or fall as some call it). Others only have two seasosn – wet and dry.

Janet Barnstable created a “Seasons” padlet wall for people across the globe to share their current season, tell us about it and share what it looks like in a photo or picture.

Here is my contribution to Janet’s padlet wall, sharing spring time on the farm in south eastern Australia.

Spring is always a busy time on the farm with many young animals being born. It is lambing time and we usually rear a number of pet lambs. Either their mothers died or simply left them. We also feed poddy calves. The chooks lay lots of eggs and we set eggs under a clucky chook hoping to get lots of chickens. The days get longer and warmer and the garden blossoms and blooms. The paddocks are a wonderful shade of green. I love spring best of all!

Which season do you like best and what season is it now for where you live?

Twitter for Senior Student Revision

Today, marks the first day back for term 4 in Victorian schools in Australia. The pressure is on to prepare our senior students for their final VCE exams and set them up with organized revision activities.

Revision started in earnest and in a very traditional manner through reading and writing but then an aha moment reminded me that twitter might be useful, especially as the Business Management students need to look at the Management of Change. We stopped what we are doing and:

    1. Registered for twitter: Only 2 students were registered for twitter, so the rest registered. We discussed usernames, passwords and the nature of random follows and followers
    2. Used twitter as a search engine: Then searched for their chosen organisations to study in depth eg Australia Post  and found this link  Post Office faces Changes two tweets down on the timeline (very valuable for their Management of Change understanding)
  • Searched for people or organisations to follow.
  • I commenced a list for VCE Business Management based on their research and mine.
  • Students followed me and subscribed to my list VCE Business Management (They can always unsubscribe and unfollow me when their study is completed)

From the Australia Post tweetfeed, we found more more great links for those who are using Australia Post as their organisation of choice. These appeared at the top of the timeline feed for today and give students a feel for the organisation so much more than they would get through static webpages and gives a deeper understanding of how large organisations work, especially with the advent of technology.

— Australia Post (@auspost) October 5, 2014

This tweet is great for their study of social responsibility

What else did we find? Other teachers of the subject sharing resources, advice etc Newspaper articles that have hints and tips for successful exam preparation and completion and this is just the beginning……. Do you think it will help them with exam revision and improved study score in exams?

Place Based Learning

julieanne

Place Based Learning was the theme of conference on Friday, organised by Deakin University, Warrnambool. Deakin University is our local university (45 mins drive from my school). It is a smaller uni but maintains a wonderful country style community with beautiful grounds and surroundings. Faculties are active in getting grants and working with local schools.

On Friday, I not only attended this conference  but also presented on the theme “Mobile Learning – Changing Learning Spaces”. I spoke on “how can/do mobile technologies support/promote enhanced place-based learning and the types of positive impacts associated with that.”

Dr Julianne Lynch, a senior lecturer in curriculum and pedagogy at the Faculty of Arts & Education welcomed us and set the scene for the day. Although creators of technology create for a specific use, users of the technology will appropriate what they want and use it in ways that often designers did not envisage eg mashups etc. Learners need to be positioned so that can connect with and care for social and environmental welfare of the place, making them responsible for their learning and where they are living.  Experiences can be layered and students get a sense of place through virtual and phsysical spaces.

Several sessions were led by Will King from Brauer College. He outlined the school’s experiences with the Local Koori Mobile Project.  This exciting and essential work with our local aboriginal community ensures that their dialect and stories will be handed on to our current generation. It is essential that some of the stories are told out on Country so that students can learn about aboriginal history, often in the places where significant cultural actions occurred. Stories need to be connected to place! ARIS, a mobile app, is being experimented with to provide documentary evidence versus physical presence. Guided by Rob Lowe Snr, Peek-Whurrong elder, Year 7 Brauer College students participated in a field based local history program. They collected digital artefacts and created a heritage trail, navigable using the geo-tracking capabilities of hand held mobile devices.

Will and  Paul McLaughlin,  a phys ed teacher at Marion College, Ararat, with an interest in integrating technology in education, including location based games,  showcased their students’ learning and outlined the processes involved in developing a game-based local history trail linked to the Australian curriculum. The mobile app ARIS was used to develop this local history trail.
Oral history is still vitally important and the way that aboriginal knowledge has been transmitted.

Terri Redpath, coordinator for the School of Education at Deakin University, shared her work with the students in using iPads to record learning. Students become producers of information, going from print based learning to multimodal communication. Students put their learning an knowlegde into their own words and came up with powerful rich understanding.

steph hann

Steph Hann outlined her work with geocaching and grade 6 students. Geocaching is a “real world outdoor treasure hunting game” using GPS enabled devices.

Students worked with staff and students at Deakin to produce 6 geocaches. These were hidden at the university. Their theme was based on the careers and courses that uni students could do. The learning included making links with community, sense of ownership, sharing stories and the importances of imagery.

Nadine Frankel, a specialist science teacher at Warrnambool East Primary School together with a fellow science teacher Kerry McCarthy won a Victorian Education Excellence Award for Outstanding Curriculum Innovation. They worked on a project in primary science (WEPS – focused on the Fluker Post environmental monitoring system). Finally, a session on the lane-ways of Warrnambool using some digital augmentation was shared by Karen Richards. She is an award-winning artist working in the medium of embroidery, digital embroidery, animation, lace sculpture etc.

art in laneways

A SWOT analysis in small groups completed the day, which was a wonderful celebration of local, innovative teaching and learning and Place Based Learning.