Global Teacher - WEB 3.0 Community and Research Project

Archive for April, 2008

Beginning Flickr

Posted by dregan2 on 29th April 2008


Swim Carnival (Hawkesdale College P12, 2007) (c)

Flickr is one of my favorite websites on the net. It has taken my personal interests in vintage camera, digital and film photography and pushed it to new levels that I didnt even dream existed. But it is more than a mere photo album online.

Drawings, computer illustrations, video, animations, photographs and other types of media can be uploaded. It can ‘processes’ your images into several sizes that can be copied and pasted into any blog or internet forum via HTML code. You can add friends and contacts to your list, which allows you to view(via thumbnail links) five of their new uploads at a time. It also allows you to comment on their images (or anyones images for that matter) that you wish. You can join groups that allow you to ‘post’ your images into their ‘pools’ so that they are visible to an even wider audience.The groups have discussion forum pages that cover questions and answers as well as heaps of useful information regarding how to take a better image, how to use photoshop, debates about ‘issues’ affecting the group, how to repair your camera, and occasionally little competitions and ‘events’ to extend your artistic ability with the camera.

So where do we start?

I am assuming that anyone reading this has already signed up. Please resize your photos to 691 x 518 pixels in your image software. Its a good decent size and uploads quickly. To upload a photo after you have signed in, the first page you should see is your homepage on Fickr:


Go to the link I have underlined in red and click. It will then load this page:


I have a bad internet connection at home so I will show you the basic uploader, otherwise follow the link: Choose photos and videos and follow the links. It is that easy.

If your net connection is slow click : PSSST - looking for our basic uploader at the very bottom of the page. Click and it will take you here:


Click: Browse next to the first box. and find the image you want to upload. I keep a folder on my desktop specifically for Flickr uploads. After resizing I save them to the folder and find that it keeps them conveniently in the one place and easy to find. It is at this page you can set your privacy settings, and add tags. It is also possible to do this later so I tend to skip this option and go straight to the upload button. You should see this page.


When it is finished uploading you will see a page that prompts you again to give the image tags and titles (Batch organising) again I would skip this step as you can change it in the photos own page. From here if you click: You on the toolbar it will take you to your album where the image has been uploaded. Now the next installment of this blog will go into how to title, and tag your images, also how to add a description and how to find and add it to a group pool.


Posted in D Regan, Visual Art | 3 Comments »

Wow we are learning!

Posted by heatherblakey on 23rd April 2008

We think this is a great way to communicate with our parents overseas.

I think this is a great way to talk about books.

Let’s watch what our students cook at home.

Sharing science resources with other teachers.

Communicate with our sister school students and teachers.

Posted during a blogging workshop at Noble Park Secondary College.

Posted in News Features | No Comments »

Grade One Printmaking

Posted by dregan2 on 23rd April 2008

The grade ones recently learnt about printmaking with their teacher Trish. The results were so very beautiful I decided to put the work up here for all to see. The blocks were made by drawing on a type of foam very similar to meat try foam. The colour was rolled on and an impression was made. The block was washed and a new colour was added. I am constantly amazed by the artwork of little people, they work so hard and their sheer enthusiasm, joy and exuberance come shining through with wild colour and vibrant lines.

Posted in D Regan, Visual Art | 2 Comments »

Maths Challenge

Posted by brittgow on 17th April 2008

This month’s challenge is to create a container for easter eggs from an A4 sized piece of paper. The student who creates the container with the largest volume wins all the easter eggs that fit inside it. You may only use 1 sheet of A4 paper and staples or sticky tape to create your container and you must include a plan that shows how you have measured the volume. The volume of a rectangular prism (box shape) is worked out using the formula length x width x height. If you have a more complicated shape - a cylinder or a cone for example, you will need to do further research!

The challenge for April will be to estimate how many easter eggs fit into Room 4!


We have just finished first term and have two weeks break, including Easter. We managed to complete swimming sports (school and interschool), triathelon, athletic sports (junior and senior), year 7 camp, school photos and numerous assemblies during a very busy seven weeks!

This term my year 7 maths students enjoyed creating an easter egg container and measuring it’s volume.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

We have a very big backyard

Posted by murch on 16th April 2008

It is just on 7 months ago, the students and I, under Heather Blakey’s tutelage, commenced our classroom backyard blog.Yesterday, I was priveleged to present an online in-service to interested staff in Victoria. Elluminate was the software used, and this allowed audio interaction, application sharing and other collaborative work. My presentation, outlining our journey with blogging, commencing with our classroom backyard blog is shared with you in the slideshare below.

