Category Archives: Global Collaboration
Today I woke up to a very pleasant surprise – a blog post about The Travelling Rhinos Project written by a teacher in Korea (Nick Corben) whose class will be hosting a rhino soon. I was very impressed by the post and very honoured to have my project promoted in this way. Below is the blog post as it appears on Nick’s blog (http://goo.gl/KLkdO), with his permission, of course!
The Travelling Rhino Project
In my last post, Have you thought about Going Global? I stated:
‘The new school of education is global collaboration. Open the door to find a whole new world!’
Actions speak louder than words. Practice what you preach. If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk!
You’ve heard all these clichés before, they all mean the same thing, back up your talk with actions…
So, after thinking about it for several days I thought, ‘Why not now?’ ‘What am I waiting for?’ I decided that I didn’t want to do the same Flat Classroom project that I did last timeand through my Twitter feed came across the Global Classroom Project.
After spending some time looking through this informative and intriguing website I signed up to be a ‘Mystery Skype caller.’ Essentially, I was added to a database of other teachers from around the globe who are interested in connecting their students. The Mystery Skype provides an engaging and fun way for individuals and classes to interact with each other, while developing communication, critical thinking and mapping skills. The project goals are listed here.
Further down the homepage I came across several good global collaborative projects my students and I could really get involved in. One of these really stood out for me; run by mentor teacher, Karen Stadler, an ICT Integration Co-ordinator for Elkanah House’sSenior Primary campus in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Travelling Rhino Project began life in July 2012 when Karen visited Kruger National Park and saw these magnificent animals up close and personal. Little did she realise these rhinos were under attack from greedy poachers who have been killing them at such a rate, they will likely be extinct by approximately 2020.
The aims of the project are to educate children about these animals; to raise awareness of their situation; to unite people of the world in protecting the rhinos for future generations and a hope that action can be taken against the perpetrators.
I chose this project because I loved the way that Karen has a real personal interest and passion in the rhinos and I felt very persuaded when I read the information on the wiki she had made. I felt that my students and I could try to make a difference and help the cause.
The activities Karen suggested are good because they allow for individual, small group or larger team activities which could be done at school or home. Additionally, I will get my students to think about and develop their own ideas, allowing their creative juices to flow! Speaking of being creative, on 29 October 2012, Karen and her team managed to form a human rhino on their school field, comprising of 414 pupils!
As there are other schools around the world taking part there will be lots of opportunities to share, collaborate, evaluate and discuss. We will be able to use my Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up-to-date with developments, Skype for real time communication and the wiki, blogs, Google Drive and other web 2.0 tools for our own project developments.
I will also use the iste NETS standards to guide and evaluate what the students are doing.
The NETS set a standard of excellence and best practices in learning, teaching, and leading with technology in education.
When I received the good news from Karen that my class and I would be part of the Travelling Rhino project, I was very excited as you might imagine! (It was 3am and I received a tweet on my phone)
I think Karen was happy too!
Whilst laying in bed and almost falling asleep, ‘What does it mean to disconnect?’ I had a good idea for my classes big ‘project kick off.’
I thought this would really make a good connection with my students, stimulate their minds and motivate them into action. It wouldn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes but would be very powerful.
Now that my class and I have been accepted into a global project, isn’t it about time your class did the same?
If you would like to follow the project developments or be part of it yourself, here are the contact details.
‘LIKE’ our page on FACEBOOK :
FOLLOW us on TWITTER:
Use our hashtag: #travellingrhinosproject
EMAIL project co-ordinator, Karen Stadler: email@example.com
Thank you Nick for such an in-depth review of my project. I am looking forward to seeing what your class does when Zindzi arrives!
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a photograph of 5 rhinos taken in the Kruger National Park, the inspiration for my Travelling Rhinos Project, would spark off such interest and enthusiasm amongst the classes that have signed up!
What started off as an ambitious idea has grown into something so much more than just a project. It has sparked conversation, debate, inquiry and creativity.
The Twitter feed is constant, with daily feedback and photo sharing, and the Facebook page is a hive of activity with the number of ‘Likes’ growing at a steady pace. With 35 classes from around the globe already signed up, and more inquiries coming in, I can see this project running for more than just the year I had originally planned.
I’ve become a Skype expert overnight, having had Skype calls every week for the past four weeks! I’ve had the pleasure of doing two Mystery Skype calls – one with a Grade 7 class in Bridgenorth, Ontario, Canada (they took only 9 minutes to pinpoint my location) and another with a Grade 4/5 class in Guelph, Ontario, Canada (they took 11 minutes to pinpoint my location). I have also been interviewed by the Grade 5 Denton Dynamos in New York, and just last night I had a lovely chat with Grade 5 class in Surrey, BC, Canada. I’ve learnt that I have to have my answers ready – the children have good questions and they require informed answers!
