iEARN News


Daffodils at Swan Reach
Swan Reach Primary recently joined iEARN. For their first project they chose to take part in the Daffodil and Tulip Project. They planted their bulbs in late April and the first flowers appeared in early August. Almost all the other schools in the project are from the Northern Hemisphere, so it will be interesting for the students to compare the planting and flowering times.

Our Community
Students from Nyirrpi School, N.T., Glengarry Primary School and Rosebud Secondary College in VIctoria have shared information about their communities.

Using photos, drawings and paintings, brochures, stories and reports the students have thought deeply about their own community and learned about each of the other two of the three very diverse cultures, histories and environments.

iEARN teaching partners meet in Jakarta
Sue Foley from Mission Beach State School in Queensland travelled to Indonesia as a member of the Asia Literacy Teachers Association of Australia Tour to Indonesia.
While she was there she met her teaching partner, Saara Suaib, for the first time after working together for a number of years.

Sue also met up with Ibu Hasnah, head of iEARN Indonesia and presented her with a gift on behalf of iEARN Australia.

Read Sue's report on her experiences.

Keeping the Promise Camapign
Students at Kurnai College in Victoria shook hands in the Keeping the Promise campaign to remind politicians to keep their promise to halve poverty by 2015.

Holiday Card Exchange
Thirteen Australian schools are currently participating in the card exchange project. Each school is linked with seven other schools in different parts of the world. The children prepare cards for the celebrations in their country to send to their partners. The children in the Christian countries usually prepare Christmas cards. In Taiwan, they make Chinese New Year cards and in Russia they explain that many families celebrate Russian Christmas on January 7 but for others the New Year is a more important celebration with the New Year tree and family get-togethers and special meals. Those who received Diwali cards from their partners in India were thrilled to learn more about their special occasion. In the Middle East, the Ramadan, Eid and Hanukkah are very important times for family and friends.
Find out what the Australian schools have been doing...
Australian participants at conference in Taiwan
Twenty-seven teachers and students from Australia joined over 500 participants from around the world in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for the 2011 iEARN Annual Conference and Youth Summit.

All the students from Australia participated in homestays before and after the conference.

Molly wrote of her experience: Next we went on a tour of the huge building and I was very surprised that they went to school from 7.30 in the morning to 8.00 at night and the students slept at their desks during 'Nap Time'! read more...

A Bairnsdale Secondary College student wrote about her experiences: Dragging my suitcase up the stairs onto the bus I was full of nerves. At the end of the day I would be leaving my friends and going to stay with a Taiwanese family that I had only met that afternoon. read more...

Scholarship to attend annual iEARN Conference
The iEARN Australia Management Team has awarded a scholarship to allow an iEARN Australia member to attend the annual iEARN Conference in Taiwan in July, 2011.

We have great pleasure in announcing that the scholarship has been awarded to Ron Thomas from Wantirna College, Victoria.

Ron and his students have been involved in many iEARN projects and have initiated their own projects, including Your Sport/Our Sport and Teen Music Around the World.

Ron, who is pictured here with his class, will be taking 8 students with him to Taiwan.

Ron Thomas and students



Teddy Bear Exchange with Canada
Students from the remote Central Australian Community of Nyirrpi are participating in the popular iEARN project, Teddy Bear Exchange.

They have sent Marlu the kangaroo to Canada and have welcomed Bucky Beaver into their community.

Bucky has participated in many adventures at Nyirrpi, including participating in traditional dancing and collecting bush tucker, while Marlu is having her first experience with snow and has visited Niagara Falls.

Bucky and dancers at Nyirrpi

Malu in the snow in Canada

iEARN Annual Conference 2010
Seven Australians attended the recent 17th Annual iEARN conference and 14th Youth Summit held at Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Teachers and students from more than forty countries participated in a vibrant gathering during which dozen of workshops, presentations and keynote addresses informed and involved those attending in sharing skills in global educational collaboration, the use of communication technologies and new media in education.

The conference and youth forum celebrated, in philosophy and in action, the excitement and the educational benefits of cooperation and sharing of learning across geographical and cultural boundaries.

