Tag Archives: skype

Mystery Skype -ISTE session with MIE

Please note that these are rough notes taken during the ISTE15 conference

Wendy Norman started the morning introducing Mystery Skype

The amazing capacity of Skype and videoconferencing (in the words of students)

  • gives emotional attachment to connections and learning.
  • Ultimate field trip – can travel to the other side of the world
  • Live learning – not textbook
  • Allows access to different viewpoints’
  • Get all kids especially girls in school
  • Social learning
  • Learning through conversations
  • Can do something about bettering the world
  • Making a difference in the world
  • Make for better global citizens

Mark Wood

mark wood

Mystery skype to find out where Mark Wood is going on his next expedition

Questions asked

  • In the northern hemisphere? -no
  • Is the ecosytem tundra – yes
  • Is there ocean on any part of the country – yes
  • Does the name of the country have 2 syllabus – no but are we really talking about country
  • Will you be visiting one of the US? – no
  • Will you need cold weather gear? – yes
  • Does the country belong to no-one? – second part of that is right but the first part of country?
  • Do you need a boat – no, but we might need a boatd
  • Are you going to where Santa lives? Santa lives in Lapland, so no, not going to Lapland

Answer – Russia across the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole

What I see and what I smell inspires me and I want to inspire others through technology, students can relate to us. Get students to look at what we are doing – think about our planet in a new way. Re -look at our planet.

http://www.markwoodexplorer.com/ and like it on facebook

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Join skype in education to take learning into the future

Skype Translator

Mystery Skype OneNote Book – full of resources for teachers

Hashtags:  #msftedu, #MIEEpert15, #edtech, #@NCCEchat, #ISTE2015, #edu

Teacherslifeforme: Mike Soskil, Kenya schools update

KEGODE  #Livingstone@ISTE  Twitter or FB

Shannon Miller:  Connect–examples of connecting with authors, Rainbow lo

Livingstone:

LKEGODE  #Livingstone@ISTE  Twitter or FB

Shannon Miller:  Connect–examples of connecting with authors, Rainbow loom

Hashtags:  #msftedu, #MIEEpert15, #edtech, #@NCCEchat, #ISTE2015, #edu

Teacherslifeforme: Mike Soskil, Kenya schools update

The Potential Power of Social Media

One of our school’s exciting connections this year was with Livingstone Kegode in Kenya, Africa. We met and spoke with some of his students as part of our parent information evening session for potential year 7 students in 2016. Michael Soskil from the USA was also visiting him.

Video call snapshot 61

Livingstone is a truly inspirational teacher who has connected his students from the biggest slum in Africa to the world with his laptop. In recognition of his amazing work, he was awarded a Microsoft Innovative Educator but was denied a visa to enter the USA for the conference earlier this year. Further ground work was made this year to ensure as far as humanly possible his visa would be accepted to attend ISTE 2015 – the big Technology Teachers Conference.  He would only know the success of this application today….. and again it was denied! He informed us of this circumstance via our skype group chat.

letting us know

To show the incredible spirit displayed by Livingstone, here is a follow up comment from him.

what doesnt kill hi

He received many messages of disappointment and sympathy from other members of the group. But then, the potential of proactiveness set in. Mike Soskil suggested that:-

Michael

but note that the twitter handle should be @rec54. Several of us tweeted out and almost immediately we got a response tweet back.

Richard Culatta is the head of the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology.

Although we can only hope that there is still some hope in getting Livingstone to ISTE, this scenario shows that power of a global community in supporting its own. Let’s hope that the visa can be reversed! If not we will use other means of ensuring Livingstone is part of the conference.

Mystery Career!

Out mystery career guest!

Our “mystery career” guest!

This is an alternative theme to the popular ‘mystery skype’ game. Year 8 students connected with a career person made possible through Skype in the Classroom.  Students had to determine what their career was through a series of questions that could only have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. As this was quite a challenging task, students prepared questions prior to the connection so that they had a foundation to work with.

They knew that they were connecting to one of the TED speakers at the TED conference in Vancouver but that was all.

Getting ready with questions, tablets etc

Getting ready with questions, tablets etc

Following are some of the prepared questions:

    1. Do you work in a team?
    2. Does your job involve a lot of mathematics?
    3. Does your job involve a lot of IT?
    4. Does your job involve a lot of science?
    5. Do you wear a uniform at work?
    6. Does your job involve international travel?
    7. Did you attend university to qualify for your present job?
    8. Will we find you and your job on face book?
    9. Does your job involve travel within your country?
    10. Do you earn more than $150,000 per year?
    11. Will we find out about your achievements on social media?
    12. If you are part of a team, does your team consist of more than 50 people?
    13. Is your working day longer than 8 hours per day?
    14. Do you drive to work?
    15. Do you catch public transport to work?
    16. Do you complete most of your work using a computer or some other electronic devise?
    17. Are there more females than males involved in your job classification?
    18. Do you plan to be in your same career in 5 years time?
    19. Have you ever appeared on TV as part of your job?
    20. Did your current job exist 15 years ago?

girls and alisa

Students took it in turns to ask either the prepared or their own impromptu questions. To my surprise one of the girls eventually asked whether our speaker was a CEO and the response was ‘yes’. Our mystery guest was Alisa Miller, CEO of Public Radio International. Alisa then proceeded to speak to the students about the journey she has taken to get to this prominent role, encouraging them to aspire to and reach their full potential.

