This was a hectic day with many requests having come in from India. As we are in daylight saving, it pushed our times 5.5 hours apart. With only 1.5 of actual synchronous school time with India, it meant the connections were only 15 to 20 minutes in length which was not enough time. This post will describe the morning events.
First call was with Shiva, from India, who put together some amazing options for people to connect with his school – a cultural extravaganza, a virtual field visit or mystery skype. We chose the cultural extravaganza where we were treated to cultural dances, drumming and flute playing. The stage was set beautifully and once we got through the technical issues of not being able to hear the music, my students were treated to an extravaganza or Indian culture. Shiva had paid great attention to detail with colourful cards introducing the connection and a great online site and posters set up to promote it.
Next stop – Sri Lanka
This was a game of mystery skype with Roshan Kumar. Roshan’s student worked out our country well before we determine his. We eventually asked for clues as students immediately thought India (judging by appearances). One of the clues was that they live on an island, so Taiwan was mentioned but the second clue was that it was to the east of India.
There was a few minutes for sharing of cultural objects and information. My students were really interested in the description of their flag and the reason for the lion and all its features appear as it did. Roshan’s student asked “What is something unique about Australia” and we responded our animals ie koalas, kangaroos, emus, platypus etc. They responded that hospitality was one of their unique features.
Next Up – a busy, busy afternoon
Skype has been a tool that has helped transform teaching and learning in my classroom. It is free, user friendly, available world wide, suits the low bandwidth that I often have to deal with and is constantly being improved. There are many members in the Skype in Education community from across the world, all eager to connect and collaborate.
This is the third year of the 2 day Skypeathon and the dates are 28th and 29th November, with a theme of Open Hearts and Open Minds. Our school is nearing the end of the school year, so senior students have already finished which leaves me with only a few year 7 and 8 classes who can connect.
Our first connection yesterday was with my year 7 ICT class with a school in Abakan, Republic of Khakassia in Russia. The teacher was Dina Averyanova. A coin was tossed over the webcam with tails called. We won the toss. Questions were asked with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to determine the location.
We asked whether they lived north of the equator and then whether they were in Asia. They responded yes to Asia and we responded no to them when asked. My students took a long time to work it out as they classify Russia as being in Europe. Finally we worked out the countries and then it was question time.
- Times of school days
- Comparing times and weather
- Number of students in the school
- Favourite sports
- What do you do after school?
The learning was evident
- Skype goal is written in miles. We had to convert to kms.
- Temperature in Siberia was -17 degrees, we were 33 degrees celsius
- School days start at 8am, finish at 1:30am in Russia, we start 9am and finish at 3:30pm
- They had 700 students, we have 220
- They classified them as being in Asia, which confused my students as they would have thought should be Europe
- and so much more.
Research after the event: Is Russia really in Asia
Second connection: Our times for classes did not match with the linkup in India. So, several of my students sent a video message through skype with Neeral Mittal and her class in Ghazibad and are hoping that they will respond with a video message.
Today, I am presenting at one of long time favourite conferences – Comview – the Victorian Commercial Teachers Association of Victoria (VCTA). Below is a list of the best ways in which I have established an amazing global network and where others can readily find others to connect with. There are many more but these were the ones that helped me. The presentation will be added soon.
Resources to use during session
- Backchannel in TodaysMeet
- Padlet – what do you see outside your school window?
Sites to find people to connect with
Skype in the Classroom and Skypeathon
Global Education Conference and Global Education Conference – link to recordings
Flat Connections and the social networking site for the Flat Connections Global Project
Global Virtual Classroom – Our Ocean Project with Taiwan, Wunshan Senior High School, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
ePals – Article Global Learning: Connecting the World with ePals (Edutopia)
Flipgrid: please introduce yourself on this grid and describe your favourite time at work.
Other tools to use to connect
Voicethread – online podcasting/videocasting for collaboration and connecting. Register for the free teacher version
Other sites to find global connections:
- Facebook groups – becoming increasingly popular with Asia
- Google+ groups
- Taking IT Global
- Edmodo teacher groups
More on twitter: Suggestions to follow on twitter
@skypeclassroom @elemenous @stevehargadon @jaimedonally @TheEdsaneT @murcha @joycebronwyn
- Skypeathon #skypeathon
- Sustainable Development Goals – 17 goals to transform our world
- #SDGs #WorldToiletDay
- #TeachSDGs #climateaction
- Global Education: #globaled17 (conference); #globaled #globalclassroom #asiaed #ISTEGlobalPLN #globalgoals #globalmakerday
- General education: #edtech #edchat
Flipgrid: Follow @Joycebronwyn #flipgridfever
The two day annual Skypeathon Nov 28-29, is a great event encouraging all educators and classes to connect beyond their classrooms. Friendships can be formed that can lead onto ongoing projects and collaborative problem solving. The theme this year is Open Hearts Open Minds. This year’s theme encourages students to open their hearts and their mind to what’s possible and inspire them to dream big.
