From local to global

Recently I was interviewed by students from Holy Family Primary in East Granville for their 24/7 internet news station, HFSTV. I was blown away by the questions they asked, their level of engagement with the big issues and their passion for learning.

It’s vital that we engage students with the big issues.

These students who were in Years 4 and 5 launched HFSTV this week with an impressive array of content including interviews with local police officers, CEOs and politicians. They even secured an interview with Federal Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, who they questioned about government funding.

This goes to show that today’s learners are acutely aware of the social, political and environmental influences impacting the world around them and they are capable of discussing these issues. The technology at hand is providing access and scope for students to go beyond their local communities for ideas and paves the way in building connections beyond the school gate.

I believe it is vital that we engage students of all ages in the big issues – they have opinions and perspectives to offer the world, and relish the opportunity to share and celebrate their learning. Gone are the days when students would submit items of interest for a weekly school newsletter. Gone are the days when end-of-term reports kept parents informed about how their child was learning.

I invited the students at Holy Family Primary to put together a few thoughts about what they are learning through their internet TV project. I think their responses  demonstrate how engaging with the digital tools has extended their learning. My thanks to Holy Family Primary for their contribution below and for the opportunity to be part of HFSTV.

How did you come up with HFSTV and why?

HFSTV was started as a way of showing our parents what we are learning in class and to use technology in the class in a meaningful and fun way.
(Payton, Year 5)

How did you make the Challenge and Project Based Learning Movies and why?

We made the Challenge and Project Based Learning movies with the help of technology such as cameras and a green screen, Apple Macs, Ipad apps such as Garage Band and iMovie. We created HFSTV to show our parents and the wider community what we are learning about.  (Jayden and Jason, Year 5 and Paris Year 4)   

How are you going to run the station?

We are going to run the station through a link from our main school website:
New movies showing learning and special events will be uploaded regularly.  (Christopher, Year 5)

Do you find that it is easy or difficult to make learning movies for the station?

It can be both easy and difficult to make learning movies for the station because we have to plan, record, delete unwanted scenes, add music and text, check the film and then publish. If you are committed, persistent and focused the process is easy. (Talisha, Year 5 and Helena, Year 4)

What do you love about the project?

I love that we can watch what others are doing and learning. (Sandra, Year 5)
I love the logo for HFSTV. (Christopher, Year 5)
I love making and editing movies and using these movies to tell stories. (Jasmin, Year 4)

Who will be regular presenters?

The staff and students of Holy Family School will be the regular presenters on HFSTV. Our presenters have interesting and creative ideas. (Talisha, Year 5 and Jeremy, Year 4)

What have you learned?

I have learned different ways to use technology and to be more focused and confident. I have also learned the value of teamwork. (Sandra, Year 5)
I have learned how to set up the green screen and make and edit movies. (Jason, Year 5)
I have learned how to work as a team to achieve a goal. (Jeremy, Year 4)

What are you learning?

We are learning how to interview people using clear voices. I have learned a lot about researching real world problems and presenting a solution. (Jayden, Year 5)
I am learning how to use different forms of technology. (Payton, Year 5)
I am learning how to film using a camera and edit using iMovie. (Helena, Year 4)

There is nothing more powerful than young people taking responsibility for their learning and then learning about that learning

2 thoughts on “From local to global

  1. Greg,

    I liked the analogy you made where students are now ‘building connections beyond the school gate’.

    As their interviews and challenge projects are being completed, our students are both excited and engaged in their learning. They know they have a voice in their community and are connected globally via the TV Station.

    As an educator, it is extremely rewarding to try and solve real world problems with students in teams. We must listen to our students ideas, support them and give them hope that they can make a difference in our world.

    It’s not just about having access to technology – as you pointed out in your interview with our students. They are just tools that can be used well or not so well. Thanks to the Federal Government Smarter Schools National Partnerships (Low SES) funding, we have used our technology to assist us in developing student’s oral language skills and to launch enquiry learning throughout our school.

    Some of our student’s solutions go beyond the published movie on HFSTV.

    They continue to promote their ideas and create action plans. They are becoming persistent learners. They continue talking to community, state, federal and business leaders about making their solutions a reality.

    Thank you for supporting and encouraging our students and allowing them to contribute to your blog.


    Tim Butt
    Leading Teacher, Technology
    Holy Family Primary School

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