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Thursday, October 01, 2009

FCP Volunteers Needed: Judges, Expert Advisors, Debate Coaches, Innovators



We are all so busy.  Perhaps that is why I'm moved to tears when I see all the volunteers that engage to make all of the Flat ClassroomTM projects such an amazing experience.  We've worked hard (and spent our own money) to keep Flat ClassroomTM projects free and appreciate Elluminate providing administrative support to keep this project going.

IT has truly been a grassroots effort of educators - must like the open source movement that made the Apache web server possible, we are seeing an open education movement harnessing the power of our engagement and work and truly it is an honor to work with you as we see this happen.  You are an honor to work with.

Right now, we have several things that we could use your support with.  And remember, your support is your time, but it is also the VERY VALUABLE feedback you provide on the weaknesses, improvements, and things that you think could be done better or differently.  Here is an overview and where to go for more information. And thank you so much to educators like Eric Brunsell and Lee Zeitz who have put volunteering in these projects as part of their preservice teacher curriculum. We invite professors to bring in their students and we have worked hard to skype with all of the classes personally that have taken this bold step to become part of what they are studying.

Here are the current needs - jump in where you wish:

Volunteer Opportunities for Flat Classroomtm Projects



1) Flat Classroom Project Expert Advisors:

What they do?  Provide feedback at least twice during the 3 week editing period for the Flat Classroom project. This will occur during the first three weeks of October and should take 1-2 hours total (although we often have advisors who spend more time than that.)

How many we need:  We need AT LEAST 22!


Where I may I find more information and join? http://flatclassroom09-3.flatclassroomproject.org/Expert+Advisors

Direct Link to Sign Up Form: (same as judging form)  http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dHpHcTUtNzQzSUYyT3Y1dnhqckxmclE6MA..

Anything else I should know?  You CAN be an expert advisor and a judge. If you do this, you will be assigned to judge a different group than you advised to prevent bias!

2) Flat Classroom Project Judges 

What do they do?  They judge videos submitted to the Flat Classroom project according to the video grading rubric and provide feedback to project organizers designed to help us understand if students are using higher order thinking in this project, have an adequate understanding of trends in technology, and to improve the project to encourage deeper learning and use of 21st Century skills.  This will begin the last Sunday in November and through the first week in December.  Each judge has 5-6 videos and it takes approximately 1 hour. You complete the survey on your top three videos.


How many do we need?  We estimate we have 60 judging slots to fill.

Where can I find more information and join? http://flatclassroom09-3.flatclassroomproject.org/Judges

Direct Link to Sign Up Form: (same as expert advisor form)  http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dHpHcTUtNzQzSUYyT3Y1dnhqckxmclE6MA..

Anything else I should know?  If you have already judged in a project, you may sign up to be a lead judge (just put your name on the "lead judge" slot on a wiki.)  You may be a lead judge in one of the 11 main trends (lead judges select the top three in their strand based upon scores from other judges, this is done the first and second week of December.)  You may sign up for more than one judging slot if you have the time.

3) Eracism Debate Coaches

What do they do? We are assembling information on debate and to use to coach the teachers and students and need an advisory board of coaches who are willing to lend their expertise. People who help are founding members of the project.

How many do we need?  We don't have an established number. This is a pilot project so you would be a founding member of the project.


Where can I find more information and join?  http://www.eracismproject.org

Direct Link to Sign Up Form: (This is the same form for debate coaches, judges and pilot classrooms.) http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDlLSWdnWFNVc0ZaRGh6N3ZLdEtqcWc6MA..
 
Anything else I should know? This project is the first project invented by students that has been implemented. We are looking for bright minds who want to innovate and help shape how asynchronous debates should look that are of a global nature. 

4) Eracism judges - Pilot project


What do they do? Use the scoring list to leave voicethread messages on our private debates to provide feedback for the students and determine the winner of the debate so that winners will advance to the next round.  Lead judges for each thread will also be responsible for making sure all of the guidelines are followed for that thread.  This should take approximately 1 hour a week (unless you are more engaged or take a leadership role) during the month of November.  You will be an invited guest to the in-world synchronous debate in December.


How many do we need? We would like to have at least 20 judges, depending upon student response.


