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Episode five transcript

The Virtual Staffroom Podcast

Episode 5: The road to EduTECH

 

Joachim Cohen:

Welcome to The Virtual Staffroom. A podcast made for teachers by teachers and all with a dash of educational technology thrown in. My name is Joachim Cohen, your host, and the school's technology innovation lead with the Technology For Learning team here at the New South Wales Department of Education. In other words, that means I have the best job in the world. And today I'm joined by not just one, but two members of the Technology For Learning team Yvette and Linda. Yvette is the acclaimed author of the Puppy Diaries. But did you know she's also an English teacher and a Google certified innovator? Yvette, did I hear the latest issue of magazine.T4L is out in the new stands?

Yvette Poshoglian:

You did indeed. It's a bumper double issue. I'm so glad you asked me Joe. This issue we are covering presentation tools. It's very cool. And we also have a double edition where we're celebrating our all star schools out there. So, check it out.

Joachim Cohen:

It is so worth a read. We're also joined today by Linda, and Linda is the person you need to know if you want STEM in your school. Linda is Waitara Public School alumni, but now as the brains and the brawn behind the stem.T4L program empowering schools across the state.

Linda Lazenby:

Hi Joe, what an intro? Hi, Yvette.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Hi, Linda.                                   

Joachim Cohen:

So, what's in store today? Well, if you listen before you know we have tried to divide this podcast up like your school day. We start the day with assembly where we recount some stories from the week that have caught our eye. Make our way to roll call where we share just the most gleaning ed tech resources and professional learning. Catch up with a special guest over lunch. And I can tell you, we're heading deep out into the West of New South Wales today. We are going on an adventure, and we'll discover a story that will warm your heart, and that's a story there. Then we'll answer your questions in playground duty, and wrap it up with something left field in car park chat. But before we get started, how did everyone go I wonder with their homework, did you explore something in AR, Yvette, Linda?

Linda Lazenby:

I did Joe, and Yvette. I found something really clever called Vivino. It's an app about wine-

Joachim Cohen: What?

Linda Lazenby:

... and it's the right time of the term. I know it's maybe not educational, but you scan your bottle of wine and it gives you ratings and reviews. And some restaurants you can scan the whole menu and it kind of selects the wine that you normally drink. Very clever, very clever use of AI, but not educational. Sorry.

Joachim Cohen:

It's just like AR and AI combined into a one. Blows my mind.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Unreal. Joe, now five minutes ago you showed me this awesome Dragonfly AR. Can you please explain a bit more for everyone?

Joachim Cohen:

It is exactly... That is everyone's homework from last week. Dive into the Google search engine and search Dragonfly. Yvette did it.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yeah, I've done it. And you know what's interesting it's where you can just pull an object out of Google Chrome, and then walk it around your reality. It's got me thinking particularly in the English vein as everything does about narrative, and how you could walk students or characters through an AR world and how you could place a potential character that you might create in 3D, and placing it into an AR world. So, it's got me thinking actually about nonlinear narratives. I know it is blowing my mind.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, my God. We haven't even started the podcast today, people, and we're already exploring so much. So, the Zoom call is about to begin. Brightcove live streaming is going to commence. Yes, the assembly in 2020 might not only be physical, but also virtual, but no matter what, it's time to share stories of ed tech awesome that make us just go, wow. Now, listeners, if you're wondering what I'm meaning about Brightcove or Zoom, you need to tune in to episode three of our podcast, where we unpack virtual celebration with guests from around the state and the world. It's definitely worth a listen. Linda, I think you've donned the scuba suit today to discover a treasure.

Linda Lazenby:

Something like that, Joe. So, I've got a resource that really I think is exciting for schools to use. It's the Artificial Reef Project. So, we've talked before here about sustainability and students having authentic things to do to deal with the world's problems. And one of the UN's development global goals, Life Below Water is what this project is all about. And some very dear friends of mine, Professor Booth and Gigi Beretta have put together thye're marine biologists, and they've built an artificial reef just by the opera house in Sydney Harbour.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Mmm.

Linda Lazenby:

Yep. So they've put these great teaching and learning resources together to allow teachers to use. There's 3D modeling in there, there's 360 degree footage in there of how they can create a better

environment for fish life or marine life. They've also used some great indigenous STEM practices to have it really authentic and make it as real as they possibly can. So, there's great teacher resources there for stage two, three, and four, cross KLA really engaging interactive resources. So, I would really recommend people jump in there. It's a really nice project.

Joachim Cohen:

This is awesome because it's a real linking back to that education week theme, which was deep blue, where students thought about the oceans, and how they could do things to help preserve them. This is a really awesome project that's close to a lot of our students being in Sydney Harbour.

