Ebrownorama's Blog

My Learning Journey …

Flat Classroom Certified Teacher

River East Collegiate, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Grades 10, 11, 12; Technology Department Head
It is exciting to be where we are in education and learning! It is even more exciting to realize that we still have a lot to learn! Learning together in a global setting is as much a necessity in education today as the 3 Rs are and have been (whatever your meaning might be for them!:-).

I have taught 31 years at various age levels and find that the thirst for knowledge is as real and urgent today as it was when I began my teaching career. I am no exception, therefore, I am a lifelong learner. In some sense, that is a long time, and yet, I wish I had many more energetic years to teach–I enjoy it so much!!

I learned to type on a manual typewriter–Linea 98 Underwood–to be exact. I reflected on that this past week and asked my students if they knew what a typewriter was–some did, most did not. Methods have changed over the years but the desire to learn has not. That is most important. Today, I teach Cloud Computing/Web 2.0 among other technologies. I have had to stop and determine the process many times. If it were not for my age, I would be determined to convince you that I am a digital native and not an immigrant. Many times my digital native students don’t act as native as I do–I chuckle!

I like the thought that we become like those around us–therefore, surround yourself with intelligence …

One of my favourite intelligent people to follow is Wes Fryer.

I still have many goals to pursue and the list seems to get longer. I am in the midst of preparing to become Apple Certified in Final Cut Pro, I desparately want to be a Google Certified Teacher, I am looking to pursue a PhD in education, and I am taking courses at the University of Manitoba in the Emerging Technologies Certificate–Mobile Computing, Connectivism, Immersive Worlds, etc., … to name a few.
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… and in case you think I work 24/7, close, but I do like to travel.
Palm Springs is my favourite vacation spot and living in Canada has given me my share of cold (brrrrrr) temps. I look forward to spending more time in winter in Palm Springs in the future–that is where CUE is held every March! That means I will be able to attend the conference every year!!

Module 1: Connection

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


It is not easy for a digital immigrant to share thoughts and information as the digital natives do–I think it is a learned practice for me–as I do it more it becomes easier … and more natural. Realizing that this practice is necessary to follow Steve Farber’s thought, “The real payoff comes in the giving of knowledge, not the keeping of it…” if I am to be a true global teacher and innovator, I must connect. Research with a purpose to develop knowledge is important to be able to give knowledge to my students. “Global collaborators and technology leaders are said to be innovators and therefore must be constantly learning” means we must be lifelong learners. Lifelong learning can be as much fun and exciting as one makes it–look for opportunities and they will come to you.

I liked the idea of “Pull technologies” in Chapter 2. These “Pulls” are practices that some educators do already but perhaps not in a focused manner to maximize their potential. A colleague noticed my iPad and said that they would be getting one gratis from an organization they belong to … and then said, “it’ll be another gadget that I don’t use!” My, oh my, oh my. The opportunities that are lost.

The phases to follow when flattening classrooms are excellent. I have developed a number of activities for my students to do to prepare them to collaborate on a global basis. I think it is important that students first collaborate within the classroom, then with another classroom in the same school before venturing “out into the world”. When students are connected to another classroom in the same school, it becomes apparent which students need to develop better practices in completing tasks and on time. This is the opportunity to help students develop/improve collaboration skills so that the global project experience is richer.

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges

22 challenges and bonus challenges completed (5 pts each) = 110 points


Challenge #1: Set up your RSS Reader

I was introduced to RSS feeds several years ago and started “playing” with Google Reader at that time. Participating in the Flat Classroom Project last year, I have been using RSS more. I still have lots of room for improvement though.
Share: Fred Haas, Kim Cofino, David Warlick
Fred, Kim and David all have such interesting teaching and learning experiences which in turn makes them “rich” master learners. They have shared their experiences with us which in turn allows us (me) to have a richer learning experience as well. David’s comparison of students vs. learners brings to mind the word “engagement”. When we are engaged in the learning process, we will undoubtedly “take away” and “take beyond” the classroom more knowledge and wisdom to use and share than when we started.

