Thursday, June 25, 2009

21C Learning and @Web2

I am writing this in haste as I want to get it on my blog before closing my laptop for the last time here at Qatar Academy. Tomorrow I leave Doha, however I have a feeling I may be back sometime in the future. But for now I am off, first to NECC, then other travels around the USA, then home to Melbourne in Australia before going to Beijing to start a new position by the end of July.

I want to share some work a team of us here at QA have completed this week. This has taken a few months, but we are all pleased with the outcome. We agonized over the diagram....and many other parts of document. Thank you to ISTE NETS.S for the inspiration and essential structure for the final constructs. Other acknowledgements are on the wiki, but a special thank you to Kim Cofino and the ISB documents for 21st Century Literacy.

The 21st Century Learning wiki and attached document, is the foundation for professional development and curriculum planning for next year.

It starts with the Vision, talks about the Learning, invites people to share best practice, has detailed Constructs for Learning that scaffold 21st century learner objectives, and shares an interview series with educators and one student from different areas across the school as they talk about successes in their own lives and classrooms with digital learning.

I encourage you to watch the interviews, apologies for the fairly rough video work, however the message is clear, and provided by a determined collection of learners who willingly shared their highs and lows when embedding 21st century learning and Web 2.0 into what they do.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dear Dr Ghadah - sharing e-Learning initiatives

In a recent letter to me, the manager of ictQatar, e-Education, Dr Ghadah Omar Fakieh wrote:
"I wanted to share with you that we are expanding our e-education website to provide more awareness and allow collaboration and exchange for experience with schools. since Qatar Academy is one of the schools in the country leading e-education. I thought that you might want to contribute."

Here is my response:

Dear Dr Ghadah,
Here are some resources I can share with you. As I look back over the past 2 years I am amazed at how much we have done and how far we have come. Apologies if this is a little disjointed as we have information in various places and formats.

1. Digital Learning and 1:1: Documentation of our journey leading to the 1:1 implementation next year. All information is now found on this wiki including a 21-page booklet. I have also created additional wiki pages with the history and FAQs for the implementation, these sections are also found in the booklet.

2. You will find many resources attached to our E-Learning wiki at In particular the Policies and Guidelines wiki with attached documents at

3. Our 21st Century Learners initiative information, with documented meetings is here This was a community gathering to discuss what it means to be a teacher and a learner in the 21st Century. We had a number of special guests including Gary Stager and David Warlick, and culminated the year in a TEDxQA event

4. Flat Classroom Conference: Sponsored by HSBC, ictQATAR, Qatar Academy. Final report attached to Ning and wiki at and

5. Create the Future professional development 2-day workshop with consultant Kim Cofino, 21st Century Literacy Specialist with the International School Bangkok. Information found at

6. Development of an online learning community for Qatar Academy educators and beyond, E-Learning for Life. We now have a number of local and international educators active on the Ning.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Sharing my NECC09 Schedule

What am I doing at NECC09?
I am getting excited and feeling a little apprehensive about NECC this year. Yesterday most of our worldly belongings were carried out of our house in 59 boxes, to be stored here in Doha for 2 months and then sent to Beijing for a reunion with us in August/September. Meanwhile, my last day at Qatar Academy is Thursday June 25....then very early Friday June 26 my daughter, Violet, and I hop the Qatar airlines flight direct to Washington DC and NECC09!

So, here is my schedule at NECC so far. I am looking forward to meeting lots of people I know via the blogosphere. I am also excited to be getting together with great friends and colleagues I admire and learn from all the time during the year. NECC is like having an extended family!

Saturday June 27
Sunday June 28
Monday June 29
Tuesday June 30
Wednesday July 1
What are you doing at NECC?? Come and join me in the Blogger's cafe or at one of the open sessions above!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Across My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

TEDxQA - A great way to promote 21st Century Learning in Qatar

Over 30 people from all educational levels and styles in Doha attended the inaugural TEDx QA event. Held at Education City Recreation Centre Conference facility, the meeting was ostensibly the last gathering for the 21st Century Learners group for the academic year.
The theme was therefore '21st Century Learning' and organisers were pleased to accept applications to present at the event from 3 different and diverse education leaders based in Doha.
The format of the 3-hour session included watching 2 x TED talks, chosen by the attendees (Barry Schwartz on our loss of wisdom and then Benjamin Zander on music and passion), and then watching 3 x local presenters. In between these presentations round-table as well as whole room conversations and interactions took place as we talked about what it means to learn in the 21st century and how that impacts what we do as educators.

