Tag Archives: global classrooms

The power of technology connections in learning


Each year, district schools, open their buildings to interested prospective parents. It almost becomes a competition, with some schools holding their information evenings earlier and earlier in the school year. Of course we all think that we teach in the ‘best school’!

school sign

Although our school, Hawkesdale P12 College is small, it is big on opportunities for students. Technology has enabled us to open up the doors to the world. which includes expert speakers eg authors, scientists, museums; to global classrooms and to some of the best teachers and educationalists there are.IMG_2686.JPG

For the information evening, parents are divided into groups with both a teacher and student leading them around the school. Parents are rotated around Science, Physical Education, Food Technology, Robotics and Information and Communications Technology  areas where they participate in a range of ‘hands on’ activities.

linlin taiwan

Each year I am asked to videoconference (using Skype) in to another classroom or with other teachers to show the magic that technology can bring to learning. My two wonderful colleagues, Steve Sherman (Living Maths), South Africa and Lin-lin Tan from Taiwan agreed to connect with us for each of the groups. Steve was at another school and kindly went out of his way to skype with us. This meant he used his mobile phone to connect and he was seated in his car in the carpark to talk to us. This was a first for me! To have an educator teaching us from within their car.

steve from south africa

Initially, the parents and students played Mystery Skype, asking questions that required a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to determine their location. Lin-lin had to tell them where she was from as they did not work it out in the allocated time. She also shared a poster and map of where she was from, some Chinese culture (as she is Chinese), her evening meal and some of the foods she enjoys. (Note, our school teaches mandarin Chinese.)

linlin and soup

After a number of questions by students, one of the parents determined Steve’s location with the question: “Did the Australian Cricket Team recently play in your country.”

nathan and steve south africa

People will often ask well “What did you learn?” from doing these connections. Here is just a little bit of learning in the 15-20 minutes that Lin-lin and Steve had.

From Lin-lin

  • Where in the world, Taiwan is. Some students may not have even heard of Taiwan!
  • What the Taiwanese language sounds like! (She was home about to eat her evening meal and her mother had called her to come and eat. She responded in her language to say that she was working with a class in Australia)!
  • It was very hot where she lived. (It is nearly winter here!)
  • We saw the soup she was about to eat – it was vegetarian with many healthy greens etc and heard about her fried rice for tea. She also showed us their pickles.
  • The landmark that Taiwan is famous for – the Tapei Tower
  • Chinese lucky envelopes and how they are used.

Steve Sherman

  • witnessed the true ability of being able to teach anywhere and anytime using technology. Steve taught us from his car in the school carpark.
  • exchange rates – students showed Steve our $5 note and he immediately turned into a learning moment. Parents and students had to search for the exchange rate between AUD and the Rand. The Australian dollar buys nearly 10 rands.
  • Different cultural phrases: South Africans say ‘tins of coke’, Australians say ‘cans of coke’
  • Students/parents had to work out how much a can of coke would cost in AUD, if Australians were in South Africa.
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Asian Connections – Vietnam

Video call snapshot 445.png

People often ask how where I have found educators to connect with. As the network grows, people tend to find me. One such person is Ngo Thanh Nam of Vietnam. Nam is also a Skype Master teacher, Asia’s Educator of the Year and has shares an impressive list of experiences and accomplishments. He has also connected me to a facebook group, connecting classrooms with a global focus on child abuse and safety. This has brought a further number of global connections. Again, I was added to a facebook Skype-a-thon group where a request from Nam was made to connect his class with another Asian class or educator as they were studying Asia.

The time requested suited me but I was on summer holidays, so had no students and I was not really from Asia. Australia is part of Pacifica. However, when I said I was available, Nam asked me to connect.

Video call snapshot 444

A presentation was quickly put together on Australia’s engagement with Asia under the following headings (on a personal involvement scale):-

  • close neighbours
  • trade (we live on a farm and sell our cattle and lamb to Asia.)
  • tourism (my husband and I love to travel Asia, as do other Australians. Bali,  Thailand and Vietnam are the popular destinations for Australians. Our school travels to China every second year)
  • connected classrooms
  • potential to solve global problems together etc

On connecting, I was introduced to the class and then proceeded to share my screen to show photos of our farm and  photos illustrating the above connections with Asia.

