Hehe, I am guessing you thought I might be sharing my week! Well not this time.
Last year I completed my Flat Connections Global Certificate under the guidance of Julie Lindsay. This year, I have a small team of students involved in a global student project called ‘ The Week in the Life.
I am working with a team of global educators from Australia, Bulgaria, Thailand, Nepal and the USA. So 6 school, 12 educators and 23 Global topics and 146 children.
As educators we meet with Julie approximately once a week. In order for us to achieve this across the 4x time zones some of us have to really step outside our comfort zone and learn heaps of new tools, accommodate time zones and heaps of new ways of doing this. We learn across several digital learning environments and my big one for this project is Edmodo.
When I join the educator’s meeting the time is usually from 11.00-12.00pm on a Thursday night. By 11.00pm I am nodding and trying to keep awake as I usually try to be in bed by 10.00pm as I am up the next day between 5.30 and 6.00am.
This week, Julie was away and I put my hand up to run the group meeting. I joined the ‘Week in the life’ group group after it began and wanted to contribute as I feel like I have been lurking around the edge and watching. I am experienced at running Google Hangouts and for this session I was determined to learn how to use Fuzemeeting. The notes set up for me were fabulous and it took a few sessions to get around the tool. Probably the only challenge I had was sharing a Google Doc. To overcome this I popped the link into the chat bar and had been advertising the link to the group.
I was probably so focussed on learning the tool, I forgot the importance of broadcasting and reminders about the session.
However I have learnt the importance of creating evidence from meetings so that there is always an archive for those who were not there.
I have been in and out of Edmodo for many years but could never quite get my head around it, Probably because I have never had anyone to play with. However with the other FlatConnection teachers on the site I have plenty of support. As soon as I saw the way Edmodo worked I immediately invited our senior school teachers from Newmarket School into the Edmodo environment and they are flying with their classes.
Again the benefit of joining a global project. We learn about other ways of learning with our children.
Over this past week my Travelwise team have been busy with their school leadership roles as Travelwise students. They raised money for our friends in Nepal who have been in the earthquake, therefore making a real link with real children affected by a natural disaster. They have been chatting to them on Edmodo and finding out how they have been affected. I mean how more real can the learning be? My school sent through our contribution and Brian immediately responded that it had been received and what they would do with it.
Last night I met John from Thailand Face to face via Fuze and he has been helping me and my students join the right groups on Edmodo. He asked for my help with popplet which I thought was amusing. I have used popplet on ipads with some children but have never coconstructed a live popplet with a group of learners before. I said I would help where I could but really we are learning together. Sometimes when we work with under 14 year olds we find ways of working the system as we do not want to be gatekeepers for learning.
One way of ensuring our students and teacher’s safety at Newmarket School is to always have more than one educator from my school on any digital learning environment.
In Edmodo our children have been split up into the various teams and they are working with children who they have never met face to face. Again citizenship comes into the ongoing discussions. If we are able we will skype with other classes however at this stage, it might only be our Australian team because the time zone is a real challenge. I guess we could leave video messages and that might be something that I work on this week.
A big challenge that I have with what I am attempting is that the children I have trialling this project is a small group of school leaders. I meet with them once a week in their lunchtime as part of our work. If I was able to incorporate ‘Week in the life’ as part of their class learning, then we could really fly with this project. I have spoken with their teachers about allowing them to do some of their investigation during their Discovery Fridays, Yet at this stage, as a team they are also exploring what this would look like. When they move into asking questions around global themes and how this affects us locally, glocalsation, then I know they are ready for moving into global projects.
This week I showed the Travelwise children what the children from the other schools are already doing with popplet. Again some of the Flatconnections teachers have the popplets all set up and some do not. So some of my group are learning with their global lead teacher.
I was working with Edmodo in one of the classes this week with a younger group and their teacher had ‘got’ Edmodo. She had added a link to a youtube clip and set up questions as part of an Edmodo assignment activity. I thought that was extremely clever. When I checked back today, the whole class had already responded. Therefore I will incorporate these ideas into some of my Flatconnection Edmodo posts to help generate discussion.
Where to next for me, I need to support my Travelwise students with adding to their team popplet and begin preparation for their voice thread activity. I want to pull in the rest of Newmarket School staff into Edmodo. As part of my personal inquiry I need to keep adding feedback on teachers and children’s comments and blogposts to encourage the ongoing work we are doing with digital learning environments at Newmarket School. I have to keep up with the curation of our teacher’s and children’s spaces as this helps drive the learning. Finally keep suggesting ideas for teachers about keeping their own learning visible.
If you want to know more about Global Education then join the programme. There is another intake happening in June.
Here is a link to my space on the #Flatconnections Ning.
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