June 5, 2017
by rcrellin
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Wycheproof P-12, North to Alaska

Wycheproof P-12 utilises virtual learning tools everyday to enhance and provide for the needs of their students.  Yr 3 & 4 classroom teacher, Miss Amy Cozens has been connecting her students most weeks via the DET Polycom Network to the 4th grade class, at Airport Heights Elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska.

Students have been integrating this program into their English and Integrated Studies classes using oral communication to share happenings in their local area and talk about what it is like to live and go to school in Australia and Alaska. Students have been sharing their favourite sports and activities and have been very interested in the different animals that we have in Australia compared to Alaska. Often the students in Anchorage have to stay inside during recess and lunchtimes as there are Moose in the playground, whereas in Wycheproof we have Kangaroos, Emus and Snakes often in our playground.

After the students in Alaska get back from their summer break, we hope to establish a ‘pen pal’ type program between the students as well. Whether we use more modern technology (e-mails) or more a traditional style is still yet to be determined!

For more opportunities to connect virtually or to request support to connect, contact the Virtual Learning Team, visit http://lv2vl.global2.vic.edu.au/  .

All schools can connect regardless of whether you have a Polycom unit or not, all you need to do is ask for help. Enrich your classroom with Virtual Connections.

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May 25, 2017
by rcrellin
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Richmond Football Club – Dreamtime at the G, virtually

AFL are supporting the Tigers to provide a series of virtual sessions to schools in their ‘Catchment Area’. Recently, 21 schools, 700 students engaged with Alex Rance and Steve Morris prior the Dreamtime at the G game.  Students discussed the importance and relevance of the dreamtime round, reconciliation and equality with Steve and Alex. Students got a glimpse of the “Dreamtime Jumper”.

Thara Brown, Korin Gamadji Institute educator performed an acknowledgement to Country, followed by students from various schools connected.  Mount Beauty  classroom teacher, Sarah Hinde, inspired by the session, created the following reflection task for her Year 7 Humanities students.

 

Richmond Footbal Club is looking at providing more virtual sessions next term. The AFL is supportive and watching closely, hopeful to expand the offerings around various clubs. Special thanks to Richmond West Primary School for the use of their Polycom facilities.

Don’t miss out on virtual learning opportunities.  It is not just for rural schools.

  • Have you been to the Aquarium?
  • Have you visited the Sydney Opera House ?

Visit http://lv2vl.global2.vic.edu.au/ to see more opportunities or contact a Virtual Learning Coach for hands on support.

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May 5, 2017
by rcrellin
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Virtual learning opportunities driving literacy

The Leigh Hobbs “Author Talk” on was shown today on ABCme  – it was very exciting as included as part of the program was footage from a Polycom session with the Sydney Opera House and the following Victorian Schools:

  • Bridgewater-on-Loddon PS
  • Tempy PS
  • Dederang PS
  • Mooroopna PS

The program is available on ABC iview now, but will only remain on iview until 4th June 2017 http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/author-talk-leigh-hobbs/ZW1071A001S00

How can you get involved?

YABBA  is a fantastic virtual program, free for all Victorian Government Primary Schools, so if you haven’t signed up for this project as yet, why not?

You can join in with online sessions with Authors, vote on most popular books. You DO NOT need a Polycom unit to participate and technical support available upon registration.

Our next author session is on 16 May with Sally Rippon. Leigh Hobbs with be talking with students again on 8 August.

Find out more:

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August 1, 2015
by marcellinus
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Connecting with Korea: The Australia- Korea Foundation

Australia Korea logo.jpgDFAT Australia Korea Foundation Grant Approved for the Global LYNCs Project

Many students in Victorian schools enjoy the opportunity to connect and learn with our neighbours in Asia.  These connections enrich our understandings of cultures and build partnerships to enhance our region.  Digital technologies have enabled us to build the connections win way we could not have imagined before.

The Global LYNCs Project is an established program and has just become a partner with the Australia-Korea Foundation.  The Foundation will support ongoing enhancements to the project including development of a Korean version of the blog, improvements to the blog (we have just added a visitor counter this week), monthly newsletters to participants, feature articles and a Victorian visitation program from Professor Keong Ku the Korean coordinator for the project. Five additional Victorian schools recently joined the project as part of a pilot with the Daegu District Office of Education, Republic of Korea and the SWVR.    A feature of the pilot is development and trial of curriculum units to compliment Korean/Victorian partnerships.