Kurnai College (Victoria) teachers, Nicole Pryor and Josh Garth received significant attention through their presentation on their college's integration of internet-mediated global projects into their curriculum and college environment.

iEARN Australia thanks and congratulates iEARN Canada on their success in planning and undertaking the conference and youth forum. We look forward to next year's conference and forum in Taiwan in July 2011.

Taiwan Youth at Closing Ceremony
Public Art Presentation
iEARN Conference 2010 - Report by Nicole Pryor
Exhilarating, invigorating, passionate and worthy are some of the adjectives that come to mind when I reflect on the iEARN 2010 conference in Barrie Canada.

As a teacher, we often work in our own little world, sometimes out on a limb isolated or in small teams. Even participating in global projects does not give you the real sense of iEARN and the dedication of teachers and their passion for education. It is in experiencing their workshops, the expert plenary and the excitement and products produced by the students that you truly appreciate what a wonderful network and life-changing network for students and teachers iEARN provides.

Read more
Nicole and Josh's presentation
Scholarship to attend annual iEARN Conference
The iEARN Australia Management Team has awarded a scholarship to allow an iEARN Australia member to attend the annual iEARN Conference in Canada in July, 2010.

We have great pleasure in announcing that the scholarship has been awarded to Nicole Pryor from Kurnai College, Victoria. Through the generosity of Kurnai College, Nicole will be accompanied by her colleague, Josh Garth.

Josh and Nicole developed the solar cooker project as an integrated unit across Humanities, Science, ICT for their Year 7 program.

Nicole [R] is pictured with Liz Rout, a member of the iEARN Australia Management Team and former scholarship recipient.

More information about the conference can be found on the conference website.

Liz Rout and Nicole Pryor
Elaine Robertson honoured
Elaine Robertson, a pioneer of global educational projects was honoured at a dinner held by iEARN Australia in early August, 2009. Elaine recently retired from teaching having spent many years at Anderson's Creek Primary School in Victoria. The iEARN Australia Management Team presented Elaine with a plaque in recognition of her innovative work in education and her leadership of so many teachers, here and globally, in the effective use of ICTs to deepen and broaden students' learning.

Elaine was extensively involved as a leader in the Victorian Education Department's various training programmes over the years and through iEARN developed and facilitated The Great Fly-Off and the Poet's Corner projects. iEARN Australia wishes Elaine the very best in her retirement and will certainly continue to benefit from her experience and skills.

Visit to bushfire affected areas
iEARN Australia hosted Yoshie Naya and her husband Setsuo on their recent visit to Victoria. Yoshie is the Executive Director of the Natural Disaster Youth Summit. During their visit, Yoshie and Setsuo visited two of the areas severely affected by the Black Saturday bushfires. At Labertouche in West Gippsland they observed a community tree-planting and helped with debris-clearing on a burnt-out farm. The next day Yoshie and Setsuo visited Flowerdale Primary School where they worked with staff and students in a variety of activities and initiated a Teddy Bear exchange between Flowerdale Primary and Yoshie's school, Hyogo Prefectural Kawanishi Senior High School. Yoshie and Setsuo expressed admiration for the community and school efforts to recover from February's disaster. People at Labertouche and the Principal and staff at Flowerdale made the visitors welcome and were obviously appreciative of their interest and their efforts.

The Natural Disaster Youth Summit, a project begun in 2004, brings together young people from across the globe in constructive discussion and work concerning natural disasters. Its motto is to "build the safer place to live for everyone in this planet".

Natural Disaster Youth Summit in Taiwan
Two students and their teacher, from St Paul's Anglican Grammar School in Warragul, Victoria, attended the Natural Disasters Summit in Taiwan.The Australian students presented on Bushfires.

The students were billetted with Taiwanese students and had the opportunity to visit a local school.

Read the students' report of their experiences.

