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Cross-posted from: http://bit.ly/GlobalClassroomProject
The formal launch of the Global Classroom Project 2012-13 is set to take place at the Global Education Conference on FRIDAY, November 16.
It will take place as part of our Global Classroom Stories and Launch Presentation with speakers from Australia, Nepal, Greece, Taiwan, India, and South Africa. The session will be recorded, and shared after the event.
How do I participate?
To join the session, please click on this link 10 minutes prior to the start time.
I will be taking part in this launch presentation. I will give my thoughts on global classroom collaboration and reflect on my Crazy Crazes project. Four of my students will be joining me. Why don’t you join us?
Our Grade 6s are once again hard at work writing their story books for our Grade 3s.
Here they are working collaboratively in Google Docs and using Google to search for appropriate images. They have been taught to cite the sources of their pictures, in order to give credit to the owners of the pictures.
The next step will be to import the stories into PowerPoint and then to save the stories as PDFs for uploading to Youblisher.com.
When they are done, we will share them with our Grade 3s and the world!
It’s the first day of February and I haven’t written a word on my blog yet!! Sad, but true – as usual, the year has started off with great gusto on the work and home front, and unfortunately some things have just got to slide… for a while! Anyway, belated Happy New Year to everyone – here’s to making 2012 a year to remember!
I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, but there are some goals I have set for myself for 2012:
- Blog more often – make it short, but sweet and do it often!
- Breathe fresh, new life into the lessons in our IT Centre (with the help of my colleagues of course!)
- Encourage my colleagues to make global connections! There are so many exciting projects out there!
- Finally get those long-awaited grade blogs off the ground.
- Build on the iPad sandpit experience we had in 2011 and hopefully launch our set of floating iPads.
- Encourage my colleagues to participate at one of our TeachMeets or iPadMeets which will be held regularly at our school.
I think this is a “doable” list! Let’s see how it goes!
It’s so strange, and a little mind-blowing, to realise how the world has changed and truly become a smaller place due to social media platforms and the wonder that is the internet.
On Thursday I participated in my first LIVE webinar. It was not my intention to participate, I was happily planning to lurk and take in as much as possible, but it happened that a question was directed my way and I ended up actively participating. I am so pleased that I had this opportunity!
The webinar was hosted by Fiona Beal and the topic was learning how to blog. I was very honoured that this blog featured in the webinar, as an example of what blogs can look like. Fiona asked me to give a little bit of input about my Posterous blog and why or how I use it. I was happy to be involved and excited to be an active participant in the webinar – only problem is, Fiona now wants me to present my own webinar sometime in the future! I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it…
While I was waiting for the webinar to begin, I popped in to my Twitter account to see what was happening. I saw a private message from a Canadian teacher I have recently followed and we got into a discussion about the stresses on teachers (same all around the world, it seems). She has a class Twitter account too, and her children are sending out daily Tweets, with ideas for making the world a better place. I think this is a great initiative and I reply to them each day! Follow @OneSingleAct and give them some feedback – they’d love to hear from you!
Then, on Saturday we held our second TeachMeet at Elkanah as well as the first iPadMeet (more on these later). While I was waiting for the proceedings to begin, I got into a conversation (on Twitter of course) with a teacher from America, one from Australia and a Maths tutor from Romania. We had a light-hearted discussion about non-educational things, but it was amazing – FOUR continents (Africa, America, Europe and Australia) represented in one conversation! We are now planning a pre-Christmas Skype session to “meet” each other properly! That is the power of Twitter.
The build-up was tremendous, the hours of preparation numerous and the feelings of expectation and anticipation were huge. Could we pull it off, the six of us that make up the Elkanah IT Department? We were confident that we could and, oh boy, we DID!! I am so proud to be part of such an awesome team.
The EdTechConf eXtended event at Elkanah has come and gone but I don’t have that feeling of deflation and emptiness one often experiences after a particularly exciting event. To the contrary, I feel elated, not only because we did a great job, but because we were able to excite and inspire a group of teachers, give them ideas and possibly some tools for including the use of technology in their classrooms, making it an add-in, not an add-on! That’s what this event was all about and even if each teacher took away only one idea to make a start, take that first step, then we were 100% successful in our mission!
Key points that came out of this conference were:
* Buy-in from school management is vital (sadly very few principals attended our conference).
* Technology needs to be an integral part of teaching today as our students are born tech savvy (digital natives)
* It must be an add-in not an add-on
* Teachers should start small, choose one aspect/topic and use technology to enhance it
* Baby steps… Take that first step!
We had a variety of wonderful presenters who provided much inspiration and to them we are very grateful for their input an willingness to share their experiences and projects. All their bios and presentations are available here: http://elkedtechconf.blogspot.com.
The EdTechConf team consisting of Tim Keller, Arthur Preston, Rick Greener and Helen Temple have started an amazing initiative which is gaining momentum beyond their wildest imagination, with a number of future eXtended events planned already. The first one will take place at Cornwall Hill College in Gauteng in October. See www.edtechconf.co.za .
Elkanah will continue to be closely involved with EdTechConf, especially since Arthur Preston has recently been appointed as the new head of our Senior Primary, where I am based!
I have just received a link to an excellent post on a topic especially close to my heart, and which links very nicely to my earlier post Moral Dilemma or Just Old Fashioned? Written by Joey Sargent, it is an Open Letter to Teens, Tweens and the People Who Love Them, highlighting the hidden dangers of using social media and the fact that we need to be CAREFUL online!
Please read this post for yourself. I take no credit for it but I think it is excellent and just reinforces the fact that we need to guide our children in their online behaviour, teach them the facts and show them how to be responsible Cyber Citizens – parents and teachers alike!
Exciting things are happening in our lab this week! As the title explains, we will be Skyping with 6th Graders from Madison Middle School on Wednesday and Thursday this coming week. We are excited about this because it will be the first time we have Skyped with anyone! This wonderful event is a direct spin-off of our Grade 6 Stories project, as the 6th Grade Social Studies teacher from Madison Middle School, Jill Brandeberry, found our stories Wiki and contacted me with the idea of doing a small project together. Due to the timing – end of the school year in the US and assessment time on our end, we have just done a very small project together, in the hope that we can build on our new-found friendships in the future!
What we are busy with is a comparison of our schools and Grade 6 in our respective countries. We have a wiki going in which we are placing all our information as well as questions which we will try to address during our Skype sessions. Please take a look at our Wiki – Let Us Compare!
Keep watching this space for more updates!
Created with Wordlings: http://wordlin.gs – a word cloud of my recent tweets on Twitter. Cool!
Whew! Just as the term is coming to an end, some interesting events have taken place. Last night I sat in on the very first Skype session our school has ever had with a class elsewhere in the world. Our Grade 2′s (my son’s class too), Skyped with Grade 2′s from a school in New Jersey, US. It was an awesome event and the kids loved it! As a spin-off from that, the Grade 6 teacher would like to connect with our Grade 6′s! Then, as a result of my having “advertised” our English stories on Twitter, our Stories wiki has received a number of visits from various parts of the world (96 to date), and a teacher from Adrian, Michigan in the US is keen to connect her Grade 6′s with ours. How exciting is that? It seems the second term is going to be eventful to say the least!
On a personal note, I will be attending the EdTech Conference(http://www.edtechconf.co.za/) here in Cape Town in May and then in July I’m going to Johannesburg to the Intel ICT in the Classroom Conference (http://www.schoolnet.org.za/conference/). Oh, how I love my job!