Keynote – comedian Anne Edmonds
It is many years since I have attended this conference physically. Although I have presented virtually over the last 3 years, it is good to attend the Victorian Technology Educators conference -and catch up with many of my Victorian colleagues who I have worked with closely – and also to make new acquaintances. The conference offered a few different features to both presenters and participants:-
- a charger for mobile devices (which featured the logos/names of all the exhibitors) instead of the usual carry away bag full of promotional flyers. (everyone loved this)
- a gift certificate for presenters offering a donation to the charity of their choice.
- a fringe festival (a little like the ignite sessions at ISTE) that ran parallel to the many formal sessions
- keynote speakers were all Victorian educators, except for Anne Edmonds who is a Victorian comedian. (We all liked featuring our own successful/innovative educators rather than bringing in external speakers.
- people were to prebook for the formal sessions but could choose to go to any on the day provided room was available.
- good food and networking
- approximately 400 attendees which kept it to more intimate levels.
Social media used
- the twitter hashtag was #DigiCon15
- a conference app using YAPP
- Jenny Ashby was busy using Periscope to video many of the presentations
- Roland Gesthuizen and Amanda Rabbin captured many other sessions using google hangouts!
Deanne Joost – Virtual Drama
Sessions that I attended included:
- Informatics – a session that explained the new study design for 2016 in VCE IT
- Virtual Drama – this was a great session with Deanne Joosten as presenter. She talked about teaching VCE drama to a class that included 3 remote schools together with her own face to face. She share the many tools that she used to engage them and ensure that they were learning. These included: skype, MS Lync, sway, office mix, voki, padlet, OneNote, powtoon, quizlet, weebly and nearpod. See more in her blog Inspired Creative Tech.
- The afternoon keynote with Corrie Barclay who shared experiences, student work and a lot of pertinent advice for teachers.
- The Internet of Things and how it could be used in school. This is a topic of high interest and the mechanics of the Internet of Things was shared with a number of devices on display.
- My presentation completed the day “Look No Walls”. The resource document can be found here.
A Mystery Skype OneNote Book has been released full of resources, advice and tutorials and it is free. You can read my blog post on Learning Adventures with Mystery Skype. There is something for everyone – both newbies and experienced. It includes video tutorials, tips, time zone convertors and advice on using the Bing Maps app to record where you and your students or class have skyped and best of all it is free. If you have MS Office 365 you can also get student NoteBooks all set up with proformas for your class to record, reflect and evaluate. This can develop into a great digital portfolio for them and is fully customizable.
Download the Mystery Skype Note book or if you live in the USA, you can text a message “mysteryskype” (without the talking marks) to 41411 You will be given a url for the website where you can download the Mystery Skype Notebook. It is best not to download it from your phone but to access that link from your computer or mobile device to download it. The book comes with lots of links found in sections and pages. Have fun exploring it all.
Have you downloaded it yet? What are your impressions?
Teaching in Australia, means that our time zone makes it one of the hardest to connect synchronously with others.
A request via Skype in the Classroom to do a mystery skype with a class from Portugal was read with real interest. However, our time zone is not good for working synchronously with students from Europe, coupled with the fact that 99% of my students catch a bus back to their farms and small towns which can involve more than an hour on the bus.
This was explained in a message back to the requesting teacher (Ana), but instead of giving up, Ana suggested we ask 10 clues via a video message. Students in each class would then work out where the mystery class was from. This was a new idea to me and it is always exciting to learn with others, but it was also a little daunting as I was not sure what this would look like.
Here is what it did look like!
- Ana’s class sent us a video of her class sharing 10 clues. Her students were in pairs sharing one clue.
- We watched it and gained ideas for our clues.
- An answergarden allowed students to add short answers to what they think of when they hear “Australia”
- A google document was set up for my students to collaborate on, and as a pair share their clue. Each clue had to be different. The link to the document was shared on my class blog for them to access.
- We quickly filmed pairs of students sharing their clues, uploaded it to youtbe and shared link with Ana
- Accents were a stumbling block for us, so we listened, rewinded and worked out their 10 clues. They were written on the board.
- Students then proceeded to search for the answers to the clues. The music clue stumped us we could not work out whether their famous music was fun, or funk, or folk but then after some research and narrowing down the country to Portugal, some girls worked out it was “fado”
- Finally most pairs of students worked out the mystery country might be Portugal. Here is our video response which has been sent to Ana and her class who do actually come from Portugal
As this was all in progress, students were highly engaged, actively searching, collaborating and brainstorming together. Further learning took place by more intense searching on some of the clues eg what exactly is fado music, where is Portugal in world soccer etc.
We often get questioned about our culture. Although we live in a rural area, the capital city of our state is Melbourne, a 3.5 hour drive away. By chance I was staying a night in Melbourne, on the “White Night”
This event has occurred over the last 3 years and celebrates some of what Melbourne and we, as Australians stand for – music, food, film, art and light. White night starts at dusk and continues through to dawn in the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, with clever light shows projected onto some of our major historical buildings including the State Library, music/sounds in the streets, outdoor theatres, shops, restaurants and cafes open all night, bands and crowds upon crowds of people enjoying both the free and ticketed entertainment.
It shows innovation, ingenuity and creativity in those who set it up and made me reflect on how such skills could actually be brought across into the classroom. The City Square featured sculptures, clever light shows and sounds that changed regulalry. The lights adaption of the story Alice in Wonderland featured across many of the buildings in the CBD.
Melbourne is classified as the Most Liveable City in the World for the fourth year in a row and major events like this show why this may have been achieved. What major events is your town, city or capital city involved in?
Apologies for the black and white photos but my iphone is exporting them from colour into black and white for some reason.
An twitter chat took place yesterday as part of the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN group. The topic of conversation was “Getting connected – Starting to collaborate”. #isteglobalpln This chat was moderated by Julie Lindsay and me. The questions were:-
How would you have answered these questions?
Today is Safer Internet Day #sid2015 – a globally recognised day organised by Insafe. In First Aid, one of the first lessons to learn is DR ABC. The D being of prime importance as it stands for DANGER. When using the internet, it is important that students also learn of the dangers, so they can protect themselves as much as possible. As our Australian school year starts, this is a timely lesson and should be enforced whenever technology is used.
Australian Cybersmart organised webinars to be held throughout Australia for classes of students in years 4, 5 and 6 today. In Victoria, Digtial Learning partnered with ACMA to provide a webinar at 10:30am with more than 130 classes and more than 20,000 students logged in – a wonderful number to reach, all learning and sharing together under the guidance of an expert speaker. Popular Greg Gebhart ran a presentation on “Being a Good Bystander” using case studies, discussion, graphics, real world examples and time for feedback and reflection. Teachers were given the opportunity to test entry into blackboard collaborate, the virtual classroom software to be used the day before with help support provided by telephone on the day.
Students were also given the opportunity to participate as individuals in a chat or backchannel using Todaysmeet. Due to the large number of students online in the backchannel, the chat was fast and furious with some wonderful sharing by most students and lots of ideas on how to support their fellow peers. This is an amazing example of technology allowing students anywhere and everywhere to connect and learn. There were small rural schools, huge city schools, private and government schools all in the one classroom, connecting together and most importantly sharing their learning and experiences.
For Victorian teachers, further resources are available on FUSE for follow up activities and a game called “The Postie” was highly recommended.
What did you do for Safer Internet Day?