Challenge #2: Set up your Blog

I have two blogs that I use–the first is more for my students and the second for my professional learning reflections. I tend to use these blogs in spurts but I am always determined to improve my habits and update them regularly. This is one area that I reveal that I am a digital immigrant by not reflecting online like the digital natives do. I know I will learn a lot from my students.

Reflection


I shared both of my blog links with a cohort of mine. He is also flattening his class by collaborating with a classroom through ePals. It is great to be able to share ideas, discussing opportunities and working together to impliment them.
I entered the tag, fcc2_blog in the message of the email, however, I’m not sure that is the correct way to tag an email.

I am learning sooo much!! Being efficient and Smart is important to me and I have been struggling with exactly what Vicki and Julie are writing about as well as what Mark Hurst writes about in Bit Literacy. Thanks for that book information, Vicki. I have purchased it for my iPad. I already feel “smarter” and eager to help my students become smarter!!

Wow!! and more Wow!! Focusing on following intelligence is definitely exciting–almost to the point that my brain hurts. I have read a lot this week and downloaded several eBooks on my iPad. My students and I were watching Digital Nation this week where Doug Rushkoff researches the effects of the digital world on the digital natives. I was compelled to do research on Doug Rushkoff and downloaded his new book, Program or be Programmed–can’t stop reading, in fact I read in the car to and from a Fall Supper this evening (I wasn’t driving!!). Next, Ken Robinson is coming to Winnipeg in December and I have a ticket to hear him speak! Exciting!! I downloaded his book, The Element–How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything– and want to read that next. There are some very intelligent people to follow who definitely inspire me. I think inspiration brings about innovation–which means there will be some innovation soon because I am totally inspired by these people. I need to stop and think about how I can bring this into the classroom so that my students will be inspired–they too can bring about innovation.


Module 2: Communication

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


What makes a Flat Classroom Project successful? This is my second participation in a project–the first was last year, NetGenEd2010. I am using some of the same strategies in teaching my class the second time through, however, I am using some different approaches this time.
It is important for students in the project to:

  • understand the purpose of the project–connections, research, outcomes
  • appreciate the need of the project
  • what’s in it for them–better education, experience that is invaluable

The examples provided from past projects are excellent resources to help students understand what is expected of them and what the outcomes will be. Viewing the wiki research pages from previous projects, videos created in past projects, and looking at student summit slides help students to understand the process.
A connection example that I use to help students be active in communicating with their group is asking them: how do you like it when you text someone and they don’t reply for a long time, or not at all? This gets them to thinking that they need to be involved.
Making the project personal engages learners very quickly. Topic research with relevance to each student’s situation helps students become more eager to do the research. It is important to spend time teaching, even in short lessons, each topic that is being researched. I do this as a class so that all students know what all of the topics are about and they can share and ‘spur” each other on with ideas and examples for research. My students, this year, have a Google Doc titled with their research topic and group number. They research the Internet on their topic and make notes in the Doc as well as paste all resources into the Doc. This is like a rough copy of their research which will be entered into their topic wiki page.

To complete the interschool phase of flattening our classroom, we connected to another classroom in our school. My students created a Google Presentation where they had to choose three of Thomas Friedman’s New York Times Global articles and summarize them. The shared their Presentation with me and the other teacher as well as a partnering sudent from the opposite class. Students in the other class also reviewed three articles–different ones. Then each student commented on the summarized articles that the partner had reviewed. They created one Notes slide where they left messages for each other. This assignment covers a number of tasks that students need to learn to become good Digital Citizens in the Flat Classrooms Project.

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #3: Connect and Reflect

I had not heard of either of these organizations until I read Vicki’s Connection chapter – Social Media Today and TUAW. I have added both of these sites to my Google Reader. Since purchasing my iPad in early August of this year, I am always looking for what will “run” on it and what the limitations of the iPad are. These two sites provide the latest information to come to me on this topic–I have PULLED this information. I consider this a double efficiency–more efficient use of my time so I don’t have to look for this information and working more efficiently on my iPad.

