Last week, I presented at and attended a two day conference in Mt Clear, Victoria, Australia – “Perfecting the Blend”. I was asked to present on the above topic, discussing considerations for curriculum planning and assessment. This was combined with classroom stories and experiences.
I put together a definition of what I see as blended learning but enjoyed hearing that students when surveyed requested a
‘mix of learning’
from the opening speech. That is a great definition of blended learning.
A google document was set up with a list of resources and as a space for further conversations. Below is my presentation.
The conference: Perfecting the Blend Conference, Dec 2012 at Mt Clear, near Ballarat,
The session: “Video Conferencing – Early Years focus: Hong Kong” with Chun Fung Bong (an early childhood educator at York English Kindergarten and Primary School in Hong Kong).
The space: Polycom Videoconferencing
Here are my notes from this session.
- Used videoconferencing for professional development and workshops
- Started videoconferencing with the younger students. First contact was Rowena Gerber, USA, who was a keynote presenter at the conference.
How it is used:-
- No zoo in Hong Kong – huge effort even to go to museum or zoo in China. National Interests – NASA programs from USA are free for US. Impossible to link up with a space program in China as space program is part of the military. It is easier to get US astronaut than Chinese astronaut in Hong Kong.
- Visit authors, museums, Museum of Modern Arts, music programs. Cash strapped schools cannot afford to go out too much.
- Drawings by students – exhibition flew to Japan. Shared drawings over Videoconferecing. Rowena’s students shared animals – lizards and snakes were being seen by children – fundamentally shocked to the core – as it is inconceivable in Hong Kong or China to touch reptiles. Yet, reptiles make great pets.
- Learn how to play golf – Students in HK and China only know how to study. They are trying to start sports program and learn how to play golf but in HK golf is considered a sport of the wealthy or aristocratic. Land is scarce. It teaches patience, sportsmanship but no teachers knew how to play golf. In HK people learned 1 on 1 or 1 on 5. But teaching children would be 1 to 20. They went to libraries to look for ways to teach golf. Emailed all friends in the world. A school in Wales came back and said they were teaching golf to primary secondary students. Offered a VC workshop. Got a PGA pro from Wales to teach teachers in HK how to teach golf and how to teach students as a group. Then went on to develop a tennis program. Discovered things that not even youtube has.
- Tennis: First year teachers – come out with theories but no practical knowledge of how to teach tennis to 30 students. They can sit in on another academic’s lesson and watch this teacher teach.
- Virtual tours/experiences 99.9% of students have never seen snow but it appears in many children’s books. VC with another school who showed them a snowman, it became concrete for children.
- Learn Astonomy: Multi point VC – had researchers at Cambridge teaching students about astronomy – Pakistan, England, HK etc can change the way you teach but also how you look at learning.
- Connect 3 mins beforehand to test, control camera and see how different schools use space.
- Problems with VC – maintain mutual view
- VC units are not cheap – huge cost. Maintaining the line is very costly.
- Resolution - projector and VCC units. When the project is on a big screen resolution is lost.
- Use VC to a TV – bright, don’t need to turn off the lights. TV is engaging.
Tips/observations for videoconferencing with the early years
- Early years – students <6 years old – lack of concentration, they do not speak loudly, language barrier.
- Most Video conferences are an hour long. Introductions, teaching activity and then finsh with a game
- Introductions – a very scripted part due to difference in language ability. Some children come up and introduce Hong Kong to other side, then other side introduces. Main reason that VC may fail is lack of preparation. He therefore insists that other side gives a verbatim script of what children would say with actual names of students who are speaking.
- Need script on middle bit ie teaching activitiy. This means that children can come to the VC prepared. The teacher can share background information to enable better interaction once conferencing. Little ones speak very softly. If mic does not pick up what they are saying, the MC or hosting teacher should repeat what they say and repeat on the other side.
- Teaching an activity – Some examples are tai che, waltz, bucket drumming, Chinese calligraphy, how to make gingerbread house, no bake cookies. Need to modify content and know exactly how it might play out.
Martial arts (Tai che) Tai che is great as it is slow. Learnt how to teach to own children and then teach the other side. Use imagery, “Imagine a big watermelon, push right side to left side” Impose a narrative or story it becomes much more powerful. Language barriers and age gaps can be challenges – overcome age differences and language differences.
Games include: Simon Says, Guess Who?
This post is for participants in the “Using ICT in VCE Accounting: Showcase and Workshop” find all online documents and resources referred to in my two sessions at Comview - the Victorian Commercial Teachers Association annual conference. However, it is a reflection also on how I am trying to make the learning more interactive, ongoing and dynamic.
My big question is “How do I make it easy for participants to connect both during and after the session? How can people maintain conversations and ask questions after Comview? How can the get best benefit out of my workshops? Which tools will be most beneficial in accounting?” Do you have suggestions for me? Here is what I propose:-
- Use blackboard collaborate to record the showcase and the workshop so that people can revisit or those who missed my presentations can listen to them.