Video call snapshot 446

Nam’s students then came up to the web camera on an individual basis, introduced themselves and then asked me questions on my knowledge of Asia – eg what foods are typically Asian etc? The students were well prepared, presented well to the camera, were articulate and spoke excellent English. Thanks Nam for the invitation. It was great to be part of your classroom.

 

 

Global Classrooms: Connecting your students to the world

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

  1. Backchannel in TodaysMeet
  2. Padlet – what do you see outside your school window?

Sites to find people to connect with

Skype in the Classroom  and  Skypeathon

Classroom 2.0

Global Education Conference and Global Education Conferencelink to recordings

Twitter

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

Twitter hashtags

  • Skypeathon #skypeathon
  • Sustainable Development Goals – 17 goals to transform our world
  • #SDGs #WorldToiletDay
  • #ditchbook
  • #TeachSDGs #climateaction
  • Global Education: #globaled17 (conference); #globaled #globalclassroom #asiaed #ISTEGlobalPLN #globalgoals #globalmakerday
  • #ABunceeADay
  • General education: #edtech #edchat

Flipgrid: Follow @Joycebronwyn #flipgridfever

The global collaborator: Discussions on #SDG11 – India/Australia

The United Nations have adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG goals) in a bid to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

One of the new ISTE Student Standards is the Global CollaboratorStudents use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

Sustainable Development Goal no. 11  of the United Nations SDG goals is to  “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Both these goals were put into practice by communicating and connecting over skype  with Anu Sharma a teacher in New Delhi, India and year 8 her students. Her students were studying SDG goals, in particular the Sustainable Cities aspect. They wanted to discuss problems relating to traffic – pollution etc in our countries. The first connection was a mystery skype ( to work out what country each of us were from).

The second  involved discussions about traffic rules, how they work in each of our cities and the road signs that we use. Anu’s students would do some research work and find possible solutions to the prevalent problems, which would then be discussed in the second skype connection. Her students made display boards, PowerPoint presentations and prepared speeches.

hawkesdale sign

The main road through Hawkesdale

Dirt tracks around Hawkesdale

At first, I was reluctant. Our school is in a town with a population of 220. There is not much traffic and little or no pollution. Some of our roads are dirt, and the majority of vehicles comprise trucks, buses and through traffic. Their city in contrast has a population of more than 21 million, pollution is of high concern and there is high traffic usage.  However, we do have some problems with the health of our roads, slow moving vehicles eg tractors and animals such as kangaroos on the roads and although it is in stark contrast to Delhi could make good learning comparisons.  Australia ranks 20th on SDG index and India ranks 116th.

However, I agreed to connect. As most of my classes are in the morning, this did not match with the Indian times. The ideal connection would have been my year 8 ICT class communicating virtually.  Instead, I asked some students if they would come in at lunchtimes to connect. It was 1pm our time and 8:30am Indian time.

 

The three sessions that we connected were fascinating. My students had to listen intently to the accents of the Indian participants to ensure we could understand their speaking. It was much easier when they shared their screen and showed the powerpoint presentations, with imagery and some text. There were some similarities but many, many differences, some of which shocked us.

Similarities:-

  • many of our road rules were the same.
  • the majority of our road signs were similar
  • each country suffered from major potholes, but ours were caused by trucks, milk tankers, rain, poorly sealed roads, some of theirs were caused by earthquakes.

Differences:

  • sheer population numbers
  • traffic jams of gigantic proportions (their are no traffic jams in our local area)
  • Our traffic is light, theirs was incredibly heavy and busy
  • Pollution was heavy in Delhi, light in Hawkesdale
  • Another gaping difference was the method in which the potholes are repaired. They  showed pictures of 20 – 30 people working on the roads compared with us in Australia, using advance machinery and equipment.

