Daily Archives: May 3, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking

Tech Talk Tuesdays – May 4th

Topic: 3D Virtual Worlds – One school’s journey

Guest Presenter: Steve Collis

Time: 3:45-4:45pm (Melbourne, Australia time gmt+10)

Online in elluminate: Link to join the session

Steve Collis is our guest presenter for this session. Steve is a multi award winning innovative teacher at Northern Beaches Christian School in NSW. This school established a locked 3D virtual world at the start of 2009 using the Second Life software. Students were recruited and keen to lead the virtual space. These students then submitted building projects for approval, implemented them, equipping the island with educational facilities such as a virtual art gallery, radio station, book shop (selling student compositions), tutorial centre and customisable Maths maze.
A great deal was learnt in 2009 about practical applications for using the virtual space in the classroom to target specific learning skills. There are learning activities that are adaptable, repeatable, require very little preparation time, and are pedagogically effective.
This session will include a tour of the virtual island and facilities, a review of the learning activities developed and run with students, and comments about the psychological nature of virtual space. A preview of this session can be seen at www.youtube.com/lestep. Practical considerations such as a safety, parental permission, and cost will also be addressed.

eT@lking:– Wed May 5th

Topic: Twitter

Guest Presenter: Jess McCulloch

Time: 8-9pm, Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10)

Online in elluminate: Link to join the session

Jess McCulloch will be the guest presenter. Some of the following topics will be discussed in this session:- why twitter, how to join twitter, choosing a twitter handle, the all important personal profile, how to find people, who should we follow, how many to follow, how to make lists, how to get the most out of twitter, using twitter in education and the classroom, tips for experienced tweeters and your questions!!!
Jess is an inspirational and versatile languages teacher who has used web2.0 for great effect in teaching languages, especially mandarin Chinese. In Jess’ own words she- “Plays: with technology and Chinese language education.” Please note there is something for everyone- new and old to twitter!

Techno Parents

Unpacking the netbooks

Two months ago, students from years 5 to 8 received their netbooks. Hawkesdale P12 College has gone 1:1 for these year levels in 2010, after the successful introduction to grade 5 students in 2009. Although an information session was held prior to this event, a further session was offered to parents this evening to unpack the netbook with their student beside them, allowing them to ask further questions and to inform parents of their use in the classroom. The meeting took place in the library and each parent and student had a netbook. Our library has a bank of netbooks for borrowing.
How wonderful it was to see a parent beside their child discovering the content of those mobile devices, working together and sharing conversations. Staff were also in attendance. The session ran for one and a half hours and in that time, parents enquired about the internet access at home, voiced concerns about students potentially losing vital life skills and basic numeracy and literacy skills etc.
In two weeks time, parents will be given the opportunity to come online in elluminate from their homes and share further conversations. When teachers, parents and students work together, the learning will surely be stronger.