The students initially connected via Lync video conferencing, to have the Ormiston students explain the Photo Essay task to them. Lync was very successful for this connection as the girls could connect seamlessly with another class and communicate with them in class time, without the complications of signing them up to other online accounts.
The Ormiston student tutorials were created using Office Mix. This was very engaging due to the inclusion of webcam videos in the presentation and including other interactive content as well as the use of the stylus pen for annotation in the presentation. The Abbotsleigh students taught material they had not seen previously, and they loved learning from other students. Abbotsleigh girls then worked on the project, taking photos based and writing justifications on the ideas they heard and learnt from the OfficeMix presentations and using scaffolds provided.
Students then shared their project via OneNote in Office 365. The Ormiston students gave the Abbotsleigh girls feedback on their Photo Essays in the OneNote, that was extremely beneficial for the girls to receive. The Abbotsleigh class also provided feedback to the Ormiston students on their teaching materials. It was an empowering and enjoyable process for the students.
It was a fantastic opportunity to explore how we can go beyond the classroom walls. Students loved creating content for an authentic audience and giving and receiving feedback. It was a great first step towards a transformation project using Lync and online collaboration using Office 365 to transform long distance connections between students and collaborative learning.
See Tamara's video on this project here