This year’s goal is to reach 10 million virtual miles. This event has been organised for the last two years and my classes will be part of it again this year. Despite the busy time of year as it is close to the end of our school year, it is always exciting to open up the classroom to the world and connect with others. The connections can be short or long. Some classes are sleeping over and skyping for 36 hours. There are teachers from many many countries all actively seeking partners to connect with. A good spot to find partners is on:
- Skype in the Classroom website – Mystery Skype (use the filter options to find the country/subject/age group of choice)
- Twitter – using the hashtag #skypeathon in the search bar
- See the images below
Ideas for connecting
- just say hello, share flags, time, weather etc
- students share their big dreams with each other
- share some objects reflecting culture
- play mystery skype or one of the other mystery type games
- find an expert to connect with
- take a virtual tour etc
Mystery Skype OneNote Book – full of resources for teachers
Twitter #skypeathon Follow @skypeclassroom
Are you going to be part of this wonderful adventure? What countries will you link up with? What do you have planned for the connection?
Do you have any questions, need help or advice or? Please add as a comment as I am one of the Skype Master Teachers and would love to help you.
As always, I am proud to be part of this amazing conference which is in its eighth year. Over this time, it has been a privilege to work with two great, innovative leaders in world education, Steve Hargadon of The Learning Revolution and Lucy Gray.
As this is a 24/7 conference, Sue Wyatt and I will co-moderate the extended hours whilst much of the world sleeps.
Other sessions that I am presenting or co-presenting in include:
- Global Ed Keynote Panel: Where in the world is global education? – the panel comprises many amazing global education leaders. Link to the recording
- Let’s Talk Global Education – an interactive discussion amongst all the participants. Link to the Recording
- Hello Little World Skypers – the Continuing Adventures – a global presentation of an amazing group of global educators who support each other 24/7 if need be. Link to the recording
There are so many wonderful sessions, make sure you attend as many as possible or listen to the recordings. All sessions can be found at this link with all the recordings found on this link.
The quotes on this tweet by Lucy Gray really resonate with me and those who are passionate about global education. This conference is an amazing one in that it is online, free and truly global. It runs 24/7 over the course of three days. See the schedule and choose your time zone.
Living in Australia means that I am either asleep or at work for the times when the USA presenters and participants are active, but that also means that I get to connect with some of the other parts of the world eg Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa who are active at this time. It means that a variety of languages are involved with English not always being the first language spoken by participants. This also means fun and trying different ways to communicate if moderating sessions!
Our Australian news can be full of conflicts and problems occurring overseas and it still amazes me that I can be in a virtual room with others who actually live in those countries and are experiencing what we are reading or seeing in our media.
This conference is a great opportunity to
- develop or further develop a global network,
- learn of what other passionate educators or community groups are doing
- get started in global education
- learn about potential global projects to be involved in
- gain ideas on global projects from simple to complex
- find supportive mentors
- grab some takeaways to be used back in the classoom
There are opportunities to volunteer and help with moderating presenters.
There has been an noticeable increase in activity on twitter as many of the organisations involved in global projects and collaboration are pushing out the big advantages of and the engaging outcomes associated with going global with education.
Will you join the world in global education? Check out the daily updates and feedback from Steve Hargadon’s Blog
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Our Final Day
Whilst in London last week, it was noticeable that red poppies were being sold in a number of places around Banstead – just outside the supermarkets and other places. They are to be worn on Remembrance Day. In Australia, we also buy red poppies to wear as a tribute to those who have fought in World War I. The red poppies were among the first to flower in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium in the First World War. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we have a minute’s silence in Australia to remember those who fought in World War I. As part of this commemoration, many schools hold a ceremony with readings, national anthem and laying of wreaths at war memorials. Our school held a service today at the Hawkesdale Reflection Space as 11th November is on a Saturday this year. The nostalgic poem, In Flanders Fields the Poppies Grow was recited by one of the students, together with a number of readings, the singing of our national anthem and laying of wreaths at the centopath by students, shire and community members.