Friday, December 2, 2011

Career Day 2011

We had career day again today. I like career day, so that students can listen and talk to people from various careers that they might be interested in. This year when had someone from Nursing, Chemical Engineering, Monash Universtiy, Taylor's University, Social Media, Architecture, and Design Media. I was super excited this year because my brother spoke to my students. Not only did he speak, he did his presentation via Skype. This was a huge step for our school. There is resistance to technology being used. I think that it can be a good thing and ever since I went to the Learning 2.011 Teacher's Conference I have been trying to incoporate it more. Last week my 8th grade students skyped with a couple students from a school in Melbourne, Australia. Anyway, getting back to career day, this year has been very crazy, busy, stressful. We didn't get as early of a start on getting people for today. Many of the people we asked were busy today. I kept thinking that I would like to ask my Mom, who is a Graduate Gemologist, or my brother who is a Design Media person to speak. Of course, they are in America and that is not an easy thing to do. Finally I brought it up to the Director of Studies that I thought my brother would be great, and I thought maybe we could do it via Skype. At first, he was worried about technology not working. I assured him that I would have a back up plan if it didn't work. He finally decided that yes, we should give it a try. After that I had to call my brother to ask him if he was available, and to work out a few of the details with the time difference. We then, e-mailed this week about what he wanted on his biodata sheet for his introduction, some websites he wanted to share, and a couple brochures. We did a practice Skype session earlier in the week to make sure that we could project him up on the wall and that we could hear him. It worked pretty well. Today came and I was super excited but also nervous about the technology working. I wanted it to work, so that it was successful and we could do this again, and do other things in the future with technology and skype. I was also picture taker for the yearbook, as the school camera doesn't really work and no one else remembers to bring theirs. The speaker before my brother ran late, since the bus driver had been late so we didn't get things set up as early as I had hoped. We set up two laptops with two projectors. We had one for projecting my brother onto the wall. The other we set up to show the brochures and websites. Luckily we were able to rent another projector as we had only two and that wasn't enough. Also, two of the other speakers at the same time as my brother brought their own laptop and projectors, so that helped. It would not have worked as well with one laptop and projector.  I also brought my laptop and Ipad as the screen for projecting things is kind of in the corner and I wasn't sure how well students could see it and my brother. I placed the laptop and Ipad in front of two different groups so they also had it close in front of them.


The first group was the high school. It worked pretty well. There were a few times he cut out on the audio, so I had to ask him to repeat himself. They had a couple questions for him. We also ran over since we started late, so he had to cut his presentation short. The second group was the middle school. That presentation was great. There were no glitches or cut outs at all. We could hear him really well. They were really excited. My brother also did better on his presentation since he had run through it once already. It was smoother in transitions, but both were excellent. One student couldn't believe that my brother was actually live and talking to them. They wanted to know what time it was there. One of my students want to ask him about some of the things I had told them about from when we were younger to see if they were true. My brother told them that yes, those things were true. At the end one of the students presented my brother with his Thank you gift/token of appreciation. That is my favorite picture that I took of my student holding the gift up to the computer screen and my brother reaching his hands out like he is grabbing it. The students were like how is he going to get it. I told them that when I saw our Dad over Christmas since our Mom and my brother can't come that I will send it back with our Dad. Some of the younger boys were jealous at some of the perks that my brother told them about for his job. Most of the students were excited that he likes their football (soccer) teams. I can tell this is something they are going to talk about for a long time. They were talking about how exciting it was and that the students who didn't go had missed out. This is probably something that will end up in the yearbook too. I am going to have the students blog about it next week, hopefully.


At the end of the day the Director of Studies thought that it went really well and he is glad that we tried it. He would like to know why it cut out a few times the first session but maybe it was because of the rush of setting up and trying to open the websites on the other computer. The second time they were already open so there was no need for them to load. We don't have a super great connection if more than one person is on the internet at the same time. He thinks that this is something that can be done next year and perhaps we can do skype for other things. I told him that I would like to see if I could set up skype sessions with authors to help get our students more excited about reading. He thought that would be a good idea. I am very glad that most of our people were in person, but I think that if there is a career where there isn't really a representation in our town that doing Skype can be a good thing. I hope that we do continue to incorporate things like this into what we do, as it is a great world out there with lots of resources and people. In today's society we have the ability to connect with people from all over that can help expand our knowledge, so we should take advantage of it.


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