Dear Parents,

Welcome to our collaborative wikispace!

Students from Malaysia and New Zealand are working together to learn about digital video production. Students in Malaysia will be working with iMovie, while students in New Zealand will be working with MovieMaker. As a group, they will collaborate to produce videos about things that make them happy. Through the use of this protected (only members can edit pages), collaborative wiki, we hope that students will learn about both software applications, as well as how to collaborate safely and effectively online.

In order to communicate and collaborate more effectively, we will be utilizing a variety of web 2.0 tools in the classroom. We have already gotten off to a very exciting start with a Skype video conference on the first day of class. The students were able to introduce themselves and get to know a little bit about each school. We are now beginning to communicate more individually through a very exciting new tool called YackPack. Basically YackPack is like an online telephone and answering machine. Students are able to talk in real-time if they are online together, or they can record voice messages for their partners around the world.

Our YackPack is completely private. ONLY students and teachers (and parents, if you're interested) are invited to the group. ONLY those people invited to the group can see or hear the conversations in the Pack. We have discussed and developed the YackPack guidelines to ensure that students behave appropriately and responsibly as they use this new tool. Each student must have their own log-in to participate in the Pack, which requires your approval.

Our students are learning exciting 21st Century Literacy skills by participating in this project. It is clear to us that students are enthusiastic, excited, and motivated to work on this project - especially because they are able to collaborate with other students around the world. Our sixth graders (in Malaysia) are the final group in the middle school to participate in an online collaborative project - our seventh graders have worked on the 1001 Flat World Tales project (with students in Serbia, Canada and the US) and our eighth graders have recently completed the International Teen Life project (with students in Canada, Columbia and the US).

We are very excited to be offering such a multimedia-rich experience for your children. We encourage you to sit down with your child and discuss this project. Please feel free to ask them to show you around the wikispace and to share what we have done in class so far. We would love for you to join our Pack and be part of the conversation!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding this project. As always, you can find information about all middle school IT projects (in Malaysia) on the Middle School IT Blog and Middle School IT WIki or (in New Zealand) on the Room18 TIS Portal Blog.

Kind Regards,

Ms. C. and Ms. H.