Category Archives: Global Collaboration

The Global Educator

In July 2015 I was approached by Julie Lindsay who I had the privilege of meeting at the ISTE Conference in Atlanta, USA, in 2014. She asked me whether she could include my Travelling Rhinos Project in the book on global education and collaboration that she was busy writing at the time. I agreed, and following guidelines provided by Julie, I submitted my story.

This book, titled ‘The Global Educator‘, was officially launched on 19 July 2016 and I am very proud to have my project featured in it (Case Study 3.8), alongside projects from a number of other global educators from all around the world. It is truly an honour!

The Global Educator

Congratulations to Julie for a truly informative, well-presented book. Well done!

For more information about this book, please take a look HERE.

karen tweet  Julie tweet

[Note: The Travelling Rhinos Project is on hold for a while as I work out the best way to take it forward, but I am more than willing to engage with you if you are interested in participating. Email travellingrhino@gmail.com for more information.]

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Global Peace Day Video

Lisa Parisi, teacher extraordinaire and global teacher of note, organised and collated this global collaboration video in honour of the International Day of Peace on 21 September. We very proud to have one of our Grade 4 classes contribute to the video! The song used for the video is Nothing More by The Alternate Routes. We think it turned out beautifully!

Take a look for yourselves:

 

 

Our Grade 6 classes are also exchanging Peace Cranes with international classes in Hawaii, Guatemala and Australia this year.

Cross Posting: From Year 6RC at Roseville College Junior School in NSW, Australia

As the rhinos travel around the world it is always very uplifting for me to see and hear what they have been getting up to on their travels, and that is why I appreciate it when teachers (or students) blog about their experiences with the visiting rhinos. Here is a blog post by Pru Thomas, year 6 teacher at Roseville College Junior school in New South Wales, where Lesedi has just been visiting:

Lesedi : The Travelling Rhino

Posted on September 13, 2013 by 

We feel very privileged to have enjoyed a visit from a rhinoceros over the past few weeks. Lesedi is one of 5 rhinos from Cape Town in South Africa who are travelling the world to inform children everywhere about the plight of the world’s rhinos.

IMG_0299[1]

We learned that there are 5 types of rhino and they are all in danger of extinction.They are hunted and killed for their horns. Rhino horn is made of keratin just like our fingernails but many people believe it can be used to cure all sorts of medical problems. This is not true. So rhinos are killed for nothing.

Lesedi has already travelled almost 22 000 km from her home to visit us in Sydney. You can read lots more about her at http://saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com/The+Travelling+Rhinos

We also took Lesedi with us to Canberra where she met the Queen of England!IMG_0133

Cross Posting: From The Global Classroom Project Blog

Luke Dyer was asked to do a guest post on the Global Classroom Project Blog. This is what he had to say:

Connecting Globally from a Remote School – Travelling Rhino Project

May 24, 2013 by  | 4 Comments

For the past fortnight we have been hosts of Lesedi, one of five travelling Rhinos sent round the world by Karen Stadler, who I have never met, but DSCN8901connected with through email and twitter. Hawea Flat is a small rural school in the South Island of New Zealand and the closest Rhino to us is in a Zoo 5 hours drive away. We knew what a Rhino was and we knew who a poacher was, however we had no comprehension of how the two fitted together and what the devastating consequence of their connection was.

When Lesedi arrived in the mail we had to begin at the beginning. We read books, watched YouTube clips and researched on line. Quickly made connections to the horrific truth and the selfish reasons behind the problem. I have never seen a group of children become enraged so quickly over an issue.

So I simply asked “What can we do about it? We are to far away!” and showed them the distance between South Africa and Hawea Flat on Google Earth.

That is where the kids took over. They showed me that the skills that we have learned in class – ways to solve a problem and find a solution – were important and that when needed the kids could call upon them. In groups they thought of raising money, but then realized that money was not the problem, people were the problem and that not enough people knew about the issue (Kids came up with this – not me).

So, again I said “Ok, it is a people problem. We cant fix that!”The News

Then the class was off again…

“We can make a petition.”
“Put it on a Google Form.”
“Tweet it on our class Twitter and Mr Dyers Twitter.”
“Email it to all the parents.”
“Get them to like it on face book.”
“We can tell the parents at assembly too!”

…and like that the project made an impact on my class and our community. We blogged, tweeted and emailed. Posters and placards were made. Then, we received emails from the local paper asking for interviews. The class and myself have been stopped in the street and told that what we are doing is awesome.

If you have not added you name to this petition then click here to get to the form.

Through my classes participation in Karen’s Travelling Rhino Project we have learned firstly about the plight of the Rhino and raised the awareness of it to our community, but secondly that through projects such as this classrooms no longer need to have walls.