Challenge #4: Communicate with New Tools

Asynchronous – Google Docs
I use Google Docs extensively and have my students do the same. There are times when Google Docs is a synchronous tool, however, we use it mostly as asynchronous. Students use a Google Doc to record their research and resources and then “weed” out the information that is duplicated or not relevant and insert the “valuable and pertinent” information to their wiki topic page. This allows them to go into the wiki page and do the editing in a faster way and prevent wiki wars. We have also done interclass research and collaboration using Google Docs, creating Presentations.

Synchronous – Skype
I do use Skype on my personal computer at home and did an interview with a Ph.D. candidate, researching ethnocentrism in the Flat Classroom Project. This tool has not been approved in our school division for use in our classrooms. We did test Skype for Business in our school division but found that the ports had not been opened to allow flawless connections. When considering tools for school use, it is important to determine the purpose for such a tool and that it can and will function as required–for the pedagogical purpose. Often technology tools are chosen by IT people and not educators and the tools can do some tasks but not all that are desired in delivering outcomes. Our computers are refreshed every five years at our school so new technologies often cannot be installed on older computers as the capacity is inadequate.

#4BONUS! Set up a Collaborative Calendar

My collaborative calender of choice is Google.
I did some exploring, however, and found the iCal which also seems to be an excellent tool. There is an abundance of tools available to accomplish various tasks so again it becomes extremely important to learn about tools, what they do and which will be most effective for the task. For example, if you need transportation and your choice is to purchase a car, you do not buy ten cars! You buy one that will serve your purpose. Often when we discover technology tools we seem to think we need to have them all–after all, many are free, so why not. That’s when the confusion begins and we don’t use any of them properly. I am guilty! … but I am working on refining my practices in this area to be as efficient as I can be.

Challenge #5: Go Mobile!

Mobilize your blog – my students have all mobilized their blogs as an assignment. I allow them to use their cell phones in class to view their blog. This task engages the learner because the process becomes real to them–this is something they actually use outside of the classroom and are quite excited about showing their friends their blog on their cell phones! Here is my mobile blog address: http://eteacher.wirenode.mobi
Check it out on your mobile!

#5 Bonus! Student PLN Construction

Netvibes – My students participating in the Flat Classroom Project must all have a PLN. We choose Netvibes as our “electronic locker”. We begin class each day by logging into our PLN. There are specific links that I require them to add, however, I encourage them to add personal items as well–looking for opportunities to incorporate “things learned in school” with “life outside the classroom’. The more this integration occurs, the more students will become engaged and become greater learners.

Reflection


So here I am sitting at my computer on a Monday off from school–Canadian Thanksgiving (October 11) and smelling the turkey baking in my oven! I had a teachable moment this week on this topic. My students posted a note in the Flat Classroom Project Discussion that we are away from school until Tuesday, October 12th because of our Thanksgiving holiday. A student from a USA school replied to one of my students asking why we have Thanksgiving in October. I asked my students for the answer and not one could give me a reply. There was my chance to explain some geography about Canada in comparison to the USA and other countries. There are a number of explanations for our early holiday, however, the greatest is that we live in a colder climate and by the end of November when the USA celebrates Thanksgiving, we are usually deep into snow blizzards!! (brrrr…..). Our harvesting is mostly done by now and thus, Thanksgiving!

When your eyes are open, you see things.
Now is that profound? Not really, but now that I am eagerly looking for connections and taking note of RSS feeds, podcasts and other useful, intelligent information, it seems there are many people researching and sharing their findings and experiences.

Module 3: Citizenship

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


Some notes that I highlighted in my reading of this chapter …
Digital Citizenship … relating to people … technology is the channel of communication
Be Aware … be aware … everywhere you are and go.
Question: do we educate young people to be individually aware? I’m not sure that today’s society’s values include emphasizing that individual’s need to be aware of their values and goals.
Social Awareness … there still seems to be importance on meeting face to face … it is probably the human being in all of us that needs that sometimes … even Second Life has a f2f conference!
Tip for digital citizenship … when meeting in an environment such as Elluminate Live, it seems to be important for some to post their pictures … it makes a solid connection.
Politicians are “preaching” that we focus on issues, not gender of the politician, not race of the politician or any other attribute, rather on the issues that the politician represents. This is also true in establishing a good global education collaboration …. students should focus on the issues. This was driven home by David Warlick’s keynote where he said that when chat platforms began, people chatted for a long time (45 minutes or more) before anyone even knew where the other particpants lived or any person details about them. The issues were the important topic! That is education at its best when we can focus on the issue. Digital Citizenship will be positive and productive in such collaborations!

