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International Education Week November 11, 2007

Posted by davidit in collaborative, Education, Education 2.0, ICT Integration, International Education Week, Web 2.0.

The coming week 12 November – 16 November is International Education Week.  I will be taking part in this week, although I suspect not in the way that the organisers wanted! I will not  be reading what Condie has to say, no surprises there to those that know me. I will be involved in two projects and indirectly with a third. 

Fostering links with other schools in different parts of the same city, country or even time zones requires dedication.  The idea of it is great and one that I am sure most of us would like to be part of, but it takes two to tango!  I have worked hard in the past to foster links with schools in different countries, but after the initial burst of enthusiasm, the links have often fizzled away.  Often, the only link with the partner school was the school name or city name being the same.  Generating a purpose for communicating and collaborating can often seem forced and without purpose or ownership, the thing it self seems pointless and worthless.  Now where have I heard that sentiment before..? 

As I said earlier it takes two to tango with these kind of relationships.  In the past I have got the distinct feeling that my enthusiasm for twinning or linking was being tolerated by the poor sap at the other end who unwittingly said yes, and in fact my enthusiasm for the project ended meaning more meant work for them.  For these links to work, what happens at either end has to be part of what each individual is doing in their class anyway. 

In the past e-mails were the easiest way for classes to communicate, but with the plethora of web 2.0 tools at our disposal communicating is much easier and therefore it is easier to find common ground now and to sustain relationships with other teachers and their classes.  And so armed with a bevvy of web 2.0 tools I shall be taking the plunge over the coming week and will get down and dirty in International Education Week.

My schedule for the week includes taking two graphics lessons with Year 4 Students in the UK on Monday and Wednesday.  I will be Skyping into their ICT lab and using Skrbl to demonstrate what tools they will need to be using, what the individual steps they need to take to ensure that they can complete the task set.  Ideally I would like to have a remote session on their network so that they can see the program being operated.  However with Skype giving images and sound and the two way nature of Skrbl I should be able to run through the basics of the program with them.  In addition to this I will be using CamStudio to record my end of the lesson, where I will also be using Inkscape locally on my machine.  The final result will be a video that I can post to the tohatoha blog so that the students can refer back to my instructions at a later date.  This is a clunky way of doing things and over time I am sure that I will find better ways of teaching remotely, but this week will prove that the concept of ‘dial an expert’ can work and once demonstrated will only get better.  After Wednesday’s lesson, I will post the link of the skrbl pad that I used to instruct the students.  I know that they are looking forward to this lesson.

The reason that this lesson can come about is because at either end of this partnership is a teacher who is passionate about integrating ICT, in its many guises, to facilitate learning for students.  International Education Week should be used for that purpose, connecting passionate like minded teachers from other parts of the world, overcoming the tyranny of distance and time to create invigorating and challenging learning  opportunities for their students.

Have fun if you are taking part, I know that I will!



1. Helen Hardie - November 12, 2007

David, Too true! We are all ( I am) really excited about this project and other people are certainly taking note of our passion for this! This is truly what an International Education should be and CAN be for our students. Here’s to a great week!

2. davidit - November 12, 2007

Helen, you and I do not need any more convincing of the power of doing this, the motivation of the students and the ease with which our students cope with having a ‘virtual’ teacher. Bring it on! May every week be an International Education Week for our students! What next?

3. rashid - November 13, 2007

David, this is rashid from skrbl. I would be happy to help in any way I can, please let me know if there is anything I can do.

4. Miguel - January 12, 2008

Hey. I saw that this postis related to International Education and I wanted to share the Educational Testing Service’s new TOEFL Tips & News feed. Since TOEFL is a test that is required by many schools for international students, I thought that it would be helpful. Here’s a link where you can subscribe to the feed: http://www.ets.org/Media/Campaign/7482/toeflrss.html.

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