The World is My Classroom

Over 2 days I am fortunate to be able to both attend and present at the Edutech conference in Brisbane.

IMG_8150

The World is My Classroom is the name of my presentation.  It will be part presentation, part hands on but as interactive as possible.

My presentation –

Here are the links set up for the interactivity:-

  1. The Backchannel
  2. The Online Document of Resources
  3. The presentation (to be uploaded)

Hands On activities –

  1. Padlet “What did you have for breakfast?” Add a picture, text or video or ????
  2. Online collaboration document – Let’s Play
  3. Titan Pad – Favourites –  Etherpad 1    Etherpad 2     Etherpad 3    Etherpad 4    Etherpad 5    Etherpad 6    Etherpad 7    Etherpad 8    Etherpad 9     Etherpad 10
  4. Kahoot – link for students

Open Night at Hawkesdale College

in the library
Each year, our school holds an Open Night inviting interested  families of year 7 students in 2017, to come and visit, see and hear what is offered and be immersed in a number of activities including science, wood technology, sport, technology and cookery.

science room

I was asked to provide a virtual connection with teachers and/or students from other countries so that parents and students could experience the wonderful learning that can occur. Two special colleagues, Sebastian Panakal, from Kerala India and Lin-lin Tan from Taiwan kindly agreed to connect with the groups at the appointed time. As the families were held up, the five students who were helping me, had a special time with Sebastian and Lin-lin asking questions and interacting in conversations. Vesna is studying mandarin Chinese and practiced her Chinese with Lin-lin. The other students also conversed in simple phrases. Skype was the tool used to connect.

vesna and linlin

boys and sebastian

It started with mystery skype. The students had helped set up online maps in the computer room and families were grouped around them, trying to determine the country they were from. Sebastian went on to show his wife, Sheena’s beautiful origami which she had learnt to do from youtube. Families found it more difficult to determine where Lin-lin was from, despite her showing puppets, chopsticks and a video as clues. It was a great experience and many thanks go to the Sebastian and Lin-lin for giving up their time to show the learning that technology can bring.

puppet

puppet1

sebastian and swan

Reinventing Learning – Microsoft Conference

brisbane

Over the years that I have been teaching technology, I have always enjoyed using MS Office in my computer classes and although I have an iPhone and iPad, still use a windows based laptop and personal computer. Last year, I applied to become a Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator and was accepted into the program. As part of this profile, I was invited to attend the “Redefine Learning” conference in Brisbane, several weeks ago. Below is a summary of some of my experiences and learning at the conference.

redefine learning

Redefining Learning Conference

This conference organised by Microsoft was primarily for Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators and Microsoft Showcase Schools using the hashtag  #redefinelearn on twitter.

Some of the standout learnings and quotes were:-

  1. Change can start with a conversation. A group can make that change happen. The emphasis was creating a network of innovative and passionate educators.
  2. If you want to make change look for someone who is doing it, copy/mashup/remix what they are doing.

Highlights

  1. Developing a strong professional learning network with people who have similar passions and interests.
  2. Being exposed to some of the latest thinking in learning
  3. Having some exciting collaborative and interactive tools being released through MicroSoft including OneNote and Swayy
  4. Hands on learning experience in maker spaces with students – robotics, coding etc

A brief run down on some of the experiences and presentations

St Stephens School visit

The conference started with a school visit from a choice of two schools and this was one of the highlights of the conference for me. The principal of St Stephens showed us around. He emphasised that we are in a creative era – therefore learning spaces have become a personal passion his as they  enable collaborative, interactive and blended learning. The use of technology and its affordability and what can be done is only limited by our imagination.

Open spaces, moveable furniture and tables of many different styles, glass walls etc feature everywhere and allow blended, collaborative and interactive learning. Regular PD has been provided for staff and learning spaces have evolved and been adapted for blended learning. Staff have seen the pedagogy needs and used flexible spaces to do this.

