Our second linkup with Kate Leeming was a fascinating one. Students are seeing history being made. Kate videoconferenced in to us from minus 15 degrees in Whitehorse the capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory to us where we are experiencing 30 degrees in Victoria. Kate had just arrived in the chilly weather (-10 degree) of Yukon, Canada. Polycom Video conferencing equipment was used to videoconference her in from the home that she was staying in.
This is our last videoconference connection before Kate sets out on her bike riding trek across the Arctic circle. Kate is an Australian adventurer who will be the first to ride her bike across the Arctic. The video and audio was clear. She explained how she actually arrived in Canada before the time that she had left Australia. Kate talked about her specially built bike.
She talked about her preparation for the Arctic bike ride, showed us her fat bike, the first of its kind in the world, specially made by an engineer in Pittsburgh to cope with . Kate also talked about the special clothing requirements and need for layers and different fabrics. When she sweats it is important that her sweat does not freeze. It was particularly interesting to see her show objects such as the fat wheels of her bike, the special hat and mittens and boots etc. Three schools across Victoria linked in to the presentation with each school being given an opportunity to ask a question.
Bayley, from our school asked: “What gave you the idea to ride across snow and ice?”Kate’s answer was that she got the idea when she was cycling through the sand of the Australian outback desert. Always wanted to go to Antarctica so she thought about how she was going to ride – and what sort of bike. Cycling in sand at home, it is really hard – If it slips a bit, it can skid. She needed a system and a bike that would allow her to explore. The snow is a challenge but so beautiful.
You can follow Kate’s journey at http://kateleeming.global2.vic.edu.au
Kate Leeming is an Australian explorer/adventurer, who has cycled the equivalent distance of twice around the world at the Equator.
Rarely do we get the opportunity to listen to motivational and educational people of Kate’s calibre. It costs too much to bring them into our school face to face and the distance from Melbourne is great. How wonderful it was that my year 9/10 ICT class could listen to her via polycom videoconferencing equipment in a session set up by Digital Learning, Department of Education and Training.
Prior to the connection:
- Websites of potential interest to learn more about Kate were emailed out
- The access number for the session was also shared.
- A test call was required before the actual day to ensure the equipment worked.
- Students were given a short time to look at Kates blog set up especially for them.
- A backchannel was set up for students to add questions, experiences or general sharing as Kate was presenting
- Kate was formally introduced, explained a little what motivated her to do what she does, what she has done and how she hopes to cycle across Antarctica in 2018
- Kate shared her screen showing some of the amazing photographs that she took on her journey of being the first person to ride from East to West Africa.
- Students added questions into the backchannel as she spoke
The engagement factor
- Her presentation style was excellent and the images captivating.
- Her stories and experiences were interesting and inspiring
- Some of my most disengaged students weer active in the chat with questions, so she certainly held their interest
After the event
- The event was recorded Year 6 in our school will watch that as they were absent during this session.
- We can continue to follow her journey through her blog
- Students will be encouraged to subscribe to her blog and add comments on her posts.
- As we had to leave early, Kate kindly answered all our questions from the TodaysMeet backchannel and the document was emailed through to us.
- Students will write a blog post and add a link to Kate’s blog
Some follow up activities and further research include:-
- Level 5,6,7 Unit of Work – Climate Change and the Environment – –
- Take the Online Quiz – What is your Ecological Footprint?
- Taking action – Organise your own Expedition or Fundraiser
- Communicate with Kate – There is a Blog Post from Kate
What wonderful opportunities for students to get involved in? Why werent more schools in attendance for the session?