Friday, May 25, 2007

I have a 'digital native teenager'

Today is special because my very own 'digital native' becomes a 'digital native teenager'. I woke up unnecessarily early this morning (Friday being the first day of our weekend here in Bangladesh) contemplating the changes we have already seen in the past 13 years and the changes yet to come with the impact of technology in education and on everyday life.


The year my daughter was born was when I bought my first laptop (a Mac!) and when I started to shift my career from music education into more broader learning technologies and IT specialisation. In the past few years I have enjoyed having a younger, enquiring mind in the house and am especially interested and intrigued by her approach to using technology tools. She accepts change and new tools without hesitation. She uses a variety of hardware and software including online places with confidence. She can be doing homework, IMing and listening to music (iPod) at the same time. (yes, I know some studies show this is not true, that in fact multitasking does not exist however the ability to sequence events at a fast rate is essentially what is happening here). She is interested in the online world and participates in online interactions and wants to join SecondLife (!!!). She wants a new laptop (a tablet PC, no less), she wants a digital camera, she wants a playstation (mean mother will not buy a playstation...maybe a PSP is the way to go?)

How different life is for my daughter to when I was 13! How different will life be for her daughter? We can only surmise, but I do know that as a digital native and as a third culture kid and a global citizen she is developing and fostering the ability to use technology sensibly for communication and interaction with others as well as for learning about the world as it continues to evolve. I am very proud of her

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My first Second Life experience

What is all this fuss about Second Life? What am I missing out on? Well, if I don't have a go I will not know......but I live in Bangladesh! Do I have enough bandwidth? My students tell me I do not. But reading the Virtual Worlds section of the Horizon Project has really whetted my curiosity. Yes, I was going to have an early night....but thanks to reading Jeff Utecht's blog in my bloglines say goodbye to that! I just had to get in and see if I could experience Second Life myself. I had set up an account weeks ago but abandoned the idea as I couldn't seem to get a good Internet night to download the SL software. Well, for some strange reason tonight I am getting about 25kbs download, so the .exe file came down in record time. Now, have I created an avatar?? I can't remember! I searched the link Jeff shared of SL tutorials on YouTube and couldn't find anything about editing an avatar except that I should have made one when I created an account. Oh, OK, so what did I make myself look like? Can't remember. So, what to do? Alright. let's just open the SL software and see what happens. I login in with my avatar name JulieAnne Acronym and find I am in a place with other 'people'. Someone is walking towards me......crash, the software is gone. I do it again, and again. Same result. OK, let's try something different. Jeff has a shared office in C.A.V.E. (Center for Advanced Virtual Education) which you can go directly to with this SLURL. So I click it, the software opens and I am in a place where the walls start to form and objects turn from a blur to furniture and plants etc. Needless to say my 12 year old daughter is right beside me adeptly moving the arrow keys and then I find Jeff's desk and plants and ...there is his photo! It is his office space!! Wow. Quick take a screen shot...just in time...crash, I'm out again. Not enough computer memory? Internet problems? Don't know..... Here is the 'evidence' anyway. Thanks Jeff for sharing...maybe next time we can have coffee.

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K12 Online Conference: Proposals being accepted now!

I was most delighted tonight to find the official announcement for the K12 Online Conference spread over the blogosphere. Last years conference was a fabulous collection of educators sharing the best of Web 2.0. This year will be even better!

This year’s conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26 of 2007, and will include a preconference keynote during the week of October 8. This year’s conference theme is “Playing with Boundaries.”

There will be four “conference strands”– two each week.
Week 1
Strand A: Classroom 2.0
Strand B: New Tools
Week 2
Strand A: Professional Learning Networks
Strand B: Obstacles to Opportunities

This call encourages all, experienced and novice, to submit proposals to present at this conference via this link. Take this opportunity to share your successes, strategies, and tips in “playing with boundaries” in one of the four strands as described above.

