Skype has allowed people from around the world to connect for various purposes. Be it good friends, our own families, or for job interviews, Skype has become an extremely valuable tool used by millions around the globe. The main basis of the flat classroom movement is to connect educators globally in an effort to share collaborative practices that ultimately enrich the learning experiences of our students.
Bearing this in mind, Skype has already been used quite successfully to connect classrooms from various corners of the world. Creating peer assessment opportunities in PE via Skype has been a goal of mine, but the logistics of finding other PE practitioners, the scheduling of classes, finding time to collaborate, and time zone differences can make a task such as this very difficult to get off the ground.
Through a genuinely shared interest in PYP PE, Cameron McHale, an experienced PE teacher from United Nations School in Hanoi and myself have been in communication over the past several weeks, by email, discussing the possibilities of setting up such a project. We decided the time had come for us to actually schedule our first Skype meeting to try and get this project afloat.
We will be documenting the entire process on my blog, beginning with our first meeting yesterday. If you are interested in the way this project unfolds, please check out the blog each week for new details. We feel as though it will be an excellent learning experience for the students, but also valuable professional development for us as it is the first time either of us have undertaken such an endeavor. We are confident that it will work and are willing to put in the time and effort to see it through to its completion.
Thursday, Feb. 9th Skype Meeting Summary
Grade levels and scheduling of classes:
It was determined, based on our schedules and current PE units that this project was logistically possible with grade 2 and 3 Movement Composition as Cam and I were both doing this unit with these grade levels. The scheduling of classes also suited as there was similar overlap despite the one-hour time difference.
The Assessment Task
As my grade 2 and grade 3 classes have already begun their movement composition units, Cam agreed that it was best to follow the plan that I have had in place with my students. I have already blogged about the PE/Drama integration that I am doing with grade 2. Please see following link for specific description of the task (http://www.pyppewithandy.com/2/post/2012/02/pyp-pe-pe-and-drama-integration-the-process-unfolding.html). Essentially, the summative assessment task will require the students to work in groups at creating a short routine based on the idea of the “Wind”. The students have already brainstormed many ways that the wind moves and how it sounds. These elements are expected to be infused into their routines.
The Assessment Tool
I already created a rubric based on the brainstorming sessions and ideas of my students. It was introduced to them this week. Cam will introduce the same rubric next week to his students at United Nations School of Hanoi. His students will be encouraged to add their ideas to the rubric at which time these ideas will be sent back to me. I will revise the rubric and re-introduce the enhanced version next week to my students. It will be this rubric that will be used for the Skype peer assessment summative task at the end of the unit. Rubrics will be scanned and emailed back in order to give feedback to the students.
Monday, Feb. 13th-17th students at UNIS and NIS will work on their routines. Cam’s students are a few weeks behind, but this does not create any issues as they will perform their routines on Skype to my students a couple of weeks after we do ours. By the end of next week, the final rubric will be in place.
Tuesday, Feb 21st:
Cam and I will set up Skype and be sure that everything is in place as my students will perform their final “Wind” routines from 2:00-3:00pm Nanjing time (1:00-2:00pm Hanoi time). Cam’s students will view our routines, on Skype and peer assess using the rubric which was collaboratively created by both teachers and students from UNIS and NIS.
Tuesday, March 6th:
My class will watch Cam’s grade 2 students perform their routines using the same rubric to peer assess.
We highlighted the fact that due to potentially dodgy internet connections, Skype could be disrupted. In the event that this happens, we will be recording our routines and will immediately upload them on to You Tube. Cam and his students will access our routines on You Tube and still be able to assess.
Next collaborative Skype meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 15th
On Agenda: New ideas for rubric