New Project: Travelling Rhinos Project – Save Our Rhinos!

Photo taken by K. Stadler – July 2012

In November last year I launched a new Global Classroom Project at school and it went national and global on 7 December.

Inspired by this photo that I took of five rhinos drinking in unison at a waterhole in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, in July, I had five small rhino soft toys made out of genuine African fabric (one side shweshwe and the other an African print). Each rhino was given a truly African name (through a competition amongst our students). These rhinos are on their way to classrooms far and wide – one to South African Schools and then into Africa, one to Australia and New Zealand, one to Canada and America, one to America and South America and one to Europe and Asia. Through global connections I have made in the Global Classroom Project and via Twitter, I have sourced schools to send the rhinos to and currently have 35 classes signed up for the project which will run until December this year, or longer. (It is similar to a Flat Stanley project, but this time with Travelling Rhinos).

Each class will host the rhinos for a week or two and in that time the teacher is asked to educate the students about the rhino situation (in the world, but especially SA), they are asked to dispel the myth that rhino horn is medicine and then they are asked to get their children to contribute to a class page in a wiki that I have created (I have put together information they can use and provided websites for more information). They can write letters of appeal/make videos/do art work – anything which gives the children a voice in the fight against rhino poaching. They are then asked to send the rhino on to another class in their country. Of course they must also document the visit with photos and we will track each rhino’s journey on a Google map. The rhinos will travel for the whole year (or more).

The motivation behind my project is to educate and to use the children’s voices to highlight the gravity of the problem to other countries. After all, it is their children and grandchildren etc. that we want to save the rhinos for, and we rely heavily on tourism in South Africa, so I believe we can make a difference in this way.

Ultimately, once we have many classes participating and contributing, I would like to bring the project to the attention of the powers that be in government. I’m not sure how or who yet, but I have time to work that out!

Currently we have three rhinos in classrooms around the world: Siyanda is in Surrey, Canada; Zindzi is in Ballycurrin, Ireland and Lilitha is in Fish Hoek, Cape Town. Makulu is on his way to New York, but he is running very late and we are concerned about his safe arrival and lastly, Lesedi is on her way to Australia and should arrive within the next week.

Take a look at this lovely video put together by Mrs Thiessen from Green Timbers Elementary in Surrey, BC, Canada (Click on the image):

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To find out more about this project visit the wiki: http://saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com

Visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheTravellingRhinosProject

Follow us on Twitter: @travellingrhino

This is a cross-post from

http://karenstadler.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/travelling-rhinos-project-save-our-rhinos/

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New Project Announcement: The Travelling Rhinos Project

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The students at Elkanah House in Cape Town, South Africa are very concerned about the scourge of rhino poaching that is taking place in South Africa at the moment. South Africa’s rhinos are under attack and they would like your help in raising world-wide awareness of the problem!

To do so, Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator) has launched the Travelling Rhinos Project – a project whereby five uniquely African stuffed rhinos will travel from classroom classroom in schools  in different parts of the world to bring awareness to the problem. It will run much like a Flat Stanley project, just with rhinos.

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The project is suitable for all ages from K – 12 and will run from December 2012 to December 2013.

The project also has its own Facebook page (please go and ‘Like’ us) and a Twitter profile. Follow our project: @travellingrhino

To find our more about the project visit the Global Classroom 2012-13 wiki or go directly to the project wiki: saveourrhinos.wikispaces.com

The Global Classroom Memento Scrapbook

 

Elkanah House had a special visitor this week – the Global Classroom Memento Scrapbook. This scrapbook book is on a journey around the world, visiting classes and schools. Each school that it visits on its journey is asked to contribute to the scrapbook in some way and both Mrs Oosthuizen and Mrs Stadler created pages showing global connections made over the past year. The scrapbook, which is the brainchild of Michael Graffin, a teacher (and co-founder of the Global Classroom Project) from Perth in Australia, has visited Bucharest in Romania, Blackpool in England, Elkanah House in Cape Town. It is now on its way back to Perth where it will be showcased at the Australian Computers in Education Conference (ACEC2012) in October. After that it will continue on its journey around the world!

See the original blog post here: http://t.co/wC3qsc7

Skype Has Endless Possibilities

Skype is just amazing! Now for those of you who have travelled extensively or lived abroad, Skype might be nothing new. I am, however referring to it in an educational context. It is truly amazing. If you are keen on flattening your classroom walls and making your students true global citizens, then Skype is for you. Let me elaborate…

Today one of our Grade 6 classes had a Skype session with a Grade 6 class from Vonsild Skole in Kolding, Denmark. As an extension of their Grade 3 Stories project, they got to read their stories aloud to their Danish peers who listened attentively and applauded each story after it was read. Albeit that we had poor video quality, the sound was good enough to get the message across and the whole experience was great fun. There was a short question/answer session at the end and this is where the learning happened, where the interest became apparent and where the realisation that they were talking to children elsewhere on the globe sank in. This is really powerful and can lead to great collaboration across the miles. We look forward to meeting up with this class again later in the year, after their long summer holiday, when they have promised to share a project with us.

Read the Vonsild Skole blog post here: http://vonsildskole.blogspot.com/2012/06/6b-listening-to-elkanah-stories.html

In  the past two weeks I have also spoken via Skype to a dear Twitter friend Vijay Krishnan aka @bucharesttutor, all the way in Romania, (In fact, my own children got to “meet” him too), as well as a surprise Skype call from a contact from the Global Classroom project, Govinda Prasad Panthy who is in Nepal of all places!  This man has a story to tell – he started a school in his village and his only form of internet contact is via his mobile SIM card, and he says that bandwidth is extremely expensive in Nepal. I have much respect for him as he dreams of starting an IT Centre in his village.  Powerful stuff.

Karen Stadler (@ICT_Integrator)

Cross-posted from http://karenstadler.wordpress.com

New Project Announcement: Crazy Crazes (Grades 4 – 7) June 2012 – June 2013

Karen Stadler from Cape Town, South Africa is keen to get her Grade 4s connected with the global community.  Each year the Grade 4s at her school do a Crazy Crazes project where they look at the current crazes in their school, and amongst their peers in South Africa. They also interview their parents and grandparents to find out what was fashionable and the craze of the day when they were children. This project only happens later in their school year (September), but they would like to open it up to the world right now!

They’d like to invite children from classes (Grades 4 – 7; ages 9 – 12) around the world to give them an idea of what is popular and fashionable in their part of the world. They are asking the following questions:

  • What games are you playing with your friends at school/home?
  • Are you collecting cards/stickers/toys?
  • Is there a particular pastime that is popular at the moment?
  • What about favourite TV programmes or characters?
  • Are there any popular books that you are reading?
  • Is there any particular style of clothing or brand that is very popular?
  • Any other exciting crazes where you are?

They would love you to share your experiences with them!

Although the American and European schools are coming to the end of their school year, the project will run until June 2013, so there will be time for them to take part in the new school year.

In the meantime, if there are any Southern Hemisphere schools (Australia, New Zealand, South America etc.) out there who would like to participate, feel free to join in!

Please email Mrs Stadler or tweet her @ICT_Integrator if you might be interested in participating in this global learning project, or if you have anything you’d like to share. Alternatively, go to the Global Classroom Wiki for more details about the project.