Category Archives: global projects

The Global Education Conference 2019 Reflections

This is such a wonderful conference – it is free, online and global. It goes 24 hours a day over 3 days. Again I had the pleasure of being able to moderate the conference with Sue Wyatt from Tasmania for the times that the US educators are asleep. It is fun and quite a learning curve taking on this role as we tend to have the times that are friendly to countries that may not speak English as a first language. This brings in a lot of challenges including misunderstandings,  second languages, accents, uncertainty of procedures, attendees with names that are hard even attempt to pronounce etc.

As I waited to help Vietnamese teachers provide their presentation, I was fascinated to hear them all talking to each other in Vietnamese from each of their geographical locations. It is interesting to hear people speaking their local languages, as too often we expect them to have a go at English so that we understand. Sometimes it was necessary to moderate more than one session at once, and be in 4 or 5 rooms helping to set up and ensure all was going smoothly with the online sessions. Fortunately, my laptop held up to the demands. However, on the second night of the conference, (Australian time) the NBN (our our open access data project) was taken down for maintenance and I was unable to moderate any sessions. A big thank you to Sue Wyatt for taking on the full responsibility. When you have spare time, please look through the list of sessions that were provided and listen to the recordings. There are some amazing conversations, experiences and presentations.

Join the Global Education Conference community to view the following resources: . Recordings are available by clicking on this link. 

If you attended sessions and were a registered attendee, request an attendee certificate here – one per attendee

Global education resources are available by clicking on this link

 

A panellist on the Shymkemt, Kazakhastan Flash Mob Jury

Over the last three years, I have been priveleged to be a jury member (judge) for the Shymkemt Flash Mob Jury. This is an amazing collaborative event held at a school in the  Republic of Kazakhstan to celebrate the UN International Day for Tolerance in November. Students at this school in Shymkemt perform a dance as part of a group of 10 or more students to their choice of music which can often mash and incorporate music from different genres including traditional folk.

Organisation on a global scale – largely led by Begaim, one of the teachers. Each year it improves and allows for many of the judges who speak English as their first or second language.

  • a call for jury members (or judges) is sent out world wide through a variety of Skype group lists.
  • a link is provided to a google sheet for educators/classes to add their names as jury members.
  • A Skype group is formed as a backchannel prior to, during and after the event.
  • The Flash Mob is live streamed through Youtube, with a test connection prior to the event.
  • Prior to the official event, a professional and highly engaging video showing Shymkemt is played through the youtube channel.
  • As the event starts two student leaders welcome everyone and announce the global judges which are a mix of teachers and classes from countries across the world – Germany, Bangladesh, Russia, Vietnam, Australia, USA, Sth Korea, Kasakhstan,  Taiwan, Hungary etc
  • Thirteen groups performed. Each of them was judged on a number of criteria and given a score from 5 to 10. They were judged on dance energy, team spirit, musicality, dance synchrony, creativity, appearance. Scores were added to the collaborative google sheet after each performance.
  • Students chose their own music and made up their own moves. All were of a high standard and scores were close
  • A master sheet kept track of the totals
  • After approximately 1.5 hours, the final scores and winners were announced

See the video

Reflections

  • it is very special to be a virtual judge of events like this
  • live participants in the youtube channel came from a variety of countries so their comments came up in their native language – fascinating to watch and to try and translate!
    languages in global judging
  • the youtube channel showed the name of the group who was currently performing so we were all judging the right group
  • however, as a collaborative sheet was worked on, someone was entering their scores on my sheet which threw me out as I looked like I was judging the dance group that had not yet started and not the current one.

Those confusing Time Zones

clock

Time zones can be very confusing and can be a major challenge for those who wish to connect globally in real time. Australia is one of the first countries to enter a new day so even though we may get the times right, we may have the wrong day as it can be Thursday for me and Wednesday for other countries eg USA. Then daylight saving is used in many countries. My students are always fascinated with the fact that they live in the future for many!!!

It is important to understand gmt or utc time as all countries can work out the time difference using this measurement. I live in SE Australia so for half the year, I am gmt+10 and when daylight saving starts, am gmt+11 or AEDT.

Following are some apps and tools that can help:

  1. Time on a smart mobile (cell) phone
  2. Time and date  Timeanddate
  3. Doodle  Doodle
  4. World Time Buddy  World Time Buddy

As I use a windows computer and laptop, another option has been brought to my attention from Joe McNaulty in USA.

Here’s how to add UTC to your Windows 10 Task Bar: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-set-multiple-time-zone-clocks-windows-10 Puts it in the lower right corner when you hover over your clock.

I am going to try doing this as it may be the efiicient way to check when I decisions have to be made quickly.

International Dot Day

September 15th was International Dot Day. The ISTE Global Collaboration PLN, of which I am also a member. It was decided that the #ISTEGlobalPLN would create a project for this day to engage our members and other educators. Sean Forde, one of our lPLN leadership team set up a Dot Day wakelet for participants to add their dots. It is still not too late to add yours. Peter Reynolds, the author of the Dot, created a beautiful Dot to start us off.

