Feb 7th is Safer Internet Day across the world, not only for students but for all who use the internet – whether beginners or experienced users.
Our Department of Education and Training in partnership with the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commission organised several webinars on Safer Internet Use. Read more here. These webinars were online and free.
Another exciting opportunity was offered to schools in Victoria, to apply for the opportunity to bring 2 female students from year 10 to work with Facebook and Instagram in their new Melbourne offices in the Docklands discussing the topic – Safety in the Age of Disappearing Media. Much to their excitement, two of our year 10 girls were accepted into the workshop and I accompanied them. The hashtag used is #girltakeover with the discussions being on encouraging them to be the power for change and make the internet and even more positive place to be, especially in regard to social media. Facebook and Instagram sponsored this event and were interested in getting feedback from this age group as all too often it is adults who are vocal and dominant.
There were fun activities for them to start with enabling them to get to meet the other students, gain confidence and have fun, in preparation for the ‘hard fun’ about to begin.
Some of the great advice given once the day formally began included:-
- Best filters that exist are between your brain.
- Disappearing media does not happen – it is there forever but it can be rewritten
- be empowered, be fierce, be strong, control your own brand.
- Facebook and other sites create great privacy settings so ues them – block, mute where necessary!
The children’s eSafety Commissioner took an active part in the day.
- the pressures of sharing information,
- why misunderstandings occur, why stories might be change and the trust that goes into the moment of sharing.
- the challenges of sharing media eg snapchat, instagram story.
Trust is put into ‘just a moment’, will people understand the context of what your are sharing, screenshot content which is supposed to be deletable. Platforms are evolving all the time. Instagram has live story now to create real connections. T is all aoubt likes – adds new pressures. Doesnt have to be perfect. Deletaable media. Share moment which are not to be massively shared. Can put lots out there without spamming.Our intentions are temporary and private but can be made public. You are not being humiliated – they are.
A cartoonist captured many of the activities and events of the day.
As we all love social media – there is a need to talk about all that we love in this world. Expectations as women what we want out there, how it should be respected etc. The girls will come back to school and take on a leadership role sharing what they experienced, seeking further feedback and keeping conversations open at school on positive and safe social media spaces.
SticksnStones and Project Rockit and were there to help organise the day.
What did you do for Safer Internet Use Day?
What a contrast these students face in getting to school each day and how fortunate I am to teach in Australia where education is a given right for students.
Today is the start of a new school year for government schools in Victoria, Australia. Teachers return today but students in my school only return on Thursday. Tomorrow has been set aside as a day dedicated to speaking with parents of students in Year 7 and Year 12. Some of the time will be spent in staff meetings, PLT groups and PD and some time will enable planning.
Students from years 7-12 in our school now bring their own technology. The school suggests a range of technology that does not include smart phones as a larger screen and soft keyboard is mandated. This year our school will use Compass as its education management provider. This means that class rolls will be marked electronically, our timetable and school calendar can be easily accessed and student misbehaviour can be easily reported and shared.That is where we will start and then gradually move over to some of its other uses. Start simple enables all teachers to come on board with confidence and relative ease.
What I need to do today to make sure that students can access technology:
- Make sure all students have logins to our school network, especially new students to our school.
- Check out the new study design for VCE Business Management for Units 1/2 and 3/4
- Set up MS 365 accounts for new students
- Ensure all students in years 7 to 10 have Global2 blogs.
- Find videos for introducing accounting, resources and other multi-media resources to engage students with from TES, pinterest, youtube, slideshare etc
Setting up a OneNoteup will help with MS 365
Our Chinese friends celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan 28th although celebrations go over a period of time. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.
The Rooster traits include loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values. These can be shared by all. The celebrations go for approximately 2 weeks. This article from the London Telegraph shares what it is like.
Here are some of the sites that I may use with my students in learning all about the New Year.
Do you this special event for learning in your classroom? What do you do or what resources can you share? Please add as a comment below.
On 26th January, Australians celebrate Australia Day – a day to be proud of being Australian and a time for reflection on how lucky we are to live in this wonderful country of ours. We enjoy a wonderful lifestyle, good wages/working conditions, health benefits, freedom of speech and so much more. Australia Day is a public holiday for all!
On this day, (although the date is now somewhat contentious), schools are still on summer vacation. Many people are camping and enjoy barbecues on this day. It often starts with a community breakfast put on free by a number of service clubs and community organisations. The Lions Club of Port Fairy (where we are camping) put on a bbq breakfast of sausages, bacon/egg in fresh bread, bottles of juice apples, oranges and tea or coffee.