- Set up a google document to share resources and contact details, allow questions etc
- Upload my presentation to slideshare
- Add a qr code to this blog post to allow participants to access the google doc quickly
- Use bit.ly to shorten the urls for eg google document and the blackboard collaborate room.
Participants will scan this qr code to take them to the google document or copy the shortened url from the first powerpoint slide.
Blackboard collaborate rooms:-
- Using ICT in Accounting – A Showcase Session 2105
- Using ICT in VCE Accounting – hands on workshop 2404
What further suggestions would you make? What do you like to see or receive at conferences?
Hi students and it is a pleasure to meet you and work with you! When working with the internet there are three important lessons to be learnt:-
- maintaining a good’ digital footprint’
Group 1 this wallwisher and tell me your ideas on being cyber safe.
Group 2 First goto say hello from Ipoh (wallwisher)
I would like to introduce you to some tools that will help you with your school work and some that will help you with cybersafety. These are:-
- creating an avatar – choose from a lego avatar or a portrait avatar.
- creating a voki - an animated, talking avatar
- mind mapping using bubbl.us and
- creating word clouds using wordle.
Instructions for making your wordle:-
- Click on the “create” link
- Type Ipoh three times with a space between each word
- Type in at least 10 words about Ipoh (If you use two words, eg white coffee, you need to put a tilda between them ie white~coffee so that they stay together.
- Click ” go”. A word cloud will be created.
- Click randomize (down the bottom of your words) until you find a cloud that you like or manually change it.
- Press PrtScr (a key at the top of your keyboard) to take a photo of your computer screen.
- Goto MS Paint, goto edit and Paste. Your screen photo appears. Find the dotted rectangle on the tool bar and draw a rectangle around the word cloud.
- Goto edit, choose copy
- Now get a new MS Paint File, do not save changes and goto edit>paste You should just have your words.
- Save as a jpg image or choose copy and goto MS Word or MS Powerpoint and paste for use
What a great conference this was! The Australian Computer Educators Conference (ACEC) 2010, proved that many educators are keen to use the emerging technologies to empower learning through all levels of education. The Digital Diversity conference explored interactive and creative approaches to ICT in education.
Here are my reflections:-
Communication prior to conference
- Communication was excellent and updates were regularly received
- Twitter gave instant feedback to questions and enabled us to share conversations. There was a twitter handle for the conference @acec2010 and a hash tag #2010
- Full credit to the organizers for creating a wonderful online sessional booking system. Despite some sessions being booked out, there was the ability to opt in and out of sessions right up to the last minute. It was user friendly and individual programs were could be printed. The online system prevented paper waste and cost!
- Melbourne, Victoria, my birth city and the city I still love returning to.
- The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (often referred to as ‘Jeff’s Shed’) was an ideal location. Large spacious area for the trades display. Within the display area there many learning spaces for conference participants to work in, share conversations or attend special sessions.
- The area where the formal sessions, keynotes etc was held was equally effective as a conference venue.
- The venue fronts onto the Yarra River – a great view could be seen through the walkways.
- They were long days, sometimes starting at 8am with the formal sessions finishing at 5:30am but they were jam packed with many session and activity choices. But that also meant we got value for money and could make the most of the days that were dedicated to the conference.
- There were keynotes, presentations, soap box sessions, hands-on-workshops and papers. Each was clearly marked on the program.
- Sessions were often 40 mins but up to 60 mins in length. For those who were presenting, this meant the message had to come across quickly and setup time was limited. However, it also meant higher exposure to a choice of workshops and sessions.
- Sufficient time was given to meals, morning and afternoon tea. This was great networking time.
The keynotes that I attended:-
All had some inspiring message but I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Michelle Selinger is the Director of Education Practice in the Asia Pacific region for the Global Public Sector practice of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.Michelle’s focus is primarily on education transformation in all areas of formal education. Adam Elliott made me laugh and kept me entertained throughout his presentation. It is great to hear the success stories of students who have not done so well at school. Is data collected on the success of those who did not achieve well in tests etc?
- Networking, networking, networking. I met so many of my twitter friends and made many more connections. The connections are invaluable! Business cards were swapped where possible. Others used their iPhones to bump and connect. The tweetup evening meal at The Chocolate Buddha was fabulous and my first evening meal was spent with some of the keynote speakers and presenters from the UK. Thanks to Bron Stuckey for inviting me.
- Of the sessions that I attended. I particularly liked the amazing work of the innovative and technologically savvy Steve Collis , loved being in the sessions run by Dr Bronwyn Stuckey who administrates Quest Atlantis. The virtual world offers big possibilities for education. One of these sessions included Lindy McKeown. Another highlight was listening to Judy O’Connell present “Content used to be King“
- The conference dinner at Etihad stadium which provided a circus type atmosphere and entertainment style.
