I am backward mapping this blog post - starting with the end in mind!
This photo (and banner) is of some of the happy faces of students at Callaghan College and De La Salle Lipa - Philippines (on the Promethean) after the final judging of their Sustainability Project which was organised by Instructure's Deactivated user and team.
Let's back track now - last term, students at De La Salle Lipa, Callaghan College Wallsend Campus and Waratah Campus were set a challenge by Instructure and Red Agency - look at Sustainability and single use plastics, come up with solutions and alternatives. Students were grouped on Canvas with representatives from each Campus on teams. They had to research and deliver a PowerPoint based on problem solving these issues. They had to communicate and collaborate with people they didn't know, develop relationships, navigate time zones and solve a massive environmental issue.
Did I mention they are 15 years old?
All groups were judged (via speedgrader) from both the Philippines and Australia and the top ten groups completed their final presentations across video link today - presenting together in front of staff, students and parents from both countries. (Not to mention the media presence as well). We are not sure who won yet as there were so many quality presentations, however in our eyes, it doesn't matter. They all won! And so did we - the future is safe with kids like these in both countries.
As teachers - what did we do? Only provided support and set up the Canvas course. They had no time out of class. All students had to do this project above and beyond their normal studies, and they volunteered for this! It was a complete first for our College and quite frankly a fantastic start. There were times when we checked the groups and could see conferences were happening, collaborative documents were being shared and discussions were flying back and forth between countries. When we saw some of the friendships that have been developed today, and watched them present together as a team - well let's just say our hearts were full of pride. I can only imagine the joy if they all ever met in person.
Today we witnessed a technological tool support many solutions to global problems, but that didn't matter in the end - what we saw was global friendship. You just cannot buy that!