Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

My Class has a Conversation with the World

An old trick:

It's an old trick, you send out a message to the world on Twitter and wait for the world to reply. (read on for the twist)

We did this at the start of the lesson yesterday in Yr 8 French:

"This is Mr Collis' yr 8 French class in Sydney. Please answer within 60 mins: How many languages do you speak & where are you right now?"

Within the hour we had 36 replies from all over the world! (Helped along by www.twitter.com/suewaters who retweeted the message)

The Result:

8 of the people who replied only spoke 1 language. The others spoke 2, 3, or more. A great way for students to understand language learning from a global perspective (the typical Australian perspective of the value of languages is not necessarily positive).

But here's the twist, I copied and pasted the 32 replies into www.umapper.com and it instantly made a map of the word showing where we had received replies from.

Here's the map:

Link: http://www.umapper.com/maps/view/id/30556/

So the students could see without any doubt that they had just had a conversation with the world.

A class of any age, any subject could benefit from this sort of conversation.

PS: If you're interested, here are the messages we received:    

  1. Nadine Dickinsonnadinedickinson@Steve_Collis Hi yr8 French students! Am in Manila, Philiippines right now. I speak 3 languages.

  2. Stephen Smithmanning11@Steve_Collis Bonjour! Je suis à Palm Springs aux États-Unis, et je parle cinq langues. Bravo à votre prof pour utiliser Twitter comme ça!!

  3. deerwooddeerwood@Steve_Collis Hi yr8 French class. I speak 3 languages, English, French and Spanish. I'm in Gloucester UK

  4. Julian Riddenmoodleman@steve_collis Are you going to join @lasic and the rest of us for dinner on Sat? I think you two would get on like a house on fire :)

  5. Dave Youlmyr221@Steve_Collis only speak English, at home in TH.

  6. John Oxleyoxleyj@Steve_Collis only 1.1 (a little French from Junior High) - Brisbane, Australia

  7. stevencahillstevencahill@Steve_Collis 2 languages ... English and Jibberish. I am in Melbourne Victoria

  8. Barbara Sakamotobarbsaka@Steve_Collis Hi Mr. Collis' French class. I speak 2 and 1/2 languages (my Spanish is dreadful!) and am right now in Kitakyushu Japan.

  9. mikecoghmikecogh@Steve_Collis English and Dutch and I'm in Adelaide

  10. cathyarreguincathyarreguin@Steve_Collis 2 languages, Northern California, USA. Hi!

  11. Perperfal@Steve_Collis Hi from Stockholm Sweden. I speak Swedish, English (been in France though) - good luck class!

  12. StevenCaldwellStevenCaldwellIcon_lock@Steve_Collis I speak 1 and a bit.(French being the bit) I'm at a really self-congratulatory conference in Canberra.

  13. harlemlibrarianharlemlibrarian@Steve_Collis 4 languages, Harlem, New York

  14. Paul Stewartelearningnews@Steve_Collis This tongue only speaks one language but I'm a big fan of words no-one uses anymore: http://phrontistery.info/cl...

  15. Anita Strangastrang@Steve_Collis Greetings from British Columbia, Canada and only speak 1 language :(. My kids are in a French immersion class so 2 for them.

  16. ivyclarkivyclark@Steve_Collis Hiya, I speak 3 languages and 1 dialect, from Singapore and now based in Perth. :)

  17. Jenny WoodDishMopTop@Steve_Collis I only speak English. I live in Melb but am going to France for a holiday soon so need a crash course!

  18. Bryan Hughesbryanhughes@Steve_Collis Hi from Vancouver, Canada! I've studied French, Thai, and Indonesian, but really I can only speak English.

  19. Mark Smithersmarksmithers@Steve_Collis Hi Steve - I speak a bit of English and a bit of French - I'm in Melbourne

  20. Karen Kearneywinsongreen@Steve_Collis In Melbourne. Only speak English fluently. Did French to Yr 12. Maybe should do a refresher!!

  21. Tomaz Lasiclasic@steve_collis Hi class from Perth, speak three langauges (not computer langauges :) and hack my way in another two. Enjoy learning

  22. Marcus Bourgetyeah_mate@Steve_Collis hello. I'm at my Physio in north Sydney. Je parle francais but not very well. Zut alors!

  23. Di Bédardwindsordi@Steve_Collis ... and it's 12:36 at night... bed time!

  24. paulfuller75paulfuller75@Steve_Collis I am in Perth and speak English et un petit peu de la Francais.

  25. jurgenjurgen@Steve_Collis I speak 3 languages, but only one fluently. Je peux parler allemand, und ich kann französisch sprechen. I live in Melbourne.

  26. Michael Gwythermickgwyther@Steve_Collis I speak English and live in Ballarat

  27. Di Bédardwindsordi@Steve_Collis Hi class! Je parle en français ...and I speak english! Windsor, Ontario, Canada

  28. CWflexnib@Steve_Collis four languages, I'm in Perth, Western Australia. I wish I spoke French!

  29. Hannahhfeldman@Steve_Collis I speak English, I'm pretty good at Spanish, and I'm beginning Russian! I'm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and I'm 16. Hi!

  30. Sue WaterssuewatersPlease tell send tweet @Steve_Collis yr 8 French class Sydney within 60 mins: How many languages do you speak & where are you right now?

  31. Dean Tregenzadeantregenza@Steve_Collis North Sydney, speak - English, read (v. v. slowly) - Latin, A.Greek, Hebrew, German

  32. Sue Waterssuewaters@Steve_Collis one language English and Perth Western Australia

  33. Lucy Barrowlucybarrow@Steve_Collis Hi Mr Collis and your French students from Ballarat in Victoria! Unfortunately, I only speak 1 lang, but wish I spoke more! :)

  34. Jo BarrettJo_Barrett@Steve_Collis one and I am watching Toy Story and marking Year 7 spelling!

  35. vnarayanvnarayan@Steve_Collis In New Zealand -- 1 Lang (English)

  36. Mike Israelmikejisrael@Steve_Collis 1 language and I am in Wahroonga NSW