Deadline for proposal submissions is June 18, 2007. You will be contacted no later than June 30, 2007 regarding your status.

Presentations may be delivered in any web-based medium that is downloadable (including but not limited to podcasts, screencasts, slide shows) and is due one week prior to the date it is published.

Please note that all presentations will be licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

If you have any questions about any part of this, email one of the conveners:

  • Darren Kuropatwa: dkuropatwa {at} gmail {dot} com
  • Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach: snbeach {at} cox {dot} net
  • Lani Ritter Hall: lanihall {at} alltel {dot} net
  • Wesley Fryer: wesfryer {at} pobox {dot} com
Much more detail can be found on the K12 Online Conference website.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

You Create the Content with UCC

Horizon Project review time once again. This time the User Created Content trend (UCC).

According to the Horizon Report UCC is "...all about the audience, and the "audience" is no longer merely listening. User-created content is all around us, from blogs and photostreams to wikibooks and machinima clips....These bits of content represent a new form of contribution and an increasing trend toward authorship that is happening at almost all levels of experience."

The Project Manager of the UCC trend for the project, Sabbab, created a commendable introduction to the main UCC wiki. Here it is:
" " We are no longer consumers but producers as well", said Thomas Freidman the author of the book The World is Flat. This means that now the users of online tools can also contribute information as well and access it which has revolutionized the whole way we thought about the Internet, as previously it was referred to as a source of information and not something where one could contribute as well. As the topic of this wiki suggests users can now create their own content online i.e. contribute information to the web and download as well. These contributers are now finding new ways to contribute, communicate and collaborate using a variety of tools. A few examples of such tools are Web 2.0 technologies example Google docs, social networking sites, blogging and social bookmarking sites such as Flickr and"

Introduction to UCC
Sabbab has created a well constructed video that includes content from three other students, from Vienna International School (Austria), Presbyterian Ladies School (Melbourne) and ISD (Dhaka). It also includes commentary from Sabbab himself (and as his teacher I know how nervous he was doing this!) as well as a clever intertwining of parts of the Michael Wesch video "The machine is Us/ing Us". Listen also for the teacher at VIS, Barbara Stefanics speaking eloquently about the current state and future of social bookmarking!

The Future of User Created Content Video

Sourov looks at the development of computer technology from the mid 90s and relates his own personal story of how he became a computer user and the upgrades he went through to get to today. He then looks at the present and future of UCC. I like his inclusion of a short clip from 'Back to the Future' after which he says, "We might not yet have flying cars but we certainly been able to build the web where we can share, create and communicate."

Future of User Created Content
Salvi worked in the area of impact employment for the UCC trend. In his video he deliberates over how UCC could be used to find a job. As Salvi's teacher can I share with you the breakthrough we had with this video. Despite the fact he has not done a particularly good job editing the video footage (he has left my questions in!) it is fantastic that he developed from 'reading' from paper all of his commentary to actually thinking about what he was saying. I call this a great step forward in understanding his topic and am glad I asked him to do it this way (stressful as it was at the time!). I think he has done a great job!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Virtual Worlds: Students Explore and Relate

The Horizon Project pages for the trend of Virtual Worlds are fascinating! I am looking longingly at the images from Second Life (not enough bandwidth in Bangladesh for this yet!) and reading avidly the research done by the students about the impact of virtual worlds on education, politics and government, and health, science and the environment and arts and entertainment.

The term 'avatar' is becoming second nature to me as I explore this topic. According to the main Virtual Worlds wiki:

"Avatars your 'in-world' representations. Every virtual world uses avatars. Typically, when you begin a virtual world, you create your avatar, and, from then on, your avatar is you. You are your avatar. It's what people see of you in-world, and it's what represents you. Avatars have reached a point where you can edit everything from the skin-tone to the jaw-line to the shoe-size, giving users the chance to truly recreate themselves, or become something completely new."

Some must-watch student videos from the Virtual Worlds wikis.