 Please note that some schools may have the slideshare site blocked.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

My Flat Classroom

Posted by murch on 12th April 2008

Lesson Plan for Tue 8th April, 2008

Topic: Oceana - Australia - our culture, country, school, town, farm

Length of lesson - 60 minutes

Class size: 110 students, several staff members!

Student asking question via skype

Time of lesson: New Brunswick 8:45am, Australia 9:45pm

Teachers involved: Jeff Whipple, Chad Ball and other interested Canadian staff; and me, Anne Mirtschin (Australia)


  • Nashwaaksis Middle School / Devon Middle School School District 18 Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and
  • the study, my home, Hawkesdale, Australia

Prior learning:

  • existing wiki, with resources set up by Chad Ball, the teacher in New Brunswick
  • questions posed by the students in reply to the message by Chad, posted on the facebook bulletin board.If any of you have a good question for our Australian webguest, please post it here. Add your name, write your question down and bring it tomorrow morning. You may have the chance to ask. See the questions.


  • skype, headphones with microphone,
  •  lots of digital images of Australia put into 4 powerpoint presentations
  • wiki setup with MS Powerpoint presentations, using slideshare to embed them into the wiki.
  • internet access
  • nerves of steel!!

Lesson Plan:

Introduction: introduce myself and my country with a map of Australia.

Lesson: Walk through the slideshares on the wiki, indicating ‘next’ so Chad and his students can be viewing the same slide as me, as I talk to these students about our culture, country, town, school and farm, stopping for questions along the way.

Conclusion: Question time for staff and students.

Teaching the New Brunswick students about Australia


Self:  There were many questions which is always a good indication. My voice broke up somewhat but overall skype and the line were okay. We dropped out once but were soon back online again. Such a powerful learning experience that textbooks can never give.

Jeff: kids loved it…isn’t skype wonderful kids couldn’t stop gabbing about presentation all day…so excited…you are so right about textbooks…primary sources  are as close as our connections to the world…current, authentic.  thanks sooo soooo much…the kids haven’t stopped talking about you, the learning, and your “funny” accent…

Chad: As it was still pretty early when we came online, the students were all pretty sleepy, but that didn’t stop them from talking about you all day! I would really like to see this communication continue, if you are interested.  How many students have you got?  Maybe we could do some type of e-penpal idea or something of that nature.  I would love to have the kids share some of their teenage lives with each other.

Part of our ‘de-brief’ when we were done was to review some of the pics and video from your website.  I also had the kids write a few quick notes to you.

  • It was incredible,
    Its just so different from what is normal here. I probably would of never found any of that out if it wasn’t for that presentation!
  • That was soo cool! it was real awesome of the cool things i (and everyone) learned, I think i’m gonna do some research on more later…
  • i really liked the fact that we were actually talking to her. not just in email. i thought all the pictures she showed were pretty sweet. also, i thought it was cool how we are used to different surroundings and habbits.. yes, we dont say put your bookbag in the boot… i still find it awsome, though. i love australia so much! (not to mention thier accents!)
  • I thought that was so cool, for anyone who missed that, I wish that they could have seen it!
  • that was an EXCELENT, presentation. I LOVED IT.
    it was very interesting, and i think that getting to learn chinese
    is a very diffrent thing then what we learn here.
  • i dont really understand why they learn chinese… i dont really think that makes much sense
  • Hi Mrs. Mirtshin
    We were just watching you video and we wanted to know what bubble taps were.
  • I really enjoyed seeing and listening to her.
    I learned a lot of new things
  • i loved her accent. when she said RIGHT-O ! hahaha !
  • Hello again..
    I jsut wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to talk to us abotu Australia. It was really interesting and i learned a lot!.
  • it was swet
    her accent was cool, but the conection kept breaking up
    but it was till sweet
  • thanks allot for sharing some of the intersting facts about were your from and for taking the time out of your day!!
  • I thought that it was great! And I love her accent. Plus, we got out of Math!!! It was really fun and I hope we can do it again.
  • Mrs.Mirtschin,
    Thank you very much for taking your time to teach us about where you live. I thought i was really interesting to learn about how different it is from here.
    thanks again !! )
  • Awesome presentation and pics. I’m gonna look up some more stuff on Australia… We should have a field trip there lol it would be fun…
  • Yeah we thoguht the presentation was cool, and the web-cam thing was a really good idea. We both learned lot’s of new things about Austrailia.
  • thank you Mrs. Mirtschin, that was really cool… and i hope that someday i will come to australia, and now that i know a little bit about australia i will be able to understand things there even more.
    for anyone who missed it, it was a very awsome presentation.
    you should have been there.
  • Thank you for teachiing me lots of things that i didnt know about Australia.
  • Thank-you for teaching us stuff… PS. Kangaroos are cute!
  • Thank you for teaching me so much about your home, Australia. I learned a lot of really cool stuff, and I hope that some day I can go there to explore for myself.
  • jsut wanted to say thanks for talking with us today and taking the time to teach us more about australia. hope you have a grate day MATE, or nignt i dont know
  • I that it was to cool that we got to talk to you this morning
    Thank you lots
  • hey mrs. mirtschin
    thanks for teaching us about australia it was fun thanks again
  • Thank you Mrs. Mirtschin for teaching us alot about Australia and what it is like to go to school there and about the farms and the sheep and everything. I enjoyed listening to you talk and asking you questions thank you for your knowledge that you shared with us.
  • thank you i learned stuff that i dident know about befor
  • i really liked the presentation you gave!!! thanks bunches
  • good stuff, cool last name
  • That was really interesting! It was pretty wicked awesome in my words. ) -lh
  • i thought that was a really interesting presentation. i can’t believe you can EAT kangaroo! gross.— emma.
    P.S- her accent is AWESOME. )
  • Lucas: thanks for doing your awesome presentation! ps: i would like to try kangaroo
    Stephen: thank you for taking your time to do that it was great!
  • Thank you very much for your time. I really enjoyed listening to your presentation. I thought it was very interesting and very well done !
  • Thank you so much for staying up late to talk to us. I thougth it was really fun and nice of you. Hopefuly we can do it again sometime!
  • Thank-you so much for staying up late and talking to us about Australia.! I learnt a lot just from that presentation. : ) . It made me want to take a trip to Australia! That would be pretty sweet .! Anyway, THANKS SO MUCHH! : )
  • Thank you for the grate moring here.
    Thank you for geting ous out of the frst 2 class of the day!
  • Thank you!
    I learned a bit from the presentation this mornig!
    I wish I could visit Australia sometime!