This was followed by a Moyne Shire awards ceremony where a number of people are recognised for their outstanding achievements and service to the community. It was with some pride that my nephew, Steven Mirtschin, received the Moyne Shire Young Citizen Award.
Many Australians will enjoy the warm summer day with barbecues, swimming and other traditional Australian foods including lamingtons (white coated cake, iced with chocolate icing, coated in coconut.
As we are camping in the Port Fairy caravan park, we joined many fellow campers at 7pm and gathered around 17 flags (for 2017) of varying heights, to sing the National Anthem.
The song “I Am Australian” could be heard at various times of the day.
Reinhard Marx is an innovative connected teacher in Germany and part of the HLW Skypers group. He organised Christmas Around the World and brought the world to his class as well as to those who participated.
I was registered to be a participant in the first class as it was night time in Australia. Unfortunately, I had no class with me. Kim from International Community School of Abidjan from Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa also joined us with her class.
We shared how we celebrate Christmas in our countries. Reinhard’s class shared and I used screen sharing to show a presentation with pictures of what it is like where I live. Kim’s class showed a video story. Each of the students individually shared where they are from and how they celebrate Christmas. It was fascinating to learn of our similarities but also our differences.
As the session drew to a close, the German students sang “Oh Tannenbaum” for us. The words for this carol were shared on our screens. The next minute, Kim’s class broke out in energetic singing and harmonies. The passion of both songs brought sheer delight.
The African class had to move, so I stayed on and showed my packet of Christmas cards and bonbons. The German students did not know bonbons. I opened one, and showed the little toy, party hat and riddle that came with it.
Our friend Maria del Colussa from Argentina also joined us for a few minutes but will be part of the next formal class.
Christmas Around the World will continue through the next few hours with other classes and students joining in. What an amazing experience for Reinhard’s classes and for us!!
How it worked! Reinhard shared
- a google document with us so that we could add the most suitable times.
- a google map so we could add our location using pins
- the google hangout link to connect
We used screen share to show our presentations and the chat to share questions and comments during the presentations.
What surprised me! The African students were so, so confident and had lots of questions. The German students were rather shy as English is their second or third language.
Other countries involved include Hungary, Sweden, India.
Most amazing is that this connection made the German newspaper. See the article online.
Every second year our school organises a trip to China, as mandarin Chinese is taught as our second language. Part of this trip involves a four or five day visit to our sister school at no 27 Beijing. It is offered to students in years 9 and above.
I am fortunate to be one of the supervising teachers in attendance. There are 11 students, 2 staff and four adults who are related to the students. On arrival at the airport, we were met by Mr Wan who picked us up and took us by bus to no 27 school where we were greeted to our official welcome, early lunch and then attended classes. We were given a home room where most of the classes took place.
On that first day, our classes included:
Students were then greeted by their host familes who came to the school to pick them up and take them to their homes for four nights. This really pushes students outside their comfort zones as English may not be spoken by the parents or may be very limited. Their homes are tiny compared to our large Australian homes and most Chinese students slept on a couch so that our students could have a bed. The girls especially showed some nervousness about this. All but two families had one child.
The school then treated our staff and adults to a sumptuous meal at a local restaurant where we enjoyed amongst other amazing dishes – the famous Peking or Beijing Duck. The duck was carved in front of us by the chef!
Hawkesdale p12 College welcomes a visit from our sister school, no 27 Beijing, every second year. Students are placed with host families for 7 nights during their visit to Hawkesdale. They attend school for 5 days of their visit and a special timetable is prepared for them. The aim of their visit is to be exposed to the Australian culture and to be immersed in the English language. Many of the host families live on farms and some live in towns of 150 people or less.
It is not until we host international students that we realise how different we are and how much we take for granted of where we live and learn. Following are some of what we have learnt.
- Some of the Chinese students have never seen stars
- A blue sky is a rarity in Beijing and they love our blue skies.
- Some students have never been exposed to the dark (the lights are always on in Beijing)
- Many have not eaten with a knife and fork
- Many have not seen a rainbow
- Our families are large – most have 3 or 4 children.
- Our homes are huge cf their small apartments
- Houses tend to be one storey here – multi-storey there.
- The countryside and space that we have between houses and farms is the complete opposite
- There is little traffic ie cars on our country roads but it includes milk tankers, stock trucks and the occasional tractor on the road.
- Freedom in internet access.
- Students will be able to ride a horse (which they have only seen in picture books or in a zoo)
- Many are afraid of dogs and most country families have dogs in Australia.
Australia is a wonderful country to live in and the country areas are great! We were proud to share our country and homes with the students and staff.