The Distance Education Centre Victoria DET is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Korea Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia-Korea Foundation and is assisting with the administration of the project.   While predominately dealing with Korean partnerships, Global LYNCs also currently involves some other Asian country partnerships. 

If you are interested in working  with an international school using DET’s outstanding schools telecommunications network please visit the blog at: http://globallyncs.global2.vic.edu.au/   or contact Jo Tate tate.joanne.e@edumail.vic.gov.au for advice and assistance.

 

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September 9, 2014
by rcrellin
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iPads for Learning: online professional learning registration

The Department’s Virtual Conference Centre is providing four iPads for Learning short courses for teachers and leaders who are using iPads in their teaching and learipads3ning. Each short course will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. Each course focuses on a different aspect of using iPads:

Two courses, iPads for New Users and Publishing with iPads,  are open now for registration. Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course      Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads  Click here to register for this course

The short courses will be facilitated by Andrew Del Mastro. Andrew is a member of the Apple Consultant’s Network trained to deliver Apple PD (APD). Scroll down to see how to connect.

Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course     

 Session One: Introduction to the iPad
 Date: Wednesday 8th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
 Content: This session will introduce participants to the basics including; how to navigate your iPad, how to organise Apps, how to download content, and how to setup your iPad in the Settings area. Setting up Mail and Calendars will also be demonstrated as with other tips and tricks to ensure you’re on the way to using your iPad effectively.

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 Session1BACKCHANNEL –http://todaysmeet.com/intro6184101
 Session Two: Ready to Start Creating
 Date: Wednesday 15th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will look at creating and storing content including how to manage photos, videos, documents and music. Cloud storage and sharing will also be discussed as well as how to use iCloud to back up your device.

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session2

BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/create6184101

 Session Three: Ready to Start Exploring Content
 Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will explore the rich ecosystem of digital content including how to discover great content including apps, digital teaching resources, online teaching materials and other useful resources.

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Session 3

BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/explore6184101

 Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads

Click here to register for this course

Session One: Introduction to iBooks Author
Date: Thursday 16th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will introduce participants to iBooks Author the most powerful digital publishing tool available. The basics will be covered including how to lay out a book, adding text, video and images as well as saving and sharing your work. The session will also contain an introduction to building interactive widgets.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
    Blackboard

Participant Connection URL 

Session Two: iBooks Author: The Next Level
Date: Thursday 23rd October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will delve into tips and tricks and how to supply your end user with an immersive interactive experience. From using hidden pop-ups to creating colour pallets and master pages this session will look at the fundamentals of designing a truly interactive book including all of the interactive widgets contained within iBooks Author as well as the website bookry.com. This session will also include information on how to publish you book to the iTunes Book store.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: Free account at bookry.com
   Blackboard

Participant Connection URL

Session Three: iBooks Author: Custom Widgets and iTunes U
Date: Thursday 30th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will focus on the software iAd Producer and Book Widgets. This software allows users to create custom interactive widgets. iAd Producer allows the user to build widgets from scratch without any coding required while Book Widgets offers a large selection of templates to follow. This session will conclude with an introduction to iTunes U and how it could be used to distribute your iBooks and other content.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: iAd Producer and Book Widgets
Blackboard

Participant Connection URL

These short courses will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. All of the courses will be supported with materials accessible via the Department’s iTunes U campus. Each session will require access to the Virtual Conference Centre tool being used for the session; an iPad with the latest iOS installed and some sessions may require additional resources as indicated.

Andrew has designed ongoing Professional Learning programs for Primary and Secondary Schools looking to integrate technology into their teaching and learning practice. With a focus on using new digital tools to produce engaging communications Andrew facilitates a hands on approach to learning. Andrew has also produced multi-touch books for Disney Australia and the AFL Players association.Resources:

Contact: digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au

Download this information as a PDF  iPads_for_Learning_Short_Courses

 

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September 3, 2014
by Jillian Brown
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Polycom Possibilities

Our Guest Blogger this week is Simon Trembath, Digital Learning Coach, Cardross PS

We were very excited when we found out that we were fortunate enough to receive a Polycom video conferencing unit earlier this term.  As an isolated school 550km north west of Melbourne we began to have visions of all the amazing things that we could achieve with this fantastic piece of technology.  When the magical day arrived and the unit was installed we all gathered around and marveled at the clarity of the screen and the ease at which we could move the camera.  But then we asked the question “who should we call?”  It was something that we grappled with for quite a few weeks. 