The quality of the contributions by the different classes is simply astounding. They have created art works, videos, presentations, written letters to their local newspapers, designed t-shirts and more. The reaction to this project has been nothing less than astounding! I cannot wait to see what else the other classes come up with!
After trying to encourage (without much luck) our teachers to join one of the #globalclassroom projects in The Global Classroom Project 2012, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and create my very own project that linked in with an area of our curriculum. This is what I came up with (the post from The Global Classroom Project blog):
“Karen Stadler from Cape Town, South Africa is keen to get her Grade 4s connected with the global community. Each year the Grade 4s at her school do a Crazy Crazes project where they look at the current crazes in their school, and amongst their peers in South Africa. They also interview their parents and grandparents to find out what was fashionable and the craze of the day when they were children. This project only happens later in their school year (September), but they would like to open it up to the world right now!
They’d like to invite children from classes (Grades 4 – 7; ages 9 – 12) around the world to give them an idea of what is popular and fashionable in their part of the world. They are asking the following questions:
- What games are you playing with your friends at school/home?
- Are you collecting cards/stickers/toys?
- Is there a particular pastime that is popular at the moment?
- What about favourite TV programmes or characters?
- Are there any popular books that you are reading?
- Is there any particular style of clothing or brand that is very popular?
- Any other exciting crazes where you are?
They would love you to share your experiences with them!
Although the American and European schools are coming to the end of their school year, the project will run until June 2013, so there will be time for them to take part in the new school year.
In the meantime, if there are any Southern Hemisphere schools (Australia, New Zealand, South America etc.) out there who would like to participate, feel free to join in!
Please email Mrs Stadler or tweet her @ICT_Integrator if you might be interested in participating in this global learning project, or if you have anything you’d like to share. Alternatively, go to the Global Classroom Wiki for more details about the project.”
So far six schools have signed up and I am hoping for more, especially from South America, Australia and New Zealand. Here’s hoping for a successful project with many global connections!
Are you interested in flattening your classroom walls & creating a global classroom?
Earlier this year I became aware of a conversation on Twitter (where else?) around the possibility of a global collaboration project. I followed it with great interest and saw the idea come to fruition. Deb Frazier (@frazierde) from the USA came up with the project idea and with the help of Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) from Australia, began co-ordinating a small project which has now grown to huge proportions! I was very interested and when the appeal for help when out, I quickly got involved. I set up the project’s Facebook group and am now also a co-contributor on the Global Classroom Blog. Please go over there and take a look.
Over the next year, a range of projects, cultural exchanges, and global conversations involving over 110 teachers (2000+ students) from 25 countries across 6 continents will be hosted. These numbers grow almost daily! There are 3 groups of participants i.e. Grades K-3, Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-12 (ages 5 to 18).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your class could take part in one of these global projects? All these projects and more, run until June next year, so you don’t have to do anything right now – the school year is coming to an end, BUT you could start the New Year off with a “bang”!! Some of these projects are easy and can run in the “background” while you continue with your year’s work, but they are fun and so educational – your class could be talking to and communicating with kids from New Zealand, Australia, the USA or the UK (to mention only a few). Please click on the links in the blog and take a look at what teachers around the world are doing!
For more information, please go to the project wiki – and while you’re there, sign up for a project!
In the past few weeks I have learnt more than I am sure I learnt in my four years of college – way back when! When I took on the task of finding a class overseas to collaborate with, I certainly did not have the faintest idea of what it would mean for me. It has been the steepest learning curve I have ever experienced, and I have to be honest and add that I felt some trepidation at times, but boy, have I loved every minute of it!
I’ve learnt how to Skype – and all the ramifications that go with projecting the session onto a screen for all to see (setting up the webcam, data projector, sound tests, speakers etc.), I’ve learnt how to create a Posterous blog for all the project photos, and I’ve learnt how to add things to the project wiki that I was not sure of before. Today I discovered a website with clocks to show the different time zones. I’ve embedded them into the wiki and the Posterous blog and they look really smart!
Just shows, you are never too old to learn. I am a life-long learner and I am definitely enjoying my learning more now than when I was at school, so it is my mission to expose the children here at my school to as many new experiences as possible – and technology is just the way to do that!
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, we crossed the miles between Cape Town, South Africa and Michigan, USA, with ease. By using Skype our Grade 6’s communicated with new-found 6th Grade friends from Madison Middle School in Adrian, Michigan. In two Skype sessions, we connected and chatted, comparing our different schools and asked questions about life in America vs. life in South Africa. Our children asked the most interesting questions and got to answer questions from the other side of the Atlantic too. Their children were very interested in our school uniforms and they asked us whether we liked them and felt comfortable in them. They were particularly interested in the shoes we wear to school! This is learning in real time and surely how our children should be learning in the 21st Century?
What fun it was – and somehow the world did not seem to be such a big place after all!