Linda Lazenby:

Yeah, absolutely. And for those that aren't close, the resources there are great enough that you could be involved.

Joachim Cohen:

That is fantastic, isn't it?

Yvette Poshoglian:

Cool.

Joachim Cohen:

So, Yvette, what's caught your eye this week?

Yvette Poshoglian:

I've got a slightly different tack. It's getting back to the skills of not only what we want our students to have, but also what we want our teachers to really develop as well. And it's the idea of entrepreneurship, and it's to do with our senior pathways team who are working with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship to develop some PL around entrepreneurism. I hope that's okay. I'm going to keep going. So, there's some pilot teachers undergoing this program, and they're putting together some great ideas for entrepreneurship, but it got me thinking as well, particularly with STEM and with our senior students, we're often getting them to prototype apps or develop their ideas and take them into a business model.

Yvette Poshoglian:

So, I think that's not only fantastic that our teachers are developing their ideas and modeling stuff for the students to eventually look at, but also for us to keep growing and learning and thinking about actually how we can take our ideas to the next level. Whether it's to do with a KLA or whether it's to do with a great business idea. So, I'm going to be interested to keep track of that project and I'll update you as we go along.

Linda Lazenby:

And is there some things in there where classroom teachers can build some of that into their classroom practice as well?

Yvette Poshoglian:

Ultimately, that's what they're working towards. It's still in the pilot phase, but I thought it was a cool project. There's a lot of interesting things that teachers are undertaking at the moment out there.

Joachim Cohen:

That's really interesting. That whole idea of entrepreneurship is something we totally need to be building in everyone. And we're seeing it during the period at the moment where we saw some unemployment figures which were released, which were actually going down a lot, and they were associated with the fact that people were actually just getting innovative and starting their own businesses.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Well, how many people do we know in this period of time who've started a side hustle. Some of the side hustles are overtaking the real hustles or it's a great outlet. We haven't really had the chance. I mean, not teachers per se, but whether it's our students or our grandparents who are moving into entrepreneurship. I mean, there's never been a better time than 2020 to try something new.

Linda Lazenby:

2020 has given us time. We're not socializing. We're not going and doing travel. So, that's where the time comes into it..

Joachim Cohen:

Thanks Linda.

Linda Lazenby:

Sorry.

Joachim Cohen:

No, I'm just going to say so many teachers have got great ideas that we want to see them scale. So it's really awesome. I think this is a great initiative, and I do have a great idea. I've got something great that I found as well. I can tell you, it was along that AI route when you were talking earlier today, Linda. And it was about how we can maybe trick AI and how AI maybe isn't all that smart. So, I found this article. It was called These Students Figured Out Their Tests Were Graded By AI and the Easy Way To Cheat because there were some students, and what they did is they responded to these quizzes and they suddenly got their mark back and it was 50%. They didn't get anywhere near what they thought they would. And the mark came back almost instantaneously. And it was actually one of the parents who twigged and went, "Oh, the teacher probably isn't marking that quiz quite so fast."

Joachim Cohen:

So, they played and I think they called it Word Salad with the AI. So, they answered with a bit of a sentence and then they just chucked in lots of words that they thought would be related to the question, and related to the topic. So, if you're talking about artificial intelligence, for example, you might put down AI, computers, data, technology spreadsheets, and just lay them down. Suddenly they were getting 100% on their exam.

Yvette Poshoglian:

I'd say they deserve that!

Linda Lazenby:

That's innovation. That's tantamount to when I try and outsmart the chat bots where I give it all the information in the first query. So, I applaud that actually.

Joachim Cohen:

But it really made me think that AI is smart, but actually it's only as smart. Smart as the data that we put into it. And we have to be careful of that. And I have to be mindful of that because it's still biased as a result of it. We think that computers aren't, and they're just very generic in how they respond to input that we put in. But actually they've been programmed by someone. So they're as biased as the information that's been put in there. So, yeah, really..

Yvette Poshoglian:

How interesting.

Joachim Cohen:

... eye opening article. Yeah, absolutely. Wow. We have certainly gone around the traps today, but I can tell you what we're running out of time. Linda Lazenby.

Linda Lazenby:

Oh, hi.

Joachim Cohen:

Yvette Poshoglian.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Hello.

Joachim Cohen:

You meant to say present.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Oh, present. Here.

Joachim Cohen:

Yep. We are at roll call and my co-presenters have not caught onto my lark, as you could tell, but that does not matter as we're ready and here to explore and help you navigate the most awesome resources in professional learning. Yvette, have you found something for our listeners this week?