Virtual Worlds: Impact on Education
Created by Andrew S (Westwood, USA)
This video takes a look at the life of a college student in a virtual world of classes. You will find there is some sophisticated Flash animation supporting Andrew's ideas.

Created by Shakila S (ISD, Bangladesh)
Major features of this video are the special effects and great images. Also, the interview with a local Bangladesh doctor and hearing about the integration of virtual world technology into medicine.

The Role of Virtual Worlds in Politics and Government
Created by Albert (VIS, Austria)
Albert talks about the impact of Second Life on government and politics and relates how in the recent French elections all four of the main candidates had offices with up to 20,000 visitors per day. He makes some excellent points about the use of virtual worlds in the political process.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Setting our sights high with Elluminate

The Horizon Project took on a new challenge last week when we ventured into synchronous interaction using the online conferencing and collaboration software Elluminate. I have already blogged about the preliminary session between ISD (Bangladesh) and PLC (Australia). I have also previously introduced our Student Summit using Elluminate. As a final summary to the week I want to share some comments and thoughts as to the implementation of a tool like Elluminate in the regular classroom.

For a start Elluminate is an incredible, sophisticated software that allows many people to interact online and share ideas and resources. For the Horizon Project we had corporate sponsorship for 50 seats for one month. There is a free account option for 3 seats, the vRoom, that could be useful for certain collaborations.

My class in Bangladesh had two opportunities during school time to interact with either a partner class or other international guests during the week. Both of these sessions were not easy due to various technical issues, mainly the lack of bandwidth and having to cope with being bumped off the session regularly. However, what I found was that asking the students to prepare and then present on their research into one of the technological trends explored really stretched them into a higher level of understanding. They found it tough going! I am pleased to say that they did a great job overall. As part of their presentation they could bring up an image (JPG) or a short PPT. They could also draw on the whiteboard and share URL's and key words. As the week progressed they became more adept and more focussed on what they were trying to communicate. Our problem was getting all the students online at the same time....a problem technically it seemed.

I also sat in on one of Vicki's Elluminate sessions with her class in Georgia where she expertly managed students and software and had all of the class online simultaneously as well as a number of international guests. What a great session that was!

One of our partner classes in Austria from Vienna International School also had an Elluminate session, which we were not able to attend, but which Judy O'Connell and Lisa Durff were able to support as international guests. The comments from the teacher, Barbara Stefanics, who was on a real high afterwards, are extremely encouraging. I think we must be on the right track with this, despite the technical issues. In an email Barbara says:
I cannot tell you what an incredibly positive experience it was for the students. David B (VIS) who is very intelligence but normally cannot express himself well in front of the camera was able to completely overcome his autistic problems and talked without hesitation. Kyungsoo (VIS) who has had difficulties in posting because of his written language problems made impressive contributions. Judy and Lisa were so encouraging. The participation in the Horizon Project and the Summit have made genuine breakthroughs for all of my students."

These images are from my class session where we had Judy and Lisa once again as well as Jo McLeay pop in. As you can see we are spread around our large room mainly with laptops with some students in the anti-room with PCs. It was such a great experience to have other people 'in' the class with us and to be able to ask questions and interact with the students.




More images can be found on my Flickr account at the Horizon Project set

recording is from 2 Elluminate sessions. When you listen you will hear PLC from Australia interact with me here in Dhaka (their teacher, students and administrators all come online), then it cuts to the afternoon sessions as mentioned above with my class. You will need a little patience with the second session as apart from some technical issues some of the students had not been into Elluminate more than once beforehand and were still finding their way. There are some gems from the students worth listening for however.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Horizons for Mobile Phones

Are you interested in the future impact of mobile phones on education or other aspects of life? Do you wonder what it will be like to go to school now and in the future with full access to mobile and ubiquitous technology that can be freely used for organisation, communication and collaboration?
I know for a fact that Darren Draper is very interested, as is Mark van 't Hooft, Quentin D'Souza, Andy Carvin, and people at the Mobile Learning Blog in Australia. In fact I attended a staff meeting this afternoon where the issue of whether students could freely bring their mobile phones to school was discussed because we are broadening our mobile computing program at ISD to include phones, iPods and other devices that can store and transfer files, be used for organisation and also used for the collection and use of digital artefacts. We want students to have the freedom and mobility and we want them to also accept the responsibility that goes with this. We as teachers are prepared to come to terms with the responsibility it puts on us as well to model best practice and sensible use of the technology. I believe this is the way forward for education.

