Three continents in one classroom
On Monday, 20th July, a large film crew and a senior officer from the International Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development visited the school to make a short video that will be placed on the Department’s website to show the evidence of internationalisation of education in Victoria. Our school was one of five schools chosen. The video will also be shown to international visitors to the Department in Melbourne.
One of the policy objectives is “International Education has a vision that internationalising education becomes a reality in policy and practice in the daily life of Victorian schools, thereby preparing local and international students as citizens for active interaction in an interdependent globalised world.”
Two linkups were organised for that day – one with Mrs Lorraine Leo, a teacher from Jackson School, in Boston, USA and two of her students who were on holidays in their holiday cottages, but who came online at night time to help present “The celebrations conducted on July 4th in USA”. They walked us a through a series of photos and talked about their experiences on Independence Day celebrations. The second linkup was a doubtful one. Mr Rox Cosico and his grade 7 boys, from Claret of Quezon School were to speak on their school, traditions and sports. Our students were to respond with our school, traditions and sport. However, a typhoon in Manila had closed their school for the four days prior and there was some doubt as to whether they would be able to participate.
However, true to form, they showed up and we were able to connect and work with each other. The American contingent stayed for this next class, as well. However, the fragility of their internet connection with the weather activity meant that our sound was poor. Their Claret school principal, assistant principal and head of department were in the room with us and the principal thanked us for connecting with them, and hoped that it would continue to provide improved learning outcomes for both countries. The linkup took place in the DiscoverE virtual classroom which is software developed by Mr Geoff Kaye in Perth WA. Despite being at a Literacy Teachers conference, he spent time with us in our classroom to ensure that all went well with the software. He emailed later to say that he quickly had a group of 20 teachers cluster around him fascinated by what we were doing. These teachers could not believe that what we were doing was even possible. Mr Kaye said “What you (all students and staff involved) did yesterday in an interactive learning experience across 3 continents involving young students has never been done on this scale before.”