- Catching up with Jess McCulloch – my great partner in emerging technologies
- The majority of conference participants had a laptop, and also a mobile device, either their own handheld iPod touch or iPhone or participants borrowed an iPod touch for the duration of the conference.
- A special app was made for Ipod touches or phones with which participants could check their room and session numbers etc. Great idea!
- Many were tweeting during the conference, sharing opinions, conversations, links, the value of the session they were in etc. The twitterfall makes a wonderful record of what occurred and a valuable resource for future use and reflection.
- The conference website was constantly updated and well laid out
- A ning for networking
- The cost of the conference once accommodation and travel are factored in.
- Drive, motivation and the assured knowledge that there are many to help me in my journey.
- Realisation that I need to provide immediate or as close to immediate feedback to students on their work and assessment and not procrastinate my marking!
- Desire to learn more about virtual worlds and apply them to my classes. Would like to work with Bron Stuckey and Quest Atlantis with my year 11 students designing some quests
- Continue to work out differentiated learning for my students
- Ambition to go to the next ACEC2012 conference in Perth, Western Australia
Transcript for conference tweets
Did you go to ACEC2010 and if so, what were your highlights?
The !dea 2008 conference is being held at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Hawkesdale P12 College is a finalist in the 2009 IMS GLC Learning Impact awards. There are 11 finalists involved and we are so proud that we are the only school featuring in these national awards.
Yesterday, we were involved in speed dating. People attending the conference formed small groups and were rotated around finalists’ booths. We were given 4 mins to speak to our product – our
Judging was based on the following criteria:
- organisational learning
The image is of Marg Murnane, who came with me. It was taken with my mobile phone, bluetoothed into my laptop and uploaded online whilst at the conference. Love the mobile technology!
Here is our submission abstract:-
Connecting to the Globe at Hawkesdale P12 College
A blog which was initially seen to be an online journal and writing tool, has gone from being a backyard blog to being fully utilised across the staff, classes and students of Hawkesdale P12 College in rural Western Victoria. The blog initially recorded the evidence of volcanic activity in local backyards, as grade 6 students were producing podcasts for the Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre. Our area is now a geopark, Kanawinka, in the Western District of Victoria
This blog became global and encouraged blogging to be taught and used as a communication tool in ICT classes and LOTE The powerful learning outcomes that this has provided, encouraged the majority of staff to blog and manage class blogs. Class blogs for years prep to nine are also maintained.
A container blog, or Hawkesdale p12 College webpage, to manage local, countrywide and global access to these blogs has been set up. Blogs allow pages, post, blogrolls, url links, comments, widgets to be featured and have allowed us to connect, communicate and share with each other, our parents, our community and the globe.
On Monday May 12th, I attended the SLAV conference “Re-imagining Web2.0 applications and implications” at Telstra Dome in Melbourne.
Will Richardson was the Keynote speaker “A web of connections: Why the Read Write Web changes everything”. Below are some key points from his inspiring presentation:-
- Students have so many different ways of connecting and learning outside school
- The more we block (online websites), the less safe we leave our kids
- We can be so ‘scared’ that we do not allow them to do anything.
- Schools need to prepare students to be ‘googled’ and ‘googled well’
- Social networking is not all bad. It can be extremely positive. Meg Cabot is a good role model for a fine example of use of myspace.
- Clarence Fisher does not moderate but teaches students what to do in particular contexts.
- Students need to learn on demand – they will not be trained or retrained once out in the workforce but they will need to do it independently
- It is important that we teach students how to use and create hypertexted environments.
- Students need to build connections to links and need to be ‘findable’ in order to collaborate
- Connection is the real power – it gives an authentic audience. Students need to connect with people in many different ways.
- Need to change personal learning practise and prepare them for the future.
- Teachers are more important than ever before -
- Students need teachers as
- role models
- for guidance
- their personal experience
It was also wonderful fthat Jess McCulloch and I met some of our wonderful twitter friends @jomcleay, @johnpearce and @jennylucca. John Pearce is about to launch his new book, so all the best with that, John. Disappointingly, I missed meeting @bookjewel as none of us really know what the others look like. We tend to put our best photos up (often a few years younger!!) or hide behind avatars!!
Below is a slideshare set up from a powerpoint presentation, for a local teachers conference held at Deakin University, in Warrnambool. Our experience has shown that staff need to start with something that could be useful in their own personal lives, experiment with it and use it, and from their they can start to see the potential uses and applications for their classroom use. The presenation below summarizes my suggestions for that all important question, where do we start. (nb that I talked and walked through the slides so they are not all embracing of the content of the actual presentation.)
Posted in blogging, conference presentations, global projects, professional development, skype, web2.0
Tagged Add new tag, blogging, delicious, google apps, skype, voicethread, web2.0