On an e_Journey with Generation Y Anne Mirtchin

On an e-Journey with Generation Y
Immersing technology in the classroom and beyond into the globe!
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

“Meet The Scientists” Virtually

9 hours 30 min ago

This week is National Science Week in Australia. Many events have been organised and suggested for schools and science classes. Most of these great events occur in Melbourne which is an 8 hour return trip from our school – a near impossibility!

When the opportunity arose for our students to be part of a remote polycom video conferencing linkup to Meet the Scientists , we were quick to take up the opportunity. Cameron Hocking of the Melbourne Museum was keen to reach out to as many rural schools in Victoria and target primarily year 8-10 students, introducing them to some amazing careers and opportunities in Science.

Yesterday, we had the linkup with 5 scientists who have the most amazing careers, unusual opportunities and chances to travel. A backchannel was set up which provided remote students, teachers and classes to be given an opportunity to ask questions of the scientists. This worked really well and many interesting questions came forward. It was gratifying to hear them being answered.

Why it worked well:-

  • many hours had been spent in preparation for this event, ensuring the connections, equipment etc all worked as it was a first for Scienceworks and the Melbourne Museum (at least on this scale)
  • promotions had gone out through social media
  • the scientists were well chosen and strong, engaging speakers sharing wonderful images.
  • the backchannel was great and could be used for questions, sharing of knowledge and also to report any audio, video issues etc.
  • the careers were adventurous, unusual and of high interest to students
  • the bandwidth was sound
  • best of all, we could actually attend!

Challenges

  • technology and getting the video displays right
  • ensuring all participants muted their microphones
  • keeping within 1 hour, as beyond that time, students get restless in the virtual space
  • getting all students logged into the backchannel

Who we listened to:

  1. Dr Stuart Mills, Geologist
  2. Dr Erich Fitzgerald, Palaeontologist
  3. Dr Karen Rowe, Ornithologist
  4. Dr Kevin Rowe, Mammalogist
  5. Mel Mackenzie, Marine biologist

Britt Gow and her biology students also participated in a Polycom videoconferencing event on Monday for Science Week. Professor Doug Hilton, CEO of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute will be speaking to Secondary students on the topic of “I wish I was a Biology student in 2014″. He spoke about current research in gene technology at the WEHI.

There are so many wonderful opportunites to bring the outside world into our classrooms, why aren’t more teachers/classes taking up these opportunities. Did you celebrate Science Week? If, so how?

 


Categories: Planet

Tech Talk Tuesday: Trending Social Media Apps with our Students

19 August, 2014 - 07:51

Due to technical issues, this webinar is again rescheduled and will take place as follows:-

What year 7 girls ‘see’ when they hear ‘cybersafety’

When: Tuesday, August 19th from 4-5pm Melbourne, Victoria time (gmt+10) See your timezone in

Where: Click on this link to listen to the recording of this session

About this session: What social media apps do you use? How secure are they? As the young, start to increasingly leave FaceBook, what social media apps are increasingly trending with our students? Why are many of these of high concern? What can be done to customize security and privacy settings to ensure that our students are kept as cybersafe as possible? What role should education take in all of this? Can we ever keep up? If not, what can be done? A recent talk by Greg Gebhart of Cybersmart has provided inspiration for this session.

Discussions from the chat included:

  • how to deal with the face book page of a person who is now deceased. Suggested to create a memorial page.
  • All photos are public by default which means they are visible to anyone using Instagram
  • Peggy George:  “you can’t control social media so you really have to teach the students online safety!”
  • Dotty: “Whole new set of rules need to be written for safe use of social media.”
  • How can I keep my KIK account private
  • Cybersmart page on KIK
  • Veronica:”Learning outside the classroom seems to be more powerful than learning in the classroom with the use of apps in society.”
  • Gogooligans is a search engine for students
  • flipagram for making short videos

Some links shared by Peggy George based on a webinar she attended with Stephen Anderson this same day on Digital Citizenship


Categories: Planet

Independence Day India – Friday August 15th

18 August, 2014 - 20:22

A skype message alerted me to the fact that it was Independence Day in India.

It came from my good online friend, Sebastian Panakal and he asked:-

When may I call you? Today is Indian Independence Day and I would like to celebrate it together with you and your students, share my happiness with you

Wishing that I had a class of middle school students whom I could connect him with, I in fact had a VCE accounting at that time (which is a subject not so easy to interrupt, due to the tight curriculum timeline). Wanting to make the most of this opportunity, I  asked whether he might wait until the last 5 mins of that class for us to connect. The students were rather shy about greeting Sebastian, but they soon rallied around and wished him a “Happy Independence Day”. In turn, Sebastian showed us the beautiful paper quill earings that his wife had made in the tri-colours of their national flag. They were to be distributed to local school girls.

 We learnt that India celebrated it as s a public holiday. Schools, clubs and associations celebrate by hosting the National Flag  (flag:in) and distribute sweets. Thereafter they sing, dance, party etc. Schools have the same fun and frolic, but a march past in the morning.

Sebastian was hoping to connect with as many of his virtual global friends to share this Independence Day. You can see his linkup with another online colleague, Katherine Zablatnik from Austria.From this linkup, Sebastian shared the following statement:-

As I shared my happiness on Indian Independence Day, an opportunity for promoting Health Tourism evolved.

As I hung up on skype, one of Sebastian’s friends also called me. As I was speaking to him, his mobile phone rang. Fascinated, I was party to a conversation in an Indian dialect as he quickly dealt with the phone call.. Not understanding a word of it, I still felt part of the connection!

Does it matter that we interrupt senior classes for short connections like this, running the risk of falling behind the curriculum. Not at all in my opinion. Students are highly interested in what happens in other countries, they develop confidence in themselves and their communication ability and left my class in a happy frame of mind. Thank you Sebastian for saying hello to us on this day and sharing your celebrations!


Categories: Planet
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