Busy Tuesday part1

Its been a busy Tuesday …

These are a few images that I asked Val to take of me in operation today.

This is an author vist to schools doing writing workshops 21st century style. I was working with five schools in two sessions (hi to the smiling kids at Tamworth, Franklin, Bonshaw, Sandon and Wakool Public Schools). There are cameras set up in the schools (front and back of the room), a ceiling anchored microphone, large television monitors and also interative white boards (IWBs). And just like a normal workshop kids come armed with pens and papers and lots of questions.

I was running a writing workshop to tie in with e:lit’s Special Forever project. My presentation was on the IWB in Sydney and at the same time it was being viewed in the schools that I was working with. And as you can see in some of the images, I can write on the IWB and the students write back — just as if I was in the classroom with them! This is way cool fun … especially at the end of the session when the kids start writing messages back to me!!! Of course what was written on the IWB in one school was also seen on the IWB in all the schools that I was working with so the board can get a tad cluttered until I pressed the eraser icon! On the television screen I can see the actual kids in the classroom – so I can even identify who I am chatting with (“the wriggler in the second row” etc). The classes all (usually) appear in small images on the screen while the actual class answering questions or responding to me is the larger image on the screen. And of course on their home screens the kids are seeing me talking to them (or the other classes) all the time. I can watch them write, listen to their comments, and respond with suggestions … one student even held his work up to the camera to show me what he had written! Absolutely terrific.
This is so fantastic – especially for those small schools who can’t get to see authors and illustrators normally because they are just tooooo far away! It is heaps of fun! And for me, because I am not right in front of the kids I was talking louder than normal until I realised – so the voice was a little sore for the rest of the day!! Hopefully I will get to see examples of the writing later on down the track. It seems really effective. Feed back so far is that the kids and the teachers absolutely love this!

One Response to Busy Tuesday part1

  1. Hi Chris

    What a fabulous use of technology! I love the idea that for a relatively low cost (certainly compared to the cost of an author tour to all those schools) these kids are NOT missing out just because they live in regional or remote areas. Your willing embrace of the technology (a skype call to the Lady Cutler for heavens sake!) and willingness to share it with others is lifeblood.

    Clare McKenzie (ex CBCA!)

    The Family Librarian May 21, 2010 at 11:05 am Reply

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