On the Horizon Project a group of international students have researched the Mobile Phone trend from the Horizon Report. Now, at the end of the project they have finished uploading their information to the wiki pages and are also getting their final multimedia artefacts online for the world to view.

Here are three of the student-created videos looking at the future of mobile phones that you should not miss.

A Thing in My Pocket in 2020
by Atif, International School Dhaka, Bangladesh

After the dramatic start using the iPhone advertisement footage Atif takes us on the journey of a typical secondary school student in the year 2020 and how the mobility of a 'phone' helps to get him through. What I love about this piece is the juxtaposition of a futuristic technology-enhanced scenario with street scenes and school scenes of Bangladesh as it is now in 2007. I wonder as the technology continues to improve whether life in Dhaka will change as well. I wonder whether mobile phone technology has the power to bring Bangladesh into the 21st century....a topic we have discussed often in class and eluded to in this video.

A Peep into the Future of Mobile Phones
by Ginger, Shanghai American School, China

This video looks at the potential of mobile phones to transform life and focuses on leisure and entertainment. The description on YouTube states, "The advancement of the mobile phone industry is having a great impact on our lives. More and more convenient features and functions are starting to become common among mobile phones. What will the future look like in your opinion? The potential of mobile phones from different opinions are discussed."

Mobile Phones
by Katie, Westwood Schools, Georgia, USA

The student Project Manager for the Mobile Phone trend of the Horizon project created this overview video including clips from different students and guests from around the world. She looks at what mobile phones allow us to do now and what the future may hold.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

'Shift Happens' and the world is a better place

As you probably already know, the winner of the Slideshare 'World's Best Presentation Contest' last week was Jeff Brenman who created a stylization of a slideshow originally created by Karl Fisch, examining globalization and America’s future in the 21st century.

Today, Slideshare have awarded Karl Fisch with a special prize for the 'Most Impact'.
In their words from the
Slideshare blog:

"Shift Happens has been viewed over 2 million times. For a presentation that was created by a school teacher for a faculty meeting, thats extraordinary impact. We at SlideShare would like to recognize Karl for creating this brilliant slideshow and sharing it in such a generous manner. As part of the World’s Best Presentation Contest, we are awarding him a special prize for “Most Impact”. It does not matter that the presentation was never entered into the contest (though I do hope that Karl will put it on SlideShare at some point :-) ). Our goal in organizing the contest was to recognize great slideshows. And Karl’s definitely fits the bill."

Karl has graciously asked for the prize, an iPod nano to be auctioned and the proceeds to go to the One laptop per child foundation. E-Bay will handel the auction, here is the link.

Here is the winning slideshow, 'Shift Happens' from J Brenman.

Here is Karl's slideshow, 'Shift Does Happen' in support of the OLPC iPod auction.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Take 5: Horizon Project Student Summit

Elluminate WB Intro

Take Five classrooms from Five different continents and Five culturally diverse countries. Then add Five teachers and a project that has encouraged interaction and collaboration. Five years is what the Horizon Report, the basis of this global research and discovery we call the Horizon Project, said it would take for the six trends to be adopted.

Five days this week and we will all learn from the students and what they have found out about their trend. In fact take ONE more day and all content, including the personal videos created by each student, should be on the wiki!

