Tag Archives: Innovations Showcase

So proud and honoured to be a part of SMJK Poi Lam, Ipoh!

The Big Classroom - SMJK Poi Lam What a proud, uplifting and memorable morning I spent (together with my husband) at SMJK Poi Lam school in Ipoh, Malaysia on Monday, October 3rd.   A full cultural welcome was given to us at a  special assembly held at 7:30am as part of a presentation for certificates for the DEECD Innovations Showcase 2011, where my two Chinese friends had videoconferenced in two special cultural performances as part of my presentation there. See Malaysian Students in Real Time Performance for Innovations Showcase As we arrived at the school we were ushered into the Principal’s office. The principal, Mr Lau Swee Mun,  is one of excellence ranking in Malaysia. There we had a very informative chat discussing many educational issues some relating to technology. Next we were ushered to the assembly area to the beat of the kompang (Malay drums),  through a  student  guard of honour, including the Chinese dragons, joker and flag bearers. The students were  dressed in National Costume representing the three cultures of Malaysia – the Chinese, the Malay and the Indian. To our delight one student was dressed as an Australian! This was a very emotional moment for me, especially as I am sure that events like this are normally set aside for people or events of high importance. Once seated on the stage and facing the student assembly, the national anthem of Malaysia and the Perak anthem were sung. The treats continued with a traditional   Chinese dragon dance welcome, complete with a joker.

the Chinese dragon with Joker

This was followed by:-

  • a Wushu demonstration  by 4 expert  students
  • a very creative, innovative choral speaking performance “Jom! Let’s Visit Perak!”
  • Choral reading and Acapella “One moment in time with the Lion King”

Choral speaking "Jom! Let's Visit Perak1"

Choral Reading

We were amazed by the confidence and professionalism of the two  MC/s who happened to also be the two students who created book trailers as part of our Globalstorytelling project for the Melbourne Writers Festival. But mostly, I loved seeing the creativity of my friend Veronica Woo and also of Yew Yan Koon and their fantastic work using  performing arts with the students.

The assembly was entitled ” Little Big Classrooms 2011 Innovations Showcase” and it was held to honour the students who took part in the Videoconference linkup as part of  the Victorian Education Innovations and Next Practise Showcase in May 2011. These students would be  issued with their certificates which had been signed by our Victorian Minister for Education.
After a speech by Veronica, myself and the Principal, I was able to give each student their signed certificate. (Veronica had withheld the issuance of the certificates until I came to Malaysia). Veronica had told me that:-
These students will  in Malaysia, students will be awarded maximum bonus points of 20 marks for their involvement in any form of extra curricular activities at the international level.
In return, Innovation and Next Practise and a number of staff, including me received a certificate signed by the Perak Director of Education. This wonderful assembly concluded with the crossing of the two country’s flags – Malaysian and Australian.
A traditional meal of Malaysian Nasi Lemak – Malaysia’s national dish was offered to invited  guests, parents and a number of staff. It was great to be able to continue conversations with the Principal, to meet face to face members of the Malaysian Writers Festival committee, the reporter from the local newspaper, parents and a principal from another school.  Special times were also spent with some of the performing students, getting to know them and learning of their ambitions. Shyness was overcome and we were able to work through our different accents and way of speaking.

Many cultures represented

What a wonderful, honourable, exciting, emotional treat and event to be actually part of. Thank you to my two special friends and colleagues – Veronica and Yew Yan Koon. Thank you for connecting, communicating and collaborating with us, taking on risks,  sharing, pioneering and innovating what technology to experience what it can do for learning on a global level.
As Veronica said:
“The classroom is my world and the world is my classroom!”
Thank you for being part of our little big classroom!
Terima Kasih
Xie Xie
I need to find the Indian word for thank you

Veronica, Evon and me

What if?

What if? This question was posed frequently at the recent Innovations Showcase. What if……..?

  • Innovations Showcase participants could be shown what a connected classroom  looks, feels and sounds like, using videoconferencing to raise cultural awareness.
  • cultural understanding and awareness can be increased in real time with students who come from other cultures/countries/schools.
  • students could text chat one on one and share conversations, in real time, with each other from other countries.
  • students could share their learning with others across cultures/countries
  • students are able to study the subjects of their choice independent of class sizes, teacher availability etc
  • the use of videoconferencing and web conferencing could be spread across many more classrooms in Victoria and Australia?
  • students who are home for some reason, can attend classes virtually.