Yvette Poshoglian:

Three of the most important syllables of you working life, EduTECH. Okay? You're going to hear that quite a lot from us!. EduTECH is the biggest virtual education conference in the southern hemisphere, and it's always huge. And the DoE involvement this year is entirely virtual. So, we will be actually

broadcasting some special editions live from EduTECH, and the program is coming together. There's a wonderful range of guest speakers, great topics that are being covered. But most importantly, the DoE is going to have its own virtual stream of PL.

Joachim Cohen:

Let's get digital, I think it's called.

Yvette Poshoglian:

It is.

Joachim Cohen:

How exciting.

Yvette Poshoglian:

It is.

Joachim Cohen:

Yes.

Yvette Poshoglian:

So, Joe, can you tell us a little bit about the panels which are coming up as well, which will really are the benchmark of this program?

Joachim Cohen:

I can tell you one of the panelists is actually in the room with us here today. And that's Linda Lazenby.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Linda, tell us a little bit more.

Joachim Cohen:

So, absolutely.

Linda Lazenby:

Well, I haven't seen it yet. I've only been in. It was a bit... I think the joy of those panels was that the cross section of people that we had on both. So, it was really extraordinary.

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely, hearing from the voice of schools, which is the one that Linda was a part of. We've got educators from around the state. And we've also got a really great panel on New South Wales, what our digital direction is going to be.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yep, I think that will be very, very interesting for people to tune into, but there's going to be a huge array of information sessions, but super engaging stuff. We've got the zoo. We've got

Linda Lazenby:

The STEM team.

Joachim Cohen:

PDHPE faculty, yes, STEM team, English faculty, the Arts unit, yeah, Taronga Zoo, DART. Oh, my gosh. And then there's all the international speakers as well. So, Marc Prensky, we've got Pasi Sahlberg, there's so many people. I'm so excited, and you know what, I think we've even got a special edition of the podcast that we're going to line up.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yes. We do. I know.

Joachim Cohen:

It's going to be fantastic. Those three syllables, EduTECH.

Yvette Poshoglian:

That's right.

Joachim Cohen:

Exactly.

Yvette Poshoglian:

So, 9th to 10th of November this year. So, make sure you look into registering for your tickets really, really soon.

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely. It's a great deal out there for New South Wales educators, 10 free tickets for every New South Wales public school. Head to the T4L website for all the details. Don't miss it. Make sure you use up all of those 10 free tickets for your school.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Right. Joe, what have you been looking into this week?

Joachim Cohen:

Well, this week I've actually found a really cool study, a really exciting research report. Now, a lot of people might be going, okay, Joe, who commissioned this report? Yes, it was commissioned by the Lego Foundation. So, you can take it with a little bit of skepticism maybe, but I really liked the messages that came out. It was called Children Technology and Play, and it's all... It went into two countries, so South Africa and the UK, and it was looking at the skills and knowledge that students develop when they play with technology, which I thought, "Oh, that's actually something that's really close to my heart,"

because I'm a firm believer in what the study found, which is that it builds imagination, inspires creative thinking, problem solving, those kinds of skills.

Joachim Cohen:

But we can often think that play with technology, what's the output from it? But wow, think about the amazing music that people could create, the stories that they could write. Like you were talking about before, Yvette, by creating those multimodal narratives, simulations, experiences. There's so much you can do with technology. And the report goes into unpacking a lot of those and all the skills that they were building and also focused on the fact that yes, sometimes you need to give students a little bit of help to understand technology. So, like a guided play, but then you can also allow free play. Just put the iPad in the dress up box and see what they actually do. And I think that's really cool and really, really exciting to see what happens. So, yeah, I also like that.

Yvette Poshoglian:

I think as adults we really lose that. I mean, I will say that joining the T4L team, there is a lot of that involved and you get to really stretch your brain and play. And a lot of our PL is really about that. So, you need to check out what we're running at the moment because it encourages that thought, and those ideas that you just run with. And so often as adults, we just don't do that. We don't invest. We don't lose ourselves in the imagination.

Linda Lazenby:

And I think it's a great article, Joe, to call out for teachers that have potentially liked to have all the control and all the knowledge before anything goes in front of the kids. I like that guided discovery. Teachers sit back, let the kids do what they want, and see where they go with it. But a really great article to share with teachers that might be a bit hesitant.

Joachim Cohen:

Exactly. Right. And it's about being a co-learner, I think, as you're saying with the students as well, because you can... Even if you might know something about it, you can do a bit of pretending. And then who knows where the students will take you as well. So, enough from me though. Linda, did you discover anything?

