This week’s blog is written by Jo Tate, Senior Project Officer and Heather Lin, teacher at Canadian Lead Primary School
For the past two years, Canadian Lead Primary School in Ballarat has been collaborating successfully with a partner school in mainland China. They are an exemplar of what can be achieved using Microsoft Lync (MS Lync) licencing for teachers. The schools link up on a fortnightly basis when both are in session.
The initial focus for their collaboration involved linking art classes in the respective countries. One giant canvas was negotiated and painted jointly. The students used the MS Lync video conferencing linkups to settle on the theme of native animals and to share various art styles from our two countries. The Canadian Lead students painted the first half of the canvas and sent this over to China where it was completed. At the Chinese end there was time to display the canvas and share it with their community before it was posted back to Australia.
Recently the schools also explored the use of Zoom to facilitate more one to one and group learning activities between the students. Through the use of Zoom, students from Canadian Lead were able to talk to China directly independently.
Six groups of students each used a computer with camera to link up with a small group students in China. The students were very excited to talk to the Chinese students and look forward to have this type of link up again.
As a result of the collaboration, leaders from the Chinese school are set to visit Ballarat in December to sign a formal MOU for curriculum collaboration into the future. Canadian Lead Primary School Chinese teacher Heather Lin has established the project with the support of Jo Tate (DEECD Digital Learning Branch). Heather is now working on a second such project in another local school, Caledonian PS. One of the features has been opening up to a more cross curriculum focus to provide inroads for any teachers interested in incorporating Asia literacy in their classrooms.
Any schools interested in replicating this model can contact Jo Tate firstname.lastname@example.org for details and support.