Tag Archives: global classrooms

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.

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EduTECH 2017 Library Congress Report

EduTECH conference – Library Congress, Sydney 2017

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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.

Learning journey in Introduction to the Arabic Language

My year 11 Business Management students primarily come from farms. The produce from their farms – lamb and beef can be sold for export to the Middle East. When dealing commerically it is essential to understand the culture, so when we were given the opportunity to learn some Arabic language and more about the culture, I thought this was a fantastic opportunity for them.

Year 11 students learnt Arabic, initially with a fluent speaker from the USA, Sophia Aron of Critical Language Service who has devised a series of flipped learning activities where students can learn vocabulary at home using apps at home which provides a fun and engaging way to learn. Then students practise during face to face time with Sophia using videoconferencing tools like skype.

video-call-snapshot-253

In our second class with Sophia, she setup a 3 way skype call, where a couple of young American children spoke to us in Arabic and showed us how they would greet each other if they were in Egypt. This was a great demonstration showing my older students what should be done.

Students enjoyed using the apps either individually, in pairs or in small groups. There was mixed reaction as to which they preferred – Quizlet, Memrise. or Flashcards by NKO.

Some of my Business Management class had learnt mandarin Chinese last year and queried why they would want to learn Arabic. However, I reminded them that they lived on farms and some of their beef and lamb would be exported to the Middle East. In fact when I travelled to Qatar many years ago, I saw Midfields vacuum packed lamb in the freezers in a local supermarket. Midfields is our local abattoir.

To supplement the language development, Sophie had added videos into the Memrise app. Students watched some of these to gain a better cultural understanding of the people – another important skill when dealing with global markets.

What a wonderful opportunity my students were given!

Lessons learnt:

  • the importance of hearing accents prior to dealing with them when connecting virtually
  • class room setup. My computer lab is a great setup for normal classes but when connecting online with videoconferencing, it is not ideal. Straight rows in front of the webcamera would ensure better engagement for both sides.
  • how effective videoconferencing can be for learning – and the abolute need for chat, video, audio, screen sharing and recording possibilites etc
  • greater impact of  a charismatic engaging teacher for learning
  • importance of getting to know each other on a simple basis before getting into the nitty gritty of learning.

 

 

 

Christmas around the world – LIVE!

slide1

Reinhard Marx is an innovative connected teacher in Germany and part of the HLW Skypers group. He organised Christmas Around the World and brought the world to his class as well as to those who participated.
I was registered to be a participant in the first class as it was night time in Australia. Unfortunately, I had no class with me. Kim from International Community School of Abidjan from Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa also joined us with her class.

slide2
We shared how we celebrate Christmas in our countries. Reinhard’s class shared and I used screen sharing to show a presentation with pictures of what it is like where I live. Kim’s class showed a video story. Each of the students individually shared where they are from and how they celebrate Christmas. It was fascinating to learn of our similarities but also our differences.

As the session drew to a close, the German students sang “Oh Tannenbaum” for us. The words for this carol were shared on our screens. The next minute, Kim’s class broke out in energetic singing and harmonies. The passion of both songs brought sheer delight.

slide5

The African class had to move, so I stayed on and showed my packet of Christmas cards and bonbons. The German students did not know bonbons. I opened one, and showed the little toy, party hat and riddle that came with it.

Our friend Maria del Colussa from Argentina also joined us for a few minutes but will be part of the next formal class.

Slide8.JPG

Christmas Around the World will continue through the next few hours with other classes and students joining in. What an amazing experience for Reinhard’s classes and for us!!

How it worked! Reinhard shared

  • a google document with us so that we could add the most suitable times.
  • a google map so we could add our location using pins
  • the google hangout link to connect

We used screen share to show our presentations and the chat to share questions and comments during the presentations.

What surprised me! The African students were so, so confident and had lots of questions. The German students were rather shy as English is their second or third language.

Other countries involved include Hungary, Sweden, India.

Most amazing is that this connection made the German newspaper. See the article online.

Global Skypeathon

class-and-anthony1Many people ask where they should go

  • to start with global education or
  • where to find global projects or
  • how to make global connections.

The global skype-athon is a great way to start. This is a project that encourages people from across the world to connect beyond their classroom walls with other classes, teachers, community and global experts with the user friendly tool, skype. This tool is free and the event is free but the potential outcomes are rich for learning.

Scarlett and friend.jpg

If interested, you will need to

  • join the Microsoft Educator Community
  • search through the Skype in Education community for connections or
  • use the #skypeathon hashtag on twitter to find others to connect with.
  • keep a record of your skype miles and tweet them out, again using the #skypeathon

All you need is:-

  1. internet connection
  2. a laptop or desktop computer with a webcamera and microphone
  3. preferably a white wall, board or whiteboard to project the image onto( but the laptop screen may be sufficient if a small group is involved)
  4. find a class or expert to connect
  5. add them as a contact in skype, using their skype username
  6. agree on a time (check the time zones if it is another country involved), discuss the content of the connection etc.
  7. Discuss appropriate netiquette with your students.
  8. The content of the connection.

The connection can be as long or as short as you like. Even 60 seconds can cover some learning. Mystery skype is always fun. There are many experts willing to come in virtually during the skypeathon. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

What did it look like last year? We connected with schools in India and the USA and were lucky enough to connect with Anthony Salcito. See

Are you going to be part of this project in 2016? What will you do, who will you connect with? What will you do to continue the collaboration?

sophie and anthony.jpg