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #6: Create a Classroom Monitoring Portal

My CMP which is created in an iGoogle tab, includes all wiki edits for the Flat Classroom Project 10-3b as well as blog posts from the Ning. In addition, I added Thomas Friedman’s and David Warlick’s websites and two other feeds that help me grow and learn–Wes Fryer and Ted Talks.

I shared the iGoogle tab with a teacher in my department at my school, Miles Keller. His students are using Web 2.0 tools to collaborate with a classroom via ePals.

Challenge #7: Empower Digital Citizenship Action

Knowledge is power. That statement goes a long way as well when teaching students about digital citizenship. They must be taught the appropriate procedures, or empowered, when interacting on the world wide web. Students “jump” onto the Internet without fear, exploring at will, chatting, interacting until they come into situations that are not desired (dangerous, illegal, etc.). Wes Fryer makes excellent points when he explains digital citizenship for digital natives.
My school division has taken the approach to block or ban many sites rather than allow educators to teach appropriate behaviour on these sites. The policy to do so is slowly changing in that a few prevously blocked sites are becoming available, however, there are many sites that are useful in teaching and learning that are unavailable because of this policy. An analogy I use is if you want a two-year old not to touch the glass vase on the coffee table, you tell him/her not to touch it. Now if you take the vase away and place it higher up out of reach, the child has no opportunity to demonstrate the appropriate behaviour. Sure, the vase won’t get broken but the child hasn’t actually learned the behaviour. Maybe you want to start with a vase that is not that valuable but nonetheless, the object should remain in reach.

We do have ICT department meetings where we discuss policy, however, the change is coming very slowly.

Reflection


This has been another very busy several weeks and I am thankful that we had a “breathing” week. I caught up on the reading of the chapters but have not revamped my blogs to my satisfaction yet. I have also been reading Mark Hurst’s book, Bit Literacy. Phenomenal!! I am so guilty and must admit that I am somewhat bit illiterate. My Inboxes (note: plural) have many emails in them. Step one to becoming bit literate is to clear those Inboxes. I managed to clear one Inbox for one of my email addresses. I still have a long way to go but I am on the road … isn’t that the way to start? He also explains how to use a proper ToDoList. Wow, that is what I need. The Sticky Note company is now going to go bankrupt on account of me!! Yippeee.

I also signed up to organize the Expert Advisors on the Flat Classroom Project 10-3. This is underway and the advisors are beginning to participate. They have excellent advice for the students in the project. I know I will learn a lot …. again … still … that is so exciting to me!

Module 4: Contribution and Collaboration

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


Read and Review –

  • Review the Topic wiki on the Flat Classroom Project – my class is in the 10-3b project. The wiki has a very organized structure which is easy to follow and work in. My students are now doing the final edits of their group pages and beginning their storyboards for their videos.
  • Review the Rubrics for Engagement, Reflection and Evaluation – Wiki Grading Rubric for Flat Classroom 2010 – I gave the students a Word document in the Assignments PickUp folder. They opened the rubric and copied it into a new Google Doc. They completed the self-assessment and shared the Doc rubric with me and I will do a comparison of their mark and my mark and award the 5 bonus points if they come within 10 points of mine.
  • Read developing wiki pages from current projects (10-3a and 10-3b) and compare with previous projects (10-2 and 9-3)
  • Expert Advisor comments – 10-3a Mobile and Ubiquitous – I have reviewed this page and posted comments and suggestions in the Discussions tab. Generally, students are doing a great job on their pages. I do see a lack of ownership on the part of the students, to make their page “perfect”.
  • eTwinning in the Classroom – this is a great project and I so wish that countries outside of Europe could participate.
  • Collaborative Learning reading – this has so many opportunities, basically dependent on how much time and enthusiasm a teacher wants to put into the preparation/presenting/facilitating/etc. allowing students to connect with other students. The model can become quite intense where it is not only one path around connecting two learners or groups, but nodes in the centre connecting several groups. Communication between/among the groups is crucial to make any such project a meaningful and successful experience for all involved. Any link that breaks causes the other links to weaken.

