In 2009, my year 11 IT class connected with a year 11 class from Taman Bukit Maluri High School. We shared our cultures, sports, foods and backgrounds. To my students’ delight, the Malaysian students performed street dancing. How did we connect? I was fortunate to attend the Asia Pacific MS Innovative Teachers conference in KL, in2009. Forgetting that the conference schedule started later on the last morning, I went down to breakfast at the usual time. There were few people around, but I happened to sit next to Zainudin, who was a teacher at the above school. He went on to win the most Innovative Teacher for Malaysia! We started chatting and found we had a lot in common. I left the conference assuring Zainuddin that I would be in touch. We linked up our VCE Chinese LOTE long distance education student with one of Zainuddin’s mandarin Chinese students.
On Tuesday, I booked an elluminate room through the DEECD online events calendar so that our two classes could share a classroom in real time. The sheer engagement, highly focussed attention, powerful motivation triggered, laughter and sense of community had to be seen to be believed. Something very special is happening in the classroom and this has the power to cause a revolution in education.
- setup my laptop with speakers in order to use skype for videoconferenced introductions. Sat it on a chair so students could see the laptop screen. My setup is crude but our internet connection is much faster than KL.
- logged into elluminate
- Students entered my classroom and logged onto elluminate. Technical problems presented with audio but students worked through them.
- We connected on skype, and each student introduced themselves. We had problems hearing some of the students from Malaysia as their mic did not work well.
- All students then went to their desktop and proceeded to chat, add their names to the whiteboard. It was interesting to note, that my students used the text tool and KL students used the brush tools. See image below.
- Next, they said hello in their native tongue. Amongst my students are two from NZ. The KL students include Chinese and Indians.
………………….. and then our bell went! Everyone was disappointed but after a great session the students proceeded onto their next class.
Some student reflections
Here is a list of the students involved, can you work which students are mine!
|Bryan Kwok||Sofea Lee Le Qian|
|Bryan Teh||Ho Mei Kei,|
|Ong Jia Yi||Toon Bee Teng|
|Rakesh Hasan||Tan Sok Hui|
|Dhugan||Yap Zhong Lin|
In all the excitement, I forgot to hit record, so only the final minutes of our session are recorded. Here is the link.