The Theme: An Easter Hat Parade
The Models: Grade 5 students from near Boneo, Rosebud, Victoria.These students shared their wonderful Easter Hat creations in a virtual parade.
The audience: Year 7 students from Hawkesdale P12 College, a visiting teacher who is interested in seeing how the virtual classroom works
The tool used: Blackboard Collaborate (BbC)- virtual classroom software provided by our Department of Education for use by Victorian teachers
The outcome – an engaging and fascinating linkup between students of different age groups all learning from each other using the video conference through BbC.
Other Activities: Further activities included all students drawing decorated Easter eggs on the whiteboard, sharing what they were doing over the autumn holidays (this started to show the difference in nature of our geographical locations) and then a discussion with our visiting teacher, who teaches Japanese, as to any pre-existing knowledge about Japan.
Result of 30 students sharing a whiteboard to draw Easter Eggs
What Worked Well
- taking the plunge with a teacher who is a close colleague (Sally Walsh and I are both web conference coaches) and as such we have complete faith and confidence in each other.
- an engaging activity – the Easter Hats. All students like to see parades!
- the nature of the activity – it was a theme on Easter, a popular celebration and displayed lots of creativity. Our school does not do the Easter Hat parades but maybe this will inspire us to do so next year.
- the chat – students could interact with each other in the chat, ask questions and give feedback on some of the wonderful creations.
- testing that audio and video works immediately. When classes are involved, it takes time to ensure everyone can logon.
- Switching off the audio when a class is watching. The loudest noise activates the web camera and projects that classroom.
- Learning new communication techniques including clear, deliberate, diction, appropriate use of the web camera.
- Having a visiting teacher in our room
Have you been involved in virtual parades with other schools? How did it go? Would you recommend these types of activities to others?
Having travelled a lot over the last 10 years, I have really enjoyed visiting many countries learning of their history, geography, cultures, religions and ideologies. However, for the first time, I suffered culture shock on two different occasions on our recent autumn break and now can fully understand what it implies.
As we were traveling through four different countries, mainly by public buses, I did not want to carry Easter eggs and thought I would just buy them close to Easter Sunday. To my dismay, I could not find any eggs anywhere. On Easter Saturday we were staying in Mostar, which is a predominantly muslim country. I tried the smaller shops and the supermarkets that were close to the old city, but to no avail. This caught me unawares and left me with a void that can only be described as culture shock.
Locked in a bathroom
Enjoying a great meal of local dishes at a restaurant in Mostar, I needed to go to the bathroom. I set the switch to lock the door, but when I went to leave, I could not open the door. After a minute of trying, I started to call for help through the locked door and the window that was slightly ajar. After 5 mins or so, I could hear a gentleman outside my door. Unfortunately, he could not speak English, but he appeared to understand my plight and tried to open the door. Then there was complete silence! Again I felt that feeling akin to culture shock – in a land where English may not be spoken well.
However, a few minutes later, our waitress was at the door. He could speak English and after another 4 minutes or so, was able to manouvre the lock to let me out.
As my passion is global education, I often think about what our students should be taught in regard to global competencies. Should we teach culture shock, help them to cope with this feeling, learn how to mimimize the feelings etc? I also remember taking one of my students to Mumbai, India for the Flat Classroom Conference, several years ago. To help aid the transition to a completely different country, we spent time talking about what Mumbai would be like etc and we also stopped over in Singapore for two nights. Here English is spoken widely, the city is reasonably similar to our capital cities, it is clean etc. However, Hannah missed so much from home whilst we were there – eg our Holden cars etc.
What do you think? Should our students learn about culture shock? Have you ever experienced culture shock? How did you overcome it?
We are now back in Croatia where Easter eggs and decorations are noticeable everywhere, and I feel far more comfortable again.
Easter and Christmas are the two major festivals practised by Christian communities (and the general public) in Australia. Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. People will attend church over this time – predominantly on Friday and Sunday. It is time often spent with family or others will go camping or away for an extended weekend.
As a child we made nests out of sticks, flowers and other materials from the garden and placed these nests at the foot of our bed. On Easter Sunday, we would find chocolate or sugar coated eggs brought courtousy of the Easter Bunny in our nests.
It was with fascination that the customs in Slovenia and Croatia were observed on our travels this Easter. Greater use of decorations is made in these countries in the lead up to Easter. Many shops, restaurants and gardens feature ornaments and dried twigs/branches with decorative eggs hanging from them. In Australia, we eat hot cross buns, but they were not been seen at all. However, there have been cakes and biscuits etc in the shape of chickens and rabbits.
In Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, there were large Easter eggs adorning an area in front of their large cathedral. The flower market stalls had many different floral arrangements and bunches for sale.
What Easter celebrations do you enjoy?