Linda Lazenby:

I did. I listened to a great podcast this week, but I think this is professional learning for parents and school communities and teachers. It was the marvelous Maggie Dent, who is a parenting specialist. She's got a podcast called Parental As Anything. And I think I might've mentioned I have three primary school aged children. So, this is very front of mind for me, but this episode was on kids and online gaming. So, she had Brad Marshall who's clinical director of the Internet Addiction Clinic just in Sydney. And he talked through some of the impacts that gaming is having on young people's lives and what parents can do. And I also took it as what teachers can do, what things you need to be aware of when you look at what are they doing on the device, and do you look at... They talked about looking at the quality of what they're doing rather than the length of time, I think.

Linda Lazenby:

For parents and teachers, for a long time we've looked at what are the screen times of how long should a four year old be on a screen or a 10 year old. But they're talking much more now about what they're doing and what is the quality of what they're doing. And also whether it's having an impact on their other fundamental needs. Are they doing less socializing as a result of gaming? Are they doing less family time? Are they doing less imaginative play or outdoor time? So, it was a really great episode just really on what we can do as parents and educators to make sure we're really allowing our kids to explore gaming in a way that's going to set them up for success.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Pertinent questions, really.

Joachim Cohen:

I think that resource that Linda's found, and the one from Lego, it's like they-

Linda Lazenby:

There's correlations.

Joachim Cohen:

... almost come from different angles, but they come to the same point.

Linda Lazenby:

Yes. And anything Maggie Dent says, I will always believe. So, I would really recommend you listen to it.

Joachim Cohen:

I don't know who she is.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Joe and I don't have kids. Can you tell?

Joachim Cohen:

That's what it is.

Yvette Poshoglian:

We're just big kids.

Joachim Cohen:

Yes, exactly. All right. You know what guys, my tummy is rumbling. And so, I think it's time for lunch. Now, it is lunchtime. We're not lucky enough to be in Korea, where you get your KFC, Korean fried chicken where the Mad for Garlic restaurants. Yes, they do have amazing fried chicken there have launched autonomous waiters in the name of COVID-19. They have 3D mapping built in, obstacle avoidance, and they are self driving capable

Linda Lazenby:

Sometimes I think you just live in the wrong country.

Yvette Poshoglian:

I know. I'm not worried about the autonomous waiters. I'm thinking of the restaurant that's called Mad for Garlic. What kind of a restaurant is that?

Linda Lazenby:

Not for date night.

Yvette Poshoglian:

No.

Joachim Cohen:

Maybe it's all in the translation. I'm just not sure.

Linda Lazenby:

Sorry, Joe.

Joachim Cohen:

But I think that we should be telling our students to think about this. They should create one of these autonomous robots. Absolutely. But all of his talk of KFC, it's just got to stop because we need to meet our special guest. Today, we are lucky enough to be joined by someone we all three here admire greatly. And that is an inspirational leader of learning and teaching at Wilcannia Central School, Sarah Donnelley. Now, the T4L team connected with Sarah around about 12 months ago at EduTECH 2019, where we were inspired by her story and her determination. And it started a journey for us all. So, with EduTECH 2020, the virtual conference, almost here, we thought it only fitting to reconnect with Sarah. And so, it gives all of us great pleasure to welcome Sarah Donnelley, acting Deputy Principal from Wilcannia Central School to The Virtual Staffroom.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Hey, Sarah. It's Yvette here. I'm wondering for our listeners. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and about Wilcannia, and how did it all begin for you?

Sarah Donnelley:

Hi, Yvette, thanks so much for having me today. I am Sarah Donnelley. So, I'm currently acting deputy principal here at Wilcannia Central School. I am originally from Sydney. I grew up in Bronte, so I'm an ocean lover, and had a really strong connection with Aboriginal students and their families and the communities that I worked with in and around the Eastern suburbs, and also parts of Redfern. So, I felt pretty strongly that I really wanted to go and live and work in a predominantly Aboriginal community, and a job at Wilcannia Central School popped up, caught my eye, and I made the 11 to 12 hour journey out West to Wilcannia and have not looked back since.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Had you ever-

Sarah Donnelley:

I'm so privileged.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Had you ever been there before, Sarah?

Sarah Donnelley:

I hadn't. I heard different things about it, but I'd never been probably further west than Dubbo to be honest. So, it was the first time to come out and start at the beginning of last year.

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely. I'm just so excited to hear you tell our listeners a little bit about your experiences at EduTECH 2019 and inspire them to maybe think about going this year. So, if you could tell us what did you find about the conference and what opportunities did it provide and what did it spark back out at Wilcannia?

