A Challenge to all Youth to Join Us!

Our class worked with a class from Orillia to create the following video about palm oil and the Earthwatchers program. We decided as a large group (using Polycom for video conference, todaysmeet for an online chat and a google doc to consolidate) our essential research questions and then worked in small groups to complete our part. Part of the process was a critical response from our peers. We provided effective feedback to help our peers improve.

Tools for creating video clips, images, animations and audio recordings were chosen based on what we had access to and what made sense. Surprisingly, each group ended up using different tools, apps and programs.

Some students used class iPads and their animation apps. One group used an app that I have never used before to draw stop motion images on the iPad. One student brought in her Wacom tablet to draw her animated character for use in Frames (which she downloaded a trial version for use on her own laptop). Yet another group got to play with play dough. For background music, one student brought in his guitar and recorded some tunes using the iPad app GarageBand. The group who used an iPad to record a news report made great use out of some giant retort stands we had in class as an iPad stand.

Thanks for joining us on this adventure Ms. Duncan’s class from Orillia! The songs made for this video are amazing!

Grade 7 8 10 Palm Oil Video from Jac Calder on Vimeo.

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Our First Video Conference

Friday we had our first real video conference. We tried on thursday, but ran into some technical difficulties. 🙂 We had two schools join us. They are from Orillia and Victoria Harbour. We had students in our class who had graduated from Couchiching Heights and from Victoria Harbour, so it was great to reconnect with old friends. We also realized that the grade 8 class from Victoria Harbour that we met will be mostly joining us at MSS next year as grade 9 students. It will be nice to get to know them throughout this year.

Unfortunately, this video conference was pretty much led by the teacher – to set up the project. We reviewed the situation of deforestation in Borneo and introduced the Earthwatchers Program. Most video conferences we do this year will be more student-led, but right now we are still getting used to the technology.

After our video conference, our class went to the computer lab where each student got to login and look at their land in Borneo. Each student is now responsible for working with youth all over the world to monitor land in Borneo for deforestation. As we monitor it with new satellite and radar images we will “alert” the Eco-Warriors in Borneo if we think that there may be some deforestation in our areas. This is a true, real project. We have the ability, when working together with youth from all over the world to affect real change. The land is too big for one person to monitor, but when we break it up into smaller chunks and each monitor our small piece, it becomes manageable. We also look at the land others have alerted and then look at the satellite and radar images ourselves and see if we agree or disagree with their decision (land ok/alert for deforestation).

In the computer lab we each found our piece of land and got to check it out. Many of our land parcels are close to each other. FUN! Next week we will be doing online discussions with all three classes about our land.

You can find  Ms. Duncans class from Couchiching Heights online here: http://marciduncan.edublogs.org

Deforestation in Borneo – studying the situation

Our class is looking at deforestation in Borneo and how it impacts climate change. To get started we used our newly acquired knowledge of creative commons to create this voicethread. Students worked in small groups with a variety of devices (an iPad per group or shared between two groups and some groups also used their own iPod touches, blackberry’s, playbook, iPhones, netbooks). They found images that were licensed with creative commons, edited their photos to include the attribution and then uploaded the image to the voicethread.


Visitors to our blog: Please comment in the comments area for this post. We based our research questions on the video posted in a previous post (Willie Smits TED Talk). Do you have any other questions?  Please note that comments may take some time to show up on the blog because they are moderated (have to be approved by me).