Author Archives: annemirtschin

Playing it safe with location privacy settings on Smart Phones

phone privacy1

Year 7 and 8 students have watched this  engaging short video Mobile Location Privacy in a Nutshell, that demonstrates how to make sure location settings are set to private when using your smart phone. Great to share with your students  to keep them as safe as possible, explaining the potential dangers of revealing location information.

After watching the video, students took out their phones and checked their location settings. There was a mix of settings on and off. We also discussed when and why we might want the settings turned on, remembering to turn them off immediately after.  Geotagging and why organisations use this, was also discussed. This was an engaging topic for the students.

Do you have any resources to share?

Teaching a practical class online – Virtual Drama


When: Tuesday 6th October, 4-5pm, Melbourne Australia time which is now gmt+11 or utc+11 due to daylight saving having commenced.

Where:   Adobe Connect virtual meeting room

About this session:  Virtual Drama – Teaching a practical class online will look at ways technology can be used to inspire collaboration, innovation, creativity and transform learning in any classroom. The aim of this session is to inspire and excite teachers about being innovative with their use of technology. It is based on a learning experience which saw students from four schools studying VCE Drama via video conferencing and utilising a variety of innovative online tools. This session will explore the triumphs and challenges arising from teaching a practical subject online, as well as showcasing a variety of teaching tools. The resources and strategies demonstrated within this workshop are very relevant and easily adapted across ALL learning areas within a secondary school environment. This session will cover many ways in which technology can be used and adapted to suit your own technical ability and resources within your school. A variety of teaching tools will be demonstrated allowing attendees to walk away armed with a variety of tools to try out for themselves.

This session would be of high interest to teachers who are interested in integrating technology into their classroom. Teachers with all levels of technical ability are invited to attend as the focus will be on demonstrating the tools from a pedagogy point of view rather than purely as a technical discussion. Some of the examples provided will be focused on senior classes however all the resources are easily adapted to suit middle years also.

About Deanne: Deanne Joosten  has been teaching Drama with great passion and enthusiasm for 12 years. Deanne is a Leading Teacher – eLearning at P-12 Phoenix Community College  in Ballarat, VIC.  She has always been interested in technology and this has seen her bring together her innovative use of ICT and her experience as a Drama Teacher to create an exciting learning environment for her students. Deanne regularly presents at conferences on the topic of Technology in the classroom.  Deanne is the first Drama teacher to be teaching VCE Drama and VCE Theatre Studies online to four schools simultaneously through the DEECD Victorian Virtual Learning – Digital Learning Branch.  Currently, Deanne is currently recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 2015. This role sees her working as part of a global network of 35 teachers in Australia and New Zealand teachers who use technology in innovative and engaging ways in their classroom. This network also extends into a global network of 800 Microsoft Innovative Educators.  As a lifelong learner and thought leader, Deanne is very excited about the future as she continues to explore ways exciting ways technology can heighten a student’s experience in the classroom.

Global Collaboration Day – Different Styles of Twitter Chats!

Different styles of Twitter Chats – Global Collaboration Day

Twitter has been used extensively to develop an amazing professional learning network. Although I do not regularly participate in twitter chats, I do find the global classroom chats of high interest. When I became a Master Skype teacher, Beverly Ladd and I started the #skype2learn twitter chat on a two monthly basis and again, when Julie Lindsay founded the ISTE Global PLN network, I help to organise the #isteglobalpln chat. Over the past 7 or 8 years twitter has developed significantly in its power to aid in networking. Hashtags, a translation option, the addition of images, tagged images and short videos etc to tweets has evolved.

On Global Collaboration Day my involvement in moderation spanned across three twitter chats –

  • A 1 hour chat #isteglobalpln “Twitter Chats 101” See the archive
  • Two slow twitter chats: #skype2learn “Learning with the World” and #globalgamechat The Gllobal Game Chat The slow twitter chats were less formal and people could answer questions in their own time. Moderators put out the questions on a regular basis.

