Author Archives: murcha

The Global Education Conference 2014

This coming week features the Global Education Conference -one of my favourite online conferences – an amazing conference involving potentially the world. Presenters and participants do come from across the world. Sessions are predominantly in English but other languages are starting to feature now. See the schedule, choose your own time zone first and spend time looking at all the sessions on offer.

My involvement:-

Sessions of global colleagues who are also presenting. These people are part of my networking groups and special to me.

Which ones have I missed? What sessions can you recommend? Make sure you attend at least a few session of #globaledcon

 

 

 

#globalclassroom Twitter Chat: The Globally Connected Eduator

Global Classroom is three!

Global Classroom is three!

#globalclassroom twitter chats are three years old!   To celebrate this month’s chat will take up the theme of “The Globally Connected Educator”. This also continues the theme of  Connected Educator month which took place during October. Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator) of South Africa and  Anne Mirtschin (@murcha) of Australia will c0-moderate this chat. It will take place on Sunday November 16th at 9pm, Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11) Please check timeanddate for your day and timezone. Dont forget to use the hashtag #globalclassroom with each tweet!

The following questions will be posed.

  1. What does it mean to be a globally connected educator? What does it mean to YOU personally?
  2. How do you become a global connected educator? Ideas / advice for teachers wanting to become global connected educators.
  3. What are the benefits of being a globally connected educator – why would you encourage other teachers to become globally connected?
  4. Ideas/Tips for managing your “connectedness” – one cannot be available online 24/7, so how do you get around this and find the balance? Tips from other globally connected educators.

If you cannot be part of this chat due to timezone constraints, it would be great if you can share your answers either prior to or after the chat. Use the hashtag #globalclassroom, add A1 or A2 etc to whichever question you are answering.

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

Please note that these chats will be held on a quarterly basis over the next year. Looking forward to you joining us!

Children’s Day: The first time I heard the National Anthem of India

Singing the National Anthem

Singing the National Anthem

Today is Children’s Day in India. What a wonderful day to celebrate and acknowledge our young and make them feel very special. To mark the occasion, my dear friend, Sebastian Panakal from Kerala, India asked whether I could arrange students to link up with his.
childrens day

 

Sebastian and children

Unfortunately the time was right on our school closing time, so our students were unable to videoconference, but I was happy to be their audience. Teachers and students of varying ages came up, said hello and asked some questions of me. The children were delightful, appeared extremely interested well mannered and spoke clearly.  Balloons were evident in the classroom – a sign of the celebrations.

girl and children

At the end of our 20 minute linkup, the students, teachers and Sebastian sang me their National Anthem with great pride and gusto. And I hate to admit it, it was the first time that I ever remember hearing the National Anthem of India.

children at desks

 

All Things Twitter!

The Australian Computer Educators Conference is currently underway. The first of my presentations was “All Things Twitter”.

As an active member of twitter for the last 6 years, I have found it to be one of the best ways to build both a personal and global professional learning network to keep up with the current trends in education and to enable conversations about learning and technology. My session was aimed at all users of twitter from beginner to advanced but will tend to be skewed towards the regular and advanced users. After attending this session participants will be able to

  • Recognize strong profiles
  • Understand the use of hashtags and how to find them
  • Participate in twitter chats for professional development
  • Schedule tweets using hootsuite or buffer
  • Understand the effective use of lists in twitter
  • Recognize the tools and platforms that can enhance their twitter experience eg tweetchat, hootsuite, tweetdeck, tweetgrid etc
  • Appreciate the advanced functionality of link shorteners
  • learn of popular mobile apps
  • Know how to use quality searches to find quality people to follow

A backchannel was set up, in Todays Meet   for participants to connect/converse and an online document All Things Twitter of resources was compiled. Below is the actual presentation:-

What else could you add?

International Day of Older Persons

As my good friend, Sebastian Panakalof Kerala, India has reminded me, it is International Day of Senior Persons tomorrow, October 1st. He is has asked me to “wave to friends at the “Senior Citizens Forum Alangad” and wish them well!” Here is my response (but unfortunately, I forgot to actually wave.)

Sebastian asked me to share this with him in asynchronous time in case I am not online when he is ready with the Senior Friends. I considered

  • dropbox
  • email (file is rather large to send through to India)
  • adding media to my blog (reduced the size of the movie through Moviemaker)

I think the easiest will be the blog as Sebastian can right click on the video and save it to his desktop.

The significance of images in globally connected classrooms

My word is very poor so I make pictures  Xu (Bob from Beijing)

As we become more globally connected, the importance of images to tell stories for learning ir to share conversations, takes on an increasingly important role (together with media other than text).

Our school teaches Mandarin Chinese as a second language. Our sister school is Beijing no.27 in China. Over many years we have exchanged visits with small groups of students and teachers from this school but then there is little connection or communication until the next visit.

school group in China

Over the last 3 years we have had a visiting Chinese language assistant live and teach with us for 12 months at a time. From them, we learnt about qq and wechat which are both popular networking tools with the Chinese. As one of our school groups is over there now, teachers, parents and students downloaded the app wechat on their phones, formed a group and added key staff from Beijing no. 27. The chat has been updated constantly and pictures shared immediately. Bob, one of their senior teachers speaks some English and visited our school last year. As he joined our “china group” on wechat, he made that profound quote shared at the beginning of this post.

What can we take way from this?

  • images are of increasing importance in global communication especially when a common language may be a problem.
  • students need to be taught how to take them for best effect especially to reflect local culture
  • how can we thread them into a story comprising only images
  • the significance of copyright/creative commons
  • how to resize and digitally enhance
  • be aware of the range of apps, networking sites that are best to share these images, remembering that countries like China block google, facebook, many blogging platforms etc
  • the nature of the cloud for storage

 

 

 

 

Spring is in the air!

daffodils

It is finally spring in Australia! Today marks its official arrival but the last week of winter was lovely and warm giving us a real taste of what is to come. The daffodils are out and the blossom trees commencing 

Janet Barnstable of  the HLW Skypers group and Global Virtual Classroom, sent those of us in the Southern Hemisphere a little “Spring” by sharing with us this website – the Flower Garden. It starts up as a black screen, but here are Janet’s instructions for making it come alive!

Click your mouse anywhere (& everywhere) on the page & see what happens!
Better yet, click (hold down) & drag your mouse over the black page…
Enjoy!!

I wonder how this was done. Is there a similar tool that students might be able to use to create similar outcomes? How could something similar be used as outcomes for classwork?

Happy season of Spring if you are about to enjoy it like me! How many seasons do you enjoy? What is your favourite season?

blossom on the trees