Teddy Bear Exchange with Japan
Year 4 students at Thomas Mitchell Primary School in Melbourne have been involved in a teddy bear/doll exchange program with Mihara Elementary School in Hiroshima. Students take the doll home, introduce it to their family and keep a diary recording the doll's adventures. Students recently completed a webcam conference with the Japanese school where they exchanged cultural performances, games and simple quizzes.

Skype with students in Japan
Students from Gunbalanya Community Education Centre, in Arnhem Land, NT had a SKYPE linkup with Ishikawa Prefecture Junior High School in Japan. Students at Gunbalanya were able to communicate with more that 230 students, teachers and parents during the linkup, share information and sing Happy Birthday to one of the students in Japan.

Visitor from jEARN
Mr Yoichi Tsuji and his two sons have recently visited St Paul's
Anglican Grammar School in Warragul, Victoria. Mr Tsuji, from jEARN, in Japan has worked collaboratively with Judy Barr on the Oral History - Kindred project.

For the third edition of the book, Yoichi, translated the first Japanese story that was submitted to the project. The story was written by MIss Yukiko Shimomura. The story was a moving account of the impact of the nuclear explosion that claimed the life of her grandfather at Nagasaki in 1945. Her grandfather asked to be transferred to a shipbuilding yard in Nagasaki. He left his family in Kokura to set up a new home in Nagasaki as it was too dangerous for his family to stay at Kokura. Before the family moved to the new location, the US Air Force dropped the bomb that killed him instantly. Yukiko's grandmother rushed to Nagaski to find her husband. For three days she searched in the rubble for him. She did not know of the affect that the radiation would have on her health for the rest of her life. Finally she died of cancer. To read the complete story click here.

During the three week visit in Australia, Yoichi's younger son, Taira, attended classes in the Junior School and his older son played on a golf course for the first time in his life. The St Paul's Japanese language teachers were delighted to use video-conferencing with Yoichi's colleagues in Japan. Judy and Yoichi have made plans to develop the Kindred project with more participation from students in Japan.

International Youth Summit for Environment
Phillip Blake and Alex Baxter, from Bairnsdale Secondary College, Victoria, represented Australia at the International Youth Summit for Environment. They presented to an international audience, met with the G8 Environment Ministers and participated in discussion groups with students from 20 countries.

Alex Baxter had the opportunity to meet with the Hon. Penny Wong, Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water.

Phillip Blake in Kobe

Me and My Community Project
As part of the Me and My Community Project, students from Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Korea and a remote indigenous school in Northern Territory linked up via Elluminate technology to share information about their communities.

The students and teachers in Korea made t-shirts to share with all participants. The photo shows iEARN students in Taiwan with their

Scholarship to attend annual iEARN Conference
The iEARN Australia Management Team announced in October that it would be awarding a $1000 scholarship to help a participant in the iEARN Asia project attend the iEARN Annual Conference in Uzbekistan in July 2008.

We have great pleasure in announcing that the scholarship has been awarded to Liz Rout from Thomas Mitchell Primary School, Victoria.

More information about the conference can be found on the conference website.


Christmas Card Project
Participants in the Christmas Card Project, have sent Christmas cards to an orphanage for victims of war and AIDS in Uganda. The project is coordinated by Judy Barr from ST Paul's Anglican Grammar School, Warragul, Victoria.

Albert Kunihira who works at the orphanage has taken photos of the children reading the cards they received last year. You can see these photos on their website.

iEARN Asia/Pacific Conference 2007
Rob King, a member of the iEARN Australia Management Team, represented iEARN Australia at the conference in Tokyo, Japan.

Teachers and educators attended for three days of presenting ideas and sharing project information. iEARNers arrived from all over Asia including Bangladesh, Iran, Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and iEARN International was represented by Bob Hoffman.

Read Rob's report to find out more about the conference.

Training for iEARN Asia Project
Teachers in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory have attended workshops run by iEARN Australia and the Asia Education Foundation.

The workshops covered the use of the iEARN forums and how best to participate in the Learning Circles and Teddy Bear Projects.

The workshop participants are now involved in iEARN projects with schools in Asia

Partnership with Asia Education Foundation 2006
A collaborative partnership has been formed between the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) and iEARN Australia to foster collaboration and inter-cultural learning between students in Australia and Asia.