Archives for Learning with the world and #globalgamechat

The Global Game Chat #globalgamechat was a multilingual chat instigated by the ISTE Games and Simulations Network. However it became a collaborative effort between two other ISTE groups the Mobile Learning and Global Collaboration network. The initial 30 minute chat was  followed by a slow twitter chat over a 24 hour period. The questions were sent out in English, French and Arabic.

slow twitter chat

Example of a multilinugal tweet


The #skype2learn Learning with the World was a slow twitter chat that spanned the 48 hours that Sept 17th takes to cross the world. It was a true collaborative effort.  As moderators came from Australia, Europe (Serbia and Greece) and USA, we were able to monitor the chats 24/7 (or 48/7)!!!  Jed Dearybury created an image which featured the 12 questions. Master Skype teachers crowd sourced the 12 questions that would be posed. The questions were reversed in order for the second 24 hour period.

questions by jed

Some moderators automated their tweets, and watched the responses evolve, interacting where possible. Participants were encouraged to respond as the questions fell (approx. every 1 or 2 hours) or answer all questions at once.

The addition of pictures and tweeting in local languages was encouraged. Pictures added great value especially when “What can you see outside your window? and “What animals are common in your area?”

The 1 hour #isteglobalpln chat was really fast and intense with co-moderators coming from the USA and Australia. Toni Olivieri-Barton @toniobarton, Anne Mirtschin @murcha, Linda Martin @mrsmartinusa Nine questions were posed and participants responded their answers immediately. However the timing of this chat left out almost half the world as it was not friendly to Europe and Asia for real time involvement.

The #globalgamechat received many tweets in languages other than English – Russian etc Moderators spanned the 24 hours.

Reflections on the experience:

One hour twitter chats

A one hour twitter chat can be intense. Having three moderators helped to lighten the load. We took it in turns to ask the questions. Answers came in chronological order making for easier archiving and retrieval.

Slow twitter chats

  • Requires a number of moderators who can span the time zones, pose the questions and interact.
  • Enables all people across the world to participate in their own time and in their own language.
  • Not all questions will be answered by all participants
  • Answers may not fall in chronological order
  • Far more relaxing to moderate
  • Tweets can be pre-timed in twitter apps like tweetdeck and hootsuite. However if the tweets are simply pretimed, interaction still provides for richer conversations.

Further observations

  • Fascinating to read tweets in different global languages and gain a glimpse into what they look like. I though WOLOF was a teaser but it is an actual language spoken by Jed Dearybury!
  • Images add so much to tweets – we can actually see what things look like rather than imagine through the sharing of 140 characters. The #globalgamechat participants really used the richness of media and is a delight to go back through.
  • Time zones were not an issue in the slow chats as they spanned a period of time.

The archives can be found by clicking on the appropriate links

Twitter Chats 101 #isteglobalpln

Learning with the World #skype2learn

Global Games Chat #globalgamechat

Global Journeys to School

hawkesdale sign
One of the huge successes of Global Collaboration Day was allowing people to discover and use many of the possible tools that can be used for global connection, communication and collaboration. One of my favourite new tools is Sway from Microsoft. This is a simple but really effective multimedia tool that allows professional presentation immediately. What I really love most is that it is collaborative and interactive so that it makes a great tool for global connections and collaboration!


Global Journeys to School encourages people to share their journeys to school so that others around the world can see the space and culture that we populate. This project was one of the possible projects that people could get involved in for Global Collaboration Day. There are already a number of schools, representing many different countries, with their journeys shared on this sway. They include Taiwan, India, Switzerland, Norway, Serbia,Malaysia and Australia

Please check it out by clicking on this link and if you could, please add your journey to school. How can we use this for classroom learning? What would you suggest?

Global Collaboration Day

vena and korean student

Students (and educators) need to be able to share ideas, and appreciate the similarities and differences in space, place, culture and styles of learning across the globe. As our world becomes increasingly global through consumerism, an international workforce, digital and social media, gameing etc, it is essential that our classrooms become global. Our students are the future problem solvers of world-wide challenges. Global collaboration allows empathy and understanding to develop.

An exciting and unique event is planned for Thursday September 17thGlobal Collaboration Day #globaled15  This day is organised by Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon, the co-founders of the Global Education Conference. The main purpose of this unique event is to demonstrate the amazing power of connectivity between classrooms, schools, universities and organisations. This enables learning to take place beyond the textbook and into the real world of people who live, work and breathe there. The physical barriers of oceans, hemispheres, time zones, cost, effort and classroom doors are no longer a hindrance to learning in synchronous or asynchronous time.

