During October and November ACG School in Jakarta and our school, Cranbrook Junior School in Sydney exchanged soft toys. ACG sent us down an orangutan and we sent them a koala.
We were able to exchange information, ideas, share photos, post blogs create technology presentations and communicate between the classes.
We started a blog and several webpages using Weebly
. This online tool has a really simple interface and allows both blogging and web page creation. The webparts are great with a range of simple - text and image - as well as multimedia options - eg video, .swf, google maps etc. Students and teachers can also use other web 2.0 tools to create media for the site. For example one student used the Trading Card creator
on Flickr toys
to create a fact card about organutans. We also created an animoto video
of photos taken during the exchange and posted it to the site as well.
We set up a number of pages and all teachers involved in the programme had access to the site. Teachers entered the data after group discussion, posted up the photos etc and generally ran the site. The students posted comments to the blog pages. It is also possible to students to write blog posts and add to the pages themselves once teachers have logged in.
We divided the site into several sections. Being PYP schools we chose pages that reflected the transdisciplinary themes.
Who we are;
Contained information about the classes involved, as well as the animals. Students researched information about organutans and koalas and helped compile a fact file for each animal.
Where we are in place and time:
As a group, classes researched information about their own city (Jakarta / Sydney). We also included a google map showing where our school was.
How we express ourselves:
Students wrote letters, poems and drew pictures which were scanned and included on this page. One student who is particularly artistic created a little animation (using 2animate) and we uploaded it as a .swf file.
We also included photos galleries which were the best way to document our time with the animals.
Students each had a turn in taking the animals home, they were introduced in school assemblies and attended excursions as well as taking part in day to day school activities.
Our children learnt a lot about each other, they had an online experience, and showed action in their eagerness to participate online in their own time - leaving comments, creating stories and drawings and researching.
A highlight was receiving postcards by snail mail from the other school. At the end of the exchange, which is this week, both animals will be posted home with some sourvenirs of their stay for the students in the other class.
This was a highly successful exchange - using an old idea but updating it to 21st century technology - We will definitely repeat it next year.
You can visit our Weebly at : http://bearexchange.weebly.com