See Qatar Academy TED Talks for full details:

Topic: Deeper Leadership by Dr Dennis Roberts
Topic: Knowledge net by Ahmad Alkhatib
Topic: Life as an open book by Jabiz Raisdana

In addition we UStreamed the event and ran a backchannel for virt ual participants to be part of it. This is something we have been doing at all 21st Century Learner's events with great success. This allows non-attending participants globally to hear, see and interact with real participants and broaden the learning experience and level of debate for all.

Congratulations to our presenters and thank you to everyone for making this TEDx event a success.

Here is the flickr slideshow of pics taken during the event. Images uploaded to Flickr

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Across My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Across My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Plan to flatten your classroom - Join a Flat Classroom Project

As the northern hemisphere academic year comes to an end and some us look forward to some down time I want to share with you our plans for flat classroom projects and events over the next 12 months. I encourage teachers to consider when they can embed a flat classroom experience into their curriculum. Also share this with colleagues within your schools. Flat classroom projects are cross-curricular and aim for cultural diversity.

Here are the projects we intend to run 2009-2010
Don't forget ALL project and workshop and conference details and press releases, as well as project archives, for ALL flat classroom initiatives can be found on our wiki at

Flat Classroom Project

The plan is to run three flat classroom projects over the next 12 months to cater for different curriculum and calendar variations globally.
  • Flat Classroom Project 09-3 (Oct-Dec),
  • Flat Classroom Project 10-1 (Jan-March),
  • Flat Classroom Project 10-2 (April-June)
Flat Classroom Project New Teacher Guide
Flat Classroom Project
Application Form


We also plan to run three Digiteen projects to cater for global requests and calendars.
  • Digiteen 09-3 (Oct-Dec),
  • Digiteen 10-1 (Jan-March),
  • Digiteen 10-2 (April-June)
Digiteen Project New Teacher Guide
Digiteen project
Application Form

Horizon/ NetGen Remix ( late Feb-April 2010)
Based upon the annual Horizon Report, this project incorporates the current research on students, learning, and the newest technology and is announced in January 2010 with the title and the author(s) that will be incorporated into the project.
More details coming soon

This is a new project still in development based on the student-led outcome from the Flat Classroom Conference held in Qatar, January 2009. The winning student team invented the term and started ideas for 'Eracism' as a global project. We are currently putting it together and details are coming...however this will be cutting edge (of course) and include virtual reality, collaboration and interaction using Web 2.0 and have outcomes that can be transferred into local communities. Watch this space! We tentatively plan to run this new project twice:
  • Oct -December 2009
  • late March - May 2010
Educator Flat Classroom Project 2009
Also, as a heads up, and still very much at the discussion stage, we are planning an educator/pre-service teacher immersion project option. We aim to provide an opportunity for educators to be part of their own project as professional development or as part of their pre-service 'training', thereby developing skills and knowledge in Web 2.0, multimedia and global collaborative project pedagogy. Once again, watch this space for more updates!

NECC 2009
- If you are going to be NECC09 in Washington DC in 3 weeks, plan to come to our Flat Classroom Birds of a Feather session. Vicki Davis and I plan to provide inspiration and opportunity for like-minded educators to collaborate and plan MORE flat clasroom projects. There is a particular need to seriously plan collaborations for Primary level classes. We have many requests for projects to be adapted or created for this level of education. So, come along with your ideas and let's do it!

Flat Classrooms Ning - Don't forget, you do not have to be at NECC09 and face-to-face to help plan a new project! Come and join our educators only (no students on this one) Ning and start a group, start a discussion, start a conversation about joining your classrooms and flattening the walls.

Is there a flat classroom project in your future?

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