Tag Archives: Global Virtual Classroom

The Global Virtual Classroom Project

Although, I had heard much about the Global Virtual Classroom Project, (GVC Project), which was founded by Janet Barnstable, my classes have not been involved before due to the nature of our school years. The original projects spanned 6  months but as schools in Australia enjoyed their long 5 week summer break and then started a new school year, it was impossible for me to have a consistent class that could complete the project.

However, a mini-project was introduced this year and this was more manageable for the school calendar. It did span across semester 1 and 2, and my ICT elective students changed over this time, but we were able to participate due to the willingness of our partner school and teacher Yunchai Chen, Wunshan Senior High School,Kaohsiung, Taiwan to condense the project to fit in with the first term of our semester 2.

What I liked about the project:

  • strong support from the leadership team of Janet Barnstable USA and Lakshmi Srinivas of India.
  • being partnered with a school in a similar time zone. We could actually communicate virtually in real time using skype
  • Yunchai Chen had been part of the project before and was therefore experienced.
  • the tools used were user friendly and free
  • the project was flexible to fit in with specific needs
  • students in Taiwan and Australia could choose their own global topic. They chose Oceans
  • an awards process to acknowledge work completed

Both countries are islands. As we live 25 minutes drive to the closest ocean and seas, and as our beaches are beautiful, students felt comfortable with the topic and had some basic knowledge. As the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s big tourist destinations, Warrnambool’s Logan beach is a nursery for the Great Southern Whales and Port Fairy is a nearby quaint village (which started out as a whalers station), the students had plenty of scope for ideas.

The tools used:-

  • email for teacher correspondence
  • edmodo for sharing of conversations, files and other needs (student and teacher use)
  • google sites – was chosen by Yunchai and me to display the student outcomes
  • skype for synchronous virtual connections
  • Windows MovieMaker to produce the videos – my student choice

The time frame was tight – approximately 6 weeks, but this gave students a sense of real time pressures that they may face in the work place. Three students produced videos – Tim’s was on Ocean Life in SE Australia; Port Fairy, Bethany’s favourite beach and Sophie chose to produce a movie on the Great Ocean Road.

To the delight of the students, a silver award certificate was granted for the collaborative Oceans project. Our certificate can be seen below.

silver award gvc301 Silver Award Australia

Equinox Day Around the World

Students at a football clinic with Geelong AFL player Daniel Menz

Students at a football clinic with Geelong AFL player Daniel Menz

Equinox Day occurs in autumn for us. March 21st, was a day of all seasons, starting with warm sunny conditions and then ending with strong winds that blew down many tree limbs in our main street and blowing in glass panels of a local church. Our school had to call in an emergency plumber to nail down the roof of our Technology wind as it threatened to blow away!

This simple project came to my attention through our Hello Little World Skypers Group via Janet Barnstable. Here is the request:-

Is March 21 Spring or Fall in your part of the world?  Or do your seasons not change much at all? Send us ONE picture of your Equinox Day and let’s look at the whole world.  All we ask is that the picture be taken on March 21, 2013. Along with the picture send your name, your city, country (Canada and USA please add State/Province)

You can see the resultant photos by clicking on the GVC Clubhouse wiki page.

My photo above shows our students in action during a popular football clinic with two Geelong AFL players teaching our primary school students some skills when playing footy (Australian Rules Football). Although it is autumn, our Sunsmart School status requires us to wear hats during term 1 and 4. However, most students could not keep their hats on with the wind blowing as it was.

Keep your eye on twitter or your favourite global groups as simple projects like these do not take much time yet lead to much learning and sharing about our world! What simple projects have you been involved in?