Sunday, February 27, 2011

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Connect, Communicate, Change - A Conference with a Difference

We are about to start Day 2 of the Flat Classroom Conference 2011 here in Beijing, China. Already the Student Summit has been meeting for 1.5 days and teams are working furiously towards their 'animatic' presentation before lunch today. The Leadership strand have provided feedback to the student teams for their oral pitch of concepts and ideas. They have also developed their own curriculum ideas for implementing a project or idea that joins classrooms around the world and flattens the classroom walls and will pitch these to student teams this morning for feedback.
This conference is about global collaboration, it is about flattening the learning experience. Students, teachers, leaders are learning and leading from each other. We are excited, we are exhausted! and we have great expectations for what today will bring!

Don't forget to follow us virtually, both Taking It Global and Beijing Kids have supported us with online spaces to view media.
Our Flickr group has the latest pics!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Students and Educators Prepare for Action!

Press Release Feb 15 Flat Classroom Conference 2011
Excitement is growing as we approach the time for the Flat Classroom Conference 2011 to start. Hosted by Beijing BISS International School February 24-27, this event will bring to together 250 educators and students from more than 15 countries and 45+ schools and institutions. In true ‘flat’ learning style elementary, secondary and tertiary education converge as participants work through a conference program that inspires them to connect globally and take action back in their own schools.

For the Leadership Workshop, adults will explore collaborative learning modes and emerging technologies that support these while designing new instructional models for immediate use in their own classrooms. These new curriculums and pedagogies that include interaction and true problem solving in collaboration with other classrooms around the world are aimed at developing global citizens who have confidence and knowledge with digital learning environments.

For the Student Summit, nearly 100 students will be challenged by an action project that asks them to envisage solutions to problems they have identified along the theme ‘Our Global Future Living Together’. Working in teams they will pitch ideas to the Leadership strand, then after feedback create a presentation that is a pre-visualization for a multimedia story. After an international vote, the best student teams will work with a Hollywood film producer to create a short movie based on their ideas.

Student Summit Classrooms, Flat Classroom Conference 2011
World - Think Global School

USA  - Westwood Schools
Oman – Osama Bin Zaid School
Korea  - Gyeonggi Suwon International School
Indonesia - Al-Azhar Islamic Senior High School
India - Stonehill International School
China - Yew Chung International School
China - Western Academy Beijing
China - Tsinghua High International School

China - Shekou International School

China - RDFZ-Xishan School

China - International Academy of Beijing

China - Hua Shi Yi Fu Zhong High School
China - Beijing BISS International School

Both teachers and students will work together and learn from each other at key times during the 3-day conference. In particular they will enjoy ‘Ted Talk’ style sessions called Flat Learning Action Talks (FL.A.T.s) where both presenters and students have an opportunity to communicate a passion and a message in 10 min.

Another vital part of the conference is the Virtual Flat Classroom. Supported by Taking IT Global (a global social network for educational collaboration), Flat Classroom organizers have out together an opportunity for any interested teachers and students who cannot come to Beijing to be part of this event. Through video streaming, backchannels, Skype, the use of wikis for collaboration, and other Web 2.0 tools (online tools that are normally free that support connection and collaboration, also called the Read/Write web), virtual participants can observe, interact and in fact become full team members if they wish.

Essential Links to the Flat Classroom Conference
Educational Network:
Virtual Flat Classroom:
Our host, Beijing BISS International School:

Julie Lindsay
E-Learning Coordinator
Beijing BISS International School
Director Flat Classroom™ Conference and Live Events Inc.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Acoss My Desk (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Go Virtual! - Strategies for Successful Participation in Virtual Learning

Last November I presented at the Beijing Learning Summit. I have just spent the last 30 min wondering WHY I didn't blog this before, then remembered the Summit was just before the Global Education Conference, and then life just got busier!

So, as we are about to embark on the second ever Flat Classroom Conference, AND as I am about to invite readers of this blog and Flat Classroom enthusiasts to participate virtually, I remembered I had put together information and ideas to do with successful participation in a virtual event.

Let's start with one of my favourite photos, take at the Flat Classroom Workshop in Mumbai February 2010. These students are working in a team BUT the the girl in front is also working with a virtual team member via Skype from Japan.

This picture is taken at the 'Create the Future' Workshop Kim Cofino and I ran last October. I am 'streaming' the presentations via video to our virtual audience who are watching and commenting via the chat.

Strategies for Success: How to go Virtual
  • Make sure you are connected through the tools - know where to find the streamed video, know how to open the backchannel, know where to find the Twitter conversation amongst the 1000's of other tweets and volumes of social media. A good virtual workshop or conference will have an interface with full instructions. Make sure you study this first and download or open any tools needed beforehand. Using Elluminate for the first time for example takes a few minutes to download.
  • Contribute to online discussion - Don't just be a lurker! Actively contribute, throw in some links, make some comments and ask questions, participate in the conversation. If you do nothing, you are invisible to others as they cannot SEE you because you are not in the same room. To be visible you must contribute
  • Participate in group research - If given a chance, try your hand at participating in group research virtually.  The first time I did this I was excited to find resources and ideas grow in front of my eyes as my virtual team members added more information
  • If set up correctly a wiki or collaborative document will allow you to contribute synchronously and/or asynchronously. Remember the differences here, and don't think you have to be synchronous or in real time to be able to contribute. A virtual team member can support a team when the real time, face to face work has finished for the day. Remember, working from China to the USA means you can in fact be developing ideas and resources 24 hours a day!
  • Jump in a co-create a product - During the Flat Classroom Workshop last July, real and virtual participants co-created presentations and final global project ideas. Nervous at first, participants gained confidence and skills as they juggled tools and timezones!
Go Virtual at the Flat Classroom Conference!
You are invited to be a virtual participant at the Flat Classroom Conference 2011, starting in less than 3 weeks from now!
All details are on the Virtual Participants wiki. There will be two levels of participation:
Level 1: For those who want to make a commitment to a team (students and educators invited)
Level 2: For those who want to come and go and contribute as they have time over the 3-4 days

Partners for the conference, Taking It Global have put together a Virtual Flat Classroom portal through which our Web 2.0 places will feed. I have a tech team at BISS (conference venue) who will be streaming video, we will have a China-friendly backchannel happening and lots of opportunity for exploration and collaboration.

One other VERY GOOD reason to participate virtually is to create new connections for future classroom collaborations. Don't forget to join our Flat Classroom Conference Ning as well!

So, review the presentation below, consider HOW you can participate to build in success for your time commitment and come and join us...Go Virtual!

 Presentation from the Beijing Learning Summit 2010The recording of the Elluminate session of this presentation, yes! we had virtual and real participants! Go Virtual! - Strategies for Successful Participation in Virtual Learning