For the Student Summit students are asked to prepare answers for:
  1. What is the most significant trend for your topic?
  2. What is the best resource you found for this project?
  3. What is your prediction in this trend/area of impact that you think is most likely to happen?
Just to remind you the six trends are:
  1. User created content
  2. Social networking
  3. Mobile phones
  4. Virtual worlds
  5. New scholarship and emerging forms of publication
  6. Massively multiplayer educational gaming
The student summit sessions will be run in Elluminate, one of our corporate sponsors. There are six distinct summit sessions throughout the week, at various time zones. The Horizon Project has been established as an asynchronous learning environment for participants to share ideas and resources and to create content (wiki and multimedia artefact) based on their trend. The challenge this week is to turn this around and provide opportunities for synchronous communication. The aim of the summit is to give all student participants in the project a chance to present and all other participants a chance to listen to the student presenters and to ask questions and discuss their vision for the future based on what they have found out.

This is a daunting task for the students as not only are they coping with the technology of online conferencing, for the first time many of them, but they will have an international audience listening and interacting with them. Well at least we have planned it that way! Given that the summit is being run in all time zones we will not be able to have ALL classes in together but hope that students will be able to login from home at night when their partners on the other side of the world are in class. This concept of time is giving all members of this project a heightened sense of what it means to live in a world where when you are awake, a large percentage of the rest of the world are asleep!

For a full outline of the summit see our airset calendar embedded in the wiki page.

But, we do need an audience! We do have Five x 10 = 50 seats to fill in Elluminate, so please email me or Vicki Davis if you wish to join us and we can send the URL to login to the Horizon Project on Elluminate. Why not Take 5 and join the Horizon Project Student Summit this week!

Wish us luck!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Elluminating from Dhaka to Burwood

It was an exciting impromptu event this morning when John Turner, teacher at Presbyterian Ladies College and Horizon Project participant and I (here in Dhaka) realised we were going to have students in our classes at the same time (in real-time) so we decided to start experimenting with Elluminate! We are so lucky with this project as the Elluminate owners have sponsored the project for a few weeks of private use of this "Live eLearning solution and collaboration solution software."

Three days ago Vicki and I had our first session (play!) in Elluminate and learned a lot about how to use the fabulous facility for our Student Summit we are planning for the Horizon Project next week. Vicki wrote an extensive and informative blog post about this including the joy of finding calendar flexibility with

Elluminate allows participants to share audio, video, online and on-desktop resources, chat, use a whiteboard facility..and much more! The sessions can be recorded as well!

Today it took a while for me to be able to login and open the java software (bandwidth issues) and once in all of the facilities were not available (such as viewing web pages) however John and I managed to communicate very effectively and post text and pictures on the whiteboard as well as open PPT. My Horizon students thought this was fairly cool stuff and are looking forward to playing with it some more after I send them the invitation URL to login! However, they know that next week during the Summit they will be expected to present some of their research work and multimedia they have worked so hard on over the past few weeks.

Some pictures from our Elluminate session today.

Horizon Project Elluminate session 3

Horizon Project Elluminate session 1

Horizon Project Elluminate session 2

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

94=Iceland, 95=Suriname

Here is some interesting news! Well, it is to me anyway. The diversity of people reading my blog continues to amaze me. This week, watching the NeoCounter I have embedded in the side bar, country number 94 popped in as Iceland. Then this evening, country number 95 turns out to be Suriname. Wow! I was going to wait until I had people from 100 different countries to blog about it.....but I can't wait. Besides I may not make it to 100, who knows?

Welcome Iceland! Welcome Suriname! If it is YOU reading this blog please post a comment and introduce yourself I would love to hear from you. Why are you reading my blog? How did you find it? Are you involved in educational technology? Are you a teacher?

Wikipedia tells me that
Suriname is the "...smallest sovereign state in terms of area and population in South America." The former name I remember it by is Dutch Guiana. It gained its independence from the Netherlands in 1975.

