Daily Archives: October 28, 2010

Introducing Malay Customs and Cultures – An e-Intercultural Learning Adventure!

Veronica Woo, a great teaching colleague to have, organized an extravaganza for us last Friday. The library was booked so that we could videoconference with skype using the Interactive White Board to project the web  conference. A number of classes from year 6 to 11 were present – a total of more than 45 students and 6 staff members.

Year 11 students from  SMJK Poi Lam School in Ipoh, Malaysia, demonstrated to and treated us with the following:-

  1. Malay dance performance
  2. Demonstration on how to play ‘congkak’
  3. Demonstration on how to beat the Malay drum ‘kompang’
  4. Brief introduction of a Malay wedding
  5. Demonstration on paper money-folding ( folded items are given as Bridal gifts to families concerned )
  6. Ended the web conference with a song!

Three of our year 6/7 students learnt how to dance the Malay Dance by following the Malay girl’s movements on screen. Most students had an Australian paper note to practise folding the paper money.

In turn, our students and staff demonstrated the following:-

  1. a bearded dragon lizard
  2. a pet colourful baby bird
  3. how to play Australian Rules Football (footy)
  4. vegemite and how to spread it on a dry biscuit

It always intrigues me that the sharing of objects over the web cam, makes students overcome their shyness, as their curiousity drives them to naturally ask questions about the object without  really thinking.

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Virtual Teacher Trainee Practicum – why it has to happen!

Why it is imperative to support digital or eLearning in education – both at the classroom level and at the Teacher training Institutions?

The University of Ballarat, Country Education Project and Hawkesdale P12 College have formed an informal partnership to trial virtual trainee teacher practicums.  Some possible reasons are listed below.

Teacher Training Institutions/Student Teacher Undergraduates

  • Teacher trainees are not exposed to teaching and learning with digital technology  at University or other training institution to any depth.
  • Teacher trainees neither expected or made to use technology.
  • Teacher trainees are entering schools with little experience in digital learning and teaching and as grads they will not pursue this as a first strategy for teaching. It is too daunting!
  • Teacher trainees realise students come to school and are not fully stimulated
  • Training in the media would open their minds to what’s at there at their finger tips and be able to choose the tools that best suit their teaching style and content of lesson.
  • Ultimate in www. Learning ….. where-ever, whatever, when ever!!!  Anywhere, anytime and any how!
  • Lets teacher trainees take risks and make mistakes within a structured framework!
  • Teaches them learning can take its own course with individuals
  • Allows for more student directed learning
  • Teaches them to be facilitators not deliverers of information – the future direction of 21st century education.
  • Teaches them they don’t have all the answers and are not supposed to.
  • Teaches them to get students to source information and to take risks yet verify it.
  • Allows them to work in a blended learning environment.
  • Empowers them with skills to teach across schools eg virtual teaching of specialist subjects in small country schools to ensure students do not miss out on breadth and depth of education.
  • Prepares them for the ultranet – a huge PLUS!
  • Enables them to establish a wide personal learning network who will support, mentor and share with them.
  • This will teach educator trainees to rethink teaching and shape who they are as a teacher in the 21st century!

Why bring digital learning into the classroom for student learning

Why bring digital learning into the classroom for Student learning

  • Students need to be engaged with what they are doing to improve learning outcomes – technology engages them.
  • Teaches students to be thinkers/learners/risk takers in a sheltered environment.
  • Teaches them not to rely on the teacher…be accountable themselves…become independent!
  • Teaches digital literacy.
  • Teaches them valuable employable skills in a digital world –appropriate online behaviour, good digital citizenship, cybersafety, plaguarism, working with virtual teams, self discipline in a virtual world etc
  • Broadens the horizons of many students as it exposes students to the world outside their country town.
  • Fits in with Rural Education where students in small rural schools need no longer be disadvantaged by distance and isolation, as technology allows them to learn virtually and maintain their subject choices, allows eg  LOTE (languages) and other specialist subjects to be taught across schools by a virtual teacher.
  • A more intimate environment than one through distance education.
  • Inspires them to seek more from school
  • Gets kids to go to school!

This article has been written in conjuncetion with Lesley MacGregor, Country Education Project.

A global audience for a global issue – Tech Talk Tuesdays -Cyber Safety in online spaces.

What a compelling session this was and one that every teacher and associated educationalists must watch! The participants were global in nature and only one Australian teacher participated in this session. For me, that was disappointing as cyber safety is the number one consideration in learning online! It is not a ‘once off’ lesson but a daily reminder! However, it was also apt that we had participants from China, Malaysia and the USA, as this is a global issue! In China, facebook is blocked which could make discussions even more interesting. Issues on student cyber bullying were discussed but also the issue of teacher bullying with sites such as Rate My Teacher shared.

This followed ‘hot on the heels’ of student bullying at a school near mine where students took mobile phone video of the assault and it virally spread beyond their phones. The assaulted student was in intensive care for two days. We need to act!

Here is the link to the recording

Cara Webber expertly led us through the issues that cyber space leads to, giving some graphic examples of inappropriate face book sites, sexting etc and advice on dealing with the issues. The point that struck me and scared me, was that if teachers befriend students and sexting photos appear on their page, the teacher can also  be seen as ‘being in possession’ of child pornography! Sexting must be dealt with and stamped out! But how do we do this? Cara commented that student voice is far more powerful than that of the teacher, and that we need to empower students.

About Cara: Cara is the senior education officer for the Cybersafety Outreach Secion of Security, Safety and e-Education Branch of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Her work focuses on developing cybersafety education programs for teachers, parents and students in order to achieve a whole school response to understanding and safeguarding against potential risks online.
Prior to joining the ACMA, Cara taught VCE English and Psychology for ten years in the secondary sector. She was a pastoral care leader for the Senior Years responsible for behavioural management and the development and coordination of Health and Well-Being programs across these ages

Here are some of the thought provoking youtube movies that Cara shared with us.

  1. Megan’s story

From the chat

  • Cybersmart site
  • @Martin they also present teachable moments – just have to be cautious – instruction for safety – copyrigyt issues – bullying
  • Discussion on the different laws  in each country that participants came from
  • @zegna: to put those photo online is illegal in China
  • Why is it the fault of the victim?
  • Once posted you lose it youtube video
  • Do students realise that everything on the internet is archived
  • @veronica “Education is the way to go but it can be a long and tedious process”

eTalking: Retribalizing, Literary Style: Virtual book Clubs and Bookcasts

Dr Cris Crissman , who teaches the “Learning Through Literature with Young Adults” graduate class at North Carolina State University, shared some of the exciting and innovative work that she is involved in. This included online book clubs and bookcasting. A fascinating presentation. Thanks Cris!

 urls shared by Cris include

From the chat came the following:-

 Here is the link to the recording