Discuss –

  • Cooperate and collaborate –
    • educators model this – an excellent reading on the attributes of a 21st Century Teacher!
    • scaffold learning using Web 2.0 tools – Steve Wheeler on scaffolding;
    • measure student contribution – the “Recent Changes” option on the wiki is excellent – very helpful. I was using Google Docs prior to this so that students would share their work with me and give me evidence of their work. I no longer need for them to do that as I can track their progress easily on the wiki now.
    • design assessment for success in a global learning environment – how can we measure thinking in global projects

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #8: Collaborate and Communicate

Another ICT class in my school is learning to use a variety of Web 2.0 tools. Each student in that class created a wiki. My students are participating in the wikis by editing and contributing to the other class’ wikis. It is interesting how students take ownership of a wiki that they create and become “defensive” when others add/edit “their” wiki. This is an excellent teaching opportunity on collaboration.
Share: Compare and contrast a collaborative wiki editing project with traditional in-class group work on your blog. There is no comparison! – The interaction between groups of learners in a wiki collaboration provides immediate results. Students must act and cannot be passive. This is also how computer games work–there is no provision for anyone to just sit there–there must be a response.
Learners cooperating will add their content and do what is asked by providing sources, etc.; however, collaboration comes about when learners interact with each other asking questions about the other’s contribution, communicating about editing, research, etc.

#8Bonus! Edit Wikipedia

I joined wikipedia this week! This is definitely quite the experience. The topic I chose to follow and edit was Lifelong Learning. Afterall, I am a lifelong learner so I thought I might as well get to know more about myself!! Following this topic with the intent of editing the page and contributing to it made me approach this with great caution. I have an awesome sense of all the work that others have done and I don’t dare mess it up! I have done some simple editing of punctuation so far but I will look to add some content. I think this process is a great way to introduce the Flat Classroom Project wiki to a class and I plan on having my students do this task in the next project.

This group is in the midst of creating a Wikipedia page for Flat Classroom Project. I have contributed to that page and it may be uploaded soon to Wikipedia.

Students at River East Collegiate in another class of Digital Communications grade 10, have been editing our school page. This is a great experience for them to be a part of contributing information and being a voice on the Internet.

This is a perfect example of how I see a PLN. When I find information on Wikipedia (or other sites) that “zero in” on information I need and am looking for, I link that to my PLN. They become part of my network–follow on Twitter, Reader, etc. Generally, when you follow someone, they tend to follow you as well, forming a larger network. People who do not contribute to such sites are not included in the network and, as a result, are left behind and out of the information loop. It becomes more difficult for the non-contributers to be current in knowledge and often “fall off the wagon”.

Challenge #9: Assess

The students that participated in the wikis for Challenge #8, first collaborated and contributed to wikis created by another class in our school. Students in my class were required to contribute to three separate wikis from the other class. The wiki topics were students’ choices. The practice and experience in this collaboration is part of the Seven Step process of flattening the classroom. The students then went on to collaborate in the Flat Classroom Project 10-3b. They created a video artifact which was judged using the rubric. Students then watched the awards in Elluminate. Three videos from our class won awards.