EduTECH 2017 Library Congress Report

EduTECH conference – Library Congress, Sydney 2017

conference centre.jpg

EduTECH is the southern hemisphere’s biggest technology conference. In 2017 there were

  • 8760 attendees
  • 253 speakers
  • 200 exhibitors and
  • 8 parallel congresses

It was held in the new Sydney Conference and Convention Centre. I was invited to present for the Library Congress on the topic of Connected Classrooms: Global Classrooms. My presentation can be found on slideshare Connected Classrooms: Global Classrooms Or you can view it below. The online document that was created can be found by clicking here.

welcome to edutech

The 5 Takeaways from chair of Library Congress

  1. Look at how we use our spaces
  2. Challenge our own mindset, change the mindset of our staff
  3. It is ok to fail, you may not have mastered that task just yet.
  4. Collaboration can never be underestimated –
  5. Share the love of the library

Everyone was encouraged to keep the dialogue going after the conference.

the exhibition hall.jpg

As to the actual Library Congress, there were a number of interesting. A summary of those that resonated with me are outlined below.

The first session was “What makes a library great?” with Kim Tairi who spoke of the importance of empathy and user experience. This metaphor is big in NZ in Polynesian practice. Libraries are on a journey, looking at what has gone before and what is the future.

The library at AUT is dynamic, collaborative, noisy, messy, cafes, green screens, studios are all in the one building with the library as part of this space. Many students want quiet learning spaces. They have a level where we can play with design, evaluate and then iterate on a number of levels. Screens to sit down and talk to a service delivery librarian.

Incubator floor has a makerspace – Studio 55 – make, break, hack and make. Peer learning collaboration and is faculty agnostic. Many of uni innovative spaces are within faculties. Artist in residence, programming, framework, community of practice. Give library staff a space to play and learn new skills. Cultural transformation – giving people permission to work differently. People work in co-work spaces, collaborative spaces and prepares our students for the new world of work. Libraries need to reflect society that we are part of.

future library.jpg

To transform need to think about exploring eg indigenous culture – what does it mean to be a multi cultural woman and return to the homeland. Concepts of cultural change – be welcoming, hospitable and get people on board. Develop Empathy, Knowledge and Understanding. There are Issues with new spaces and staff with old mindsets:  It is important to know where you are going, so that you can still understand where you have been. Lyn Hay Designing future-focused school libraries

Online Leading Learning Institute Charles Sturt University

There is a need to rethink the functionality and design of your school library. What should our school library look like? (form). What do you want it to do? (function). How do we communicate what we stand for and what we do (branding) Rethinking school library as an iCentre https:///studentslearn.wordpress.com/about/about-icentres. What are you actually doing to get out there and live on people’s devices.

What is VR and AR?  With Chelsea Wright

VR and AR glasses

They use google card. Apps for VR should be integrated into library – catalogue it, training, procedures for use, storage, maintenance so teachers can access them.

Prepare the library – create user-case scenarios, instructions and promote it. Video See augmented reality in the library- examples of apps being used in our schools AR is good for increased motivation, collaboration, deeper content understandings, useful for teaching abstract topics, face on not side by side on individual computers. However, it can also be distractive technology.

Virtual reality – influences thinking and behavior It will potentially transform childrens’ health, educational and entertainment interactions. Virtual deppelganger – 3rd person controlled by simulation Avatar – first person, controlled by your body movements. Can choose an avatar that is very different to your body. Good apps to try are google earth, VCR Ancient World, HASS Ancient Egypt The Arts

Creating a high tech learning lab in a museum

See Matt Richard’s presentation, read his bio and follow him on twitter

Makey makey, students made an art bot with physical resources and collaboratively made music with garbage instruments

Flying machines programs – Everything students do is in Maori and they are actually creating language as they go. Maori Medium Project Showed a 360 video when looked at on phone, gives a VR experience. Tiltbrush is best VR creation ever.

3D can make worlds in worlds See Sutu eats flies. How can they get their collection into the world to actually get them into scanners so they can play with it and not just look at it. The paperlearning lab on youtube look for Donald  extending object based learning by making it digital. Can house it online at sketchfab?

Hololens – vendor stadium Headset which augments the real – adds the overlay to the real. Choose your own adventure around you. AR is used via gestures. Big headset now, but will soon become smaller glasses.  We have collaborations with schools across country – virtual excursions by beaming in with ghangouts etc See the learning labs and Why this museum lab generation is critical to learning.  Unscripted learning is great – collaboration is the whole theme of today at edutechau.

