Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sharing more Flat Classroom Summit Experiences

Yesterday the flat classroom from Vienna International School under the direction of Barbara Stefanics presented their Student Summit. This group of students are the youngest class yet to be part of the Flat Classroom Project, being in Grade 8 and around 13-14 years old, compared to the other students who are Grade 10 and above and about 15-18 years old.

These VIS students did a fantastic job! They confidently cam on audio and video and talked about their experiences, discussed the issues they felt were important and shared their learning with us. The recording of the Elluminate session will reveal a certain maturity and confidence emerging that maybe the students didn't really know they had until actually put on the spot and asked to communicate live with whoever came into the Elluminate room.

Here is a collection of images from the VIS class. The first image is of Millica who did the presentation on behalf of herself and David (an absent peer). She spoke succinctly about how they had worked out the four 'C' words to align with different Web 2.0 tools and online uses. Listen to the recording to find out more!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Safe Toys

I also want to share Vicki's contribution to the Flat Classroom 2007 teacher summit from the other day. I have blogged about this already however I am now putting Vicki's screen shots of her cartoons up front in this post. They are so real!




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Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Power of the Collaborative: Students 2.0

I found this through a Twitter from Kristen Hokanson this afternoon. yes, I know ...I am supposed to be writing reports but, hey, Twitter was still open and......

Then I watched the video and explored the Students 2.0 website (in it's infancy)...and then I discoverd one of the leaders of this initiative is a Flat Classroom student from MICDS, Anthony C, who blogs at Two Penguins and a Typewriter, and who created the video called 'What Happens When the World Goes Online', for the Connecting the World Online topic, which has a quote from Friedman's The World is Flat spoken by me at the start...and then goes on to interview Pat Bassett from NAIS who talks about the Challenge 2020 program...I was just in Madrid 2 weeks ago at a presentation about this from a rep. from NAIS, maybe it was PAT.....I feel like I am going around in a circle here!

Video teaser for Students 2.0

Students 2.0 Launch Teaser from Sean on Vimeo.

So, a group of 'out there' students have got together and decided to blog and create multimedia and change the world. I am so looking forward to this! Kudos so far to you all.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Flat Classroom Student and Teacher Summits

Julie's image for the Teacher Summit reflection

I am still buzzing from the online
Flat Classroom Project 2007 Student and Teacher Summits we had yesterday.
There are 7 classrooms included in this project and for the teacher summit we managed to get 4 teachers in the Elluminate room at the same time.
Julie Lindsay: Qatar Academy, Qatar
Vicki Davis: Wwstwood Schools, Georgia USA
John Turner: PLC, Melbourne Australia
Barbara Stefanics: VIS, Vienna Austria

Unable to attend but deserving special recognition for their hard work and dedication to the project are:
Simon May: SAS, Shanghai China
Barrie Becker: LACHSA, California USA
Elizabeth Helfant: MICDS, Missouri

For the student summits PLC led the way last week with a session, view the recording here. John's comments from an email after the summit session:
What a blast - 3 of my students presented through Elluminate this morning [2 hrs ago]
Audience was only one but much appreciated - Donna a Year 7/8 teacher in Georgia [many thanks to Vicki for this]
Students found it an experience both information [presenting to a Web 2 world] and empowering (having to present in new forms)
Makes the week worthwhile. Now back to the mundane

Both of Vicki's classes from WW presented yesterday
This next recording in Elluminate includes the two student summits from Vicki's class at the beginning and then at the 6:55 time mark the teacher summit starts.