#9Bonus-a! Join as a Peer Review Classroom

Students in the Flat Classroom Project 10-3b were unofficial reviewers as they reviewed wiki pages in the 10-3a wiki. This was as much to see other examples of similar work as to critique edited wiki pages.
Students were critical of their group members until they saw the completed wiki page of the second wiki. They then realized the impact of global collaboration and what can happen when students from around the world work together. Collaboration is powerful on a global basis! My second semester class that is participating in the Flat classroom Project project 11-2 will participate as a peer review class in another project. I am looking for a connection for them for this assignment.
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#9Bonus-b! Join in as an Expert Advisor or Judge

I am an expert advisor on the 10-3a wiki topic, Mobile and Ubiquitous.
Share: After completing the process, share with the project organizer what you have learned from this experience.
I am an expert advisor on the wiki in which my class is not participating. This gives me a different perspective in that I don’t know these students but I know the topic. The students also don’t know me so it was important for me to introduce myself so the students know that I am a credible contributor.
Reflect on your blog ideas you have for educators to collaborate with on-line projects as mentors, coaches, and contributors.
It will be important for teachers in the projects to ensure that their own students read the advice posted by the expert advisors since most classes have now moved on to video creation. This emphasizes the importance of communication and the timing of communication in on-line collaborations!

Reflection


Oh, the importance of a PLN! This week has meant a lot of research for me. I am looking for a Ph.D. topic and as I am researching global initiatives, technologies, collaborative learning, etc. etc., I am continually adding this wealth of information to my PLN. There are many great opportunities for us, (teachers/master learners) to learn and to teach! I listened to David Warlick’s closing Keynote on the K-12 Online Education conference and again find opportunities to teach and to learn.
The Online Global Conference being held this coming week will also provide a wealth of opportunities for anyone who wants them–and to grow your PLN–(your mind). One comment that was made in the back channel of David’s closing keynote was that somehow teachers are reluctant to learn even when it’s “free”. So where is the passion? Do we have Fires in our Mind?

This is my reflections section, so I’ll reflect on another note.
Our national news had a story two nights ago on the QR Bar Code technologies, now finally here in Canada. Apparently this has been available in Japan and other countries for some time. I found the CBC.ca video (I hope it is not blocked outside of Canada) on this and played it for my Flat Classroom Project students. We discussed this topic. I went to my next class–a multimedia class. After class, one of my students asked me if I wanted to see something cool. But of course! He showed me an app he had downloaded on his iPhone–the bar code scanner!!! He demonstrated this for me and I do find this amazing and intriguing. Coincidence? Serendipity? Deep cool! What other profession allows such opportunity and collaboration? Who cannot have the passion as a teacher? Allow yourself to be inspired, and it will happen!

Module 5: Choices and Creation

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


The following topics and points are all part of this focus on choice and creation:

  • How can students be given choices in their learning?
  • Can consistent learning outcomes occur when different choices have been made by students as to the medium they will use?.

My answers to these questions and reflections are given below in the challenge and reflection section.

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #10: Give Students a Choice

Project: Create a video using Adobe Premiere Pro with music created in Garageband –
Giving students choice in a variety of areas is fairly new to me. I have given students projects to do over the years and have asked them to choose a topic for their web sites, newsletters, etc. However, I have not practiced giving students choice as to the outcome before. I have treaded carefully on this challenge but did give one of my classes this opportunity. I did quite a lot of searching on the Internet to get ideas and see examples of project plans with student input.
I created a Google Doc listing some basic technical criteria, then listed 13 categories on which they could choose to base and create a video. I created another Google Doc with a table listing their names and shared this doc with them so they could edit. They were required to fill in their category which they chose and the outcome they wanted to achieve by making this video. Then, as a class I asked the students to decide on a due date. Students are choosing how they will plan their video and how it will all come together!

I have joined Curriki. I would like to explore this site more and contribute some of my ideas and lessons.

Challenge #11: Align Your Project to Standards

Students chose a deadline for their video project giving them ample time to complete the project However, it was necessary that other work also be completed by this date with only three weeks remaining in the semester after the chosen deadline date. It was necessary to provide a timeline to ensure completion of all outcomes.
Students given choice on their learning generally become more engaged in their learning. I explained to my students why they were being given this choice and what the criteria was for this project. Based on this information, students seemed quite receptive to this idea and it was evident that they had not been given much choice in their education up to this point. Most courses are tied so tightly to the curriculum that educators feel there is no time for variances! The discussion became somewhat like “a kid in a candy store” with all of the options available to them, e.g., topic, timeline, process. I could see their thoughts travelling at high speed at the opportunities! Then reality set in … I shared the Google Docs with them outlining the many topics and options as well as the doc where they had to make choices. This then became a little difficult for many of the students and they began askings questions. Thinking set in!

