On Monday 22nd April, Years 5 and 6 had a special Polycom linkup with Lismore Primary School, another small rural school, over an hour’s drive from us. Both schools had been researching Australia’s involvements in past wars. Five students spoke about a relative who had been involved in a war. As Lismore students had created a movie of some of their interviews with past war veterans, they shared the movie presentation using the Smart boards. It was wonderful to share what each school had learnt with each other.
One of our students brought along her great Grandfathers army blazer, complete with badges and medals. This was proudly shared with each class together with the accompanying story.
Students have found 11 relatives who we will find on the Honour Roll at the Australian War Memorial when the students go to Canberra later this year.
World War 2 Army Jacket
Last year, a group of 9 students volunteered for weekly lunchtime videoconference linkups with an author from New York to pursue their passion for writing. Each week they were set writing tasks. Their completed tasks were shared online with Chrisopher Herz, a New York author, using evernote. He would then look at their work, give them feedback and set further tasks.
Christophers second novel was released in December last year. On Thursday, last week, at a special lunchtime ceremony, Christopher ‘beamed’ in from New York, using skype and presented each student with a copy of this novel. (He had posted the books to our school during March.) A big thank you is extended to the parents and teachers who attended the celebration with the students. This was an exciting connection and an amazing opportunity to learn from and with an author. It is hoped that lunchtime connections will continue during late term2 and term 3. Any secondary students who wish to improve their writing skills are encouraged to attend.
Thank you so much Christopher for giving up your valuable time to work with our students!
- Students with Christopher
Veronica Woo, an innovative teacher from Malaysia, organized an extravaganza two weeks ago. The library was booked so that we could videoconference with skype using the Interactive White Board to project the web conference. A number of classes from year 6 to 11 were present – a total of more than 45 students and 6 staff members.
Year 11 students from SMJK Poi Lam School in Ipoh, Malaysia, demonstrated to and treated us with the following:-
- Malay dance performance
- Demonstration on how to play ‘congkak’
- Demonstration on how to beat the Malay drum ‘kompang’
- Brief introduction of a Malay wedding
- Demonstration on paper money-folding ( folded items are given as Bridal gifts to families concerned )
- Ended the web conference with a song!
Three of our year 6/7 students learnt how to dance the Malay Dance by following the Malay girl’s movements on screen. Most students had an Australian paper note to practise folding the paper money.
In turn, our students and staff demonstrated the following:-
- a bearded dragon lizard
- a pet colourful baby bird
- how to play Australian Rules Football (footy)
- vegemite and how to spread it on a dry biscuit
It is always great to see that the sharing of objects over the web cam, makes students overcome their shyness, as their curiousity drives them to naturally ask questions about the object.
- Student asking their question
Grade 4 after their magnificent fundraising effort for the MS readathon drew up some questions and were able to skype a person who has multiple sclerosis and ask him directly, their questions. Skype was used for its videoconferencing facilities. Here are some of their questions:-
- When did you first find out that you had MS? How old were you then? How long have you had it for?
- How did you and your family react when you found out that you had MS?
- What did Doctors do to work out that you had MS?
- What Symptoms do you have?
- Many people with MS have trouble walking. Do you have trouble?
- Do you have trouble with your eyesight?
- Have they (The symptoms) made it hard or more difficult to do everyday things?
- What do you do for work? Have you had to change things since you got MS?
- Do you have to take medication to help with your symptoms? What medication?Is your medication expensive?
What a fantastic outcome and great use of skype! Well done, Ms Vize and grade 4.