Feedback from the students:

Sophie: I was very lucky to participate in the TED Conference. I found it very inspiring to listen to Alisa Miller I learnt that “anything is possible” and you have to work hard to get the career you want. She told us a few things about herself such as she is the CEO of an American Radio Company even though she wanted to be the speaker for a radio station.

Terri: We  had to guess  her career.  We guessed until someone asked if she was in radio. When she answered yes I remembered that CEOs work in radio, it turned out that she was the first female CEO.   

Kyra: I learnt that Alisa miller is the CEO of a American radio company and I learnt that if you put your mind to it might happen but in a different way and I also learnt that the technology doesn’t always work when you want it to.    

Kailyn:I was a part of the skype call with Ted Talks. It was really interesting and I learnt that Alisa Miller is the CEO for the American public radio. I really enjoyed listening to the story of how she went to university to learn how to be the speaker on radio but instead ended up being a CEO, which in my opinion is much better than being a speaker. I really enjoyed talking to Alisa and hope we can do more skype calls like it in the future.

Amazing! Students who are isolated geographically and culturally were able to connect and have conversations with a leading international female CEO whose work impacts on the world. Thanks to Skype in the Classroom.

Ensuring the ‘Mystery in ‘Mystery Skype

Mystery Skype is a great way to connect with others. It covers many ‘C’s for  learning -connecting, communication, conversations, collaboration and possibly creation. It is problem based – “we dont know where this other class or guest speaker is from” and covers many other elements of engaged learning. However, it is important to ensure that the ‘mystery’ remains for as long as possible to encourage students to push their thinking and learning. Here are some tips to ensure this:-

  1. Hide the town/country from your skype ID profile. hide profile
  2. Check backgroundspaces surrounding the students or class eg posters that might state or identify where you are from and remove or cover them.
  3. As students come up to the webcamera, make sure any school logo on their uniform is covered. (They can simply cover this with their hands.)

    Hiding the school name/logo

    Hiding the school name/logo

  4. Accents and appearances cannot be disguised but do provide possible tips and hints as to where they are from should it take too long for them to work it out and they may then become restless.

What tips do you have? This mystery idea can be used with other tools as well and made into a mystery location.

The Australian Flag flew high above Sparkles Fire House

Australian flag
Australian flag above Sparkles’ Fire House

 The Australian flag flew proudly high above Sparkles’ Clubhouse  but  this Fire House was not in Australia but in  Arkansas, USA. Dayna Hilton  and Molly, one of her Dalmation Fire Dogs visited us  from Arkansas, using skype, to talk about their work in  the Keep Kids Fire Safe™ Foundation‘s “Learning about Fire Safety can be FUN!” program. This program is sponsored by First Alert and State Farm.

dayna

Dayna had worked out the distance between us as 9,402 miles! She talked about fahrenheit temperatures and brushfiresn- quite foreign to our students who are into celsius, kilometres and bushfires! We asked what the distance would be in kilometres and techno savvy Dayna said she would quickly work it out. She inmediately pulled out her iphone and quickly asked Siri who calculated it efficiently We could see and hear Siri’s response immediately.

IMG_5249

With great expertise, Dayna shared images and videos using her iPad up against the web camera for us to see.

sharing pics on ipad with uis

Sharing pics on ipad with us

Dayna was teaching my year 8 ICT class which is a challenging one with a number of highly disengaged students. However, she engaged them fully with her appealing manner,  interacting with the students, asking questions and showing us Molly her beautiful dalmation. Animals are always winners! The background set was just delightful – lots of colour, bright red set giving a real theme around fire. Molly kindly obliged us with some of her tricks at the end of the connection!

Dayna and Molly

Two years ago, Dayna and Tango (another Dalmation fire dog) skyped with us. See the video. Next we would love to connect our CFA (Country Fire Authority) elective students with Dayna to share experiences and what we do in Australia.

Thanks Dayna, Lorraine Leo (who introduced us) and Skype in the Classroom where Dayna offers to connect to anyone around the world.