Jared Cooney Horvath, Co-president, The Science of Learning Group and The Education Neuroscience Initiative

Unless you have a concept for something you cannot see it. A tribe in The Himba do not have the colour blue in their language so interesting to test if they can or cannot see it. We have 27 shades of green and himba have 36. Our concepts our schema our stories drive our perception of the world around us. How can people from other cultures have never used blue, especially when the sky is blue.

The things we take for granted even to the point that the sky is blue is only because we have those concepts. The WHY of mindfulness – knowing all our stories are driving us to recognise stories to recognise what they are doing. It is the way we interact with the world. The more we can understand that we can control our own stories and destinations and change our own stories.

First you must learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. Think outside the box you have to know the box. The suggestion that stories drive our perception of the world is great for librarians.

Librarian panel discussion – books are still popular despite technology and digital media.

Silent room for year 12 studies (or at least the illusion of silence), dedicated zones for being quieter, but the buzz is likeable. Library is only space where students can collaborate as no classrooms are open at lunchtime. Healthy to have downtime, switch off and don’t study all the time.

Maker Movement at Bialikk College Roxanne Ciddor, Head of Educational Resources – library and elearning 3 year old kinder to year 12.

A maker movement can change our concepts of learning. Why in libraries?

A makerspace is a space for creativity, invention and making. It focuses on technology and is a bridge between creators and consumers. Library is where we can mix disciplines. Makerspaces are transliterate and exciting.

Roxanne started with a mixed box of lego purchased on ebay and left them in the waiting room. It was so popular that she then added more equipment and took over a space.  All you need for a makerspace is Blutac, straws and paddle pop sticks.  Not having everything builds resourcefulness. Students need time to play. Then open to coding, coding through a maze, add extra things to it. Until you let them play they will not consider the learning that can be had Use it like a toy, cos it feels like a toy. Took a year for makerspace to get through the play phase – they have played with everything and now have ownership.

Deconstructions: use fax machines, don’t include hammers or mallets (or batteries). Purpose parts and complexities – deconstructed this thing, what does it do, how did it fit in, how can we reconstruct. Remove the batteries and remove the power cords.  Deconstrucion builds that curiousity/methodical approach, playfulness, resourcefulness.

Restrict access to materials – cos kids wanted to just play with that robot. On Monday it will be a maker challenge – eg make a structure out of paddlepops that will hold an app. Tuesdays is coding eg robots, online coding Wednesday is low tech day eg painting, crochet to keep fine motor skills and a knitting pattern is code. Thursday have 3D Thursdays. Students start to plan. Students are getting more exposure to things. Building choice out of a lack of choice. Do keep track – don’t expect school admin to buy in without stats. Get kids to put their pics in the box eg with spheros so know if something is missing who left it out. Breeding responsibility – this is my equipt, what I booked and what I want to use. When students login it starts to give stats to go to admin to get more money. They have mix of age and mix of gender.Do allow students to be teachers, don’t expect them to be adultsStudents are monitors once a term. Give them fluoro vests. Track with dot on their photo. They are giving back, they belong to the community. Agency and responsibility: documentation – get kids to reflect on their learning. Make book = exercise book. Before end of every session, take a photo of what they have been doing and kids write a reflection. Give them starter sentences : eg today I tried this and it did not work. Rolling them over every year.

Reflective and mindfulness: Do make kids cry. Don’t let it be all about the product. Aim is build resilience and persistence to get their best work. Do be organised – lots of tubs and tables.

Final session of conference: Mr Mal Booth – uni librarian at UTS.  University library blog will have presentation.

Questions may be more important than answers. Netflix gives you instant access no longer in real time. What is a book these days? Really only journals or books online. Could learn more from gaming technology. They are a publisher as well – interactive text. Cecilia hefier is a textile artist.

Using multimedia with monographing.  Don’t wait until journal is finished, publish as you go. No longer a container that is published when it is full. Advocacy – help to explain what is open access, led by modelling. Cultural and artistic stimulation – Change.org; github is social coding reddit is questioning  Chris Gaul is an artist doing innovative things for libraries etc

Underground library – Elisa Lee and Adam Hinshaw Air 2014 Video of digital rendering of what underground books like.

