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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Flat Classroom 2008 Project Announcement



As a follow up to the award winning Flat Classroom project (see 2006 project, 2007 project), educators Julie Lindsay (Qatar Academy, Qatar), Vicki Davis (Westwood Schools, Camilla, GA USA), are announcing the official pre-planning of the Flat Classroom Project 2008. Up to ten classrooms will be selected for this years project from a globally, culturally, and ethnically diverse student populace. Applications are due by September 8, 2008 and classrooms or schools may apply online via this form.

This year's project will incorporate a study of the ten flatteners as outlined in Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat, The Flat Classroom project earned inclusion in edition 3.0 of his book. (pages 501-503). This year's project also includes the six senses of the conceptual age as outlined by Daniel Pink in his book A Whole New Mind.

This project already includes schools from four continents but the goal is to include schools from six continents (except Antarctica.)

Accordingly, this project will include four primary components:
  1. Editing and updating previously created information (Mass Collaboration, Symphony)
  2. Creating Digital Stories using the 6 senses of the conceptual age from Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind
  3. Post Project Reflection - Students will post their reflection on the process on the project ning.
  4. Student Summits, Weekly Teacher Meetings, Awards Show - Held in Elluminate - check the calendar for links

This year's project has four primary methods for facilitating communication:
  1. Flat Classroom Project 2008 wiki - This will be our product.
  2. The Flat Classroom Ning (with private groups for teachers, leaders, student groups, and educators).-- This will be our connection piece that will allow us to make and cement the connections and manage the workgroups.
  3. The Flat Classroom Google Calendar to create cross-time zone calendaring and Timebridge to schedule meetings.
  4. Student Summit, Weekly Teacher Meetings, and Awards Shows - Hosted in Elluminate - check calendar for links.

Interested classrooms are invited to read the requirements below and review the project outline before filling in the online form for consideration. Participating classrooms will be announced on Friday September 12, 2008 on the Flat Classroom Ning.

Educators interested in being expert advisors and judges are requested to review the requirements and sign up by joining the Judges 2008 or Expert Advisors 2008 groups on the Ning.

Information Session in Elluminate

A teacher information session will be held in Elluminate on Monday August 25 at 4pm EDT, 8pm GMT, 11pm Qatar, 6am Tuesday August 26 Australia. After the information session, the recording will be viewable here.

New Face to Face Conference in Planning Stages

Also, look for an upcoming announcement about the first Flat Classroom Conference to be held January 24-26 in Doha, Qatar. Student participants, experts, teachers, and judges from this flat classroom or any of the past projects, Flat Classroom or High School Horizon Projects are encouraged to apply for the conference and are given preference. Space will be limited.

Project Requirements

We are looking for classrooms from around the world and from a variety of educational institutions to participate. Some fluency with online learning tools and experience with creating multimedia is preferred. Access to the Internet in conjunction with availability of Web 2.0 tools for student use including being able to open and use a Ning, wiki and blog. The project in its current form is more suitable for Grades 10 and above. Grade 9 or a mixed age level class may be possible as well.

It is essential that teachers who take on this project are engaged and willing to commit class time as well as personal time to make the project work. Attempting a flat classroom project for the first time can be a steep learning curve. Teachers are asked to attend regular online real-time meetings and to communicate and interact with other teachers and students in the project weekly. As a true 'flat classroom' all participants are on the same level or 'playing field'.

Opportunity for Simultaneous Projects

Julie and Vicki are also willing to mentor additional groups of teachers who wish to create their own "flat classroom" - style project. The only requirement is that best practices must be freely shared and all rights are Creative Commons Share Alike. Email flatclassroom@gmail.com if you have a pair of teachers, located in different places, who would like to be mentored.
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