Students followed the link given on my classroom blog, but as the first student opened it, all I could hear was “What the…..?” Wondering what was wrong, I glanced at the computer screen and saw the following:-
Next comment from another student “It’s all in Japanese!” I just laughed and thought “let the learning begin”!
Several weeks ago, I was contacted by an educator from Japan, who taught English at Hokusei Gakuen University in Japan. As Interpretation was one of the upcoming topics for study, Nakao wondered whether we could create some videos on Family or School for her students. Wondering how I could build this into my VCE IT subject where the current topic is databases, I realised that I could actually tweak things and use data from the linkup, student names etc to build a database that would be far more engaging than textbook exercises.
- Naoko’s professor built a space for my students in their moodle learning management system.
- Two spaces have been setup – a forum area for discussion and another space to upload the videos.
- My students will upload their videos to youtube – the university professor suggested that we make them private and has told us how. However, I think it is better to make them public as many others may also be interested in our way of life, family life, school, culture etc. Due to our isolated rural community, we are so different to many! The youtube videos will then be embedded into the moodle.
180 million people lives in Sapporo city. What does your town look like?Response: We have 150 people live in our town of HawkesdaleI soppose that ski is one of the most popular sport.Response: The closest snow fields are 6-8 hours drive away from where we live. (Most of my students have not seen snow)I love vegetables which my grandfather makes. Especially, White Pumpkin is deliciousReaction: Australian students are intrigued about white pumpkin. We have never seen one
- the engagement of my students
- their eagerness to participate and respond as best they could
- students completely focused on task at hand (other times they are easily distracted with youtube, playing games etc)
- the discussion amongst my students that was triggered by some of the questions and comments
- having an expert set up the system for us in moodle – a university professor! Thank you! Using moodle and the forum is an excellent way of collaborating. Students took to it like ‘water off a duck’s back’.
- the learning that takes place – we are different, live in completely different environments, learn at different levels of education and yet students are so curious about each other.
- our mandarin Chinese teacher walked in at the stage where the screen was in Japanese text and identified many Chinese characters amongst them. He shared with the students, why they were the same.
- language barriers, different terms used, completely different names!
- using a new tool and system although they students embraced it quickly. They quickly worked out how to add images etc
- the cultural differences and avoiding offending each other
- I am afraid that I will mess up the moodle space if I change details etc.