Engaging with students and experts internationally Collaborative learning inquiry project


Below is a summary of the four projects completed for our CLIP.

Rebecca Beard & Tiina Hufton: Year 9 History and the Centenary of the ANZACS

Year 9 History embarked on an excursion to the George St Apple store to learn about the app iMovie. In using this app, students were paired with Year 6 students to create an iMovie using sources provided by the Maritime Museum to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary.

Year 6 WU students with Yr 9 at the Apple store
Lizzie Padgett: Year 8 English and "Urban Poetry"

Using email exchanges between two world-famous poets, Sarah Kay and Harry Baker, who are based in New York and London, respetively, students had to email these poets asking for advice on their own poetry they had composed. The poets then gave feedback on their compositions, which students then needed to include in their final product.

Georgina Crouch: Year 9 Geography linking with the Dubbo Community

Using the tool Padlet, students wrote about what gives their suburb a sense of community and what they enjoyed doing on the weekend (the unit was based around the topic of communities). They were encouraged to explore the differences between their own context and that of students living in Dubbo.

Here is an example from Padlet between two students
Dominique Haynes: Year 7 Mandarin and The Language Learning Space

Using Skype students interacted with a native speaking Chinese tutor in Beijing, China. The tutor was found through The Language Learning Space, a government funded initiative for Asian language teachers that provides free tutoring services to teachers and students in Australia. The lesson focused on tones, pinyin and saying your nationality.

Learning with tutor Jo in Beijing
How did the students react? Was this a valuable learning experience? Conclusion: Yes!


All students were surveyed across the four projects. The following is a summary of the research methodologies used.

Here is a summary of our data collection methods

Here is a Wordle that depicts the kinds of similarities and buzz words that kids used in their qualitiative feedback to the teachers. We found this encouraging to see that the bright and big words were learning related and positive across all four projects.

Helped - learnt - world - think - students
This project was not immediately easy. You must find a way to create a meaningful, learning-centered experience without engaging an international expert or students in a tokenistic manner. What is best?


All members of the group experienced some form of set back in completing the project. The verbal presentation will elaborate on these challenges further.

  • Bec and Tiina originally wished to work with a school in New Zealand learning about the different perspectives on the landing at Gallipoli
  • Lizzie had originally wished to work with a language learning centre in George St that worked with non-English speaking background students
  • Georgie had difficulty finding a means to connect with others (i.e. finding a willing school to engage in a meaningful learning project) outside of Sydney
  • Dominique originally wished to connect with sister schools in China that SACS were keen to build a deeper relationship with.
Considering whether to use this intiative in the future has been a valuable reflection.


All group members unanimously said that they would attempt the project again but with various aspects changed or improved. Some commonalities between the projects were:

  • the need for more time with the students to execute the project well and meaningfully
  • negotiations with outside providers needed to be clearer in relation to the goals for learning
  • timing within the term - after reporting period/semesterised courses
  • use of different learning tools e.g. apps

We hope you enjoyed our presentation on engaging with students and experts internationally.

By Bec, Tiina, Lizzie, Georgie and Dominique :-)

Created By
Dominique Haynes
Created with images by NASA-Imagery - "international space station iss astronaut" • Jorge Lascar - "ANZAC Cove" • tpsdave - "china great wall of china sky" • flickingerbrad - "student_ipad_school - 092" • sara biljana (account closed) - "If we choose to steer upstream, can the content gained make up for the hardships of the voyage?" • libertygrace0 - "Question Mark?"

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