Do we debate? Eracism 2013 is around the corner

I hope you'll forgive the posts about upcoming projects in the Flat Classroom family but so many things are getting ready to start and some of you may not have heard about some of these projects. The Eracism project was invented by students at the first Flat Classroom conference in Doha Qatar and was voted up by the world of educators and students as being most needed. They were so right! Last semester we ran 4 brackets (2 middle school and 2 high school). The debates begin by debating on Voicethread and the finals are synchronous in Blackboard Collaborate. We're excited to be working with ObaWorld as a result of meeting Yong Zhao at ISTE this summer. We'll be beta testing this platform for use with future projects. 

So, I copied an email that Julie Lindsay just sent out to our mailing list and am inviting any of you who would like to do this. It doesn't take a lot of time, but you do need to help students prepare to field a team. My classroom actually won the first competition back three or four years a go, and I had the whole class prepare and debate one another to select the team and then supported the team as they went through the competition. It was a great project. I'm not fielding teams now, just because it is the right thing to do for the projects and because the timing doesn't fit with my keyboarding class. 

You're invited to join in Eracism! Here's information.

About the Eracism Project: A Message from Julie Lindsay.

You are receiving this email because of your interest in the Eracism Project. In fact you may have already completed a project in the past, you may have been a judge, or you may have filled in a form asking for more details, or you may be involved in another Flat Classroom Project. You may also be a classroom teacher who has already signed up for the Eracism 13-1 project! 

I am writing to you all to help us spread the word about the NEW project starting in February, Eracism 13-1. We are madly working in the background to bring you the BEST asynchronous global debate we can. Thank you to those who provided feedback via our survey from the last project, and we are acting NOW to make even more improvements:
  • We have tidied up the Eracism wiki - most details are there now for the new semester!
  • We are reviewing all protocols and procedures, including the judges rubric, to ensure all language is clear and provides a 'flattened' learning environment for all global participants
  • We are joined in partnership with ObaWorld from the University of Oregon's College of Education to offer, for this semester, a free online platform (ObaWorld) for teachers, judges and students to form a community around this project. Many comments we have received in the past were about the challenges of communication between teachers and the need to get students connecting across classrooms before, during and after the debates. ObaWorld will help us solve this, and be a lot of fun as well!
  • We have reviewed the project Timeline and have the current Calendar dates on the wiki - we are giving MORE TIME for each asynchronous debate so that schools can work more efficiently around holidays and interruptions and judges can provide feedback in a more timely manner
  • We are carefully considering the Eracism 13-1 Debate Topic, and will provide a Topic and Resource page on the wiki to help clarify and share resources - the topic should be finalised this coming week! Watch this space!
So, spread the word! Applications for classrooms and debate teams are due February 7. Expressions of interest to help with judging and coaching will be taken any time from now on. Classrooms applying and Judges and Volunteers fill in the same online form: We need more classrooms from all over the world to take part!
What teachers said about Eracism 12-2:
  • Hearing how the other teams debated was fascinating because we learned about how/what other people think about key global issues.
  • Working with the students in my school in a different context was a spectacular opportunity to know them better.
  • Loved the whole thing. Despite the amount of work and sacrifice it entailed, it was a ton of fun and our team learned a lot about debating. Next time, we will be more prepared.
  • The final live debate was a highlight!
  • This makes learning applicable and real for the students. They no longer care about a grade, but instead want to do well as the world listens in.

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