Twitter is not like email, it is limited to 140 characters so it needs concise comments and is used by educators for PD despite some people using it to update the world on their breakfast! It is a way to find things to take away from it that are relevant to you. A tweet is the message in 140 characters or less; a twitter username is a handle, a hashtag helps sort posts into topics, if you follow then the posts made by that user come up on your newsfeed. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are ways to manage your content. You can find a list of hashtags on http://cybraryman.com/ and you can follow these to see what your peers are sharing, you can also join online chats. This has been a great recap for me about how to use Twitter and is something I will share with my colleagues.

 
 
The O-MAN follows the Hague International Model United Nations model and information can be found on http://www.onlinemodelunitednations.org/  This website contains all the necessary information including calendar dates and information for debates, there are over 50 dates schedules each year. The sessions are hosted on Blackboard where the students can vote on resolutions, raise a “placard” and become more aware, active global citizens. They use Mighty Bell as a research site curated by students, which you can get invited to. There are badges for delegates based on engagement, and there is a blog to promote student voices that really gets to the heart of what O-MUN is. There are stories of how MUN is giving opportunities and insights to young people from all around the world. Students also have opportunity to mentor other students. This is a great project and I am sharing this with our Humanities teacher so our students can become involved.

 
 


Louise has a blog (http://www.frugalteacher.com/) describing the ways she has been using technology in her clasroom. She was initially inspired by a live cam showing an eagle nest http://www.farmyou.com/falcon_cams/decorah_eagle_xcel.html. This spread throughout the school, it inspired the students and made them interested and excited by learning. This led her to develop the use of a variety of tools:

  • Blogging – focus on quality and good comments
  • Voicethread – students can add comments
  • Edmodo – like Facebook for education
  • Skype in the classroom – ability to video call anywhere in the world and to anyone (it doesn’t hurt to ask!) and play “mystery Skype” for the students to guess where other classes are, it’s a great jumping off point
  • U stream – ability to broadcast your own content (drawback was ads but Google Hangout or similar could be more effective)
  • Google docs (allow students to make a progressive story that everyone got to add to)
  • Google+ Hangout (author visits, teacher collaboration, chat)

Other projects than provide global links
-       Hello Little World Skypers (https://sites.google.com/site/skypershello/)
-       Flat Charlotte (http://www.flatstanley.com/)
-       Dot Day (http://www.thedotclub.org/dotday/)
-       Travelling rhino project (http://saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com/HOME)

She rounded off the presentation by discussing the SAMR model  which can be used to measure the impact of computer technology on teaching and learning (https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/technology-is-learning/samr-model). This is extremely useful for my Master’s critical study so thank you Louise!

 
 
During this session Taru presented her research into technology in classrooms. She described how technology is being increasingly used in education but teachers often do not integrate it into their teaching. A key educational theorist that can be applied to this area is Vygotsky and his key ideas can be summarised as collaboration, scaffolding and the environment. Taru explained how teachers also need scaffolding to move to the next level, their beliefs need to be transformed through training that provides scaffolding and collaboration so teachers change their pedagogical belief and understand that technology can be effectively used as integral practice, not a time consuming “add on”. She stresses that with appropriate support our teachers can be effective in modelling the use of technology, motivating our students. This is significant for me as I am currently developing technology within my school and it highlights the most appropriate way I can support my colleagues.
 
 
Global competence can be broken down into: investigate the world, recognise perspectives, communicate ideas, take action. In their schools they are trying to foster inter-disciplinary learning as life is not compartmentalised. To make a school global there is a need to address this at all levels, global is at the centre of every aspect of practice, particularly project based, inquiry learning and focus on world languages.

Strategies to become more global are:
1)   make your pitch for being global
2)   overcome reasons for not becoming globally competent
3)   make strategic upgrades (opportunities for inquiry, global electives/languages/travel etc.)
4)   leverage technology (iEARN, flat classroom, teach unicef etc.)
5)    Grow your own global leaders
6)   create your own global networks (relationships, resources, resiliency)

Two great ideas I took from this are that you need to encourage teachers to have global experiences so they can see the relevance to bring it into their teaching. The second is the idea of a six word story where you can ask students or colleagues to answer using six words which has the benefits of being concise and is a great exit strategy to summarise learning.

Here are the links from the session
http://www.edweek.org/ew/index.html
http://asiasociety.org/files/book-globalcompetence.pdf

 
 
This presentation shared how students can document their language development over time through the use of video blogging. At the beginning of a learning journey, their first post documents their starting point and watching more examples over time demonstrates their language growth and allows them to reflect on their improvement. Additionally, communicating using technology is a 21st century skill that will be developed in many future careers and is an important skill for teachers to support.

To begin planning video blogging it was recommended that you consider the questions of What do students want to share? What are their users (eg: family/friends/link classroom) want to hear about? This can then be matched to the students’ language level to find appropriate topics for a video blog. With students, a good starting point is viewing existing student media in your language to brainstorm topics and styles; seeing other students’ work can capture their imagination and show them how they to can achieve this. Also, students are likely to need basic training with a suitable piece of software if they are not familiar with one and once they are more confident and familiar they can then choose their own techniques and platforms. Upon sharing examples of their video blogs with their peers, they students were often reflective and considered how they could use the techniques or styles they had seen others use, leading to videos that shared the personality of the students and perhaps even some competitive spirit! A final project was something that was more independent, where students had explored their own choice of topic and shared what they have learnt in their final presentation.

It was suggested that students can share with other classrooms such as through an iEARN project, giving purpose to their presentations. Top tips that were given were the students can start with unedited clips of audio or video recording, use authentic contexts and situations and search out native speakers  for the students to interact with such as at a local restaurant or organisation. Also, see http://www.nsliforyouth.org/

Thank you for sharing, it was a really informative presentation and I look forward to sharing this with my colleagues and soon getting some videos ready to be shared with the world!

 
 
Thanks GEC 2013, you have shared with great new ideas and motivated me to submit a presentation for next year’s conference!
 
 
Sue has found that there is little research in the area of audiobooks during the course of her research as a doctoral student in Australia. She has chosen to study the benefits of audiobooks for elementary students based on observations from her own children who love to listen to audio stories and her experience as a teacher librarian. One of the main benefits she has found is that they increase the students’ vocabulary, which is particularly beneficial to her international student population.  Another significant finding is that the students do not like strong accents and have a preference for professional quality narrated recordings, perhaps because they have had the access to recordings completed by a cast with sound effects and relevant, modern stories. It seems that I can take away from this that, if I was to introduce audiobooks to our school, it would involve difficulties with copyright and access to books that can be shared by multiple users and to solve this then perhaps introducing free podcasts that are available to download without restrictions such as from iTunes is a good first step. I look forward to using audiobooks 

 

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