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This article was published 10/10/2014 (2241 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Student teachers are teaching teachers about using Google Slide to flatten their classroom walls, while students watch in Oak Lake, Cyprus and New York.
And when they wake up, students in China may watch, too.
Did we mention that while the student teachers are doing all this, there are polar bears wandering around the other side of the door?
Well, let's try to sort this out, starting in a classroom Friday at Red River College's Notre Dame campus, where teacher education students watched classmates online who were conducting a professional development day for the teaching staff of Duke of Marlborough School in Churchill.
'We have student teachers teaching teachers'‐ RRC instructor/developer Eva Brown by Skype
"We have student teachers teaching teachers" as part of a real-world experience, explained RRC instructor/developer Eva Brown by Skype from a training centre in Churchill.
Red River College has a teacher education course; in partnership with the University of Winnipeg's faculty of education, students already holding an undergraduate degree earn their education degree along with a diploma in industrial arts or business.
Several RRC students went to Churchill to provide professional development to teachers there, opening their world to the use of the latest technology in their classrooms.
"There are so many tools out there. We have a lot more knowledge on technology and its applications" than do many teachers now in the classroom, explained student teacher Mike Buffie, a graduate of Lord Selkirk Regional Secondary School.
"It's an opportunity to use technology in the classroom. Our peers are teaching Google Slide, Google Drive" to teachers in Churchill, said classmate Ward Anders.
That allowed the Red River students face-to-face experience, while saving the cost of flying teachers out of Churchill for their PD.
Technology, meanwhile, allowed other teachers and students literally around the world to join in their sessions, or to access it when convenient -- in the case of places where it was the middle of the night.
"It's a way to engage people from multiple sites," pointed out teacher education program chairman Kurt Proctor.
The Frontier School Division has "live-streaming units they can take into remote areas", said Brown, so the PD sessions included up-close-and-personal footage live of polar bears and tundra beamed out to other participants around the world.
Coverage on Thursday included an expert panel on aurora borealis research.
"There were 17 schools and their educators online today," Brown said Friday.
Student teacher Kaleigh Henriksen, another Lord Selkirk grad, was teaching the ways of Mystery Skype.
"Mystery Skype is a great tool to flatten our classroom walls," she said somewhat mysteriously. Teachers around the world hook up through Twitter or another social medium, then their classes can meet each other and interact online.
Korey Christenson demonstrated how students scattered everywhere can all log on and share the same single document: "This is great for northern communities," he said.
Sydney Dowse explained the intricacies of sharing a PowerPoint presentation in multiple sites, while Meghan Reid, an alumna of St. Mary's Academy, showed teachers how to expand classroom walls through technology: "Some of us don't have the skills or knowledge to take the classroom to a global level," so in step those who know how, she said.
Reid said schools can use the technology to join in while someone tours the Smithsonian Institution live: "You can take your students on a global interactive field trip" without leaving the classroom.
The Red River crew will be conducting similar training next week at the school on Waterhen First Nation.