Iceland is a country of North Western Europe and is very volcanic and geologically active. It's capitol city is Reykjavik. According to the GDP per capita list Iceland is the 4th wealthiest country in the world (oh, and Qatar where I will be working next year is the third wealthiest!). Is is also apparently one of the worlds most technologically advanced countries having one of the highest broadband Internet connections per capita.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

How 'addictive' is Social Networking?

I am worried about 'social networking' and addiction. This started earlier in the week when one of my Horizon Project students told me that SN was not good for students at our school and that it should be controlled a lot more! I was a little taken aback to be honest. Here is a 'digital native' sharing thoughts about tools that we all use and love, but being honest and concerned about what potential damage they are doing. According to my student the use of social networking in school is distracting students from their work, they are not concentrating and are more concerned about who has posted to their blog, or who is on facebook etc. My response was that we all need to develop our own self discipline with this new medium and that we need to encourage more teachers and students to use these tools for worthwhile tasks.

We need to keep students on track with this. We need to be responsible in our own classrooms and in our schools to promote best-practice use of 'social' or 'student' networking. This is a great opportunity we have as educators, as fellow learners with our students. We cannot afford to blow this! I feel that it is like other 'crazes' or 'addictions', the initial engagement stage is the most intense and then it settles down into being a more workable scenario. Do you remember the first days of the Internet? I remember driving for 1 hour across suburban Melbourne (Australia) to visit ano0ther school (1995) pioneering the use of the Internet. They had a computer lab attached to the library where students could go in and 'browse' the Internet. Wow! It was strictly controlled, with teachers patrolling, a very strict AUP and total observance of rules...or they were out! I cringe now to think what speed or access they were getting...or even to think what limited material was available then, but it was a start. Yes, there were people who said the Internet is 'distracting'....I still have some of those working in my school now ;-)!! However, as better methods, approaches and systems were worked out the Internet became a means of communication and interactivity as well as a research facility.

I wish to thank Judy O'Connell for her recent blog post where she states:

"One of the things that keeps being said is that social networking improves communication, and facilitates ‘being comfortable’ for the millenials. Kids use social networking to help them settle into their teen world. Because of Myspace or Beebo, teenagers can walk into a party, or walk around school and know people beyond their immediate ’sphere of influence’. Better than vertical streaming of pastoral care groups in schools (used to help students associate with each other by putting kids of different ages together) online social networking can broaden and enable friends and conversation seamlessly and effectively. Those who are reluctant to talk, or who rarely contribute in a classroom setting, find themselves more able to communicate in a digital environment."

Yes, social networking can be a leveller in a school and provide a differentiated experience. We need to build both student and teacher (not to mention administrators) confidence and support them in their acceptable use of this facility. As ed tech specialists we also need to lead the way and find the best tools to use. I am currently using Twitter....yes, in a way it is a sort of addiction. Through twitter I have connected quickly with other global educators and picked up their current ideas and activities. It is like a community within a community! On a simplistic level I can catch up on the weather in Shanghai, South America and the USA, who is starting the day, who is finishing the day, and the trials and tribulations of the day. On a deeper level I am part of a generous community that shares resources in short 140 character posts....did you see this..., have been looking at this....what do you think about this.....etc. These posts lead me out into unexplored areas or lead me to revisit blogs, other social networking sites (eg and to discover what is being talked about, constructed and going on in the world. I love it!

Oh, and before I finish this rather 'verbose post', there is a new Ning! (Sounds like something from Dr Seuss right??). Thanks to Doug Belshaw (and of course Chris Craft) NextGen Teachers now have a social network ning! You are ALL invited to join in....hurry up now, I'm sure you can fit in one more social networking activity each day! Let's not call it 'addiction', let's call it the best thing to happen to the Internet since........ You can fill in the rest.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Celebrating Current Online Global Projects

This post is long overdue as I have been wanting to write it for more than two weeks! Some very exciting and interesting and creative projects that involve classrooms in 'different and diverse' locations are in progress and I wish to draw your attention to them.

