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On an e_Journey with Generation Y Anne Mirtchin
Immersing technology in the classroom and beyond into the globe!
Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago
Imagine a world where everyone can read. This is the dream of World Read Aloud Day. “It is all about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people.” Parents, students, teachers and community members from more than 60 countries across the globe are coming together today to address the issue of adult and childhood illiteracy.
Jasmine Shannon wanted to try a skype linkup this week and the World Readaloud Day made the perfect connection for my 9/10 ICT class and Jasmine’ 5-7 year olds. What seemed like a simple task turned into quite a lesson of learning. I thought my kids would grizzle about doing this but there was only silent affirmation when told. Here is how it looked:-
- Students worked out their partner as they were to read in pairs
- As a class, discussed what books would be appropriate for young ones
- Students found books they thought the young ones might like to have read to them either from the library or from the prep-2 classrooms. Not surprisingly most of the books featured animals. (Remember that my students live on farms or in small rural towns)
- Spent 15 mins working out who would read which pages. Even the poorest of readers were capably reading their share!
- Practised speaking to the webcam in the tools>video settings option of skype and showing the page of their book.
- Had to work out our setup for video projection of the class. A student team put up a tripod with a webcam on top.”
- At the appointed time linked up with Jasmine from Tipperary Cattle Station in outback Northern Territory.
- Jasmine’s class read their book as a whole class.
- ICT students came up in pairs and read their book
As we ran out of time, several of the girls stayed in at lunchtime to read their books. Then students from each school shared their lunchbox via the webcam and we learnt a little of each other’s food supplies. We have a school canteen, they do not. They are in the outback and food supplies are only flown in each week etc
Did you take part in World Readaloud Day? If so, what did you do? This was a fabulous excerise that will definitely be repeated next year.
Each year one day is dedicated to Cleaning Up Australia – Clean Up Australia Day. Although this day falls on Sunday, March 2nd, our students from foundation to year 12 were allocated an area of our school grounds and fenceline to clean up. At 12 pm, the forms and year levels congregated under the bus shelter, were given rakes, gloves and bags and proceeded to clean up their area.
As a form teacher for year 10, we cleaned up the fenceline along the school grounds and roadway. See how beautiful our surrounds are and as we finished the roadside, we heard two kookaburras laugh! They must have been well pleased with our efforts.
If you are from another country, do you acknowledge similar days?
ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) runs an annual Screen It Competition. Watch the Screen It 2014 Teaser Video for an overview of the competition. It’s aim is to foster, develop and encourage creativity in future film makers, games designers and animation creators etc. This year’s theme is “Reflection”.
My year 7 ICT class logged into the blackboard collaborate room to be part of a session that outlined the Screen It competition, encouraged the participants to share what “Reflection” means to them via the whiteboard of the chat, view last year’s award winning movie and then share on the following:
- how can photographs help us reflect
- how reflections help us contemplate the future
- how does it make you feel to reflect on your past, your family, your dreams for the future.
Students were engaged with this virtual lesson because:-
- they are individually logged on, can watch their own monitor and can join in the conversations via the chat or have a voice on the whiteboard.
- it was a well structured lesson
- 30 mins in total (just sufficient for year 7′s concentration span)
- captivating imagery used on slides
- variety of activities – listening, interacting, discussing 1:1 in the real classroom, clicking on links to watch the winning video – Visiting Grandpa from last year
- interactive activities eg encouraged to use the chat, emoticons, polling, writing on whiteboard making it all worthwhile.
- two links were given to watch the video should one of the links be blocked.
- there were classes, students and participants from across Victoria.
- links were shared for later viewing or re-viewing
- logging on 16 students simultaneously on individual computers, the java download took a little while, so some were late getting in. But next login will go faster as java is downloaded
- protocols – students need constant reminding to use the chat effectively and to use the whiteboard as asked and not to graffiti over it.
- encouraging everyone to simply use the text tool – some chose the pencil and this took up a lot of the whiteboard are.
This was a great addition to my double class of year 7 ICT where some of the boys find it very difficult to concentrate for 100 mins on one subject, but breaking up the activities, giving then an outside, expert speaker, a virtual and a physical classroom, made the time go fast and they had fun.
- It is the quickest and easiest way for me to add urls for future retrieval
- Easy to tag (categorize) and pull up the tags
- Has a groups function and have joined a number of educational groups eg Global Education Conference and Educators
This morning I decided it was time to study cloud computing a little more with my year 12 students, discuss how they bookmark (they all just used favourite son their computer), get the to register for diigo, add bookmarks, tag the bookmarks, add notes and commence bookmarking some essential online sites (essential resources) for IT.
Within 15 mins of registering, they discovered the social bookmarking aspects – created a class subject group, added each other to the group, added comments, changed the images and discovered the chat. Images can also be bookmarked and they taught me so much more. I love learning with the students, who just push software and tools in all directions and show me how even more valuable many of these tools can be.