Program Manifest 20th century. Live data feed. Zoe Sadokierski explored the nature of the book. Print and digital technology is actually assisting each other. Digital literacy kits – small low technology to prove that digital literacy is part of our world. Introduce students to technologies beyond snapchat and facebook.

closing ceremony

Closing session: Phillip Heath Barker college Darking Bridging the Education Gap

How can we reconcile all people as an Australian nation? Aboriginals were a mysterious group – depicted in the media but never seen.

Why Darkinjung Barker

  • To provide opportunities
  • Celebrate cultural identity
  • To provide support to ensure no-one slips through educational gaps
  • To offer choice
  • To enable a practical, two way reconciliation

They created a school by taking the city school to the place of the aboriginal students. Started a little school to provide choice and identity and bring aboriginal identity into an existing school. It is a partnership between an indigenous land council and one of the most prestigious private schools – Barker College. Started with 28 students just for indigenous children in the area. 1 teacher to 7 students.  It is sponsored by private corporations. One of the children and his mum lived in a car. Yet they deserve best opportunity that we can provide. Still find it hard to find answers. Have a large and growing indigenous population along the coast. The focus is on celebration of every child’s achievement with feedback about how they are going. Some kids were 2 to 4 years behind.

When you have never met an aboriginal person, you never get to care or see the real human stories. Education is part of the key to unlock the future.   Create a school on country – where first language is the school language. Do we dare to let go of the power and authority on the way we run schools and celebrate cultural identity first. Now creating a second school.

young people today.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

Connected Classrooms: Global Classrooms

This was the theme for my presentation at the EduTECH conference in Sydney on Friday June 10th. It was a presentation given as part of the Library Congress. An online document was given to share resources and links. Following is my presentation, with a focus on stories for libraries.

Mark Wood – Extreme Adventurer

mark wood

It was World Book Day. To celebrate this day schools across the world were given a rare opportunity to Skype with Mark Wood – a Cold Extremes Adventurer. He has trekked across the North Pole and the South Pole and led an expedition to climb Mt Everest, taking millions of students across the world with him, by using Skype webconference in.

boy asking question

I was asked whether our school would be interested in connecting with him as there were still some time slots available.Not to miss any of these wonderful opportunities, I invited the school.  For Mark, it was Thursday night at 10pm and Friday, 9am our time. We were the last school of the day. He had already been to schools in England, India, Croatia and 3 times to the USA.

Approximately 120 students from years 4-11 gathered in the library to hear Mark speak. He shared his stories, especially of his adventures to Mt Everest. His engaging speaking style, sense of humour and easy going manner endeared him to all who listened. Mark was motivating and inspiring. Unfortunately the Mt Everest expedition was called off just as they got to the death zone 200 metres from the top. One of the sherpas fell critically ill and the doctor experienced frozen feet. They made their way down and all survived.

dakota asking question

We see people attempting Mt Everest on the television news, read of it in the magazines or newspapers but here we were listening and interacting with someone who had actually been there. We caught the emotions, excitement, the extra details in stories and felt we experienced the adventure with him. Mark humanized the expeditions.

After 15 mins of story  telling , Mark handed over to the students to ask him questions. This was a wonderful interactivity that satisfied student curiosity and made us think of more questions.The young ones were less shy and asked most of them.

Some of their questions:

  1. What inspired you to be an explorer?
  2. How old were you when you had your first adventure?
  3. What was your favourite thing about climbing Mt Everest?
  4. Have you ever had a life threatening experience?
  5. How do you go and who do you go with?
  6. Was it cold at the North Pole?
  7. Have you ever forgotten anything?
  8. Have you had frostbite?
  9. What food and provisions do you take?

Our literacy teacher wrote new and key words on the whiteboard for discussion later. the older students immediately returned to class and wrote up some of what they learnt. When all the student stories were put together, there is almost  a complete script or picture of Mark’s presentation.

charlotte

His parting sentences reminded students that everything comes from education – if you think differently you will have a better life. The only thing preventing you is yourself. Earth will look after itself, but Mark wants to look after the human race.

Our school will continue to follow Mark on his second venture to conquer Mt Everest and be part of the new emerging stories. If you ever get an opportunity to hear Mark present, do no miss out. He was fantastic.