Here is what it looked like in my classes

  • We do not have the book, so we watched the story on youtube.
    https://youtu.be/t5mGeR4AQdM
  • As it is during my ICT classes, computers had to be used to draw the dots
  • Most students chose to use MS Paint with some having access to Paint 3D
  • They were encouraged to share a little of Australian culture in their dots as it was a global project
  • All dots were collated into a Powerpoint presentation and then uploaded to slideshare.
  • The link to the slideshares were added to Wakelet and this created an efficient and effective way of sharing more than 40 dots. (Rather than have them just listed under one another).

Did you get involved in International Dot Day? What did you do?

 

GVCM #1803 Results

In April to June this year, year 9 and 10 ICT elective students participated in a collaborative global project through the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC #1803). Schools from India – Veda Vyasa DAV Public School and Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Senior High School   – Taiwan were part of our collaborative team.

It was exciting to read an email from the organisers to say that our project, The Green Steps had won a silver award.  Our project looked at protecting and  keeping our planet green.

There is so much learning to be made when we collaborate with other countries, especially those who do not speak English as a second language. Thanks to GVCM for making these projects available and well done to the teachers and students involved.

 

The ImpaCT of Global Classrooms

the races.jpg

The Australian Council for Computers in Education hold a conference in Australia every two years. This year it was held in Sydney at Randwick Racecourse, with the theme of ImpaCT. See the full program 

My presentation was based on The ImpaCT of Global Classrooms and the impact it has had particularly on my classes and students. The session descriptor is as follows and the presentation can be seen above.

By attending this session, participants will explore and gain “hands on experience” in the
following:
• hear inspiring and amazing classroom stories of collaborative global classrooms
• explore online tools for communication, connection and collaboration both synchronously
and asynchronously. These tools are free, cross platform, cross device and accessible to the
majority of classes across the world. Some are proven tools over time and some are the
latest trending tools
• Learn how to get started 😊
• Where to find global projects – both simple and complex mnm  mmmm
• Discuss tips for success
• Explore the challenges of collaborating globally
• How to overcome the challenges including the challenges of cultural and religious
differences, language barriers, accents, time zones and more
• Understand the need for and the power of developing a personal learning network
• How to develop a professional learning network and learning communities to join

Unfortunately, Todays Meet (a backchannel) is no longer available. This would have added interactivity to the session. The time slot was only 30 mins in length, so there was no time for interactivity. An online document of resources was shared.

Amazing Outcomes from Global PLNs

Video call snapshot 365

One of my special online colleagues, Sebastian Panakal is an educational entrepreneur from Kerala, India, and a tireless worker  who is passionate about his people, their education and their economic future. On many, many occasions he has spoken to students, staff and parents from my school in Australia, using Skype to connect. In turn I have been able to reciprocate and connect with schools, classes, community members etc in Kerala.

Technology enables us to connect in ways never thought previously possible. It’s innovative use is just starting to impact on global education. The ability to learn from others in any country, any time and a variety of ways can help those in lesser developed countries improve their education and expand their learning/knowledge. Nelson Mandela said:

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

Last week, Sebastian connected me (over Skype) to Mr Ravindran, of Kerala, India. Initially, I spoke briefly to Sebastian who then introduced me to a retired female Principal who is learning to teach online under Sebastian’s tutelage.

Video call snapshot 366

Next, Mr Ravindran was introduced and he spoke of ways that he may be able to help me and other members of our global network, when visiting India. He spoke of his Commerce degree and background which was of high interest to me as that is my academic background and the area that I teach in. I spoke briefly of what I do but it was only when I had hung up that I realised the importance of this friendly gentleman.

Video call snapshot 367

He is an important community member and his business card reads as follows:-

U. P. Ravandran, M Commerce,  a member of the Prime Minister’s 25 circles (Interaction with the Prime Minister, Indian Defence, Indian Railways, Schwachh Barath Mission, Anti-Corruption, Legal Cell, Women Protection, Consumer Protection, etc).

He has direct access to the Prime Minister’s office to report on what goes on locally here in Kerala. This helps the PM’s office localize and customise their work in Kerala.

Sebastian has a wonderful vision – a project to employ one million people as English Language Coaches – each one teaching one program. Those who are fluent in the language will help those who are not, using Skype for educational purposes, accepting an honorarium, if given.

Sebastian has contact with senior citizens who are eager to use their time productively, empowering people who need a mentor in language learning. Read more at the EldersSole. The idea has been work in progress for two year. See Language Learning Circles   and Speak English for Money. This project is about to be launched to help the people of Kerala learn English. Mr Ravindran is supporting this project.