Where can I find more information and join? http://www.eracismproject.org

Direct Link to Sign Up Form: (This is the same form for debate coaches, judges and pilot classrooms.) http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDlLSWdnWFNVc0ZaRGh6N3ZLdEtqcWc6MA..



Anything else I should know? This project is the first project invented by students that has been implemented. We are looking for bright minds who want to innovate and help shape how asynchronous debates should look that are of a global nature. We will be needing judges to help us refine the rubrics and innovate.  We're looking for people to help us innovate and be founding members of this project.

5 - Eracism Project Pilot Classrooms



What do they do? Each school has 2 debate teams (of 2 students each) and the other students are researchers. Most classrooms will have an in class competition to determine their teams.  Students will debate with other classrooms around the world and the final winners will debate live in a virtual world the first week of December. Students eliminated in early rounds will provide peer feedback on the private threads. This is targeted to middle school (grades 6-8)  Classrooms participating will be pilot classrooms.


How many do we need? The pilot project will only take 16 schools (32 teams) although this may change with future schools.


Where can I find more information and join? http://www.eracismproject.org

Direct Link to Sign Up Form: (This is the same form for debate coaches, judges and pilot classrooms.) http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDlLSWdnWFNVc0ZaRGh6N3ZLdEtqcWc6MA..



Anything else I should know? This project is the first project invented by students that has been implemented. We are looking for bright minds who want to innovate and help shape how asynchronous debates should look that are of a global nature. We will be working extensively to refine methodologies of asynchronous debate based upon student, teacher, coach, and judge feedback to share an asychronous debate methodology that will allow us to engage freely with other classrooms.


6 - Upcoming Elementary Science Project Being Planned for January
We are still working on this project, and I cannot release all of the details yet - however, what will occur in this project will be some very cool interactions with scientists on energy, sustainability, and ecologically friendly home designs with a very authentic output - the construction of an actual house applying these principles.  It is targeted to work with elementary students and right now we only need advisory board members who are willing to help us work through the exciting opportunities. It will be international. If you're interested, email me and I'll schedule an elluminate to bring everyone up to speed and see if you're still interested and where our expertise lies.


How to volunteer?  Email digiteen@gmail.com which will go directly to me.



How is Flat Classroom growing?


Flat ClassroomTM is what it is because of the grassroots, viral effort of teachers and educators around the world to push towards an open model that promotes excellence in learning while harnessing the tools such as authentic assessment, project based learning, and differentiated instruction AND pushing students to collaborate as INDIVIDUALS on a global basis (as Friedman says, we are in Globalization 3.0 - the globalization of the individual) while pushing them to use technology skills that require resourcefulness and innovation  AND authentic research on topics that are emerging and changing as they are being studied.

We have recently been empowered by Elluminate who has long been a supporter of what we do, but now is helping us by providing administrative support through the efforts of amazing educator Kim Caise (whose 20 years in elementary and national board certification are coming in as amazing assets for our newest project for January.)  We appreciate that Elluminate sees the vision of what we're trying to do with Flat Classroom Projects and how we are pushing to allow teachers to be limited only by their own engagement and not by the budgets at their schools which often will only fund traditional efforts and not global engagement.

It takes this kind of effort (and we are NOT the only ones doing this - it is happening everywhere) to make things happen.

Also, I'd like it to be said that there are a LOT of amazing organizations out there empowering global collaboration.  We are part of an incredible effort of educators around the world to connect and many of you are being the teacherpreneur and doing this on your own.  What we simply want to do is to push the envelope and share with you what we learn.  Linking with the best teachers and experts around the world enables us to push the envelope and innovate at a rapid pace and we sort of see ourselves as an R&D factory for Open Education and are continually looking for help with making this vision happen.  We often get pushed to leave the classroom and take the speaking circuit or even have been offered to be "bought" by companies who see the value in what we're doing.  However, this is not what we want - although a book deal is definitely in the works, we have funded all of this from our own pockets (which has been a challenge and we appreciate the sacrifice of our families.)

And yet, we are part of something bigger that is happening.  We welcome you to join us and help us and teach us and inspire us.

I'll leave you with a favorite new saying of mine:

We shall not think we have arrived, lest we forget how far we have to go.
We shall not think we have too far to go, lest we forget how far we've come.

Anything you can do to help is appreciated.

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