April 22, 2009

Earth Day - part two

Earth Day has been a busy day for me. A lot of excitement. I managed to organize two events for my students.

I joined the Learntrends online conversation with a small group of students. I was excited and happy to show to my students how to communicate in Elluminate, I wanted them to meet other people from all over the world on this special day and I wanted them to meet the Webheads, too. The Webheads in Action group is the group that I am very proud to be a member of.
This joining the conversation in Elluminate did not go withouot problems. A few of the computers at school didn't work as we wanted and students kept loosing connection, had to log out and in again. Fortunately, I had my laptop and brougth an additional school laptop and we had headsets that worked on them, all other computers had speakers only.
Eager to participate, we decided to use voice right away even if it wasn't time yet for our Webheads Earthcasts. The voice worked too well, but with an echo (from other computers' speakers). I managed to say hello and who we were. We continued listening, agreeing how to mute other computers when in a quarter of an hour we start communicating in voice with other Webheads and their students.
My students were excited to see that there were people there from Australia, Taiwan, Pakistan, the USA, Portugal,...they were happy to chat in text, but I wanted them to use voice,too. Unfortunately, every time we tried to join in voice, our microphone wasn't working. People couldn't hear us. We were a bit sad, kept trying till we had to leave because it was time for other classes.
When I later talked to the students about the event, I found out that although they were unable to use voice, they were very excited to have been a part of the such a nice international event and hoped I'd organize more similar sessions for them in the future.
Two hours later another group of students, mostly those interested in American Studies, but also a few who wanted to learn more about green projects, joined me at the American Corner of the Public Library B. Ogrizović, where The Embassy of the USA organized a very interesting digital video conference with a professor in Pennsylvania, us in Zagreb and the third group - students from Zadar, Croatia. Prof. Pallant from Allegheny College, Pennsylvania, talked to students about green architecture. I had thought that was an interesting topic, but what I learned and saw in that presentation exceeded my expectations. I must admit that I had no idea many of the mentioned possibilities existed. I had never even thought about different uses for the roof of the building, different possibilities of heating, to mention only some. Fascinating. The language prof. Pallant used was easy to follow and the students enjoyed. I was very happy that I brought them. Of course, as always, I was thankful to the people from the Library and the Embassy who organized the event so well.

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