I highly commend the students from WestWood High School for their presentations and ability to use the back channel chat facility to keep conversations going and to answer questions while the presentations were going on. There were a number of visitors to these two sessions including Yara, a student of mine from Qatar Academy, and John Maklary, one of the sounding board teachers for the project. One of the highlights was when John's student, Leila, (13 year old peer reviewer!) came to the mic and explained to us all why she enjoyed being a reviewer and what her class got out of being part of the project. John shared with us that at this point the class turned a corner, they then realised that there were real people on the end of these wikis and videos. The power of real-time interaction should not be underestimated. Leila went on to say her favourite video was from Google Takes over the World topic, the one about news bulletin etc. Well, that's Yara's video...and Yara is here with us online! you can speak to her now! What a joy to be able to connect people/students using stable, effective and user-friendly software like Elluminate.
Here are some images from the PLC and WW student summits:

BubbleShare: Share photos - Cheap Hotels Vegas

The teacher summit reveals interesting interaction and sharing of images, thoughts, and ideas based on our experiences working through the Flat Classroom Project again this year. Both Barbara and John are also experienced 'flat classroomers' as they were part of the
Horizon Project last April/May as well.
When listening to the recording don't forget to fast-forward to the 6:55 time mark for the start of the teacher summit.

Some points made:
John Turner
  • We need to start thinking more visually hence the use of Comic Life to prepare this reflection
  • This project enhanced motivation and responsibility of students
  • Project needed good time management skills
  • Learned from using Web 2.0 tools and want to embed this learning into the curriculum
Barbara Stefanics
  • Watching the engagement of the students and being able to share this is important
  • Being able to bring in new and useful technologies, can be overwhelming for students until the essential tools are identified
  • Timing of the project can affect a classroom's effectiveness in joining and sustaining (holiday's interrupt the flow)
Julie Lindsay
  • Global Collaboration 3.0: this project has raised the bar in terms of what a global collaborative project can do
  • Key terms the 7 'Cs': Connect, Communicate, Cooperate, Contribute, Collaborate, Create, Celebrate (also ideas from participants: Collect, Construct, Citizenship)
  • Enhanced cultural understanding
Vicki Davis
  • Set of cartoons as to what it means to be a flat classroom teacher
    • Living in multiple timezones...adds to the exhaustion
    • Issues with video file formats....Zamzar are best friend but expires after one day
    • Challenging teachers to come on board with knowing and using the Web 2.0 tools
  • This project covers all of the NETS.S standards
  • Moving to a creation-based classroom from a consumption-based classroom!
  • Peer pressure and creation focus: a new way of teaching
  • Enlightening and enjoyable...but a struggle and lots of issues to work through
Here are some images from the teacher summit in Elluminate:

BubbleShare: Share photos - Safe Toys

We have more student summits over the next few days and also a student awards ceremony to celebrate the culmination of the project (we have 20 or so hard working judges from around the world viewing student videos right now!). For more details about times check the opening page of the Flat Classroom Wiki. We invite you all to come and join in! We have an Elluminate room for 100 so there is lots of room!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Flatten Your Classroom: ECIS 07 Presentation

It is almost a week since I was in Madrid at the ECIS (European Council of International Schools) annual conference for 2007. I have a few blog posts about this not finished yet! It was a great conference with excellent presentations and representatives from many schools and areas around Europe, Africa and the Middle East, not to mention the USA contingent.

As part of the ECIS IT team I co-presented a session called 'Web 2.0 Cocktail' where a few of us highlighted our favourite Web 2.0 tools. I featured wiki's and Twitter. Luckily the wireless Internet held up long enough for me to Twitter through and receive a couple of replies from international colleagues during the session...this always looks impressive (or at least odd enough for people to want to have a go themselves!). We had a packed room for this session and fielded many questions. The only down side was an inadequate Internet connection...but then again I am very spoilt having had the opportunity to present at NECC.

For my own presentation I had a spot on the very last morning, with about 1.5 hours available to talk about, "Flatten your classroom and embrace 21st century global learning". This was a wonderful opportunity to take the time to really look at the concepts behind the Flat Classroom Project and the Horizon Project and to feature student work. The audience were receptive, keen and interested. Most of the student work featured was 'hot off the press' from the current Flat Classroom Project 2007 and ECIS had set up an excellent sound system (thank you!).

Here is the slideshow as uploaded to my account. However I have had to take out all of the embedded multimedia but in most cases there are direct URL's to the online material.

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