They use a young innovative architect. Building towards successful organisation wide blended learning as they are finding traditional classrooms no longer work. The pen or stylus is now being embraced with the surface pros by increasing numbers of teachers. Windows devices are the preferred device due to pen etc and common platforms etc. They commenced with a goal of achieving blended learning, then built the courses and added in content. 3 years later, staff build the course without realising they were moving to a blended learning environment. Majority of teaching is online, but artwork is done in a traditional classroom. Tutorials online teach staff and students how to use OneNote etc. Analytics show that students are logging on in great numbers on the weekends to make use of the online learning environment. As blended learning involves technology enhanced learning, devices are fully supported by 3 technicians (a vital factor for success).

Conference Sessions

Mark Sparvell, Worldwide Showcase School Program Lead, Microsoft

Innovative schools are focussed on happiness, citizenship, adaptive capabilities, active and involved citizenship but problems around managing change.

Transformation occurs one conversation at a time. Takes a community to make the transformation.

Edupreneur: Unleashing teacher led innovation in schools David Faulkner, Education Change Makers  David encouraged us to share what “what is unacceptable……” for young ones today, but to then turn it into what we can do about it. He encouraged us to put together radical ideas – radical collaboration – copying from each other, collaborating together and creating a new direction in learning. There is a need to teach people how to innovate. Come up with 100 solutions to the problem. The first idea is often the worst. One idea in first 60 might be okay. Between 80 and 100 of those ideas come 5-7 real ideas for client. Some of the most ridiculous ideas build the best innovation and products.

Deanne Joosten, a teacher from Phoenix P12 School  “Beyond 4 Walls”.

Consider the screen as a portal, not a window and innovate learning beyond the classroom. Very few people are crazy enough to teach drama or many practical classes via videoconferencing. In one year she taught 3 remote classes together with her face to face class. This involved 614kms 7.5 hours of driving. Teaching and learning through a screen makes you think of working in other ways – broadens the mind. Teachers have to work hard to make them feel like they are being there with us and students need to think outside the box. Deanne used a live skype linkup with one of her drama classes to demonstrate how it can be done.

deanne and students

Friday morning started with a series of Teachmeet style 5 minute presentations. These included:-


Teachmeet

8 Mini presentations – 5 minutes each

Pip Cleaves Bringing it all together with Docs.com
Annette McArthur STEM Project based learning initiatives in our makerspace
Steve Crapnell Visible Thinking via SNIP and OneNote
Travis Goulter Positive Behaviour in the 21st Century with Red Critter
Anne Mirtschin The Magic of Mystery Skype
Sheree Bennett Enhancing understanding through feedback, collaboration and a tiny robot
Ineke McGuire Using OneNote to enhance differentiation and personalisation in the classroom
Nathan Moore Yammer for Social Learning
   

Participants were then give 2 x 15 mins to interact further with 2 of these presenters in round table style discussions.

Megan Towns – The MS Educator Community

This session was aimed at helping us to get connected and stay engaged with others around the world. Profiles allow the sharing of personality, achievements, passions, interests and what you are doing.

Megan introduced many of the social media tools that we can use for networking.

Introducing Microsoft Classroom: A new experience in Office 365 with Ari Schorr, Produc Mardeting Manager, Microsoft.

Using MS Classroom and some of its finer features for collaborative learning, ease of assessment and

feedback to students etc

Stem Hackathon

ebots.jpg

Students from Ormiston College, years 5 to 12, (and teachers) led us in a hands on STEM experience.

The session showed ways that students are integrating STEM into their learning at all year levels and across the curriculum at Ormiston College. We looked at some of their robotics, robots, coding the robots and using a number of software tools to code. An enjoyable and engaging session and one of the conference highlights.

student as mentors

The conference closed with a Microsoft Closing Keynote speaker and final words from Travis Smith encouraging us to redefine learning, continue to network and push teaching into new directions.

