This week’s guest blogger: Lisa Wilson Harston Primary School
On 21May in North-Western Victoria we had over 240 students from 14 small rural schools and heaps of elephants reading together via Polycom as part of National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS).
At Harston Primary School, we were about to have our Polycom unit installed and thought NSS would be a great way to start using the unit. I sent the invitation out to our local cluster as well as other schools close by.
Schools registered with the NSS website and received a pdf of the book and other support resources. We set up a google doc for contact details and organised which pages each school would read. On the day each school read a page to the other schools.
Many of the schools extended the learning opportunity by having elephant jokes and trivia, as well as making elephant masks as an Art activity. At Harston, our senior classroom, used Google Maps to locate each of the other schools and to calculate the distance between the schools.
The great thing about the Polycom unit was that students could see and hear classes from all the other schools. We also received support from Virtual Conference Coaches Jo Tate and Gary Schultz who showed us how to use the units and helped run the session on the day.
Feedback from the schools has been very positive. Many of them had not used the Polycom before. Some have indicated that they now have joined or organised small events for the next couple of weeks. We all want to know what we can come up with next!!
National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual campaign where a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.
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Virtual Conference Coaches are available to support schools to get started all of these.