Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Learn how to Flatten your Classroom at our Workshop

Vicki Davis and I are really excited to announce our first 2-day Flat Classrooms workshop. Although we live on opposite sides of the world, in very different cultures and circumstances, on July 8 and 9 we will be together. It is truly rare that we are in the same place, but we are passionate about duplicating our efforts and encouraging the proliferation of these projects around the world.

We invite educators who want to transform their learning spaces to include global collaboration in their curriculum to join us for a unique workshop at Mary Institute St Louis County Day School in St. Louis, Missouri.

These two days will be a unique opportunity to really drill down to the details of how to hold a flat classroom project and understand the best practice and pedagogy behind such a project. We believe it will be a memorable, special event as it is the first opportunity we have had to truly outline how such a project is conducted, assessed, and facilitated.

Please take time to review the workshop information, what you will learn, and contact us with your questions. Space is limited and on a first come, first served basis.

Because we are busy teachers, we have partnered with fellow visionary, Steve Hargadon to orchestrate this event. He shares our common vision of global collaboration and facilitation. We also appreciate the vision and encouragement of fellow collaborator Elizabeth Helfant at St. Louis County Day School and her insistence that this is something that we need to share with the world.

What will you learn?
Our Aims:
  1. To promote academic excellence through the use of leading technological tools.
  2. To promote connection and understanding between geographically dispersed, ethnically and culturally diverse groups of students in meaningful, global cooperative authentic learning experiences.
  3. To simplify and document pedagogical best practices for such projects.
  4. To duplicate "ourselves" and practices to encourage the open proliferation of such projects as a standard part of global education and digital citizenship.
Course Outline
Workshops have plenary and break-out sessions and include both skill building with Web 2.0 tools and project management. A hands-on approach is emphasized with participants encouraged to bring laptops and take advantage of the wireless network provided.
According to the needs of the workshop participants both introductory and intermediate/advanced breakout sessions can be offered.


  • Flat Classrooms and 21st century teaching and learning
    • What does a 'flat classroom' mean? How do we recognize one? How can you create one?
    • What are 21st century skills? What does a 21st century classroom look like and what does it do?
  • Global Projects and integrated/embedded curriculum
    • A review of characteristics of best-practice global projects and methods to find projects appropriate to your learning needs
    • A look at what it means to embed global collaborative projects into the curriculum

Pre-Project management

Planning and managing a Flat Classroom Project
  • A review of essential requirements and logistics to run a Flat Classroom Project

Seven Steps to Flatten Your Classroom

  • Connect

    • The 5 phases of connection - an overview of essential elements of being a connected educator
    • How to create a PLN (Personal learning network) and explore online connectivity
    • An introduction and review of social networks and networking in education and how to integrate them into the classroom
    • An overview of generic Web 2.0 tools used in Flat Classroom Projects
  • Communicate

    • How to foster an online learning community - teacher and student engagement strategies
    • A detailed look at skills and tools needed for asynchronous and synchronous communication
  • Citizenship

    • How to be a responsible digital citizen - a review of issues
    • Solutions for safety and privacy when collaborating online
  • Contribute

    • How be a reliable and successful online contributor - mastering RSS, social bookmarking and wiki's
    • Breakout sessions for skill development at different levels
  • Collaborate

    • How to manage the extended project community: peer review, expert advisers, judges, researchers
    • How to develop strong collaboration skills amongst students and teachers
  • Create

    • Digital storytelling - How to integrate this powerful practice into a project
    • Managing multimedia online - Strategies for working with multimedia formats and sharing resources around the world
  • Celebrate

    • How to assess and acknowledge student achievement - Review of authentic assessment methods
    • How to run student and teacher summits - Strategies for reflection and showcase sessions

Practical sessions

Lab #1 - Setting up a class or school wiki

Lab #2 - Setting up a class or school Ning

We hope you will consider joining us, Flat Classrooms Workshop

Vicki Davis
Julie Lindsay

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Anonymous said...

Will there be an online component for those of us who can only be there virtually?

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

We will do some things online -- and plan to ustream the opener. For practical reasons (like we'll be using our laptops on the screen for other things) we won't be able to ustream it all -- I'm guessing about 2 hours of it. Wish you could come!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sounds amazing! I so wish I could come! I'll have to catch the opener on uStream. I hope you decide to do this again - I know it's something I would absolutely love to do, but the summer is just too packed this year...

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Shelley said...

This sounds terrific! I'm so pleased for you (and your attendees)... you've pulled together what looks like such a helpful & engaging program.

Anonymous said...

The Seven Steps is really useful for any teacher considering integration of technology in the classroom. It is most helpful to have you and Vicki and others sharing out your work. This is the most important element of the WebWorld, I think -- teachers wanting to learn and teachers wanting to share.
Thank you

Julie Lindsay said...

@Kim Yes, I know the Summer gets filled up quickly! maybe we should look at doing something in the Asia region next year?
@shelley Thanks for dropping by and for your encouragement
@kevin Yes! I totally agree that sharing is part of learning. Still many teachers are 'privatising' their ideas and not getting out there and sharing. Thanks for your positive comments.

John Peters said...

I would love to attend, it might be a bit of a reach to convince my school district to pay for this as I am already going to NECC. But, I will give it a try. They can only say no.

Julie Lindsay said...

Hi John
Yes, that is the principle I work on as well...they can only say no. So, my advice, is go for it and try to convince them this is the way of the future...the ability to collaborate online using Web 2.0 tools...it is a flattener for us all.
Good luck with your request. let me know!

John Peters said...

I wlll try and do just that. I can't wait to meet you at NECC at least, even if I can't make it to St. Louis.

I have been reading Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat and saw the mention of you and Vicki Davis on page 501. I have already been suitably impressed with what you ladies have done with your Flat Classroom projects.

it has inspired me to initiate my own "project" of sorts for my Health Science Technology classes for next year.


I would love to hear your and Vicki's opinions on this project sometime.

Dr. Jessica Laccetti said...

This sounds excellent I so wish I could be there. I'll be waiting excitedly for any web friendly excerpts of the 2 days.