Selected AEF schools in Australia will be participating in two projects with schools in Asia: The Teddy Bear Project and Learning Circles.

Visit the Asia Education Foundation website to find out more about the work of the AEF.

Solar Cooking Project
This year all Year 7 students at Ararat Community College, Victoria, were once again involved in researching, designing and trialling solar cookers built from recycled materials. The students tried a range of styles including box, panel and parabolic cookers. A wonderful picnic day was held and we introduced Learning Objects, Kahootz and Moviemaker to the program this year.
On behalf of the Year 7 Project Team:
Jo Tate
Ararat Community College

Australian Youth Ambassador for Development Volunteer
Lucy Hopkins, an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development, has gone to Bangladesh to work with iEARN Bangladesh for 12 months. While she is there she is working on developing youth programs.

Read about her experiences and see more photos in her report.

Christmas Card Project
The Christmas card project is a highly successful project in which classes make and exchange Christmas cards with each other.

Judy Barr, coordinator of the Christmas Card project has made a video to illustrate how the project works.

Honouring Muriel Wells
Muriel was honoured at a function at Melbourne University in September, 2006. Muriel has been an integral member of the iEARN Australian Management Team for 10 years and has been significant in the development of iEARN in Australia.

Muriel devised and initiated the iEARN Teddy Bear Project . As coordinator of the project she faciliated and mentored many hundreds of exchanges between classes . Muriel was awarded the Cable and Wireless Childnet Award in London in 1998 in recognition of her achievements.

ACEC in Cairns
A combined delegation of eight representatives from iEARN and the Asia Education Foundation attended the Australian Computers in Education Conference in Cairns in October 2006. Delegates from New Zealand, USA and all states and territories of Australia were treated to a variety of stimulating sessions, which included a hands-on iEARN pre-conference workshop and eight seminars related to iEARN and AEF projects.

Matilda visits Tanzania
The iEARN Teddy Bear Project is one of the most popular iEARN collaborative projects. Here we can see Matilda, the kangaroo (and Joey) from Lindenow, Victoria, in class with her news friends in Farkwa, Tanzania. The students in Tanzania are looking at work sent to them by the students at Lindenow.
Volunteer in Pakistan
Australian university student, Melissa Tylee, has spent 12 months working with iEARN Pakistan as part of the iEARN/WEC exchange program. During her time in Pakistan, Melissa helped the daily running of iEARN Pakistan's office, the development of programs and the training of teachers in classroom application of collaborative projects.

Read her report
iEARN Asia/Pacific - 2006
In August 2006, 23 iEARN Coordinators from across Asia, from Uzbekistan to Japan, India to Australia, met in Tokyo to drive forward the development of iEARN project work across the region. iEARN Asia/Pacific is an exciting new aspect of iEARN's global activity.
13th Annual Teachers' Meeting and 10th Youth Summit, Enschede, The Netherlands - 2006
Thirty students and teachers from Australia attended the 11th Annual Teachers' Meeting and 8th Youth Summit in Enschede, The Netherlands in July. A special thrill of the conference was teachers and students from Australia conducting presentations on Australian initiated projects, Kindred and The Great Apes Project.
9th Annual iEARN Teachers' Meeting and 6th Youth Summit, Moscow, Russia - 2004
Sixteen teachers and students from Australia joined 500 other teachers from 60 countries at the iEARN Teachers Meeting and Youth Summit in Moscow in early July. From Ararat Community College, St. Paul's Anglican Grammar School, Bairnsdale Secondary College, Bairnsdale Primary School, Bairnsdale West Primary School (all in Victoria) and Alyangula Area School, Northern Territory, they conducted workshops and
attended presentations and cultural events.

Award to iEARN member Dianne Sullivan

Dianne Sullivan, has been awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award through the NEITA Foundation. On the basis of a nomination of her students’ parents, Dianne received the award for use of new technology for learning, including her work in initiating and managing the iEARN project, Treasure Eylandt.