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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How Do YOU Roll?





The World is Flat and That's How We Roll
The students coined a term at the conference, "The World is Flat and that's how we roll." upon which this video is based.

I just have to share these videos. George Haines, an amazing attendee at the Flat Classroom conference shared all of the flat classroom conference videos and some others that are related on his Jottit page. (Not sure how Jottit works yet.)

George has gone back to his school here in the US and is collaborating and setting up amazing work.

George is a great wealth of knowledge and is a HUGE up and comer on the Global Collaboration stage. Just look at what he's doing:

Environmental Project:

About GreenBridge
GreenBridge Ning

Music Collaboration:

India Music Collaborative

Internet Safety:

Pakistan Netiquette Project

What does Flattening MEAN?
I've been asked, what does this Flat Classroom MEAN.  Really, it is about applying the use of technology and certainly has quite a bit of connectivist theory in there, I would think, though I do not debate theories and such, as that is truly not my area of expertise. 

However, it is MUCH MUCH more than that, because I believe this is learning about culture, people, and peace.  If you read Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, it talks about the importance of vicarious modeling as the ONLY way to change entrenched viewpoints and phobias.





Unfortunately, some of the biggest phobias we all have relate to one another.  And why, when I came back did my students who stayed behind say, "I learned not to stereotype people."  It was vicarious modeling -- their friends went to Qatar and participated and they participated virtually.  They changed their views literally by seeing others do it and then, followed up with participation of their own again in global collaborations.


Now, as we prepare to host the Flat Classroom Conference as a mini-conference in a new location, again I am meeting with stereotypes about this new location from my parents. (Press release coming soon)




Flattening the classroom is about learning, technology, and collaboration, but the most important by product about which I am PASSIONATE is how it transforms the world view of the students involved.  Learning to overcome cultural barriers and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, anytime, is vital to the success of any nation, and indeed all of us.  That is why science, english, history, statistics, literature, and technology classes have participated in these projects.

Just discussing with Fred Haas today, a teacher from Marlboro, Massachusetts USA and a current NetGen Project member the HUGE hurdles that have to be overcome to truly have each student create their own video with meaningful content and a little known topic and have it posted along with outsourcing part of that video and retrieving it. It is a struggle.  And yet, the outcome is a new higher level of ability for the students, the teachers, and the IT department. It is  reckoning of sorts that pushes you to the next plane.  At least it is for me.

Fred said today:

"Now that I've done it and have 'got it,' I'm like.  Let me do this again now!"
 The biggest struggle right now for Julie and I is the hundreds of email approvals for videos, joining Nings, joining wikis and the amount of oversight and helping others that the projects now require. I"ve literally priced the cost of an assistant to go through my email.  I hate the thought that I'm not responding or that I've missed something!!!  And yet, I am reminded of Jonas Salk's saying:

"The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more."

The fourth Digiteen is launching and the 5th or 6th Flat Classroom.  Why?  Why do this?  Well, partially because Julie's school wanted to run each of these projects 3 times this year, but also because of you.  There are SO MANY teachers who want to learn this model so they can start their own.

It is just what we do.  It is just how we roll.



Never ever would I claim that any of these projects are perfect.  But because they are not perfect but a step in the right direction, is precisely why they must be done again.  To get better.  To improve.  To take it to the next level. 


It really fits with a John Maxwell Quote:

"Oak trees take decades to grow, but squash grows in weeks.  Which would you choose to be?"



and one from Conrad Hilton

"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don't quit."


"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

John Wesley
Grandma Moses started painting at age 75 and had a 26 year painting career!  Many of us have newfound purposes emerging from the ability to connect ourselves in unique and new ways that we are just beginning to understand.  As Karen Lamb says,
"A year from now, you may wish you had started today."


Four Kinds of People

I think there are four kinds of people in this world.   
  1. Movers are those people who just move things around -- lots of activity but not really anything new there.   
  2. Dissapprovers who stand by and criticize everything and everyone.  Nothing makes them happy.  
  3. There are the provers who observe everything and want to prove the right way to do something but spend a lot of time debating and not much time doing anything.  
  4. Then, there are the improvers -- constantly pushing to make things better by adding, removing, and changing the things that are broken.  Usually, the others are making such a ruckus, this person works quietly and others come along and go - WOW!  You really improved this. 

So, the question is, how do you roll?  Are you on a roll with what you're doing or do you long to reinvent yourself, your classroom, your school and improve things?  What are the important things to you?

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