My name is Rob Sbaglia and I am the ICT coordinator at Castlemaine North
Primary School, a school of 163 students in regional Victoria, Australia. We have a strong focus on
ICT, with all our Grade 5 and 6 students having their own netbooks, as
well as desktop and netbook access throughout the rest of the school.
As a Grade 5/6 teacher, we are writing to invite your Grade 5, 6 or
year 7 students to an online discussion around the question “Will eBooks
bring about the end of traditional books?”. For Austrlian schools, the story on Behind the
News can be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s2857384.htm
Students research the topic before participating in the discussion.
The online discussion would be held between 11.30am and 1pm on Thursday,
April 15th (AET). The way we have conducted the discussion in the past is
that there is an initial Skype video link-up (you will need to create a
teacher or school Skype account if you haven't already done so - Skype
is only needed on the teacher's computer) to introduce the members of
the discussion to each other; followed by 20-25 minutes using etherpad
to discuss the topic (students are in groups of 6 that I will organise),
then a final Skype video link-up to reflect on the discussion and the
process. If you do not have 1:1 computing, you can have two students to
a computer or perhaps select a number of students who are interested in
By linking up with other schools and discussing issues with students
they have never met before, our students have widened their view of the
world, and been exposed to ideas and standards that they previously have
not been able to access. In addition, there are the numerous literacy
and communication benefits associated with the task.
If you are interested in participating, send me the names of the
students who will be a part of the discussion and I will set up the
links you require to participate.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
We look forward to seeing you online!
sbaglia.robert.r [at] edumail.vic.gov.au