First let me say, I'm so excited about The Flatclassroom Conference that words cannot express them! This conference is a three year dream and I'm so grateful for Julie Lindsay, Qatar Academy, and HSBC Bank for making this happen. I truly believe this is going to be a monumentally transformational experience both for us and for education as a whole.
It is about empowering students, empowering educators, and using technology in powerful ways that make sense in ways that promote learning. Interactivity, engagement, and pushing conferences to truly become participative.
We're working to get materials to you so that you'll be ready, but the first thing to do here is to PARTICIPATE! Meet others, blog your reflections (as I'm doing) - share your photos, ask questions. You'll get so much more out of the conference by interacting with people BEFORE you get there!
Our theme is Ideation Nation: Citizenship in the Global Elearning Economy
What does this mean?
The process of ideation is the
“forming and relating of ideas” or the “conceptualization of a mental image.”
You will take the current knowledge and experiences of the students and teachers who have participated in the past Flat Classroom projects to envision the future of education, discuss the best ways to use Web 2.0 technologies and design a global project around a social issue. One of these projects will be selected and scheduled to run in 2009-2010! We’re not just here to talk; we’re here to discuss how these technologies can improve the world as we know it today! We’re here to act and we believe that something truly special will emerge that none of us as yet can understand.
Citizenship in a Global Elearning Economy
Our subtitle is "Citizenship in a Global Elearning Economy" because the "flattened" nature of classrooms is truly developing an elearning economy.
This is an example of an elearning economy taken from what transpired this year in the Flat Classroom project.
In the Flat Classroom project, for example, the teachers work to create the templates for the project, the students then are split into teams and create wikis and share discussions on the Ning.
Expert advisors share with the students and give them advice and tips on tackling a subject. Some of these expert advisors are there to learn from students, some are PhD students, others are preservice teachers -- so they are consuming the knowledge created by the students as well as adding to the knowledge and direction of the students.
There are "peer review" classrooms called sounding boards that look at the wiki and videos to give feedback. These classrooms have often gone down even to the elementary level. They are learning from the older students, but also are teaching the older students as they share feedback and provide an audience. They are also part of the elearning economy. Their teachers are taking feedback from them as they observe the work on the Flat Classroom and are creating age appropriate projects of their own. Or, the teachers of sounding boards give advice to the Flat Classroom teachers based on their experience with other projects - as information is transmitted "virally" between the many global projects (please note there are many other projects BESIDES flat classroom that are emerging.)
The "judges" are educators, preservice teachers, leaders and researchers in the educational community and some in the business arena. These judges review the student videos and LEARN from the students. They also provide feedback to the students and "judge." By viewing these projects on a micro level, these judges often go on to start their own projects or to learn from the process and propose and determine improvements that need to happen in the student learning process. Again, they are producers of feedback and information to both students and teachers AND consumers as they learn from the content they review.
At the conclusion of the project, students present their findings and learning in elluminate in the student summit. People from around the world are invited to join into these summits to ask questions and participate. Through their participation, the students are pushed to express themselves, defend their ideas, and think through proposals. Simultaneously, the people from outside the classroom are learning from the students and formulating their own thoughts about the practice observed in the summits.
All of this material is used as the starting point for the next project. Student videos that win awards are shown to the students who start the next project, which then pushes the level of video making to higher and higher competency levels.
The elearning economy means that we are the audience of one another -- we are all producers and consumers of information and combine it with our prior learning to create new knowledge. When schools participate in projects with a vibrant elearning economy - there is a variety of audiences and each participant reads and writes to the project as producer/ consumers (called a "prosumer".) We need each other, learn from each other, and share with each other.
As we move towards collaboration on a massive global scale between many classrooms... two or three here -- 10 or 20 there in projects like Flat Classroom, Horizon, or Digiteen - we are becoming increasingly independent because we need each other to help provide the immersive experiences that help us understand culture and collaboration in a way unlike any other.
The global elearning economy is just emerging and we are citizens. What does this mean?
The Conference Vision
Well, that is what we'll be discussing. Our wiki will produce the thoughts and opinions of the conference participants both virtually and face to face. Because this is not a conference just about learning but about creating thought - sharing with others, learning, and producing information for others to learn from as well.
We will be part of an Ideation Nation: Students and Educators learning about current trends and sharing our thoughts to help move us all along the learning curve towards better global educational practice.
We will have a simultaneous panel discussion with other educators convening at Educon 2.1 in Philadelphia. The second day it is very likely Thomas Friedman himself, who will be in Europe at that time will take a moment to chat with our participants. (not the same time as the educon session)
So, welcome citizens. Let's do great things together as we formulate and discuss the evolution and economy of learning. We're all in this together.
This is a simulpost with my Flat Classroom Conference 2008 Ning.