Sunday, March 25, 2012

Across My Desk (weekly)

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Wonderful World of ISTE - Did you know?

Are you an ISTE Member? Do you know what ISTE is? 

The International Society for Technology in Education is one of the leading organisations in the world for educators at all levels to learn about how to use technology for education. It is also a lot more than that!

As an ISTE Board member (International Representative), and as an ISTE Ambassador (Asian Region), my relationship with ISTE gives me a unique advantage to promote and encourage others from all over the world to come and see what ISTE can do to support educational needs. These needs may be in the classroom, in educational leadership, in administration, at the state or national level, or in fact at a more ubiquitous level across countries and educational systems. Whatever you need, ISTE provides essential resources, communities and opportunities to learn with and from the best.

Here are some recent examples now of how ISTE also provides resources and opportunities for learning and participation.

Want to learn more about ISTE? I invite you to browse the ISTE website, join the communities I listed above, and in addition come and join the conversation starting around my ISTE Ambassador areas on the ISTE Community Ning.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Across My Desk (weekly)

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Across My Desk (weekly)

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

Opening Up Education - Student's Rise to the Challenge

Before they all gathered in Mumbai for the Flat Classroom Workshop @ASB Unplugged 2012, these 40 students had not met face-to-face except for those in their immediate school. The content of this workshop challenged them to imagine how to 'open up education' to make it accessible, equal, more engaging, technology-focused, interdisciplinary and collaborative.
Students worked in mixed-classroom Teams, on a 3-day Program following a process that involved brainstorming, pitching initial ideas for feedback. Virtual team members also interacted via the backchannel and had a window into the workshop via the uStream channel.

Each student team was challenged by the Action Project that asked them to brainstorm, envision, and propose (“pitch”) a flat-classroom style project to promote awareness and improvement of the workshop theme, ‘Opening Up Education’. Each team pitched on a rotation basis to tables of educators for feedback, they then refined their proposal and created a final 'animatic' presentation. Finally the top 4 teams were chose to spend the last day further developing their ideas into a 3 min. video that clearly shared their proposal as an advertisement or as a scenario in the future where it was already happening. The students who did not make a final team video joined together and produced the 30-min closing ceremony.
A big thank you to Kim Cofino for co-leading the workshop this year, and to David Deeds and Rebekah Madrid for helping with facilitation. It is always good to get new ideas and have a team that is dedicated to making this the best experience ever for everyone involved.

After a 2-week international vote, Team 4 with 'Jack our the Books' has been recognized as having the idea most likely to succeed.
Team 4 - Jack out the Books

Comment on their video on the Flat Classroom Conference Ning.

Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Conference

See also Team 3 'Mathzilla', Team 5 'Team VIS', and Team 7 'The Educators' videos. In addition other media created by the closing ceremony team includes ASB 2012, Flat Classroom in One Word, and Last Video!

More pictures at key stages during the workshop follow. (My favourite pics!)
David, Julie, Kim and Rebekah
U-Streaming the Workshop
Team Work!
Students 'pitching' their ideas for feedback
Violet facilitating the uStream - iPhone and water bottles!
Closing Ceremony - Students presenting

Closing Ceremony - Students presenting
All of us!
Do you want to join a Flat Classroom Workshop, or come to a Flat Classroom Conference in the future? We will be announcing our locations for 2013-14 very soon. Come and join us on the Flat Classroom Conference Ning and get updates.

A big thank you to the American School of Bombay for hosting the conference, and also a big thank you to Think Global School for their support and to Pearson in India for providing copies of our book to participants in the Digiteacher Workshop.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Invitation to Webinar and Book Club!

Two events coming up to celebrate the release of our book, 'Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time'.

In about 6 hours (reminds me I better get some sleep!) Vicki Davis and I will join Pearson for our first webinar, 7 Steps to Flatten Your Classroom. Register here.

Then, starting Sunday/Monday this coming weekend our international Book Club will be launched. We are excited at the number (over 200!) who have signed up already to join this online, weekly meeting (for 10 weeks) where we will discuss chapters in the book along with contributors, and hosted by Ben Curran and Neil Wetherbee of @engaginged.

