Tuesday, July 01, 2008

When Birds of a Feather Flock Together.....

This afternoon at NECC 2008, Vicki Davis and I ran a 'Birds of a Feather' session at the Bloggers Cafe for NECC Unplugged.

As anyone who is attending NECC this year knows, the Bloggers Cafe is in a central, easy to find location and has a great buzz going again this year. However, it is noisy venue and running a session is a challenge.

Birds of a Feather is traditionally a session where like-minded educators can come together and find each other, discuss ideas, plan further liaisons, learn from each other etc. It is one of the many excellent opportunities at NECC to meet more people who have the same educational interests as yourself.

Vicki and I planned this session with the idea of providing stimulus and opportunity for participants to 'flock' together and brainstorm ideas for collaborative projects. We gave a short introduction and some background material to the Flatclassroom concept and project practice (all links and info can be found on our standard Flat Classrooms wiki now). Here is our slideshow.

Groups were formed based on discipline or school level and participants brain-stormed for 15 minutes before reporting back to the rest of us. I am suitably impressed and awaed by the fantastic ideas that came out of this session, by the energy and enthusiasm that went into the conversations and planning and by the liaisons that were made with intentions to carry ideas into the next academic year.
Here are some examples:
  • Working with the digital citizenship idea and including parents. Creating a cross-cultural perspective on what it means to be growing up in a digital world and involving students in workshopping parents. Having a 'Digiparent' day each year where over a 24 hour period classrooms around the world present, celebrate and produce artifacts to raise awareness of what digital citizenship means and involves.
  • Social Studies project where classrooms share images of locations and prepare 'lessons' for each other based on themes to share knowledge about diverse locations. Also, an historical perspective could be brought into this one.
  • Art-based project where cultures are shared via drawing/painting in response to 'stimulus.
A big thank you to all who contributed and a pat on the back for the powerful collaborations that took place today. Let's see what the next academic year will bring. Expect to see more 'flat classroom' crafted projects online!

NECC08 Flatclassrooms BOF

Remember - Flat classroom teachers are not alone, they find others to fly with!

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John Peters said...


Fantastic presentation! I enjoyed it very much.

Julie Lindsay said...

John, great to meet you, and thanks so much for your help with taking photos and participating in the session.