My proposition today, and for many years past, is that learning is 'flat' and has to be 'flat'. Learners need to connect themselves to networks, many networks, and learn from and with the immediate as well as wider world. I am talking about a change in mindset, a shift in pedagogy and an essential purpose for the integration of technology across the curriculum - including mobile computing.
'Flat' or 'Connected' learning is the use of technology to virtually eliminate the walls of the classroom. The walls are 'flattened' through bringing the world into the classroom and opening the classroom, opening the learning to the world. This can happen teacher to student, student to student, student to teacher and include expert advisors, sounding boards, and opportunities to learn from and with anyone. This is bigger than 'flipped' or 'blended' learning. 'Flat' is the superset learning objective, the others are subsets of this whole.
'Flat' learning is important because it connects learners with the world and impacts the context in which we learn. It promotes discovery and engagement with those who are not in the same physical space, and fosters opportunities to develop 21st Century skills, attitudes and habits of learning. Most importantly, adopting 'flat' learning can change the world as we know it - locally and globally - by creating more globally competent and aware learners who have enhanced cultural understanding and experience working with people across the world.
'Flat' learning is the future you say? NO! 'Flat' learning is NOW!
How do your 'go flat'? Here is a simple recipe for success.....only THREE ingredients!
Three Ingredients to Flatten Your Classroom
1. Connection - (Connected Learning)
- Connect yourself, connect your school, connect your students
- Develop habits and a daily workflow that includes regular interactions and opportunities to learn with and from
- Do not be confined by the synchronous! Develop strategies for asynchronous connections and conversations
- Use 'Pull' technologies such as RSS, blogs, social bookmarks and smart search engine use to pull information to you so you know what is going on, when it happens
- Become a teacherpreneur! Find opportunities through your PLN and bring them to your students and your school. A teacherpreneur is a teacher who sees an opportunity to make a profitable learning experience for students through the forging of partnerships with other classrooms with common curricular goals and expectations
- Make virtual connections, and participate virtually in global events
- Develop a strategy for curriculum development and refer to the Taxonomy for Global Connection to support embedding connected learning into what you do every day
2. Citizenship - (with a splash of global competency)
- Although technology is used in communication, digital citizenship is still squarely about relating to people
- Promote discussions about individual digital identity – including for older students and adults Personal Branding
- Be aware of the Enlightened Model of Digital Citizenship that includes: Five areas of awareness: technology, individual, social, cultural, and global – for framing analysis of online situations; and Four key “rays” of understanding: Safety, Privacy, Copyright, and Legal; Etiquette and Respect; Habits of Learning; and Literacy and Fluency
- Develop a powerful digital citizenship curriculum - and encourage global competency. It is not all about the hardware and software, it is about how you can learn more about the world supported by the use of technology
3. Collaboration - (the sort that includes co-creation)
- If collaboration is a needed 21st Century skill (are there any standards that do not include this?), educators need to not only teach it but to employ and model it as well
- Develop educational approaches to social learning
- Develop technopersonal skills for both synchronous and asynchronous learning
- Move towards co-creation of products with others at a distance
Do you want to learn more about 'Flat' learning? Do you want to embed global collaboration into your curriculum>
- Join Julie Lindsay in San Antonio, June 20-21 at the International School of the Americas (just before ISTE 2013!) for the next Flat Classroom Workshop - Yes! there are places available - and discounts for groups of 4 or more educators
- Join the Flat Classrooms network and find like-minded educators
- View Julie's ECIS IT Conference 2013 Keynote slides - 'FLAT'
Cross-posted with Around the Corner, Miguel Guhlin