Your Name and Title: Robert Sbaglia
School or Organization Name: Castlemaine North Primary School
Co-Presenter Name(s): Simone Uren
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Australia
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): School leaders and teachers of students from ages 7 to 14
Short Session Description (one line): Connecting students across and beyond schools - lowering the barrier to international collaboration
Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
This presentation will outline how Castlemaine North Primary School uses technology to connect students across schools internationally and to experts beyond the school system. This presentation will focus on existing and potential opportunities for international collaboration presented by our links across and beyond schools.
Students are also linked across schools through involvement in blogging communities such as the "Writers' Club" which allows the students to have an international audience for their writing. The goal of these communities is to create ongoing relationships with schools in addition to one-off special programs that exist to link schools across the globe. The Writers' Club features projects within the site, including quadblogging. Currently there are nineteen schools from six nations who use the site to varying degrees.
Students are connected beyond schools to a team of 'virtual experts' who use our blogging site, private messaging, forums and video conferencing to support our students in their individual inquiries. At present, our students call on the virtual assistance of real-life scientists, engineers, filmmakers, graphic artists, biomechanists and historians from around the country and world to help their work go beyond the knowledge of their teacher. We are working towards extending the Writers' Club concept to a similar community based around science, where students can not only collaborate internationally, but also connect with our existing experts to work in a way that represents the present reality of scientific collaboration.