Dont forget to check out Jeff’s version of our flatclassroom.

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Global Projects | No Comments »

The importance of making comments on blogs

Posted by murch on 3rd April 2008

 ”A comment a day encourages bloggers to have their say.” (A quote from one of my twitter friends.)

comments on blogs

 When using online tools, the power of leaving comments when viewing other people’s work should not be overlooked. Comments can be made on blogs, podcasts at, teacher tube etc and even be added to some vokis and voicethreads.

I can still remember the excitement, when our classroom blog received its first comment. Someone was actually reading our post on the It read:-

Your “backyard” is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with the world. (Lori, California)

…and the comment was  from overseas!! How absolutely fabulous!! That was it, the posts went up regularly - all students wanted comments, so they knew they had to complete the work, write interestingly and well, add images, if possible, for added impact and there was a need to proofread.

Here are more reasons on why comment!! (taken primarily from an educational angle)

  • There is an authentic audience that is now tangible. Another memory from early this year, was hearing a simultaneous whoop of delight from my year 9/10 IT elective students when they discovered people were commenting on their posts. Now, that is a sound, we rarely hear in our traditional classrooms!!
  • Comments can be so highly motivating. There is an authentic audience and real people are reading (it is not just for an assessing classroom teacher).
  • They can lead to conversations. Students from the USA made comments on older student blogs asking for feedback on what USA was mentioned. That made my students sit down and think!!
  • Connections are made by replying to the email address that must be shown when commenting.
  • Establishes social networks The most experienced bloggers  maintain good social networks as they email replies to all comments and conversations extending the post to even greater depth and levels.
  • Teaches students and adults cybersafety techniques. Comments on most blogs require approval before they are published online, so students are taught responsibility for diagnosing and filtering appropriate material.
  • It may activate student-led learning. Comments on some student posts have aroused the curiousity of students - the location of the person making the comment, the need to research further a comment on Mt Helen’s volcanic eruption, a question that requires higher order thinking skills etc
  • An increase in personal confidence. People care about the writer and the content of the post. Further dots are appearing on their clustr maps etc. Students want to share their work and here is proof that they are - whether it be another teacher, parent friend or global visitor.
  • Encourages regular posts - which helps increase reading and writing skills
  • May drive the blogger to read the commentator’s blogs and learn about other cultures, ideals, thoughts, geographical areas and learning activities taking place in other schools around the globe.

Next time, you read a post, even if it is just a short one liner, please make a comment and it will make a big difference to the writer- whether they be experienced or inexperienced.

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Blogging | 4 Comments »