These are my notes from Carol Anne McGuire’s NECC09 presentation “Global Collaboration Buzzword or Educational Reality.” This is about Carol Anne’s project which has been running for 5 years, “Rock Our World.” I am audio recording this session and also recording with Ustream. Unfortunately the Ustream (as it did Saturday for EduBloggerCon) repeatedly disconnected, so the recordings were made in multiple pieces.

My big lesson from Rock Our World: One person CAN make a difference
– the power there is in these kinds of networks, at NECC, your local area, there is power in our networks

Video by David and Cameron Barrett
– only civilians that can dress in fire garb and take videos of burning buildings
– got a grant from someone who wanted to help RockOurWorld with a video

parent of filmmaker is showing this video to President Obama next week

project “Rock Our World” is centered on music and sharing
– every country starts a 30 second drum track, and that track rotates to another country
– then keyboard added
– then guitar track added
– strings, vocals, jazz, free choice

By the time my drums travel around the world, it has been added to multiple times by kids in different countries

Kids LOVE talking to each other over video in different countries
– asking each other questions about their countries

Stories of food exchanges, Vegemite from Australia

Carol Anne’s husband, speaking about the relationships which are created
– kids not just sharing information to learn, also to work together

Sept 2008 Rock Our World conference, John Couch VP of Apple sharing an address telling about “Rock Our World” project

What do kids really need to be learning, and how can technology be leveraged to help provide those kinds of experiences for kids

Rock Our World for the past 5 years is about learning, it is curriculum-standards based
– students in Portugal singing
– partnering with NASA, Apple, others
– started working with National Film Institute

Study for the sun, get an expert from NASA on loan for 4 months for the project
– can contact him and ask questions

Story of teacher in Israel developing relationships with teachers in Germany, in Palestine
– Israel dept of education called: You’re promoting peace in our country, how are you doing it?

Harmony is a good word to use for this project
– how children collaborate in core content areas, and in music
– brings cultures into a harmony with each other

I want my students to know harmony is possible, and it is within their hands to do it

I have shared Rock My World across states, region

We are always standards-based, we pick a central topic or theme
– we are in our 11th round
– I never thought that would be possible

Projects
– getting to know you
– resource and aid gathering and sharing (operation compassion)
– what is for lunch
– rock and soul partnering with NASA
– finding things that are common threads between these schools

Entire project culminates in a family night
– started off as a TV show
– talk about the GOOD things happening in education, what did different people learn as a result of this project, and what can they share with others
– this really solidifies the international team
– we don’t have 3 days to film all the teams
– we have 1000s of teachers following us on our Moodle site
– all our lessons we create as an international team we upload to our Moodle, so all teachers can have access to those resources
– then when we have a family night as a live webcast, any school in the world can log into that family night and connect

We have been on all 7 continents
– 1 classroom next door had just started talking about Shackleton, and Carol Anne’s students wanted to share their knowledge, their photos, and information about Antarctica
– it was because of that connection with scientists they had that knowledge

The world has changed
– we need to capture and engage our students
– in ways we didn’t used to have to do (we didn’t have TV channels like we have today, Nintendo, etc)
– as teachers we have to compete with these outside influences, we need a new hook, reading the chapter and answering the questions at the end of the chapter is not enough of a hook

When kids study today like Macy, they have TV, are online, texting, etc at the same time
– our learners are changing, the way they get information is fast
– kids are all connected and doing these wonderful things

Shift happens
– as teachers we need to make that shift to a digital age

Now daughter, Macy, is going to share some of the videos from the project which were very impactful
– New Zealand example
– solar car example: Australian summer sun was the most intense and took top honors
— our kids were checking worldwide weather during the race time
– example of video from Antarctic scientists

This project has shifted thinking about addressing racism and discrimination
– possibility, appreciation, tolerance, respect, compassion, acceptance

This is the video that was put together for Will Smith’s acceptance into the Museum of Tolerance, in cooperation with Rock Our World
– there are human dynamics/pscyhology to squash others, be cruel to others: these were addressed through the project

If you create a tolerate home, we hope our children will go out and desire a tolerant classroom, a tolerant workplace, a tolerant world

Biggest hope: people will see the potential for us to have dialog, recognize situations in a grade school classroom before it gets to the streets
– definition of tolerance

“Shine Your Light”

First connection with Peru, Carol Anne hadn’t told them they’d be talking with Will Smith

If you have the opportunity to bring the world into your classroom in any kind of way, do it
– start connecting
– start little
– start connecting with others across your district
– you will learn so much more than you ever thought you could
– we all have so much to learn from each other

We all hear a lot about education “being bad” in different places
– these stereotypes are often wrong

Audience question: where do I go to connect with other educators

Answers
ePals
Taking It Global
Global Nomads
– Magpie has lots of good videoconferencing services
Global Education Collaborative Ning

Summer technology camp called “GADGET” to get teachers inspired to get technology into the classroom

I feel like I am learning again, I feel like a brand new teachers all the time

Question: Can a PC school participate in Rock Our World?
– yes or no
– it would be difficult to do a GarageBand project

Sony has asked to partner with Rock Our World
– until a person materializes to answer PC questions, we can’t move forward with Windows-based participants

MY COMMENT: I’M THINKING WINDOWS-USERS COULD USE M-AUDIO SESSION INSTEAD OF GARAGEBAND? ROCK OUR WORLD WOULD NEED A SOFTWARE EXPERT ON SESSION THO.

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