 

 

Skype in the Classroom

This was a topic for a 30 minute presentation that I made to Sheldon College, in Brisbane, Queensland, 1883 kms from me.

The presentation was made using skype and covered how to use skype, find contacts, advanced features and sample classroom uses including virtual guest speakers/experts, global connections, cultural experiences, virtual tours etc . Here is what was done:

  1. intitial contact made using emails
  2. test of skype connection earlier in the day between the school and me
  3. a quick run through of the proposed session with Vanessa the co-ordinator of the Professional Development Day to ensure it met their objectives and needs
  4. a back channel set up in todays meet for participants to introduce themselves (and for me to have some idea about the interests and needs of the audience)
  5. Chat messages to alert me to when they were ready for the presentation.
  6. Cabled my laptop in for best bandwidth
  7. Videoconference call made at the appointed time for the session
  8. Webcamera introduction
  9. Screen share from my end allowed me to share the powerpoint presentation with the remote location.

Below is the presentation made:-

https://docs.com/d/embed/D25193928-4011-7935-3820-000397619509%7eM9dcb2cf0-75c2-fd54-cc0d-4cb4b9b90919

This took approximately 30 mins. Sound, video and audio were all good. The presentation was uploaded into docs.com for sharing and the link emailed through.

Global Leadership Week

Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon co-founders of the Global Education Conference network continue to lead the way in global education. This week celebrates Global Leadership with a face to face conference and online free webinars on Tuesday 26th or Wednesday 27th depending on what time zone you are in.

Some great educators will present on a range of topics relating to global leadership. The program can be found here. Speakers and topics include:-

  • Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century
    Fernando Reimers
  • How leaders behave? Gavin Dykes
  • Levels of Global Readiness Katharine Robinson
  • Creating a Global Classroom in Your School Ann Michaelsen
  • iEARN Global Learning Circles: Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Telecollaboration Barry S. Kramer, Ph.D.
  • Dreams Do Come True! How Global Education Transformed a Community
    Dr. Valerie H. Bridges
  • Nana i ke kumu (look to the source): Building an immersion program in the elementary school
    Emily McCarren
  • 21st Century Pedagogies and Envisioning the Global Schoolhouse Jennifer D. Klein
  • Reaching the World, Mapping the Mind: Building Context, Competence and Confidence via Virtual Exchange
    Heather Halstead
  • From Design to Outcomes: Fostering Interculturally Competent Global Citizenship for All
    Dr. Eunhee Jung
  • Global Projects and Action Research Dr. Margaret Riel
  • Global Education & Social Innovation: Sparking deep learning through real-world problem solving!
    Michael Furdyk
  • Why Creativity is the Common Language of Global Learning Amy Spittler Shaffer
  • An Entrepreneurial Approach to Higher Education
    Will Houghteling
  • Green Ambassadors: Engaging Youth in Urban Environmental Leadership
  • Advancing Global Education Through Teacher Leadership
    Noah Zeichner
  • From Pedagogy to Cosmogogy: Leadership for Online Global Collaboration  Julie Lindsay
  • Panel: Re-Imagining Higher Education for a Global Age
  • Leading the Way in Global Classrooms Anne Mirtschin
  • Students as Technology Leaders and Collaborators: The Student Technology Conference
  • Students as Technology Leaders and Collaborators: The Student Technology Conference

I am proud and honoured to be presenting at this day. Please join in one or many of the sessions.

Chinese Conversations

Julie and Katie

Julie and Katie

It has been with great interest that my students and I have followed the adventures of Julie Lindsay and Katie Grubby in China. They are the co-founders of the Connect with China Global Project. #chinaconnects Year 8 students are part of the project this term.

