Tuesday 21st July was “Racial Harmony Day’ in Singapore. My e-colleague Aini, who I met on classroom2.0 and I connected via video conferencing on the weekend. Aini asked if we would like to see her students in their national costumes which they wore to school as part of Racial Harmony Day. Delighted, I agreed.
Our grade 2 to 4 students and year 7 students gathered in the library and listened to the grade 5s from Singapore speak about ‘what racial harmony means to them.’ They spoke confidently and fluently in clear English. Students who were dressed in traditional costume came up to the web camera and showed us the Malay, Indian and Chinese traditional costumes. These are the three main cultures in Singapore. We heard of their traditional games and the other activities that were taking place on this day. The parents were holding food stalls in the canteen.
We viewed photos of the recent national parades which took place on National Day last week and witnessed their celebrations. Skype was used for this webcast and the audio and video were quite clear from our end. However, our audio was not clear in Singapore.
Aini had used her laptop when we first tested, but then set up external speakers so that her class of 47 students could hear. Skype seems to require tweaking when a new setup is used so it was necessary to goto tools>audio setup and choose the external speakers.
On Wednesday, my year 8 students were to show the class in Singapore images of our school and area. To our dismay, the latest version of skype was not on the library interactive white board. Therefore it was impossible to share our screen through skype. A quick reshuffle, meant that we quickly found objects eg meat pie and sauce and toy koala that played “Waltzing Matilda” were placed up to the web camera.
- Learnt that Singapore has 4 cultures
- Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian
- Costumes and correct names
- Importance of lions in Singapore and their impact in the parade
- Defence forces – age entry, compulsory, 2 years
- Viewed the location of the new Disneyworld site
- the need for clear diction and correct positioning of both web camera and microphone.
- Students must be skilled up in these areas