As I entered the elluminate room tonight, I wondered what I would find. I had just answered a phone call from a parent who had problems entering the scheduled room and spent 10 mins or so, trying to step her throught the processes of unblocking the popup filters on her computer. It was with some nervousness that I logged on to the room.
What if there is noone there, what if noone can get in, what if the audio does not work, what if my internet fails…
It was 15 mins after the room had officially opened, that I got in. To my great surprise there were already nine partipants in the room – a mix of staff, students and parents. Time was spent testing microphones and sound, with the usual mix of problems. Fortunately the majority of presenters were able to use their microphones. Here is the link to the recording! Soon, it was time to start the session. After a brief introduction to elluminate, an ice breaker requested participants to write their names on the board, colour them and make them look ‘pretty’. Soon we had a neat colourful board of names! The following speakers were given 7 mins or more to speak on their chosen topic. Here is what it looked like! (Here is the link to the recording)
- Ms Murnane spoke about her ‘week in a sentence’ task found on her blog, walking parents through how to add a comment and encouraging parents to be involved.
- Rachel Neale a prep teacher from Darwin spoke about the ‘teddy bear exchange’ with our school. She had shared photos with us and spoke about her class and why this teddy bear exchange was so important to her culturally mixed class. Tyna Lee (our prep teacher) also spoke about the exchange from Hawkesdale P12 College point of view. Questions came thick and fast for Rachel enquiring about life as a teacher in Darwin. Thanks Rachel for coming online with us.
- Mr Keith, our assistant principal spoke briefly on the naplan testing.
- Mrs Gow (our maths/science teacher) spoke about activities in maths and science for the past week and showed some wonderful photos of the activities, including the recent healthy breakfast. Finally, the Education week timetable was outlined, with students coming online telling us about the books they are taking to the pre-school to read to the students there. Alannah spoke about the golf day which grade 5s enjoyed today! Suggestions for the future use of elluminate with parents/community were put forward. There will be further sessions over the next two weeks and then it is hoped regular sessions might continue.
- Parents quite readily tried the tools and wanted to test microphones. They were far more confident than I thought they would be.
- The majority of parents who had said they would participate seemed to be online.
- The newsletter publicised our exciting events to be held for Education Week, and realised from the questions, that some information was missing.
- The pace of the chat- was very lively much of the time. Most participants placed comments, questions, statements of support etc in the chat. A great interactive feature of elluminate.
- Great to have our e-guest from Darwin speaking – added another element of interest for all.
- The students spoke and talked about what they had done today and were doing tomorrow adding nother rich element to the conversations.
- The strong support from our staff, including the principal class and leadership team.
- The strong impact and enrichment that images give to the conversations.
- Need to work out why audio did not work for some.
- Will question students at school, to seek out who could not log on and follow up on possible reasons why?
- Sift through the chat conversation and record the suggestions given for future use of elluminate.
- Determine what further advice or documentation is required.
- Follow up the times for some of the events on Thursday morning for education week.
- 7 mins was not long to give each speaker Need to revisit and discuss this limit. However, it does add variety.
- We could save the chat conversation but not the whiteboard, so I need to enable that next time.
Thank you to all involved. Another amazing experience showing the power that technology can give to education and transforming communities. Thank you to the virtual conference centre of DEECD for allowing us to use this room.
Related resources of interest. Engaging Parents using Sharepoint