Sunday, December 05, 2010

Elementary School Classrooms embrace 'A Week in the Life...."

Press Release: December 5, 2010

(Cross-posted with Elementary Flat Classroom Blog - this you must read!, and Flat Classroom Projects Blog)

Co-founders of the Flat Classroom™ Project, Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay are excited to announce the first ever Elementary School Flat Classroom Project. As a pilot project, eight schools and 9 classrooms from five countries have joined about 170 students together to develop an appropriate global collaborative experience within a curriculum framework for students in Grades 3-5 of ages 8-11.

"It is something we have been wanting to implement for a while as flattening the classroom walls is not defined by an age group or school section.", states Julie, "We have a team of excellent educators working furiously together to make this the best global experience possible, using Flat Classroom and other accepted methodologies."

The project is called "A Week in the Life....." and centers around sharing what life is like for students in their respective schools and countries. It encourages students to connect and communicate to build an online learning community and to collaborate on a common set of guiding questions and objectives. For this project we are using the tool Edmodo which provides flexibility for group creation and file uploading. It also supports development of multimedia collecting and sharing skills, and awareness of collaborative learning environments through the practical application of the project wiki. Topics for the project include School Time, Languages and Clothing, Housing and Transportation, Leisure Time, and Food and Celebrations.

We encourage interested teachers and supporters of global collaborative projects to review the developing wiki material at This project will run until the end of January, but which time students will have created celebration material based on their collected multimedia.

Applications of interest are being taken now for future projects. We plan to run the next project, after review of the current pilot, starting in late February 2011. See details at

Flat Classroom Projects are award winning projects that have been running for the past four years for middle and high schools students. The original project, The Flat Classroom Project, is based on the concepts found in Tom Friedman's book, 'The World is Flat', and subsequently has been included in the reprint of the book in 2007. Other projects include Digiteen Project (raising awareness of digital citizenship) and NetGenEd Project, run in conjunction with Don Tapscott (looks at emerging technologies and netgen norms of behavior). We encourage all educators and global collaborative project supporters to join our Flat Classrooms network to receive further updates on all Flat Classroom Projects. More information about Flat Classroom Projects can be found on the website

Participating Schools in 'A Week in the Life...." 2010
American School of Bombay, Mumbai, India - Waciuma Wanjohi and Erica Barclay (supported by Kevin Crouch)
Denton Avenue School, New Hyde Park, New York, USA - Lisa Parisi and Lauryn Tiedemann
The Falcons School for Girls, London, UK - Nick Hitchen
International School of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic - Nancy von Wahlde
Mill Creek School, Geneva, Illinois, USA - Donna Roman
The Phoenix School, Salem, Massachusetts, USA - Betsye Sargent
Yarmouth Elementary School, Yarmouth Maine, USA - Cathy Wolinsky and Rosie Lenehan
Yew Chung International School, Beijing, China - Heather Davis

Further comments from me:
I am totally impressed with the dedication of the teachers in this project who have not only spent hours working through it, but also hours working it out!  by that I mean it has been a collaborative effort to actually pull it together and shape it into something that is suitable, appropriate, relevant and rigorous for all classrooms globally. We meet just every week online and discuss progress and situations and issues. It is these meetings, the real time connections, that provide the essential cement to the project. Actual project management and the importance of this can not be underestimated.

I encourage everyone to listen to the Global Education Conference presentation by Kevin Crouch, technology integration teacher at the American School of Bombay, who is supporting two of the school’s elementary classrooms through this project. He talks about how the technology supports learning in a variety of ways and how global education and development of technical awareness and skills in communication and collaboration are so important as 21st century objectives for all curriculum areas. – Flat Classroom A Week in the Life.

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