“Come to Australia”

Students in Year 5 in St Augustine’s College – Sydney, Primary School, created video advertisements to showcase Australia to would-be immigrants or visitors to Australia. This was part of their “Australian Identity”¬†interpretation of the “Multi-culturalism” component of their HSIE (Human Society and It’s Environment) syllabus study. As fortune would happen, it was the perfect project to start a connected classroom project with Van Meter School, Iowa USA.

The students in Sydney worked enthusiastically to create high quality ads to impress their new friends in the USA. Their work which had started out as another project (albeit an exciting one) for their teacher, suddenly became a real project with a real live audience who had never been to Australia but liked the idea of finding out about why they should visit. Meaningful work for the students ensured a high interest and engagement in their learning took place.

Here are the ads created by Andrew Allmarks 5A students:

5A Australia ads

5A Australia Ads in voiceThread

Meanwhile the teachers in Sydney learned how to use voiceThread as a medium to share the work with the students in Iowa. While the videos were not ready to upload for the first live chat, the interest had been generated such that the students in Iowa were keenly anticipating the viewing and commenting of them. The teachers worked frantically over the first few days of the Term 1 holidays so that the students in Iowa could view and comment on the videos in voiceThread while the students in Sydney were on their Term break. I’m sure some of the students enjoyed their break at a beach like this one advertised by Liz Armenio’s 5L students.

5L Australia ads

"Come and see Australia" ads created by Liz Armenio's 5L students

Shannon and Janelle showed the Van Meter students how to access the voiceThreads and they keenly viewed and listened to the work produced by the Sydney students. They took great pleasure in commenting on each video. When Sydney students returned after the Easter/Anzac Day holiday, they were pleasantly surprised to see how well their “Come to Australia” ads had been received by their international peers. This was an excellent example of authentic learning and assessment.

Technology was integrated easily in a way that made this project interesting and engaging throughout. Students in Iowa and Sydney willingly volunteered to go above and beyond the normal expectations of them because the learning was meaningful and authentic.

Groups involved

  • St Augustine’s College – Sydney, Primary School

    • Liam Dunphy, Teaching & Learning Technologies Coordinator
    • Andrew Allmark, Year 5 Teacher and his 5A class
    • Liz Armenio, Year 5 Teacher and her 5L class
    • Chris Egger, Year 6 Teacher and some of his 6E students
  • Van Meter Elementary School

    • Shannon Miller, Teacher/Librarian
    • Janelle Thompson, 5th Grade teacher
    • Van Meter 5th grade students

Technology used for connection

    • Skype
    • voiceThread
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