Sarah Donnelley:

Absolutely, Joe. So, Wilcannia is a remote town for those of you who don't know much about it on the Darling River, and the Barkindji people are the traditional owners. So, as I mentioned, we're about 12 hours away. We're two hours away from Broken Hill. That's where I do my supermarket grocery shopping and about two, and a half hours from Cobar. So, we are isolated in a way, but so well connected in many other ways. So, the rich cultural connection that you have in a place like this, being a part of a small town, it's a really special experience to be here. But as someone who came from working in a metropolitan school, when I arrived it really became apparent to me the kind of disconnect that people in smaller remote schools might feel, and might experience. And professional learning, you don't have that luxury of popping to the school down the road that's doing something amazing, and pushing new things in their field.

Sarah Donnelley:

And so, I started looking at different conferences and things that I'd always dreamt of going to, and EduTECH was pretty high on the list. And I have to say that coming to a place like this schools are really supportive and department is really supportive of you taking those opportunities. So, I was privileged enough in my school to support me going back to Sydney, going to EduTECH. And it really changed my... I guess it changed my outlook arriving in the big city at that conference from a remote school. It opened different conversations with people. And I really came at the conference through a lens of wanting to form connections that I could share with my staff. And that would then better the experience of our students out here.

Sarah Donnelley:

So, the fact of being able to go and listen to incredible speakers, but most importantly being able to network with some of the round table discussions to share ideas with colleagues who sit with people who like me had traveled from far and wide, but also to create connections with a city coastal metropolitan schools that we could then work with. And then on top of that to then go into the exhibition hall section, which is where I then made my connections. I met Joe and some of the T4L team and the rest is history, really. It was just the opening or the doorway through a professional partnership

that has really enabled us to open lots of options for our school here in Wilcannia, and to share it with other schools in the area.

Linda Lazenby:

It's such a great story, Sarah. So, we talked about a few weeks ago about your inspirational video from little things, big things grow that you worked on in term two. Do you want to share with us some of the inspirational stories of digital learning at Wilcannia?

Sarah Donnelley:

Absolutely. So, we have a wide range of students and families, and when COVID-19 first hit and we had to move to home learning and digital learning a lot of our students didn't have access to internet in the same way that others might. So, we were determined not to let that lessen the experience or put a stop to continuity of learning. And we had to think outside the box a little bit with our digital learning, but we decided to turn to platforms that we already use with our families and that we already use to connect with our students. So, the video that you're mentioning was a project that we ran in partnership, I guess, with the local radio station. So every day our teachers were going to the local radio station and were actually interviewing and talking about the learning activities for the day. And we were delivering home learning packs to go with them.

Sarah Donnelley:

Part of that also was we wanted to have a bit of an interactive singing lesson and I teach music to the kids each week and I wasn't able to do that while we were away. So we wanted to create a video that would show students and their families that although we were all at home, we were still very much connected and that we were thinking of everyone. And then we decided to put a song out through the radio station that kids could then use their parent's phones to send us selfie videos of them singing along that we put together all in a video to keep us all connected. And that also linked to the fact that we use Facebook as a platform to connect with our families. Most of our families rely on credit for internet access at home. So using something like Facebook as a platform to share information, to send videos, to share learning activities, that was our main form of digital learning.

Yvette Poshoglian:

It's pretty amazing what's possible, Sarah in times of change and under stewardship like yours as well. I think it's such an interesting project that has incredible ramifications for other schools to maybe think about working with stakeholders like radio stations or with the families and really building on those community links. I think your particular example is just so fascinating and absolutely going to inspire loads of other teachers and communities of schools out there. Congratulations on that. As you know, EduTECH is going online this year, and we're sad not to see you this year. But I'm wondering, I know that it will be a virtual event this year, so we'll be a little bit different to what we've had in the past, but do you have any advice around what those attendees should be looking for online or what they could think about while they're signing up? Even though it is digital, there still will be loads to look at. Have you got any basic advice? I know that you enjoyed the mixing socially, and getting around to see the exhibitors, but in terms of professional learning, what opportunities do you think are out there?

Sarah Donnelley:

So, I have to say in our setting we are so used here at Wilcannia Central School. We are so used to online learning as adults and professional learning experiences. So, one thing I would say is that when a lot of

colleagues started moving to online learning and having to think about that platform for professional learning, and that was a channel change. For us, that was just kind of the norm. And you really do get used to it and start to recognize the amazing opportunities that you can still have through that kind of online learning conference setting.

