Category Archives: global 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

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?

Breaking down the barriers of language

connected classroom

One of the biggest barriers to global connections can be language! Students from different countries may be very shy and reluctant to communicate when they do they either do not speak the language at all or only minimally. Here is an idea, games or activity that can be fun to use in Skype and may be well suited for those classes connecting who speak a different language.


Memory Game

  1. Collect 10 objects and place them in a bag or box (eg scissors, newspaper, mug, ruler, flag, cultural objects, food etc)
  2. Remove objects from the bag, one at a time, share the object over the webcamera  to the distant class using videoconferencing eg skype
  3. Say the name of the object, hold a sign up to show how it is spelt
  4. Hide the objects back in the bag
  5. Students have to come up to the webcam, name each of the 10 objects in their language and then the language of the initiating class.
  6. The other class repeats.

sharing vegemite

Extending the learning – use skype translator, signs in the written language, google or bing translator or use one of the teachers as a translator etc.

Imagine if you connected with a class from a country

  • that speaks the second language taught at your school!
  • does not speak English at all!

What could the students learn from this? Why should we even try do this?

learning the language

There could be a number of variations on this game. What other games could we play when a common language is a barrier?

The World is My Classroom

Bob Greenberg invited a number of participants at ISTE 2015 to be videoed for his series called The Brainwaves Video Anthology. He produces this series and interviews ‘the thinkers, dreamers and innovators’ of education.

Please check out some of the amazing people he has captured in video. (Not sure how or why I fit in with many of these!! But was certainly proud to be part of the series.)

The instructions were to speak for 5 mins on a topic that I am passionate about in relation to education. It is not so easy to speak off the cuff and fortunately, the editing software removed my coughing fits, and many of my umms and aaahhs.! Below is the video.

Some other interviewed guests at ISTE involve the following. These people have similar interests and passions re global education

  1. Michael Soskil  Global Service Learning
  2. David Potter Make Learning Global
  3. Michael Graffin The Global Education Project
  4. Brandon Wiley Global Education
  5. David Young Global Education for All

Global Communication – Global Etiquette

Participating in a number of global ISTE PLN sessions and meetings has made me even more aware of the nature of appropriate communication when connecting with the world. Discussions took place around the timing of certain events and the words ‘in the fall’ were used. Julie Lindsay  reminded us that we were not to refer to seasons but rather use months.

Appropriate etiquette that needs to be considered includes:

  • seasons eg  as countries experience different seasons wet/dry; summer/autumn/winter/spring, some use different names eg fall/autumn and are hemisphere dependent.
  • certain festival times of years eg Christmas (as many celebrate different festivals. Russian and Greek orthodox celebrate it at different times, other cultures/religions do not celebrate it at all), New Year (which one? – English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepal as these all celebrate different times for New Year and will have different calendar months)
  • Time clock – use a global time reference eg gmt +10 or utc +10 and not a local or national time for global connections

    global communication time zones1

  • Acronyms – should not be used or if they are need to be explained in full as only local citizens will know what they mean.
  • If there is no common language, then other forms of communication should be considered eg miming, music, images, sounds, lots of body language, translator etc

What have I forgotten? What would you add in here?

Behind Closed Doors: Sebastian guest educator from Kerala, India

cropped selfieThis week is Education Week in Victoria, Australia. To celebrate teaching and learning, our school opened its doors today on the theme: “Behind Closed Doors”. Grandparents and parents were invited in to the classrooms between 11:30am and 2:30pm.

Year 7 ICT class demonstrated the power that technology can bring in opening up the doors globally. Sebastian Panakal kindly accepted the invitation to play “Mystery Skype” with the students, then show his wife’s Seena’s wonderful samples of origami and and answer any further questions.

whole class with Sebastian

Students had to think of one question to ask Sebastian, that required only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, whilst I solved the many problems I was facing with my laptop. Sebastian waited extremely patiently whilst my laptop rebooted. Students gradually worked out where Sebastian was from, using visuals and accents as ancilliary clues. Hamish actually worked out the name of the city – Kerala! Students had previously asked if he lived in the northern hemisphere, near a tropical forest, near the Pacific Ocean etc. Once they knew it was India, the next questions were

  • Do you live in southern India?
  • Do you live in a big city?
  • Do you live in Kerala?

showing origami

Sebastian proceeded to share the wonderful origami that his wife Seena creates. I hope he could hear the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the students as the webcam beamed them back to us. She shares her work over youtube.

As it was breakfast time for Sebastian he told us he was having Chappati & Daal – further learning as to what this actually looks like. Appam (made of rice) and curry was also part of it. Our students had had toast, toasties or cornflakes with banana!

Then he  invited us to Skype with “Sandesh – Be the Change” learners as part of training of a team of social entrereneurs ready to empower poor at the bottom of the pyramid in Kerala. The Prime Minister is eagerly promoting “Make in India” – Kerala Government is keen on digital democracy, empowering the marginalized. What a fabulous event for us to be involved in.

another origami

Read some of the student blog posts and what they thought about it all:

  1. Kiara’s post
  2. Dominic’s post
  3. Emmerson’s post
  4. Tim’s post
  5. Megan’s post