Hope you can join us for both events! 

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Across My Desk (weekly)

  • "PEN and paper are not yet in the dustbin of history but the radical transformation being wrought in the learning experiences of year 6 students at Neutral Bay Public School in Sydney's lower north shore suggests time may be running out for traditional methods.

    The school has just issued all 145 year 6 students with an iPad as part of a $100,000 year-long trial. Almost all classroom work will now be done on the hand-held device.

    ''It's better than writing in books,'' says Charlotte Prichard, 11, as she lovingly caresses her new tablet."

    tags: ipads techintegration 21stcenturylearning mobilecomputing acrossmydesk

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

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Building Bridges to Tomorrow - A New K-2 Global Project Takes Flight!

At 7pm in Beijing, 3am in west-coast Nth America, and after midnight in New Zealand, a group of over 30 excited educators gathered in the virtual meeting space, Blackboard Collaborate. They came with the fierce determination to connect and make better sense of the world through providing opportunities for their students that go beyond the four walls of the classroom. They cam to build understanding of life beyond the immediate environment and also build community through regular connection and collaboration and by sharing between classrooms. Nearly half of the teachers gathered had not participated in a global project before, but they had signed up for this first ever Flat Classroom K-2 level adventure, the pilot of 'Building Bridges to Tomorrow', our very new and very adventurous global project for lower elementary students.

This project has been a long time coming. Vicki Davis and I have talked about it often, knowing that there was a piece missing in our set of projects that started for Grade 3 and went up right through High School. What about the very young students? Can they experience connection and collaboration in a meaningful way? Can they communicate and learn more about the world and, more importantly co-create products? What will this look like? What does global collaboration look like at this level? Can we really hope to achieve a Global Collaborative 3.0 project? (3.0 is where teachers and students are connected throughout the project in an ongoing, regular and meaningful way thereby 'flattening' the classroom walls on an almost daily basis).

Lower elementary level is certainly not my expertise! I admire teachers who can manage and thrive in this environment. I did once teach Grade 2, when I was in Kuwait many years ago. That year I taught Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Computers, and for good measure, because they said I was 'under allotted' I was given Grade 2 music! To my horror the students would come rushing into class (all girls) and grab my legs and put sticky fingers on the piano.......I dreaded every lesson! Anyway, let's not get sidetracked........

Building Bridges to Tomorrow has attracted over 40 classrooms to join the pilot. In fact, after one week after opening the applications we had to quickly close! So many amazing educators from all parts of the world have signed up, shown up and started to connect after our meeting this week. Wonderful teachers from Turkey, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA are excitedly joining our places and spaces and grouping together to work through this project. We are delighted to have working with us as expert advisors, and bringing their own classrooms in are Maria Knee, Kathy Cassidy and Amanda Marrinan, all ISTE Award winning teachers at the Pk-2 level. We are extremely honored to be working with such dedicated and inspiring practitioners who also want to push the boundaries of collaborative learning. Also working with us on the 'steering team' for this pilot are Flat Classroom Certified teachers Betsye Sargent, Elvina Tong, and Anne Mirtschin.

Right now teachers are connecting via the K-2 group on our Flat Classrooms Ning, and the project wiki has just been setup. Classrooms are being grouped into 3's or 4's as sub-groups of the project and given one of these themes to work with:
  • How We Play,
  • Celebrating Together,
  • Going to School,
  • Part of a Family,
  • Making a Meal,
  • Sharing Stories,
  • The View from the Window - All do this one
We are discussing outcomes such as:
  • Co-created product from mixed classrooms
  • E-Book creation - to be shared via a variety of devices
  • Multimedia product eg Voicethread, Glogster
  • Parent/school presentation - school assembly? Parent conference session? Open classroom?
 Meanwhile the challenge this week is to create a handshake activity that will introduce the teachers and students to each other in the smaller group. Our teacher meeting next week will bring these handshake ideas together for sharing. 

Opening the 'Bridges to Tomorrow' teacher kick-off meeting with many teachers from around the world