Sarah Donnelley:

I think the big thing for me about EduTECH was the wide range of different things that I was able to experience or see. EduTECH isn't just about what's moving forward in coding or learning design. It really does provide opportunities to engage or listen to inspirational people just across all sectors of education, which rather if a primary person it's really interesting to learn about secondary. If you're in early education, there's so much value in hearing inspirational stories of the other end of the learning journey. And I think for me, that's what it is to look at it, to open your eyes and to really look for different experiences. And then think about reflecting on how that connects to what I'm doing, the context that I'm in, and where I want to head in my educational journey.

Joachim Cohen:

That is the best advice I've heard. And I think when I met you, Sarah, I really was blown away by your out of the box thinking, by how completely determined you were. I think you spoke of that. You were so determined to get an opportunity when you came to EduTECH, and just determined and driven to support the students in your community, which blew us away. And that just even gives me renewed vigor for the types of sessions that I'll be thinking about selecting when I go to EduTECH. But we wanted to finish with something exciting because we... You might've heard of this podcast called Desert Island Discs where you have to choose the CDs old fashioned that you would take with you if you were left on a desert island. But we here at the Virtual Staffroom, we play something called Rocket Ship Robots. So, it is what robot, or what piece of tech would you take with you if you found yourself on your way to outer space? So, what would it be?

Sarah Donnelley:

That is a fantastic question. If I found myself on the way to outer space.

Joachim Cohen:

It's a tough one. Exactly. And we're putting you on the spot here. I think, Yvette, what did you have?

Yvette Poshoglian:

I had robot baristas to start with because coffee is very important even going into space, but it could be something small. It could be something big.

Linda Lazenby:

Sarah, I wanted to take my phone so I could download all of the Spotify catalog and listen to it with no internet.

Joachim Cohen:

It was the internet you wanted, Linda. Linda Lazenby:

I really did want that as well.

Joachim Cohen:

I don't think you can fit that in your suitcase. Sorry, Sarah, what's it going to be?

Sarah Donnelley:

Do you know what? I think if that was me heading out to space I love reading and I love songwriting. So, I think that my technology would either have to be something that I could read to keep me entertained all the way to space and to continue learning because I'm a lifelong learner, a lover of learning and being interested about different things happening. And I like learning about where I'm headed. So, it might have to be something about the place that I'm visiting in space or something to record thoughts or ideas or brainstorming tool. Perhaps an iPad with my Apple pen, so that as I was thinking and reflecting all of that would be recorded.

Linda Lazenby:

That's awesome.

Joachim Cohen:

That is the best.

Linda Lazenby:

Well played, Sarah. Well played.

Joachim Cohen:

Look, we encourage every one of our listeners out there to go and take a listen to that amazing video that you created to go and look up Wilcannia Central School and see some of the awesome things on your website. We wish we'd asked you to bring your guitar to today's podcast. I can tell you to hear your beautiful voice, and lovely song, but we really want to thank you for your time, and for everything you do for the community out at Wilcannia. You not only inspire them, but you inspire us. So thank you very much, and thanks for joining us on The Virtual Staffroom.

Linda Lazenby:

Thanks, Sarah.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Thank you.

Sarah Donnelley:

Thanks so much for having me guys. Can I make one final plug before we go?

Joachim Cohen: Of course.

Sarah Donnelley:

I just like to encourage anyone that is listening to this, thinking about maybe taking themselves on a journey to a rural or remote school in New South Wales, do it and jump in with both feet. It's the most amazing experience. And really it just opens so many possibilities, so many opportunities. It's the best thing I've ever done. And I would strongly encourage anyone to give it a go. So, connected community schools, working with Aboriginal communities in particular, but get out, get to rural remote. We need you. And you won't regret it.

Linda Lazenby:

What a plug.

Joachim Cohen:

Absolutely.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Thanks Sarah.

Linda Lazenby:

We love you, Sarah.

Joachim Cohen:

Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah Donnelley:

Bye.

Joachim Cohen:

It's now time for the most challenging time of the day. It's playground duty, and boy, do we have a tough question today? Linda and Yvette, I hope you have done your research for this one. Now the question this week comes through our trawling of social media to find out what people are talking about, and the challenges that they are experiencing. And this week it's all about connecting parents and community members with things going on at school. So, it might be an art exhibition, an assembly or more. So, what do we have up our sleeve to help them, Linda?

Linda Lazenby:

Well, people are thinking outside the box about having community members come into school virtually. So, our stem.T4L kit is a great place to start if you've got a filming kit, if you've got any of our 360 degree cameras. I know that Tea Gardens Public School did a school tour using their 360 degree cameras, which is fantastic. And Cumberland High School have used similar technology to create a cluster of schools and the primary schools that feed into them. So, use the kits that you have in your school, and if you need more help with how to use it to create something, reach out to your STEM leader.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Great advice.

Linda Lazenby:

I always do.