What if? This question was posed at the recent, highly successful Innovations Showcase enabled more than 1200 participants to come together to share in innovation in education. One of the themes was of high interest to me – “Inter Cultural Understanding”. As our school is a small rural, remote prep to year 12 school – isolated both geographically and culturally, it has been important to use technology to expose, integrate and associate with other cultures.  As such, “Little Big Classrooms” was the theme of my presentation.

To demonstrate what a connected classroom looks, feels and sounds like, my dear online colleague from Malaysia, Veronica Woo at teacher at SMJK Poi Lam School in Ipoh, Malaysia, agreed to linkup her class with the presentation. Her years 9 and 10 students performed an entertaining and professional capella based on the Lion King and a choral reading. (58 students in total). Here is some feedback from Veronica after the event:-

Well, it is definitely the power of Skype connection, you and the audience that have immensely helped in motivating our students, who are learning English in a very challenging situation where they rarely speak English among themselves, but it’s only with us that they have got no choice but to speak English!  All this, plus the realisation on their part, that they have actually performed in front of a native English speaking audience of educators that have also helped in a way!  Thanks to the event organiser and of course, you, Anne, for making this possible! Hopefully, the other students will also be motivated to see their peers’ achievement and change their attitudes and perception towards learning English.

Read more in this post Malaysian Students in a Real time Performance for the Innovations Showcase Please take time to read the comments where the conversations re cultural understanding continue.

Teaching my Year 11 IT class!

Other What if’s that  became reality at Innovations Showcase

  • In the morning, I taught my accounting class from Melbourne. This consisted of 10 of my own school students, two from a city school and another student from a small country school. They can study accounting despite their school not being able to offer the subject. Here is the link to the recording of this class.
  • A second demonstration involved teaching my year 11 IT class from the huge foyer of the Melbourne Entertainment and Convention Centre back at school, to find a student logged in from home (as they were not able to get to school) and my replacement teacher also listening to the instructions. As the students faced a deadline for uploading their video in the Flat Classroom Projects, students mentored and helped each other in the chat. Elluminate, virtual conference software was used for the virtual classroom. Here is the link to the recording of this class.
  • SRC students who were at the Showcase entered the virtual classroom and chatted to my students back at school.

It is not what if?

…….Technology allows all this but ………

What next?

An SRC student rep chats to my year 11 class

Upcoming Conferences – opportunities for PD

Some of my favourite conferences are coming up.

  1. The Innovations Showcase
  2. ICTEV conference
The Innovations Showcase Friday 13 May at the Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria
Although not strictly a conference is a showcase of innovative work in education and classrooms in Victoria. This showcase is organised by the Innovations and Next Practice Division of DEECD (Victorian Education Department)  Why attend?
  • There is a great line-up of innovative presenters  many of whom are using technology in a ‘cutting edge’ manner.
  • It is one of the few free face to face conferences that I know of.
  • Its popularity is evident by the fact that the showcase was  booked out several weeks ago. People can still register but go on a waiting list.
  • Keynote speakers: Anh Do, author of the bestselling autobiography The Happiest Refugee.
  • I am looking forward to meeting online friends and contacts face to face, especially @suewaters.
 If you missed out this year, make sure you attend  next year. My presentation is entitled “Little Big Classroom” and is in the program at Session 3 and will include a direct linkup with my good friend Veronica Woo whose students will do a capella of the ‘Circle of Life’ from the Lion King and a short choral reading of extracts between the Lion King and his son Simba, using videoconferencing with skype. Twitter #tag = #deecdisc

The ICTEV Conference “In Touch  Saturday May 21st at Melbourne Grammar School.  This a  favourite annual event. Why?
  • It is on a Saturday which means I do not have to get leave of absence from school.
  • The sessions are kept to 40 mins which means there are many sessions to choose from and lots of snapshots of educational practice using technology. 
  • Due to the facilities,  30 participants  is the largest number in any one session – an intimate environment for discussion and interaction.
  • Tom March is the key presenter
  • There is a great line up of presenters
  • Presenters attend free
  • Great opportunity for networking
  • The food is amongst the best of any conferences I have attended.
  • The ‘real’ coffee from a mobile coffee vendor is free all day long!
Don’t miss this great conference!
Here are the sessions that I will be presenting:-
  1. Learning is Now! Powerful 21st Century Classrooms
  2. eLearning in Virtual Classrooms
  3. Videoconferencing on a Shoestring
will you be at either of these conferences? Which are your favourite face to face conferences?