My head is still spinning after a fantastic day full of pedagogically challenging ideas. Congratulations and kudos to Kathy Turley, Sandy Warner, Brenton Hudson & Jodie Allsop for their efforts and organisation.
The day was divided up into 3 sessions. Selena Woodward led the first 2 sessions which left me totally exhausted physically and mentally! She began with a prezi presentation which I especially enjoyed as it is the first time I have seen one ‘in action’. The main focus of the first session was Google Earth and how to use it in the classroom to support the Geography and History curriculums. We learned how to create a tour, how to tweak the available properties, how to save it and then enjoyed sitting back and looking at the tours made by others. Writing it down like that makes it sound so straight forward and easy, yet I was totally washed out at lunch and could barely summon the energy to enjoy the delicious wraps provided!
During the 2nd session, we had planned to explore timelines, yet all agreed it was better to use the time to better master Google Earth. Right at the end of her session, Selena introduced us to AR Media Player which gave most of us our first ever opportunity to explore ‘augmented reality’. It was soooo cool. Using the ARPlayer app, we viewed this graphic
and suddenly on top of the graphic, a beautiful alfa romeo appeared.
Here is a photo of Sandy holding it!
Turns out there are a variety of options available, yet sadly none are directly authentically Indonesian however there is also an option to create your own, so that would have to be the next obvious direction worth exploring! The shark one was awesome and we discovered that once the shark image is on the screen, you can rotate the image using your fingers!
The afternoon session was led by our PEPS team fresh back from the EduTech conference and all bursting with wonderful experiences to share with us all. We began with a drawing exercise which demonstrated very well how teacher can sometimes unwittingly stiffle creativity. Next we watched a Sugata Mitra video from TedTalk (totally recommend that you google this) about his computer hole in the wall experiment which naturally would be fascinating to replicate in Indonesia! We were also given the opportunity to think about our classroom spaces and how we could improve them to further foster creativity & collaboration.
However it was the session run by our principal which really hit the spot for me. He posted a quote in last weeks staff bulletin:
which really challenged me as a language teacher. How can a language teacher not teach content? How do we develop student proficiency without teaching content? He then introduced the concept that teaching today is not about imparting information, it is all about teaching 21st Century skills.
We were then invited to look at the General Capabilities, focusing on the Key Processes. We underlined all the key processes and I ended up with a list of words like:
Focusing on these words, it became clearer for all of us that any program based on these skills would be incredibly engaging and far more relevant for todays students than purely focusing on the content. It also ties in beautifully with globalisation and creating world citizens which is what underpins the entire Australian Curriculum.
What a fantastic day and perfect timing for me, with our time spent with Andrea only a few weeks ago!