Learning is Indeed Messy

Over the last few weeks we have been having fun in class exploring the world through the eyes of children in Kathy Rice’s class in British Columbia, Canada and today, Brian Crosby’s class in Spark, Nevada, USA. These learning experiences have come to us through Sylvia Tolisano‘s Around the World with 80 Schools Project. The idea is that participants enter their class details on a wiki and then link up whenever they want via Skype. The calls are only supposed to be five to ten minutes long but we tend to go longer as we share our music, clothing, weather, pets, population, sports. Learning is messy and things never go quite to plan.

So far we have visited 4% of the globe with our class blog comments and Skype calls. I wonder what percentage we will have by the end of the school year.

Here is where Sylvia’s students have been so far!

Before the event we have a bit of a look around on Google Earth to fly between New Zealand and the place we are going to connect with.

Then we brainstorm anything we know about the country that we are going to connect with. Before our Skype call- not a lot!

We then designed fairly open ended questions and allot people to ask the questions.

I used the Time Scroller widget to get our timing right and after a bit of negotiation as to a time the works we are underway.

I have Call Recorder set up auto record the call which I have edited in iMovie to highlight the interesting bits.

As a great extra to our call to Kathy Price’s class in British Columbia we were able to contribute to a Voicethread they had made to show us exactly how cold it was! Have a look- it’s quite incredible.

Thanks Sylvia. We’re going to have fun with this- Argentina here we come!

We now know what a toque is and know a lot more about being a Canadian!

On Voicethread and Blogging

I am heading off to Blenheim on Friday for a workshop on Voicethread. They want a paper handout to go with it so I made one and updated the Bling4yrblog Voicethread post while I was on a roll.

If you would like a copy of the paper handout pdf click here. These sorts of things are good for me because I delve more deeply into these Web2.0 tools and this time uploaded a video to the Voicethread and did a spot of doodling which I hadn’t done before. You may like to look at the full page version by clicking here.

Thanks to all the good folks who commented so quickly on this new play Voicethread. It will definitely show people how useful they can be for fostering global links. You rock.

If you are a loss of what to do between 4-5pm this Wednesday 13 August you may like to join us in a conversation about blogging arranged by Angela Page of Centre4 fame. To participate ring the audio bridge at 0800 693363 PIN 1506#

Angela posted these ‘Rules of Engagement’.

  • Please dial in between 3.50 – 3.55pm (and no later) as this interrupts the flow of conversation after 4pm
  • You may record your name after the tone and then hold to join the conference
  • Log off after 5pm please, and not before, as this interrupts the flow of conversation
  • To mute, press *6
  • To come off mute, press #6
  • You are most welcome to bring your questions, ideas, experiences
  • To speak, state your name and then ask your question or respond to a discussion point
  • You may experience some over-talking, but please be patient and continue when there is a pause in conversationEnjoy!

Build Yourself a Wild Self

At the beginning of the school year (in the Southern Hemisphere that is) you might be keen have you students build themselves an avatar if you are not sure about putting individual photos on line or as a identity in Voicethread. Chris Betcher recently posted this find ‘Build Your Wild Self‘ from the New York Zoo. You can build your avatar and add animal features to it. Kids would love the opportunity to be wild and wacky.

Build Your Wild Self
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Here is my creation. Being aimed at kids it didn’t have a grey haired option!

I couldn’t let go and add an elephant truck or antelope horns but the option is there if it takes your fancy.

The New York Zoo and Aquarium websites are worth sharing with kids as well- hours of interest there.