Reflection


The first class period following the project being assigned, students began exploring the various topics and processes to create their video. Some students decided that they needed a concrete storyboard and created electronic forms of this in Google Docs or other formats. Some students felt that wasn’t necessary but began flaundering and spent several class periods beginning a plan and then changing it and starting over several times. At this point, it was evident that a few check points would have to be put in place to ensure that students would stay on task and actually finish the project. These check points were necessary for less than half of the students but everyone followed them. Some students reflected that it was easier for me to “tell them what to do” and they would do it. No one complained about the due date or the topic because they chose it and realized no one “made them do it”. Students became more responsible in this choice project in fulfilling obligations.

Module 6: Global Project Design Elements

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


Design! Discussions

  • What do we mean by ‘the imperative of global collaboration?’ and how does this relate to Friedman’s concept of ‘glocalisation’?
  • How can we design learning experiences that embrace global education as well as enforce rigor and relevance…..or are these the same?
  • What are the essential design elements of a globally collaborative project that every project must include?
  • How important is collaboration and co-creation in global project design? Does this importance differ depending on the age of the participants?

Class discussion

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #13: Design a Project

I am looking to connect my eDesign class Grade 11 with a class through the Flat Classroom Ning or through ePals. The focus is web design using individual student-designed wikis. The link below outlines the project.

Global Project Design.pdf

#13 Bonus!: Engage with Social Media

My class has been working hard to prepare their wikis for collaboration with a class from Mexico City. I found this connection through ePals. My students are excited that they will be collaborating with students in a different country and a different climate. I have communicated with the teacher in Mexico City and she has indicated that her class is ready to connect with my students, however, I have not had response from her for nearly a week with the information we need to connect.

Reflection


It is so important that there be communication in collaboration–my students are wondering if this collaboration will be a reality. Engagement can dwindle very easily if communication is not maintained.
P.S. This reflection is noted after the semester is complete and students have created their wikis in preparation for collaboration. We did not make a connection with the planned classroom. I contacted another classroom in Turkey this time for a possible collaboration. We never did receive a reply from them. I appreciate the suggestions and contacts given to me for collaboration when I pitched my project to the other Flat Classroom Certification teachers. Semester 2 is upon us and I will look for collaborations again so that this project can be delivered.

Module 7: Celebration

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

The Flat Classroom Project 10-3b Student Summits can be found at this link: Flat Classroom Project Student Summit
I created slides to introduce the project to our audience in the virtual classroom. This helps to make the presentation run smoothly.

Flat Classroom Project 10-3bSummit.pdf


Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #12: Celebration and Summation

We participated in our student summit on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 9:45 a.m. (GMT 06). Please click on the link to see and hear the reflections of my students. My students are in the Flat Classroom Project 10-3b.

Reflection


Participating in the Flat Classroom Project is a huge experience in many ways, both for my students and for me! We have worked together and have become a team. Students emailed their parents to invite them to come into the virtual Elluminate classroom. For most parents, this is a new experience. Some parents did come and the students were thrilled to be able to share their global education experience with them. It was great to see this excitement. Presenting a student summit is comparable to studying for a HUGE exam and coming out of the exam knowing that you scored high. Remember how we talked about moving forward in small steps–well this experience is several of those steps for my students!

We had hoped that some students from other classrooms could join us, however that didn’t happen. It is always even more enriching when several classes can share in the summits. We are hoping to share in some other summits as well. Please let us know when you are presenting and we will try to be there. Next time round, I will try to make better connections to ensure that we have other classes sharing in our presentations as well.
Here is also one of the summit slides created by one of my students. We will post all of our slides on the Ning, tagged as REC.

