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Anne Mirtschin and Lorraine Leo - Teaching and Learning Across the Globe

Anne Mirtschin and Lorraine Leo - Teaching and Learning Across the Globe

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Published by Classroom 2.0 Book
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project

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Published by: Classroom 2.0 Book on Jul 16, 2012
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Teaching and Learning Across the Globe
Anne Mirtschin and Lorraine Leo
Creative Commons License:
Author contact:
Author Biography:
Lorraine Leo is a technologyteacher in Jackson School in Newton, MA. Sheserves on the National Scholastic Teacher’s Advisory Board for Scholastic.com. Anne Mirtschin is Australian teacher who currently teaches Information andCommunications Technology from prep through to year12.. She is also the host of TechTalk Tuesdays and eT@lking.
Activity Summary
Both teachers’ classes have been successfully connected in both synchronous and asynchronoustimes. A variety of tools have been used for connecting and collaborating. From simple emailing of images for classroom use, collaborative voicethreads, google docs, videoconferencing etc throughto the empowering and challenging virtual classroom (DiscoverE and Blackboard Collaborate) wherestudents have shared their festivals, passions, location etc in real time. These virtual classroomshave included a blend of different age groups, from 5 to 86 year olds, a mix of educational tiers egstudents, teachers, university professors, research scientists, pre-service teachers and a mix of 
participants from up to ve continents in one classroom.
Class or subject area: Cross Curricular Grade level(s):
Year 3 and beyond to adults
Specic learning objectives: (adpated from the ISTE NETS standards for students)
Use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively on a global scale,to support individual learning
Contribute to the learning of others
Connect, interact, collaborate and publish with global peers, experts and general communitymembers, including family.
Use a variety of media and digital environments to connect, communicate and create.
Share learning spaces
Communicate information and ideas effectively to a variety of digital audiences using a variety of media and formats
Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners from other cultures.
Contribute to project teams to produce original works.
Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.
Stories from our eClassrooms
The Vendee Globe Voyage of USA Skipper Rich Wilson 2008-9
This was one of our rst major collaborative projects which involved
a number of synchronous and asynchronous connections. Lorraine’sclass was following and connecting with Rich Wilson prior to andduring the Vendee Globe race. Hawkesdale students were alsoinvited to participate. Before Rich sailed solo around the world, heconsulted with us via skype to discuss the format of the sitesALIVE!website which was to be used for updates and communicationwhilst at sea. Lorraine also presented a DiscoverE webcast aboutthe sitesALIVE! voyage program to Australian grade 5 students.Throughout the race students from both schools sent questions toRich via the siteALIVE! website. These questions were answeredduring the race and whilst at sea.Collaborative voicethreads were created and used before the start of the race “Good Luck”, atChristmas time “Holiday Greetings” and at the end of the race “Congratulations”Cover It Live! was used for live blogging at the start of therace in France. Vincent Mespoulet from France interpretedthe French TV broadcast, images were shared and Anne,especially was kept up to date on how it looked. Anne’sbandwidth access was too slow to be able to view the livestreaming from France. Teachers from USA, Taiwan, Italy,Santa Maria Island in the Azores, Spain, and Australia wereable to ask direct questions.See the Coverit Live blog. http://earth.edublogs.org/2010/10/23/cover-it-live-archive/ (Password vg)
have been a popular tool and used for asynchronous connections. Here are someexamples:
1. Questions for year
Hawkesdale Students from Jackson Second Graders The second gradestudents created an image, uploaded it to the voicethreadand asked a question. Year 7 Hawkesdale students thenreplied answering their questions.
2. Favourite Place
- Fifth graders in Jackson and Hawkesdaleyear 9/10 students discussed their favourite places.
Google Documents
Lorraine organised two contacts to present to the year 9/10 ICT Australian students, on their experiences as volunteer workersin the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. A shared googledocument, was setup for students to ask questions while thecontacts were in Haiti. When they returned from Haiti, Leogane, Haiti, Newton, MA Hawkesdale,Victoria they presented a slideshow to Anne Mirtschin’s students in the DiscoverE virtual classroom.View the classroom recording. http://www.jacksonschool.org/webcasts/webcast201011211806/
Webcasts have been a rm favourite for connecting classes and educators. These have included
Jackson student presentations on-1. Fourth of July2. Halloween3. Festivals4. Where we live etc As a primary source of information about their country, the students are empowered and engaged,by being the native experts, able to answer questions unique to their country or community.Webconferencing gives every participant a voice and student/teachers readily ask lots of questions inthe chat.
: Lorraine and Anne have taught each other’s classes....
Expert speakers in the virtual classroom
Jean Pennycook, a teacher working with Dr. David Ainley, a research scientist stationed in Antarctica,spoke to the whole Hawkesdale P12 College school. Australian students were spread across anumber of classrooms and were able to give questions to their teacher who keyed them into the chat.These questions were promptly answered. A number of Lorraine’s students were also present, aswere the software developers of DiscoverE and interested educationalists from several continents.
Learning about the eye in a global classroom
In this exciting linkup, an optician taught a global classroom of gifted students - one from Jacksonschool, USA, two from China, two from Thailand and one from Hawkesdale, Australia. The other 

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