Sunday, September 22, 2013

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Reflection on the Future of Learning - The Future is here already!

Thinking about futures today - mine, yours, ours - and how sometimes we need to realise the simple fact - the Future is Now! It is already here! We can plan and meet and collaborate and design and organise and implement and evaluate - but essentially the fact remains the same, the future is now and here we are already in the future. How does that change what we do?

Too philosophical? Let's get down to practicalities then. A typical teacher, a typical school - trying to stay on top of organisational demands, parent and student demands, as well as new pedagogies and methodologies for learning while implementing mobile and ubiquitous technologies......

To embrace the future individual teachers need to develop a working PLN (personal learning network) that includes people they speak to each day as well as asynchronous connections. There are many tools to help us do this - Twitter, Facebook, blogging, LinkedIn etc - but one other good way to do this is to join a professional group or a professional development opportunity such as the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher course, and create a community of learners (PLC - professional learning community) for a short or extended period of time. This allows you to share ideas and resources and learn from and with each other.

To embrace the future schools need to focus on developing a culture of learning within and beyond the school walls. You may laugh at this, yes of course schools are about developing cultures of learning....what am I talking about! Well, maybe you have had the same experiences as me in the past 30 years where this culture has not been supported or promoted and where in fact learning as a group or sharing as a professional team has not been encouraged. This situation is not conducive to the changes that we need to implement and see in our schools, and is not conducive to 'flattening the classroom walls' so that learning can be blended, connected and collaborative for teachers and students.

To embrace the future global collaborative pedagogy for teaching and learning needs to be embedded into everyday practice - as a teacher, as a school, as a student - as a community of learners. We have the technology to do this - we need the leadership to support it - but teachers can be and in fact are the leaders in this. Rise of the teacherpreneur to forge new relationships and opportunities for their own learning as well as their students.

You may be interested to explore these resources:
Innovative Teaching and learning research - SRI 2011 report
12 changes to the future of learning
The future of learning is global - A vision for leadership
You might find my Diigo tagged bookmarks 'futureofeducation' useful also.

What resources can you share?

What is your vision for the future? What are you doing in school and beyond to support the future of learning?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Announcing - Global Youth Debates - Join now!

Press release September 7, 2013.

Announcing the Global Youth Debates Project for 2013-14, (another Flat Classroom® Project created by Flat Connections) - a global student debate (formerly called Eracism) that joins diverse cultures and includes authentic debate for global competence, international mindedness and action.

Global Youth Debates  is designed for schools of all systems across the world and for students of age 10-18 approximately.
Global Youth Debates aims to connect schools, teachers and students globally to learn more about the world, with the world. New methodologies to connect, communicate and collaborate have made asynchronous formal debating possible globally.
The Global Youth Debates provides a valuable global collaborative debating experience suitable for all learning environments and learners.

Focus on Debate - Go Global - Lead into Action

Is your school looking to connect with others globally?
Do you support researched discussion and debate that leads to action?
Are you a Debate leader in your school?
Do you want to enhance your school program and introduce debating?

Global Youth Debates offers a unique opportunity to:

  • develop a strong debating program
  • harness new technologies to connect and collaborate with the world   
  • build globally minded, culturally aware young people
  • go beyond talking and implement actions based on logical debating that will change and improve your local community   
Global Youth Debates provides a fully supported, yearlong (or semester length) program for:   
  • learning how to debate   
  • learning how to share research
  • learning how to belong to an online learning community   
  • participation in asynchronous and synchronous debates with global partners   
Global Youth Debates is about sharing local worldviews in a global forum with the aim of finding common approaches to solving world conflicts. It is about building a world which is aware of shared human values and has a commitment to ongoing collaboration leading to making ethical decisions which have global effect, transforming global solutions through debate.

The project opens eyes and hearts as students debate on an issue that will bring together diverse ideas, develop transferable skills and create lasting friendships.

Global Youth Debates Theme 2013-14 - Sustainability

We believe that sustainability is a common global goal and can serve as a starting point for dialog among students around the world.  The questions become how best can we protect “our” health and the environment while at the same time respect competing interests of, say, developing nations who have the need to build and otherwise industrialize their nations to feed their populations.

Schools joining Global Youth Debates will be asked to enter one or more debate teams, with the remaining students in the class being researchers around the 2013-14 Sustainability topic,

"Using plastic water bottles does more harm than good"  

The initial debates will be held asynchronously but in what organizers are calling a "simulated synchronous" environment with the final winning teams debating live using a virtual classroom tool.

We welcome applications NOW from teachers and their classrooms around the world. We also need Judges to help with debate coaching. To apply for this project as a class or judge please complete this form.

Classrooms in Upper Primary/Elementary, Middle and High School are encouraged to apply (students of age 10 and above). Organisers will create two strands in this project based on demand for different age levels.

Application deadline is the week starting September 23, 2013, with announcement of project classrooms by Friday September 27, 2012.

The first teacher online meeting will take place the week starting September 23.
Actual date and time to be advised.

Global Youth Debates - SEMESTER 1 TIMELINE

  • Week starting September 23:
      - Project Applications due
       - Official 'Kickoff' and Information meeting for teachers
  • Community of learners created using Edmodo
  • Research begins and is ongoing
  • Voicethread Bootcamp   
  • Judges training
  • All schools complete a practice debate - Preliminary Debate #1
  • Judges and schools provide feedback
  • Debate Round 1 - a full 2-part debate bracket is completed across 5 weeks   
December - Celebration of Semester 1

See more Timeline details on the website
Explore the Sustainability Theme
Discover the Debating Process

Thank you to the sponsors of this project: Voicethread for making asynchronous debating exciting!

Advisory Board members for Global Youth Debates, Julie Lindsay, Eva Brown, Bernajean Porter and Marcia Alessi welcome the leadership of pre-service students from Red River College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Read more information about Global Youth Debates (formerly called Eracism).

Full process and structure found on the Teacher Guide

Don’t miss out this year! Application Form for Global Youth Debates 2013-14

Contact us:

Contact Julie Lindsay,
Director Flat Classroom/Flat Connections

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Global Education Highlights (weekly)

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