Summit_Dziadyk.jpg

Module 8: Advanced Global Project Design and Management

Pedagogy: Global Project Design


Project Name eGlobal Learning—Anywhere, Anytime Global Collaboration
Link to curriculum Secondary level, Technology Curriculum
Aims of the project Interactive web design
Link to standards Provincial ICT Curriculum guide
Student level/age Secondary level, grades 10 – 12, ages 15 -18
Topics for investigation Interactive Web Design – design, format, content, interactivity
Web 2.0, social/media networking
Required outcomes The students will be able to design, create, and format a wiki or other interactive web tool allowing for interactivity on a global basis
Optional outcomes The project will focus on asynchronous learning, however if available, there may be a synchronous component; students will learn about culture, economy, education, technology about the collaborating classroom
Length of activity Part of one semester—2 – 3 months
Assessment The primary purpose of the project is to improve student learning and engagement in a global collaborative environment.
Evidence of student achievement is collected from three components: observations, conversations, and student products.

Flat Classroom 15 Challenges


Challenge #13 and #13Bonus completed in Module 6 above.

Reflection


My semester one class worked through this project preparing appropriate pages in their wikis. I did some linking to my wiki and am working out how this might be delivered in a fairly smooth manner so that the collaborating school(s) have one main link to my master wiki (similar to the Flat Classroom Project format) and then sub wikis linked from the master wiki.

Module 9: Putting it all together

Pedagogy: Global Project Design

The pitching of a global project is important in that the other global project design teachers have a perspective that the designer may have overlooked or not experienced. The critique, comments, and suggestions are invaluable in such a process.


Challenge #14: Pitching your Global Project Design

Global Project Design Pitch by Eva Brown

Challenge #15: Flat Classroom Project re-design!

My task was that of coordinating the Expert Advisors in the 10-3 Flat Classroom Project.
This process is an excellent method to provide students in the project with expert feedback. However, timing is of utmost importance here and the expert advisors need to be brought into the wikis sooner. They should be asked to join the wiki and provide comments and feedback approximately midway through the research process. Teachers in the project need to emphasize to their students that expert advisors are communicating in the Discussion page and students need to take advantage of this “mentorship” communication. When students begin the video stage of the project, this communication comes to an abrupt standstill and the comments from the expert advisors are not read. Another meeting during the video creation process to remind teachers of the importance of students reading and communicating with expert advisors would be beneficial.

Several additional comments to improve the project:
Outsourcing of video clips – it is important that all teachers in the project participate in a meeting during the video creation stage to ensure that their students are requesting appropriate clips and fulfilling one clip.
A specific project manager and optionally an assistant manager would provide cohesiveness to each group.
Summits are much more valuable when other classes join in. A suggestion I have is to create a chart where one class posts their summit time and at least one more class must post as a participatory class. this chart should be posted fairly early on so that more than one class could join as a participatory class and plan to join. I found that classes in the 10-3 project were late in posting summit times and some did not post at all making it difficult or impossible to join any classes. The application to join the FCP does ask teachers if they are willing to participate in approximate weekly meetings, however, when the project gets underway, some teachers don’t attend the meetings … understandable that teachers might not attend one or two meetings but some teachers miss most of the meetings … even if they attend asynchronously, they didn’t post or reflect to let others know that they were involved. It was evident that their students were also not participating effectively in the project.

Challenge – FINAL: Flat Classroom Certified Teacher

Reflection


This journal is a great guide for me for the next Flat Classroom Project in which my students will participate.
This course provides tremendous experience and sharing ideas with other teachers becoming certified. Some of these teachers have participated in several Flat Classroom Projects and bring great insight. I have shared my learning experience in this course with colleagues of mine. One teacher in my department will become involved in the Flat Classroom Project next year as a result of my participation. He is already flattening his classroom following the first steps of the seven step model by connecting interschool with my class and connecting with a global classroom for short tasks through ePals.
I will complete the survey for this course on February 1st, 2011 when it becomes available.
It has indeed been a great pleasure and honour to have been a part of this amazing opportunity! Thank you Julie and Vicki!!

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