Australia and New Zealand classes connect for Anzac Day

April 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing in Turkey. Australian and New Zealand On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. April 25th is called ANZAC day – Australia and New Zealand  Army Corps and is celebrated every year, with a public holiday in Australia, special Dawn services and public marches by military veterans and personnel.

150 poppies made by the students

150 poppies made by the students

Each year, we hold a full school assembly to  commemorate this event. Students speak about what the day means. Everyone is encouraged to bring flowers from home to lay on our Australian flag which is draped over the stairway to our stadium stage. Students have  made 250 poppies, one for every member of our school community, and placed them at the entrance to our stadium.

Skype with New Zealand

Skype with New Zealand

Due to the nature of the special centenary, commemorations are even more special this year. Our grade 5/6 class linked up with a class from Auroa School, Taranaki where Myles Webb (our contact) is a deputy principal. The goal of the connection was  to compare traditions associated with Anzac Day.  Students in our school have been making poppies, diaramas, posters and more. These were shared over the webcamera. The NZ students told ours that although they have a special ceremony on Anzac Day, they do not really do much more than that. Our school will plant a lone Pine tree given to us by our Moyne Shire. Read the significance of the lone pine.

The lone pine tree

The lone pine tree

This led to discussions about why there are differences in commemorations, insired each other to further reseach the alliance, the history and what it means today. I wonder whether we could linkup with a school in Turkey and find out whether this day means anything to them? If so, how do they remember it and commemorate it?

Do you share special commemorations with other countries? If so, what and how?

Which tool for virtual tours?

Polly Woodside museum is in Melbourne in the beautiful Docklands are. Polly Woodside is a 1985 Tall Ship and is a reminder of Australia’s rich maritime history and of the importance of such ships to the settlement and development.

Polly Woodside intend to run a staff PD web conference session in October to promote the possible education and learning resources offered at the Polly Woodside.

virtual tours

However, following are the few logistical issues …

  • they prefer an “outside broadcast” – “live” from the deck of the Polly Woodside and to then move around the deck to different locations and activities for the presentation.
  • They would use a laptop computer for this with a good quality video camera (usb).
  • Polly Woodside do not have any wi-fi. They were going to use a mobile wi-fi hotspot or  possibly access/utilise the wi-fi from the Melbourne Convention Centre immediately next door to their location.
  • National (ie Australia wide broadcast) so would need to be an accessible tool for all to participate.
  • Want to demonstrate a class of students working on activities there but may need to be asynchronous ie via shared videos

Questions:

  • Which tool to use for conferencing?
  • How to overcome the logistics etc?
  • How to share pre-recorded  videos of students working on activities

My response:

Tools to be use Blackboard Collaborate (BbC) would be the top suggestion – can be used nationally through DET (Department of Education and Training, Victoria) license, can have up to 250 or more logged in. Allows a backchannel, video conferencing (participants would need to know how to grab the video module and drag it on to the whiteboard to make demonstrations more visible.) Can pull back the bandwidth if internet access is an issue. Best of all it has a recording function.

  • MS Lync could be made to work  as DET has a license, but would be more fiddly with invitations for schools outside DET etc.
  • Maybe zoom but I don’t know how many video logins you can have with this but it is a relatively stable platform.
  • Skype would only allow 5-10 video logins
  • Live streaming through ustream etc but bandwidth heavy and may cause lots of problems.

Polly Woodside’s wifi access –

  • a mobile dongle may also allow them sufficient bandwidth to web conference out.
  • Cabled access is always preferable when working with video etc.
  • Or if they can tap into the Melbourne Convention centre, that would be ideal.

Sharing videos of students involved in activities will be problematic for whichever tool chosen, due to file size, sound, bandwidth. Links to the work online would be better so participants can look later.

Challenges:

Sound, may need a wind sock for the microphone or alternative (would a headset with mic prevent the ‘wind’ type sound often experienced if outside?)

A mobile device logged in would allow a virtual tour by a moderator. Allows them to walk around, use the back camera and take us on a virtual tour, whilst another moderator is on the laptop. This could be smart phone, ipad, surface tablet etc.

Backup Plans: I think back up dates would be the only option. However, could we run BbC and MS Lync or is that too complicated simultaneously. Would need several moderators so if one falls down the other would work? If Polly Woodside are on board they can always record and share the recording link. Testing is essential and maybe several tests prior. A backchannel in Todays Meet or similar would allow communication through most problems. They would need smart phones

Summarising: I think that BbC is the tool to use (MS Lync could be made to work too). Polly Woodside would need to test the set up before hand. (We would be happy to be a ‘test’ class) and work through any of the sound and video issues that might arise.) Ideally they should have a standby tool like ustream but I have seen that fall over many times when used on poor bandwidth or even ideal bandwidth.

What suggestions would you make? What tips could you give?