Joachim Cohen:

That is fantastic advice. Me too. Exactly.

Linda Lazenby:

What have you got, Joe? What's your advice?

Joachim Cohen:

Well, look, there's actually something that's just recently been published called the Virtual Celebrations Toolkit created by lots of different teams from across the department to help schools out for just this purpose. So, it's perfect. And the one story that I think resonated with me, or there were two. One of them was on using Brightcove, which is a great platform open to all New South Wales Department of Education schools. But Brightcove is just a little bit like Facebook... Oh, sorry. Not Facebook, YouTube. Yeah, a different version of YouTube, and the principal, Clint White from Sylvania Heights Public School ran people through how to use it and his experiences.

Joachim Cohen:

And I remember, it was on our podcast as well that he talked it and that was episode three, people, where he said it's as simple as one, two, three, to basically record your footage using your iPhone, download it to your computer to edit it, and then upload it to Brightcove, so it's available for your community. And I thought that is awesome. And the second little mini one is using a tool like Zoom. We saw Nim Weerakon from Billabong High School talk about her amazing experience of connecting everyone in their school-

Linda Lazenby:

With the disco.

Joachim Cohen:

Yes. It was amazing, and so simple. So, check out the Virtual Celebrations Toolkit, Yvette.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Yeah, cool. Joe, actually, one thing in the Celebrations Toolkit that I really enjoyed was a particular example of pulling together a school band performance from Hornsby North Public School and the amazing music director-

Linda Lazenby:

Lachlan Hamilton.

Yvette Poshoglian:

... music director, Lachlan Hamilton, managed to stitch together all of the pieces and the parts being played by students individually at home. And it was just brilliant what he's been able to do. And he shares his story and advice as well in the toolkit. So, as a musical person, a music lover, I think you'll love

that sample. Other great things that are showcased as well in the toolkit things like virtual art exhibitions, which some schools were already doing well before we changed into what in and out of online learning. And it's just a great way to showcase art even by year. So I know Summer Hill Public School have just launched their virtual art show. Baulkham Hills North Public School have literally done one by class. So, you can go in and check out every single class' virtual art exhibition. And we know that there's a couple of high schools out there behind the scenes at the moment working on their senior works, their HSC works that will be releasing virtually once the students complete their works and have them marked. So, yeah, I just love that idea.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, my gosh. We have given such amazing answers if I don't say so myself, so please make sure you check those ones out and keep your questions coming in. We want some tough ones that we have to really go and research.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Not too tough.

Joachim Cohen:

No too tough. You're right. We might just leave those ones aside, but no, we want all your tough questions and we will aim to answer them in this session of the podcast. So, I can see you both looking at your watches. Yvette's just picked up her phone, but I think we can just squeeze in some time in the car park to chat all things we have been loving. Whilst you're thinking I am going to kick it off. And there is no one aviation reference in this podcast.

Yvette Poshoglian:

What have we done wrong, Linda?

Joachim Cohen:

Except for the word aviation that I just mentioned. However, what I found this time is something called Storelift and it is a really cool thing. They're launching these autonomous convenience stores that are encased in shipping containers. Okay? So, it's in a shipping container for a reason because they want to make it mobile. And I saw another version of this actually being used in Scandinavia where a lot of the times in the remote communities they don't have access to a shop or the shops closed down. And so, what they do is these shipping containers are put in different communities and there might be one person that actually fills up the shipping container in maybe four or five communities, but the shops are left without an attendee or without a shop assistant.

Yvette Poshoglian:

It's like a large vending machine?

Joachim Cohen:

Like a large vending machine, but it's so smart because when you walk into the vending machine, there's cameras everywhere, and it's a bit Big Brother like, but it can actually tell because you go in, you scan something, so it knows who you are. But then he can tell when you pick something up off the shelf, it

actually puts it into your wallet. But if you put it back on the shelf against you just looking at it, it takes it away,

Linda Lazenby:

That's Coles needed, their self checkout.

Joachim Cohen:

It is. Exactly.

Linda Lazenby:

That's amazing, Joe.

Joachim Cohen:

It is so cool. So, I really liked that. That was blowing my mind. I'm just starting to think about how we can transform it into the school canteen. That's my next job.

Linda Lazenby:

Yeah.

Joachim Cohen:

So, Linda.