The Global Classroom is a reality and achievable for any educator and all you need is a concept or cause and a PLN to connect you with the world. You can collaborate on a blog, email, Skype, trade letters or tweet with another class, as the technology we have at our classrooms removes the barriers of distance, borders, language and timezone. This project only lasted two weeks, but it changed the way that I look at education and changed the way my class looks at the world.

Sun Rhino

Thank you Luke, for a superb reflection – and for taking action to save our rhinos! KS

Cross-posting: From Luke Dyer in New Zealand

I just love how the teachers who have signed their classes up for The Travelling Rhinos Project have embraced this project and in many instances, have put their regular teaching on hold to ensure that their students can participate fully in this project. Once such teacher, Luke Dyer, blogged about the project today. I have cross-posted with his permission:

First Global Project – Travelling Rhinos

LesdieBack last towards the end of last year I saw a message on twitter asking for classes to collaborate in a project to increase the awareness of the plight of the Rhinoceros.  This South African teacher, Karen S or @ICT_Integrator, and her class had 5 Rhinos made from traditional African fabric, gave them names and sent them out into the world to different classes. Now, almost 6 months later, Lesedi (Light in Setswana) arrived in the mail.

For the past week we have learned about Rhinos; facts and figures about their life and the sad facts and figures about their rapid move towards extinction. So with these issues in our mind we decided to try and do something to make a difference.  Many ideas were raised about ways to raise money, but it was clear that money was not the issue – the issue was that people did not know that there was a problem.

Then a small child said “Why don’t we make a google form and get people to sign their name and we can put it on our blog for people to access.
Another added “…and we can tweet it out on the class Twitter and your Twitter Mr Dyer”.
Then lastly “…and Mum’s got Facebook and she can like it on that and heaps of people will see it.”photo (14)

So through social media we made a petition and shared it (as I type this blog post we have over 300 names on the petition).  The class made a poster and shared it at assembly and we also used the school newsletter emailing list to get the link to the form out to all parents. Instantly we discovered that the local newspapers read our newsletters and we have had one reporter in already taking photos and recording the journey and another is coming in tomorrow morning.

Through participating in this project I have truly seen the power of modern technology in knocking down classroom walls and making global connections.  Karen’s aim of the project was to raise awareness of the issues and I believe that in our small way, this small rural school in the middle of nowhere has made a difference. Technology removes the barriers of distance, knocks down the borders between countries and allows for global collaboration of epic proportions.  This may be just one project, but there are many more out there and I urge you to look for one or begin your own.

If you have not added your name to the petition do so now and if you have thank you.

photo (13)

Click on the image to view the petition

Thank you Luke, for your enthusiasm and support for this project! Please visit Luke’s blog to read more.

Cross-posting: From Kerry Muste in Australia

Kerry Muste, Teacher Librarian and ICT Coordinator at a Catholic Primary School in Western Australia has also embraced The Travelling Rhinos Project and become quite a rhino warrior! Here is her blog post about when Lesedi visited her school (posted with her permission): 

Global Classrooms – Expanding their world

Lesedi and the princess

Lesedi and yr one hugs

Robogal Lesedi

Lesedi helping Yr 5's learn about rhinos.

Lesedi joing the Yr 5 class for Indonesian.

Lesedi joing the Yr 5 class for Indonesian.

The Travelling Rhinos Project – A Global Classrooms Initiative by Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator)Last year I participated in Karen’s Crazy Crazes Global Classroom project and it was such a good experience for myself and the students that I decided to be part of this year’s project.
We have hosted Lesedi, one of the Travelling Rhinos, for the last 10 days and she has proved to be very popular with the students. One of my favourite memories will be the Year 1 class hugging her after they found out that rhinos were being killed for their horns. Participation in the project has meant that not only are we learning about rhinos and their plight but has brought the world a little closer to us and will enable us to focus on our own endangered species and the need for awareness campaigns. Lesedi leaves us to go to Plympton Primary School in South Australia at the end of the week but her legacy will endure as we continue to learn about animals under threat.
Farewell Lesedi. We will be following your journey through Australia and New Zealand.

If you wish to know more about what Karen is doing you can find her blog here.

Please pop over to Kerry’s blog, DemystifICT and read more about her work.

Cross-posting: From Nick Corben @ Seoul Foreign School

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.’

Having read on the Global Classroom’s wiki about Secret Skypes, I thought it would be fantastic if Karen were to contact my class on skype (without them knowing) and explain/persuade/sell the project idea to them, asking if they, as young kids in a far off country can help in the awareness campaign and make a difference. ‘The rhinos need your help’ sort of thing.

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: karens@elkanah.co.za

SIGN UP for the project:

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!

A Life Of Its Own

PROJECT BUTTON2 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!

My Very Own Global Project

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!

The Global Classroom Project 2011 – 2012 (#globalclassroom)

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!