It was the last week of term 2. Mid year exams, assessments and reports had all been completed. Liking the thought of the google rule of 20% time to play, I usually let the students in computer studies have ‘free time’.
This means that the boys in my year 9/10 class chose to play games, including minecraft. The girls tended to search through pinterest. One girl chose to read a book!!! But then noticing a lot of movement at the back of the room, was one of the girls learning to dance Polynesian style via youtube. She was not distracted by any of the others, nor did the boys or girls take their eyes of their screens except to quickly check out the action. She was up on her feet and had completed the moves in perfect timing by the end of the lesson.
My presentation at #EdutechAU ran for 1 hour and 15 mins and was to be a combination of a presentation, interactive learning and some hands-on. I allowed 30-45mins for the interactivity. Some participants used the backchannel to ask questions, which I duly answered. When I asked for suggestions as to what people would like to learn or see demonstrated, I was surprise to hear one attendee ask me to demonstrate skype.
Rather taken aback as I assumed that nearly everyone knew what it was like, I had to think on the fly! I showed them my HLW Skypers group where people are usually about 24/7 but as it was 1:30pm most of the US, Europe and Africa would be asleep, leaving possibilities of Asian colleagues who were probably teaching. I put in a quick plea for help
In my haste I wasn’t very clear with the message, told the audience they may have to wait a while and we went on to play kahoot. Within 10 minutes, Shannon Huang from Taiwan responded. A real connection was made, the bandwidth was perfect and many of the advanced features of skype demonstrated. Shannon talked about her students’ work which we could see just behind her. Then I asked a favour to see whether we could trial the skype language translator. We had to hang up, I set the translator on, rang back and much to our amusement watched it try and interpret our conversation.
What an amazing and perfect demonstration, on the fly, in real time to show how well we can engage with Asia. Thanks a heap, Shannon!