Linda Lazenby:

So, this week I watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix. I don't know if either of you actually seen it yet. I know Jacob our producer said he had. It's a really interesting piece. It's got some key players from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, heaps of different platforms and the ex-staff that have worked on those platforms. And they're talking through the algorithms they created to get us engaged/addicted/everything. And it's so interesting. It talks about the way they've designed things for that instant gratification that we're after and the way that we stay on a phone and just keep scrolling down the rabbit hole, and the fact that they're targeting what they're doing to make us just keep sitting there. It was absolutely fascinating. There was a really interesting piece in there about some of these high flying CEOs and how they're addicted to their email. And they really, and truly can't go any more than a few minutes without checking their emails. It was really fascinating. So, turn all your notifications off is I think the advice from-

Yvette Poshoglian:

It's fascinating because-

Linda Lazenby:

But I would recommend you watch it.

Yvette Poshoglian:

I mean, that's really scary, but at the same time, we all know that the thing we need to do before we go to sleep each night is to turn the devices off and get the blue light screens out of our space, but do any

of us actually do that? I really would love to know that. Mine is a little smaller scale and it all came down to being out in the country. A few weeks ago, I went to a lovely little town called Borenore which is just outside of Orange. And basically if you look up at night, it is pretty amazing. And it's not just because we spoke to Professor Lisa Harvey Smith last week.

Yvette Poshoglian:

I genuinely wanted to know a little bit more about the stars and the sky I was looking at. And Joe, this is where we come back to the AI, AR stuff that we were supposed to do our homework on. And there was an app that I use called SkyView Lite. It's free. There is a more heavy duty version, but basically if you just hold your phone up to the stars, it draws the constellations together. And I actually had never understood how stars worked and how the images of Gemini or Pisces came together. And if you literally just hold it up to the stars, it shows those images. So, look, it also shows other bright objects in the sky, even satellite stations, satellites that are moving across or the International Space Station. So, guys go to the country and look up. It's amazing.

Joachim Cohen:

This is amazing. I always remember it's something I did with my dad is go outside and start to look up at the stars. And he always had to point out all those different things. And I know now I look back now, "Oh, I can't remember." So something like that I think, and if you use it with maybe young children and other things like that it will really be a memory that sticks with them because the stars are such a wonder, and we're all under that one and same load of stars no matter where we are in the world. It's a really awesome thing to connect people up with at the moment. So what a lovely app, Yvette. So, when I'm doing with my Flight Radar and looking at the aeroplane I can

Yvette Poshoglian:

Oh, hang on.

Yvette Poshoglian:

He just snuck that in.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, look at that.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Can't help himself.

Joachim Cohen:

Oh, now, don't tune out. We still have one more little gem to share with you. We've got to give you your homework. Now, last week, it was all the fun about AR. This week it's medicine. Okay.. So I've been doing some reading and found that there's eight bad habits that are destroying your PC. So, what are you not allowed to do? You're not allowed to leave it on the covers. So, it isn't a laptop, so don't put it on your lap or on the covers. You leave it on the table because it needs to have lots of air around it to keep nice and cool. Don't rest your tea or coffee on your laptop. It doesn't like it. Especially when water starts to get in there. Now who's played Frisbee with their computing, and just get home, oh, chuck it on the bed.

Linda Lazenby:

I don't know why you're doing at home, Joe. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Joachim Cohen:

I might've done it once or twice, but I won't be doing it anymore.

Linda Lazenby:

No, mines fallen off quite a few surfaces. I think it's got the same effect.

Joachim Cohen:

Exactly. But you could be ruining your solid state drives by doing that. I know that sounds... I actually don't know what that is.

Yvette Poshoglian:

What is a solid state drive?

Joachim Cohen:

I'm not sure.

Yvette Poshoglian:

It's terrifying.

Linda Lazenby:

It sounds terrible.

Joachim Cohen:

Yes. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they're the ones that don't, but I'm sure that's it. Now, this is the biggest myth. I thought you had to let your computer drain. Don't, make sure it's always plugged in and you don't let it drain out. Okay. So, that was a really, it's like shallow discharging. So, you can do that. I know, but I might be wrong, but that's what the article told me. So make sure you give your PC a clean this weekend, and also make sure that you get rid of those bad habits. Don't forget, we're not tech experts. We are teachers. So, don't take tech advice from us. Make sure you go and read that article and then always make sure you revisit and check the product manual and manufacturer's guidelines so that you are doing the right thing to keep you and your machine safe. Yvette and Linda, it has been a pleasure.

Yvette Poshoglian:

Real cracker this episode, loved it.

Joachim Cohen:

It has been some amazing stories, and this podcast has been produced by the masterful Jacob Druce with the assistance and the supreme coordination of the entire T4L team. But before we go, please make sure you send us through your comments, your questions for playground duty, and your thoughts for new guests and segments. And if you liked the podcast, give us a rating, so more and more educators find us and be inspired to get a little techie in the classroom. Stay compassionate, everyone. Thanks for joining us.