Katie with Madeline Brookes and Aussie student

Katie with Madeline Brookes and Aussie student

This morning we were fortunate to be able to skype with them as they visited WAB in Beijing. Students were treated to:

  • conversations in Chinese
  • meeting an Australian student who is touring China, learning of the highlights of her trip and listening her birthday experiences whilst in China and the special cake she had
  • learning from the Chinese teacher at WAB who helped correct their responses
  • conversations with the Chinese teachersaw the pollution app that everyone uses to determine pollution levels
  • IMG_3686a virtual tour of the school by teacher Madeline Brookes

This was an exciting part of the linkup where students:-

    • met year 12 students who were on their last day of school for the year and preparing for final exams
Last day for year 12 students

Last day for year 12 students

    • took a tour of the library
    • saw student artwork proudly featured on the walls
    • could read the posters on the walls including the food charts

Video call snapshot 129

    • spoke to students in various school spaces as Madeline Brookes paused to get them to say hello

Video call snapshot 130

  • met the physics teacher who was teaching students outside under umbrellas and at cafe style tables
  • saw koi swimming in the koi garden, complete with a grand piano for students to play See the official virtual tour

Challenges:

  • the shyness of my students and reluctance to come to the webcamera and ask questions
  • although they learn Chinese, their understanding of the language is limited.

The highlights

  • speaking Chinese with native speakers
  • touring an amazing  school in Beijing
  • speaking with an Australian student who was travelling in China
  • comparing school life between two countries

Going Global can be Local!

Many think that for global education, educators need to connect, communicate and collaborate with others overseas. However, within many of our local communities there is opportunity for cultural exposure and immersion. Here is one great example!

aboriginal dancers

Several weeks ago, I was approached by an innovative Victorian Teacher Meli Panagiotidis from Kurunjang Secondary College. She was interested in bringing in other classes virtually to share their amazing day of cultural activities that she had organised for her school -Cultural Diversity Celebrations. Her ideas were to bring in an Asian and an Australian class(es) and wondered about making connections with someone in Asia and the best tool to use.

My suggestion  was skype – for ease of use, comfort and widespread acceptance. To find Asian partners I suggested an amazing school in India, but unfortunately the times did not work. I offered a class from our school.

Prior to the Cultural Diversity Celebrations

  • Meli’s technology teacher installed skype, created a user id for the school and added me as a contact.
  • We tested the connections but it was dark in the initial position within the stadium where the celebrations were to be held.  The connecting laptop had to be moved around until the lighting improved.
  • We were to be projected up on to 2 big screens above the performers.

Video call snapshot 108

On the Day

A selection of Year 7 students came into the computer lab at 9:30am. We logged onto skype through my id, and once more tested the sound, visuals etc. The lighting was ideal and the sound was good. Students were reminded quite firmly of appropriate positioning, behaviour and good netiquette. We were introduced to the principal prior to the formalities. The Minister for Education was an invited guest.

Unfortunately, as the proceedings commenced, we faced some technical difficulties – the internet fell over at Kurunjang Secondary College. That rectified as the Minister was speaking. Then I pushed my laptop off button twice trying to get speakers setup for our sound! However, things then ran smoothly but we lost their sound somehow. My students had to experience what deaf people, do – visuals with no sound. However the students were highly engaged as the performers were often colourfully dressed, danced and used highly visual body motions. Each performance was of approx 10 mins. I gave students the option to return to their class but they were happy to stay. We saw the choirs, watched the Japanese Taiko Drummers, the Aboriginal Entertainment Experience, Indonesian and the Indian Cultural Performance.

Further activities included Cultural Performances from Italy, Africa, Macedonia, Chile, Bhutan, Samoa finishing with local primary schools choirs singing “We Are One”.

Video call snapshot 109

Students are asking whether we could do something similar in our school. This is a difficult call due to our geographical and cultural isolation but I wonder….. We nearly always go global but could we go local?

Some Global Days that would be great to celebrate cultures are:

  1. Cultural Diversity Day  21st May, 2016
  2. World Harmony Day 21st March, 2016
  3. International Friendship Day  July 30th, 2016