It would be fabulous if the people of Kerala could offer to teach their native language to others across the world. People in advanced countries could be willing to pay for native speakers to teach them. Courses could be setup, including advanced or basic tourist conversational courses, cultural and heritage lessons. Tools like Skype can used for direct interacting and learning. There are  many options available (and many that have not even been thought of) that innovative entrepreneurs like Sebastian (with a fabulous global professional network) and supportive mentors like Mr Ravindran will be able to use, to advance the learning and financial opportunities for the people of India.

All the best in this innovative adventure in global connection and learning!

The Global Virtual Classroom Project

Although, I had heard much about the Global Virtual Classroom Project, (GVC Project), which was founded by Janet Barnstable, my classes have not been involved before due to the nature of our school years. The original projects spanned 6  months but as schools in Australia enjoyed their long 5 week summer break and then started a new school year, it was impossible for me to have a consistent class that could complete the project.

However, a mini-project was introduced this year and this was more manageable for the school calendar. It did span across semester 1 and 2, and my ICT elective students changed over this time, but we were able to participate due to the willingness of our partner school and teacher Yunchai Chen, Wunshan Senior High School,Kaohsiung, Taiwan to condense the project to fit in with the first term of our semester 2.

What I liked about the project:

  • strong support from the leadership team of Janet Barnstable USA and Lakshmi Srinivas of India.
  • being partnered with a school in a similar time zone. We could actually communicate virtually in real time using skype
  • Yunchai Chen had been part of the project before and was therefore experienced.
  • the tools used were user friendly and free
  • the project was flexible to fit in with specific needs
  • students in Taiwan and Australia could choose their own global topic. They chose Oceans
  • an awards process to acknowledge work completed

Both countries are islands. As we live 25 minutes drive to the closest ocean and seas, and as our beaches are beautiful, students felt comfortable with the topic and had some basic knowledge. As the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s big tourist destinations, Warrnambool’s Logan beach is a nursery for the Great Southern Whales and Port Fairy is a nearby quaint village (which started out as a whalers station), the students had plenty of scope for ideas.

The tools used:-

  • email for teacher correspondence
  • edmodo for sharing of conversations, files and other needs (student and teacher use)
  • google sites – was chosen by Yunchai and me to display the student outcomes
  • skype for synchronous virtual connections
  • Windows MovieMaker to produce the videos – my student choice

The time frame was tight – approximately 6 weeks, but this gave students a sense of real time pressures that they may face in the work place. Three students produced videos – Tim’s was on Ocean Life in SE Australia; Port Fairy, Bethany’s favourite beach and Sophie chose to produce a movie on the Great Ocean Road.

To the delight of the students, a silver award certificate was granted for the collaborative Oceans project. Our certificate can be seen below.

silver award gvc301 Silver Award Australia

“Peace Across the World” – A Global Message

peace

Lorraine Leo from the USA and  Yoshiro Myata, Japan, the founder of the World Museum Project requested us to compose messages for “Peace Across the World” for the World Peace Song project partners at the beginning of the peace workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, February 3.

In this World Peace Song workshop the focus will be on creating a peace song for Syrian children. We look forward to sharing your messages of peace and our beautiful World Peace Song with workshop attendants in Thailand.

As time was short, students in year 7 were asked to compile their thoughts. It was then  shared as a text update on the  World Museum Edmodo networking site. Following is the collaborative message from my students:

Peace is awesome. Peace is the most wonderful thing to share with the world and is definitely something we need more of. It is about giving, helping each other out, enjoying ourselves and others and not fighting. Peace is when everybody is happy and working as a team. Peace is what we all want and shows with happiness and laughter all around the world.

What would your message be?

China Connections

When the opportunity arose to join China Connections, a global collaborative project setup by Julie Lindsay of Flat Connections and Katie Grubby of Mandarin Pathways, it was taken up immediately, with strong approval by our principal. Our school teaches mandarin Chinese from Prep (5 year olds) through to year 10 with the option to study it further as a formal VCE subject by distance learning.

Students in our school are isolated geographically and culturally and see little need to learn another language as travel overseas and exposure is not an option for many. Most  live on farms or in small rural towns, are from low economic backgrounds and often remain in the small rural communities. However, our school has had Chinese language assistants for the last three years and Beijing no. 27 school sends students to our school every second year and our students are offered that same opportunity. Only a very small number of students take up this opportunity.

In 2015, one of our year 10 student, Sarah was was fortunate enough to be part of the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program in 2015. Sarah wishes to study mandarin Chinese through to year 12. Along with four other year 9/10 ICT students, they will be part of this trial project.

fuze meeting

The Project so far has involved:-

  • several schools in China, Australia, USA and a number of individually enrolled teachers and students.
  • finding tools that can be accessed in both China and the other countries involved. These include  edmodo, voicethread, skype, wechat and email.
  • cross age students from primary through to secondary and some home schooled students
  • supportive community members in China See The Learning Concierges page.
  • regular global staff meetings online in fuze.
  • a wechat group for updates, sharing pictures, conversations etc Wechat is a popular social media app used in China with many great features