International Teen Life created by Clarence Fisher is an amazing collaboration between classrooms in four global locations (Columbia, USA, Canada and Malaysia). See the teacher planning wiki for more details. I am impressed with the details on the project wiki and love their iTL logo!
As it states on the front wiki page:
The purpose of this project is to have teenagers from different locations around the globe exchange their thoughts and perceptions of what their lives are like. By viewing, reading, and listening to the perspectives of others from around the globe, we hope that you will gain a greater perception of the similarities and differences of people's lives around the world. In this project we want to give you an opportunity to explore issues, and work intensely to gain a clearer understanding of concerns that people have in the world."

Through initial discussion and then careful planning students have teamed together to create wiki pages and videos based on topics of their own choice. The really interesting aspect of this project is how open-ended the topic material has become. Students have had the freedom to construct material and interact according to how they see the world and what they see as important and worth writing and creating material about. It reminds me very much of the excellent work fostered by the iEARN organisation and their 'Learning Circles', supported by the excellent work of Margaret Riel. However, what Clarence and the iTL teachers have done is independently create a circle that is not restricted by a larger organisation's timetable or conditions. This is the potential of the web and new tools, this is the true power of connectivity: Create liaisons independently and foster relationships that you have control over and that you can apply to internal assessment needs. But above all, create opportunities for students to learn about the world in real-life interactions.

The collaborative video as an outcome is a challenge and Clarence posted this on his blog recently, "This was a complex process involving students from four different classes from four different countries on three continents. We are not finished yet. We still have our videos to finish and we still need to make decisions about where we are going to place them. We would like to embed them on our pbwiki pages with all of the kid's work, but we are only allowed 10 mbs. on a free wiki and we have taken that up already."
Some example videos include, Stop Global Warming and Poverty, the Dream to End It.

The Flat Planet Project is an initiative of Neil D'Aguiar from Surrey, UK and Simon O'Carroll from Ontario, Canada.
The aim of the project is for you to use the internet to work together and explore:
- Current Environmental Issues
- The way these issues are being dealt with in the respective countries
- Exploration of any International Agreements on these issues
- The Catholic Moral Responsibility for these issues
This one I know is modelled on the Flat Classroom Project and also includes a multimedia element as a final product. The project has been running for two weeks now and already I can see collaboration in a wiki-centric environment including joint authorship of a wiki page and ongoing discussion via the wiki discussion tab. I look forward to following this one through as the issues and topics being tackled are certainly global in outlook, such as Climate Change, Endangered Species. I like the way this group are also looking at international agreements and taking a very global view of the issues and topics.

Other projects I have blogged about before that you should also be keeping an eye on include:
1001 Flat World Tales Clay Burell
1001 Tales (middle school) Kim Cofino
Developing Expert Voices by Darren Kuropatwa

Finally, you must read this post from Clarence Junior High Teacher Seeks Long Term Relationship where he puts out there a request for collaboration.
As he states:"While I'm not looking for our classrooms to be connected all day, I would like to be connected on a daily basis (might be through blogs, wiki research, a
VOIP call, etc.) on at least one ongoing unit (we would work on a math unit together for awhile, switch to a novel study, then move into a group photography project). I'm looking for a small group of people looking to change what classrooms can be. I want to create a network of people looking to have "thin - walled" classrooms".
Make sure you read the excellent responses to this post as well.

I feel there is a real change in the air in terms of online global collaboration. Teachers have more power to do this themselves and to adapt it their classroom and school needs. With excellent examples already leading the way in terms of structure and use of Web 2.0 tools all it really needs now is motivation and a determination to 'flatten' or thin-out' the classroom walls. All it takes is for teachers to use these connectivity tools to find each other and link in with a common purpose. In some ways less initial structure is best as then the liaison can be moulded and melded as needed.
You must read this excellent post by Kim Cofino (one of the iTL classroom participants as well) '5 Tips for Creating a Global Classroom'.

Do you see a global project on your horizon soon?

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