Collaboration on the fly – #NZSchoolTimelapse

Yesterday morning, with only 30 minutes before the bell went I had some students playing, and we all know that kids learn through play, on the iLapse app. A few days previous Stephen’s (@PalmyTeacher) class had time lapsed with some letters the proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and over the holidays a collection of teachers collaborated on the #NZTimeLapse project; we never talked and it was all co-ordinated through twitter and a Google Doc.Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.45.42 AM

So I sent out a tweet, sent my class off around the school to time lapse busses arriving, classes beginning and waited. Then the messages came in, a Google document to coordinate was requested and the project began.

As I post there are classes around the country, and even some distance learners through the correspondence school, trying to capture moments of their school day. Stephen’s class have already created the opening title sequence and there are already a couple of clips completed and ready to be edited together.

If this works, and I am sure that it will, there is already talk of future collaborations – pass the story, pick a path stories, retelling of stories or plays where each school takes a scene and performs it in a style of their choosing  (Much like the Star Wars Uncut project).  The big learning here is the process and connections of schools and teachers – who knows what will happen when we allow the students to take over.

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First Global Project – Travelling Rhinos

LesdieBack last towards the end of last year I saw a message on twitter asking for classes to collaborate in a project to increase the awareness of the plight of the Rhinoceros.  This South African teacher, Karen S or @ICT_Integrator, and her class had 5 Rhinos made from traditional African fabric, gave them names and sent them out into the world to different classes. Now, almost 6 months later, Lesedi (Light in Setswana) arrived in the mail.

For the past week we have learned about Rhinos; facts and figures about their life and the sad facts and figures about their rapid move towards extinction. So with these issues in our mind we decided to try and do something to make a difference.  Many ideas were raised about ways to raise money, but it was clear that money was not the issue – the issue was that people did not know that there was a problem.

Then a small child said “Why don’t we make a google form and get people to sign their name and we can put it on our blog for people to access.
Another added “…and we can tweet it out on the class Twitter and your Twitter Mr Dyer”.
Then lastly “…and Mum’s got FaceBook and she can like it on that and heaps of people will see it.”photo (14)

So through social media we made a petition and shared it (as I type this blog post we have over 300 names on the petition).  The class made a poster and shared it at assembly and we also used the school newsletter emailing list to get the link to the form out to all parents. Instantly we discovered that the local newspapers read our newsletters and we have had one reporter in already taking photos and recording the journey and another is coming in tomorrow morning.

Through participating in this project I have truly seen the power of modern technology in knocking down classroom walls and making global connections.  Karen’s aim of the project was to raise awareness of the issues and I believe that in our small way, this small rural school in the middle of nowhere has made a difference. Technology removes the barriers of distance, knocks down the borders between countries and allows for global collaboration of epic proportions.  This may be just one project, but there are many more out there and I urge you to look for one or begin your own.

If you have not added your name to the petition do so now and if you have thank you.

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Click on the image to view the petition

Collaboration across cyber space

Through Twitter connections a few NZ  educators have been playing with various timelapse recording devices.  Some high tech and expensive, some still high tech, but just filmed on a mobile phone with a free app.  So, here is a representation of Autumn across New Zealand as taken my a handful of Kiwis and put together by @Dakinane under the hashtag of #NZTimeLapse.

Enjoy.

Luke

PS: I has the Otago part 🙂

Technology – Create, not stagnate

On the news last week there was a fantastic sensationalist piece on the 7pm curent affairs news bagging technology and our children’s addiction to it.  It was the holidays, it was a high interest topic and there were some key points, but their solution of take away the technology irked me, as it did nothing to address the issue of children sitting all day long with eyes glued to screens and just brushed it under the carpet.Canon_310XL_Super_8_camera

Do not get me wrong, I feel that there is a place for Angry Birds and Temple Run and other such games, but iPods, iPads and Android devices offer so much more. Hence my new catch phrase with mobile technology…

Create, not Stagnate.

In my class of 25 seven and eight year olds over 75% have an iPod or iPad of their own at home, so I simply thought “What would a bored Peter Jackson have done in the school holidays if his first camera was an iPod not a Super 8?”.

Using a couple of Apps that cost me less than $10NZ I set out to see how much fun I could have with Lego, 20 minutes and an iPad (since discovered that all of it could be created on an iPod or iPhone as well).

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1.  In Action Movie, choose the effect and Film, then save to camera roll.

2.  Open Gun Movie FX and import previous clip from the camera roll. Add Laser or Gun effects to the clip and then, once again, save to Camera Roll.4

3.  Open iMove and, surprise, import from Camera Roll. Edit clip, add sound track, dub in voices, clip and move all the files around until you have it just right.

4.  Finally, upload your final product to Vimeo or YouTube.

Now is that not a better way for you or your child to spend an hour.  Do not take away the technology, just use it in a creative and collaborative way.

In 5 minutes I had this uploaded to Vimeo…

7 second Tutu from Dukelyer on Vimeo.

And in 25 Minutes I had this uploaded to Vimeo…

Should Be Working from Dukelyer on Vimeo.

So what could your children come up with in an afternoon?

Collaboration through connections made on Twitter

Collaboration through twitter has been a fantastic learning curve for my classroom and I over the past year. I recognise all tweets as being a collaboration with either a specific or unidentified audience, but sometimes it becomes a bit more.

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Initially there is that tweet to share a resource or idea, followed by the tweet to find or answer a question. A step further you have that focused conversation around a prearranged topic and set of questions followed by those interested with a Hashtag; I find this a great way to find like minded educators or education heroes that inspire you.

Next step in conecting is that project like Quadblogging or the Travelling Rhino, which is about to visit my classroom next term. These projects really provide the opportunities for classes or teachers to connect.  A shared purpose and goal with the connectivity or modern technology means that distance or time zone is no longer an interference to connecting nationally or globally.

Last year through a blog share we connected with a class in Hamilton through Skype.  Although in the same country our lives were so different. We shared our skis and ski boots with them, they showed us how they could do 180 spin jumps of wooden blocks and then discussed the issues with having a giraffe as a class pet. The connection was not great internet wise, but the connection of thoughts and ideas was beyond worth – my children could not understand that there were people in the world that could not ski, let alone had never seen snow.

The last collaboration that I have discovered through Twitter is Friendship, people who you may never have met, but you build a professional relationship first, then relationship of trust and if you are lucky enough a friendship.  Then I have discovered that when you go to a course or conference you always seem to know someone in the room and the conversations are much longer than 140 characters.

Below is a collaboration between 4 teachers using time lapse technology; 8:30 until 9am on the same day all over New Zealand.  We hope to create another with more participants later in the month.

#NZTimeLapseProject

The timelapse was co-ordinated by @Dakinane and has footage from @Dakinane @Zoopita @MsBeeNZ & @Dukelyer