During this time our Principal started to use the unit to conference with nearby schools (approx. 50km away) that also received a unit.  This proved to be a fantastic use of our Polycom as it allowed our Principal to connect and collaborate with other schools without having to leave our school saving massive amounts of travel time. However, classroom teachers were still were not using the Polycom unit effectively with students.  We tried a test call to Japan to practice maneuvering a camera on the other side of the world and looked in on random lobbies across the world.  The kids loved it but there was not a lot of real learning going on.  After discussions about how we could utilize this with our students we were fortunate to be involved in a professional learning opportuntity that showed us how we could get our kids truly involved with the use of our Polycom.

SeeShareShapeOne of the key websites that we were directed to was www.seeshareshape.com.au. This website is run by Electroboard who many schools would be familiar with if they have Smartboards in their school.  Electroboard has a dedicated team of presenters who create amazing learning opportunities for students using video conferencing as tool to connect teachers and students from all across the country.  On the site teachers have access to a calendar of events, which outline the topics that are going to be covered and connects the event to Australian Curriculum standards.

Our experiences with these sessions have been amazing.  All of our students from grades P – 6 have since been involved in a number of these sessions.  They have connected with schools from across the country and had the chance to work with some great people.  Recently our grade 4 – 6 students worked with well-known Australian author Rod Clement.  The students had the opportunity to talk to Rod about his writing process and were so excited when they received a set of signed books from Rod’s publisher Harper Collins.  This opportunity would not have been possible without our Polycom unit.  This experience is just one of the many that our students are now enjoying.  Our Polycom unit has become a hot commodity in our school and it is always in demand.  Staff have also used the Polycom unit to engage in professional learning opportunities.  We recently connected with world renowned educational researcher Yong Zhao through a Bastow Institute event.  To have our whole staff listen to Yong and discuss education with him was a truly amazing experience and the best part was it cost our school nothing!  If we all have to travel to Melbourne to take part in this event it would have cost our school thousands!  Thank you Polycom.

We certainly don’t think that we have got it completely right yet, but we think that we are heading in the right direction.  The Polycom unit is enabling our students to view their education as that which extends beyond their own school walls.  In a lot of schools I see Polycom units tucked away in staff rooms or places that aren’t accessible for a whole class.  This is unfortunate, so here are my tips for increasing your Polycom use in your school:

  • Have your unit in a prominent place where a class can comfortably sit in front of the unit.
  • Undertake professional learning so that all staff know how to control the Polycom
  • Visit www.seeshareshape.com.au and check out the Virtual Excursions page.
  • Have a Polycom timetable in your staff room so that double bookings don’t occur.
  • Involve your students in looking at the opportunities and try to connect it to what they are currently working on in class.

We have implemented this within our school and we have found it very successful.  The Polycom unit is an excellent piece of technology so be sure to make the most of it.

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August 12, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Mystery Skype

Our guest blogger this week is Erin Jackson from Kennington Primary School

What is Mystery Skype?

Mystery Skype is a game played through Skype between two classes. Each class aims to work out the location of the other class, by taking in turns to ask yes/no questions. The winner is the first class to work out the location of the other.

Students take on different roles while playing the game. There are many websites that list different roles that can be undertaken, but I like to keep it simple. I have:

  • 2 scribes, who record information on a whiteboard
  • 2 speakers, who sit in front of my laptop, asking and answering questions
  • Researchers – all other students use their iPads to research and come up with questions to ask.

The Benefits

The first, and probably most obvious, benefit of playing Mystery Skype is the improvement in students’ geographical knowledge. It has helped to improve my students’ mental maps of the world and to improve their understanding of where we are in the world. It has also helped them to develop their knowledge of different cultures around the world.

Secondly, there are many mathematical benefits, such as map-reading, directions and time zones. Playing Mystery Skype often highlights concepts that we, as teachers, may take for granted that students understand; for example, what the different lines on Google Maps represent.

