Connecting nations

 Collatorationnation collaborates with our nation

Students from CT, USA…..please meet  students from Hawkesdale, Australia. And so it was, that 14 students from their homes in the USA at 8:45pm logged onto the computers, whilst 12 students from Hawkesdale College continued on with their IT lesson or came in during recess time, to get to know their US counterparts.
Under the wonderful teaching authority and expertise of Mr P Bogush (@shagghill), we logged on to their class wiki, using coveritlive as our interface. Although, CT had access to a video image of Mr Bogush and access to, we were blocked out of the option, which in hindsight was better for our first time experience. Their students not having the comfort, safety and educational infrastructure of the classroom environment, were able to communicate with their teacher whilst I could remind my students of some etiquette, give prompts and walk them through any questions. My students all sat at individual  desktops, so they could follow the conversation trail and add to it.
Paul had complete control of the situation and was able to moderate the comments to ensure all was okay. His discipline was superb, and he took control, by remote control very effectively, when he at several times had to command us to all STOP NOW and wait for directions. Initially, only a few students were online and the conversation flowed with me directing our student traffic verbally, but as more logged on and curiousity got the better of all concerned, questions and answers were flying in all directions. Unfortunately, this led to discord in the conversation flow as answers to questions lost their sync and meaning.
At one stage, Paul asked if I was happy with the way it was going with students directing the conversation. My response was ‘yes this is student directed education’. They need to get to know each other first with basic questions and as their acceptance of each other grows, their interactions will take on more purposeful meaning. A quick poll ensured that each country took it in turns to ask questions. Once replies came through, a prompt asked the other country for their question.
Prior to this, we had been sharing blog posts and commenting on each other’s weekly prompts. Some of the outcomes of today’s learning included

  • Different terminology and language
  • Different cultures
  • Various sports, school subjects studied etc

One  of CT’s questions asked the subjects our students study. A typo was made by one respondent, prompting a question do we do “whaling”. However, the answer should have been “walking” as part of our student’s” Advance” program.  So the correct answer “walking” was keyed online and a further question:-
CT “Do you walk people
Hawkesdale “no, we walk in the bush”.
CT “What is the bush?” etc
Conversations flowed and student directed learning ensued. Much laughter was to be had over misunderstandings!!
Advantages of

  • a great live blogging platform – whose full capabilities will only be  realised with further use
  • Allowed chat
  • Polling
  • All participants could be involved  immediatel
  • Allowed the moderator full control over which comments should be published
  • Can be embedded in a wiki for easy sharing
  • Constraints
  • No audio or video
  • CT had yackpack for audio use and a real time video of their teacher to keep all on task.

Thank you Mr P Bogush, students of CT and their respective families, for allowing us to connect and be part of a wonderful,  incredible experience.




2 responses to “Connecting nations

  1. Pingback: » My Week in Review May 1st ejourney with technokids

  2. I find your international collaborations exciting and fulfilling the dream of what the Internet was supposed to be all about. Fantastic work! Your students should be proud to be involved in this sort of learning.

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