Thursday, September 20, 2007

No clichey, it IS a flat world

I don't care what anyone says, the world really is flat.

Today I invited the students from my previous school, International School Dhaka in Bangladesh, who did both the Flat Classroom Project and the Horizon Project, to participate in the new Flat Classroom this semester as student advisers. These young adults are now completing their final year of high school, the second year of the IB Diploma and have a lot on their plate. I would not suggest they actually do the project again but my idea is to have them interact with the other new comers and act as peer supporters and help with the judging towards the end. I think we could even include a peer award where they could give their choices and awards. I really hope Vicki's class from last year are also available and willing to so this.

What marvels me is that these students will be doing it of their own volition. They will not have a face-to-face teacher reminding them to participate. I was touched this morning when they emailed and chatted online with me about how they miss me at ISD. Already Atif and
Shakila have joined the Flat Classroom Ning (currently a private Ning for participants of the project) with Cannelle, Salmaan and Sourov also about to accept invitations I sent after their requests. I explained who they were to my class at Qatar Academy this afternoon. Remember that video we watched about the year 2020 and mobile phone technology well, said I pointing to a grey head icon on the Ning this is the person, this is Atif. They looked at me in disbelief. And this cute kitten icon is Shakila.

Later during that same session I noticed Paul Fairbrother had just joined the Ning so in the midst of our blogging, audio experiments and Ning work I pointed out to the class that this new member was in fact the head of online learning for the IBO, based in Cardiff. Yes, the world is flat. I can collaborate with my ex-students from Bangladesh, who have become even more globally aware and attuned to the importance of sustaining online learning communities, while teaching in the middle east, while also being part of a global project that has as its hub a Ning where we can all see who is online and monitor contributions from all around the world.

Why don't YOU consider bringing your class in and joining us for the Flat Classroom Project 2007?

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