Rock the World! (#flatclass Book Club Reflections – Part 9)

Several months after it began, my #flatclass reflections series has finally come to an end. I really enjoyed attending the official Book Club, and I hope my blogged reflections will help inspire and guide other teachers interested in exploring this amazing field.

Perhaps too, they will help provide some feedback to the book’s amazing authors, who inspired my first steps into the wonderful world of global collaboration.


Chapter 11: Challenge Based Professional Learning

If there is one thing the Flat Classroom community particularly excels, it is their model of challenge-based PD for teachers.

For now at least, my attendance at a Flat Classroom Conference remains a distant dream; however, this chapter provides an impressive overview of #flatclass PD. Frankly, most of the theory and PD framework in this chapter went over my head, but if this area interests you, I’m sure you’ll find it a fascinating read.

Chapter 12: Rock the World

This chapter was short and sweet, and can be simply summarized in a few lines

  • Make connections which count
  • Learn YOUR way
  • Be prepared to help and share
  • Set some goals – take that first step!
  • Share your story, and "Rock the World"

This chapter is a fitting conclusion to Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds; and it reflects my own learning journey over the past few years.

Every journey starts with a single step … and its time to "Rock the World". Care to join me?

Designing and Managing a Global Collaborative Project (#flatclass Book Club Reflections–Part 8)

For anyone new to planning and organizing a global project, this chapter is for you. Chapter 10 is an invaluable step-by-step guide to creating a global project; exploring many lessons we learnt the hard way,and providing some useful ideas which will be incorporated into Global Classroom 2012-13.

I was particularly interested in the social media / marketing strategy outlined in this chapter, as the public #globalclassroom project spaces were explicitly built on the Flat Classroom spaces. We just added a few of our own ideas – including our enormously successful Skype IM group, and the monthly #globalclassroom Twitter chats.

762940-721201285236am

As I commented in my (little publicized) Edublogs Fine Focus webinar last week, our project is not the first "global classroom" project in existence, and certainly won’t be the last.

Each project builds on and utilizes the people and technology available at the time. The ideas, dreams, and creative potential already exist – it is just a matter of making the connections and fostering the global conversations.

The Global Classroom Project came to be through our connections, which were made possible by the social media technologies available to us at the time. Our model is about providing the communication and collaboration spaces for interested teachers, and I have no doubt that it will continue to grow, evolve, and change over time.

Celebrating Global Collaboration (#flatclass Book Club Reflections: Part 7)

Over the past year, an extraordinary bunch of international educators transformed a vision of global collaboration community, dreamt up right here in Western Australia, into a real world reality. The Global Classroom Project has been an extraordinary experience, and we thought this was something worth celebrating.

Chapter 9: Celebration, in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, filled in the missing piece of the #globalclassroom puzzle; bringing home the need for an official closure and celebration of our 2011-12 project.

We needed to provide a space and opportunity for our teachers and students to celebrate and share their experiences with the world. So on July 1, 2012, we held our Looking Forwards, Looking Back webinars, inviting our teachers to contribute to an international showcase of our projects, learning experiences, and achievements through Global Classroom 2011-12.

Due to terrible technical problems, the morning (Americas) webinar turned into an impromptu Google+ Hangout; however, the evening Australia / Europe webinar was an incredible success, with speakers from India, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Romania, and the USA.

The closing webinars also provided an opportunity to share the first pictures of the #globalclassroom memento scrapbooks, which are traveling to classrooms around the world. These scrapbooks provide our students with the opportunity to share their voices, cultures, and learning with the wider world, and will continue on their journeys for at least another year to come.

Book Club Reflections …

I found Chapter 9 of the #flatclass book a very relevant, informative chapter; one which had a significant impact on the #globalclassroom community. While the way we acknowledge and celebrate learning is somewhat different to the #flatclass model, that’s the way I like it.

We’re building on the work of those that come before us, and are exploring new ways to learn, connect, and collaborate globally. As they say, life is always more interesting when you’re a pioneer …