Having used elluminate for 12 months for regular global staff meetings, online conferences and online professional development, it has only been this year, that I have used it with students and realised its potential application for being the way to go for 21st century education for middle to senior school students.
Various benefactor organizations, and the Victorian Education and Early Childhood Department, Australia, have sponsored a 12 week program for bringing music to three or four remote, rural schools.
Ajax McKerrall, a former digital productions manager, for the London Symphony Orchestra, organized an individual member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to come into our classroom, via elluminate, to teach us about their instruments. They play short pieces, demonstrate the key elements or physics of the instruments, and answer questions from the students. The MSO instrumentalists are with Ajax in a radio studio (3MBS) in Melbourne which is a 3 1/2 drive from Melbourne and then proceed to record short music clips which are uploaded onto the shared Ping music blog.
My 28 students year 7 students, (all in the one class) then grab and download the clips that they would like to use, add them to audacity and make up their own musical stories, which in turn are uploaded back onto the Ping blog. I have found this to be an extremely effective means of teaching. It took a while for them to adjust to this environment cf my year 9/10 students who were straight into it, but after three weeks, you could have head a pin drop as students listened intently and worked the chat to the full. They eventually, place any technical issues into the chat so it all become online. See a mid- project reflective movie on the project

Why is it effective?
- students have their own personal space and enjoy working in this, appears to be more personalized. (It was suggested that we all watch the one screen via and IWB or data projector and then go back to our desktops and netbooks to finish the practical side, but I perservered with individual computers and that approach is so superior)
-students are able to interact in real time with the lesson and they are no longer passive listeners. They use chat, emoticons, etc and offer feedback to the musicians as they are playing. (This must be wonderful for the musicians as usually people simply clap at the end of the performance with no real idea as to what they enjoyed or did not enjoy). (We have had to set up a code of conduct for the chat though, after a number of issues.)
--students can ask questions at any stage and these questions will be answered
-they immediately tell you if they do not understand (something I do not get so readily from each classmember in a normal classroom) I feel this is one of an online classroom's biggest advantages. Students have the chance and feel comfortable with expressing their opinions and needs.
As such, I am using elluminate more and more with all types of classes. For revision with my year 12 students as their exams loom. This is mainly in the evenings. To be able to teach two subjects at once (year 11 and 12 accounting) and attempting to give each group special and meaningful tuition) We have recently demonstrated the use of elluminate and Ping to our Minister for Education who was also in Melbourne,whilst the students were back in the country! Elluminate has also been used for students summits to summarise student reflections on the flatclassroom projects.

Hints for successful use of elluminate in intitial phases (with students)
-remove all private messaging priveleges.
-go through the code of conduct with chat
-disable chat if they misbehave
-for serious issues, place offenders in timeout room, this soon brings them all into behaving
-ALWAYS, always just have a couple of lessons to let them play with all the tools ie whiteboard etc before you start in earnest. Students love to fiddle and that whiteboard is so tempting.
-be extremely organised with lots of imagery, use ppt slides etc as there needs to be a lot happening to keep students
engaged.-take screen shots.
-get students to put together some ppt slides and talk to them
-ensure the school's firewall does not prevent the use of elluminate, and that java can be enabled.
-Use polls, take snapshots etc.
-Allow use of microphone when confident
-Learn how to test the audio and mic options as these sometimes need to be tweaked.
-Use video camera option if necessary.
Where I will go from here
-increase my usage of elluminate
-seek out guest expert speakers who might come into my classroom remotely. eg authors, accountants, museum officials etc.
-spend time putting together lessons in MS Powerpoint etc
-keep trying to get aspects of elluminate working at school eg the webtour will not work due to restrictions.
-the presenter's voice must tell the story with as much emotion as possible, as the usual body language in a classroom is not so well seen.
-if the presenter is online or from a distant location, two way video is important so that they can see what the class is up to and see the body language of the class. (this is an issue I am still working on as my setup is extremely primitive).
-get the students to run some classes
-work globally in such a classroom
nb Our education dept have purchased a license with elluminate, so it is free for me to use at the moment. Otherwise it would be too expensive.

Views: 1879

Tags: 21s_centur_education, elluminate, elluminate_in_education

Comment by Richard D. Solomon, Ph.D. on June 4, 2009 at 9:33am
Can you do video conferencing with Elluminate?

Comment by Tammy Moore on June 4, 2009 at 3:09pm
True video conferencing is a new option at Elluminate - separate service.
Comment by Richard D. Solomon, Ph.D. on June 12, 2009 at 11:53am

What do I need to do to learn how to do video conferencing with Elluminate?

Thank you.

Comment by Monica on November 12, 2009 at 1:22am
that's great use of Elluminate Anne. I've begun using it with my techie kids (ICT Club) in Years 5/6 at Mansfield PS. We've only had a couple of goes in there so far but the kids have been amazing. Some playing with the tools of course was needed to get rid of the 'sillies' but they really loved the challenge of needing to communicate effectively in an online environment. we are planning some more collaborative work with some other schools next year. Cheers, Mon
Comment by john box on September 3, 2010 at 8:42pm
Hi all. I usually teach at footscray city college in melbourne but am currently on leave and am teaching in kobe, japan. A colleague in melbourne and i are very keen to set up an elluminate link between japan and australia. We both have the support of our respective schools. What do you guys think is the best way forward? Any ideas would be much appreciated.
Regards, john.
Comment by Anne Mirtschin on September 4, 2010 at 5:02pm
Okay, John, what year levels are you teaching. I am in a prep to year 12 school. If you could let me know what year levels could be involved or if you had access to a year 9 or 10 class as that is my IT year level class, we could try and start something now. I have access to an ellumintate room and have already linked up with a Malaysian class in real time, but then my timetable changed. I have my students Tuesday morning (which would be too early) and Friday at 11:15am Aus time and another class on Wed afternoon, 1:45pm Aus time.
Comment by john box on September 4, 2010 at 9:07pm
Hi anne. Thanks for the reply. This is great! I teach years 7 8 and 9 here. In japanese schools, september is dedicated to sports and cultural festivals, and there will be some approval red tape to wade through, so could we aim to connect in october/november? What school are you at? My school here is yumeno junior highschool, kobe city, japan. Anything i could do in the mean time in prepartion? Our timetable here can be flexible.
Would love to bring my melb school footscray city college in too. Very exciting! This will be a first in kobe city jhs education if it comes off.
Cheers, john.
Comment by john box on September 5, 2010 at 8:46am
Hi. Me again. Anne, would it be possible to arrange a test run between your class and myself to make sure it all works at this end?. I'd also like to show my principal what elluminate is all about.
Comment by Anne Mirtschin on September 5, 2010 at 3:36pm
Ok, if it could be done on Thursday this week or next 1:45 - 2:30pm or Wed next week (not this one as we have parent teacher interviews) anytime from 1:45 to 3:15 pm my time (we are gmt+10). I have a small manageable year 11 IT class then. If that is no good it could also be Friday morning this week or next 11:15am to 1:00pm my time. We only have 2 weeks of term 3 left and then go on two weeks holidays.
Let me know
Comment by john box on September 6, 2010 at 12:58am
Thanks anne. Will get back to you with a time asap.


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