A day across the world actually spans 48 hours from the time that the first country enters the 17th September till the last country exits. 185+ schools and organisations are offering events, from across 34 countries with more than 80 projects listed. The numbers are increasing on a daily basis. Educators, classes and organisations are hosting the events using a wide variety of tools that are available for synchronous or asynchronous collaborations. The majority of these tools are free and user friendly across all cultures, languages and countries.

There are twitter chats – some multilingual, webinars, global project launches, simple and complex connections between classes in different countries, padlets for collaboration, skype linkups, google hangouts, periscope live streaming of classes and so much more..

Some interesting event titles include: Soundscapes from around the world, Cultural Collaboration, Recess around the World, Global Journeys to School, Getting to Know Each Other Around the World, So Different and So Similar, UNICEF Live! Wash, A Global Education Gateway (from Beirut), The World’s Largest Global Education Collaboration and Challenge and much, much more. See the full listings of events or view the calendar for your time zone..

Some events that I will help administer and moderate include:

Join in and collaborate on a global scale that may change the face of learning, and possibly humanity, as it is currently known! Don’t miss being involved in some way with Global Collaboration Day.

What are you organising? What will you get involved in? What are your thoughts on this unique day?

More posts at

  1.  Join the Celebration for Global Education
  2. All Invited to Global Education Day
  3. Making the Impossible, Possible

Immigrants vs Refugees – a global challenge!

learning of immigration and refugees

A network is vital for global collaboration but when an established network is in place and collaborators are live with each other, the most amazing connections can occur.

As skype message popped up on my HLW Skypers groupfrom Lin-lin a teacher in Taiwan asking if anyone was available to listen to one of her students

speaking about the differences between a migrant and  a refugee

Unfortunately I was about to go to on recess yard duty, but quickly found two year 7 girls who were willing to linkup with Bill, the student sharing the difference. This was such an opportune topic as Australia is about to accept 120000 refuges from Syria and there is much debate on the pros and cons of doing so. Skype was used for this connection.

This is a great example of a simple connection from an established global network, demonstrating how it can lead to ongoing learning across cultures and world boundaries.

The challenges:-

  • trying to understand the distinct Asian accent

What the girls liked:

  • getting Bill to work out where we were from in the first place.  We showed him pictures of Australia
  • liked hearing the accent even though it was hard to understand.
  • just liked linking up with different countries. Can find out different things like what they are learning about.
  • I am learning about countries and where people are from by their accents. We can learn their culture from it – tells us where they are from and their history from people who actually live there.

Further questions we now have:-

  • Is Taiwan accepting refugees from Syria? Why or why not?
  • What countries do they accept refugees from?
  • Where do most of their immigrants come from?
  • Where do most of their refugees come from?
  • and so much more?

And the reaction from the class in Taiwan:

 However, I just gave a lesson about this issue to my Grade 6 students.
My class and I pay highest respect to all the nations which will give great help to the refugees and my G6 classes will make peace cranes to exchange with an American class.
Anne, thank you so much. My class read your message (re the fact Australia is taking in Syrian refugees) and they just started to know how serious the situation is and what your country has contributed to those people in urgent need.

and continuing conversations brought this message:

There were another 2 classes of mine also went on discussing and getting to know that  there are great amount of people suffering and facing the threatening  of losing lives in order to live in a safer place… And there are generous nations to receive those people.  News reports here are full of coming presidential elections next year and entertainment news….We are not connecting  to the world most of time.

One of the biggest learnings from global collaboration is that of knowing and understanding your own culture. I am so grateful to live in Australia, the lucky country!

Global Collaboration Day

The Global Education Conference held in November each year is a highlight for me and exciting time for educators across the world when they gather together for an amazing virtual online conference. This year Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon are organizing a one day event, “Global Collaboration Day” #globaled15 on September 17th. An interesting discovery has been that one day across the world actually goes for nearly 48 hours and Australia is one of the first countries to enter Sept 17th. See for more details

At this stage there are over 130 schools and organisations representing about 29 different countries and 25 oranisations. Approximately 52 events are listed so far but more are being added. It is free. You can organise an event, launch a global project, attend many of the events or participate in some of the projects on offer. See the listing of events or check out the  calendar or look for the Participate Tab and link to events. Choose your time zone.

Are you planning any events or hoping to attend any events? What projects will you get involved in?