Mystery Skype also lends itself well to the English domain. The game naturally requires students to listen attentively to the questions and answers, whilst building on their comprehension, research and visual literacy skills. They develop their ability to ask ‘good’ and ‘follow-up’ questions, as well as whole-group and small-group discussion skills, such as negotiating.

Finally, my students have a high level of engagement when playing the game. My students often ask when we will have the next Mystery Skype and are always excited to come to school if they know we have one organised. They work together as a team and feel a real sense of pride and excitement when they are able to work out where the other school is.

Where to start

Start by creating a Skype account and joining ‘Skype in the Classroom’ (http://education.skype.com). Go to #MysterySkype and send out some messages to teachers you might like to skype. I usually send out about 5 messages with a given time and date, as not all teachers will reply or may have other commitments at that time. I also give the time in my time zone and convert to their time as well. Once a teacher replies, add them to your Skype account and you are ready to go! You might like to send them a message through Skype on the organised day to ensure the other grade are still able to participate in the game.

Some tips

For Grade P-2 students, try beginning by playing Mystery Skype with local schools or other schools in the same state. For Grade 3-4 students, try other schools in Australia or capital cities/major towns in other countries. For older students, use towns/cities outside of capital cities in other countries. I aim to choose places that fit with my Integrated Studies topics, such as Thailand when we were studying Asia for Geography or a school on the Ring of Fire when learning about earthquakes. You might like to prepare something to share at the end, such as 5 facts about your town.

For more information about Skype or other virtual conferencing in schools see the DEECD Virtual Conferencing and Skype in the Classroom webpages.

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June 11, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Too Many Elephants

This week’s guest blogger: Lisa Wilson Harston Primary School

NSS-Webpage-Banner

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.NNS Stanhope

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 StoNullawill 1rytime 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.

 

 

 

Want to find out more about Virtual Conferencing in your school?

Schools who don’t have a polycom can also still do heaps of online activities via Blackboard Collaborate, Lync and Skype. You can also log into polycom meetings via Lync.   NNS polycom

Virtual Conference Coaches are available to support schools to get started all of these.

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May 20, 2014
by rcrellin
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Video Conferencing with VCE Biology

Our guest blogger is Britt Gow, Hawkesdale P-12 College

The Digital Learning Team congratuates Britt, winner of the Lindsay Thompson Fellowship at the 2014 Victorian Education Excellence Awards

Teaching Unit 3 and 4 Biology for the first time in a small, rural school is a big responsibility. Although the class is small (only eight students), they are all keen to do their best and achieve an ATAR score that enables them to be accepted into the tertiary course of their choice, including nursing, physiotherapy and a Bachelor of Science. Although there are plenty of paper-based and online resources available, there are few other teachers in the local area to share ideas and teaching strategies with.

HawkesdaleIn Melbourne, beginning teachers have the advantage of the Biology Teacher’s Network and professional development at locations such as the Gene Technology Access Centre. Our class was invited to attend the “Body at War” program for the World Day of Immunology at GTAC this year. For our students, this means getting up at 4.00am, travelling up to one hour to the Warrnambool train station and then a three hour train trip, returning home at about 11.00pm, after the three hour return trip. Otherwise, an overnight excursion, staying at the Melbourne Metro YHA, which adds to the significant cost of travel.

This year, our Year 12 Biology class has had two opportunities to participate in video-conferencing using the Polycom equipment, connecting with the Gene Technology Access Centre. There are several programs available, and we were able to access the “Signalling Molecules” and “Hendra Virus” workshops. Both sessions included hands-on activities and student worksheets, with resources provided well in advance by GTAC. Both presentations were delivered by experienced teachers, with excellent images, animations and explanations.

The excellent image quality and audio allowed the GTAC presenters to see and hear all that was happening in the classroom, asking and answering questions just as if they were in the science laboratory. Although students were, at first, a little reluctant to interact with the presenter, this is how they would react with a guest speaker in the classroom as well. Students agreed that both sessions were valuable learning experiences that assisted them to understand and apply biology concepts. For me, it is an excellent professional development opportunity that enhances my ability to teach the Unit 3/4 Biology course. And all without leaving Hawkesdale P12 College!

This post came from Britt’s global2 blog – Technoscience for teachers, which has some great advice about using ICT in the classroom.

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