Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Write a first-rate blog post! Reprise

The following are some traits of successful blog posts (written for fellow learners):

1. The posts (or comments) are well written. This includes not only good content, but standard English conventions including capitalisation, organisation, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
2. The posts (or comments) are responsive. They respond to other people’s ideas – whether it is a post by a teacher, a comment by a student, or an idea elsewhere on the Internet. The power of blogs is in connections – they are connected to a larger community of ideas. Participate in that community.
3. The posts (or comments) include textual references to support opinions. Adding quotes or links to other works strengthens your post.
4. To be part of the dialogue, part of the conversation, you have to participate fully, consistently and often.
5. Your posts (or comments) are respectful of others. It’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to be disagreeable. Be respectful of others and their opinions, and be civil when you disagree.
6. Your posts include at least 3 technorati tags.
7. Your posts speak to visual literacy by carefully choosing an image to include. The image should refer to what is written.

In syndication:
  1. Include an image
  2. Include hyperlinks
  3. Include your reflective response

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011


            Reframing involves rewriting expectations.  We all had expectations for our role and the teachers’ roles when we were in school.  Many of us played school well.  Vicki Davis explains this mindset well in the k12Online presentation, Lead The World, which she and Julie Lindsay submitted as team captains in the conference. The majority of students and teachers in k-20 frame school in one way and have been able to do so well for a long time.
            Gallo explains that, “Reframing demands a tolerance for ambiguity.”  (1993, p.27)  Adding discrepant events to the frame will unsettle the expectations.  In the Dead Poets Society, the teacher reframes the classroom status quo to increase the likelihood of their deep learning.  Standing on the teachers’ desk or holding class in the hallway disrupts our expectations, they are discrepant and open students to learning at higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
            Flat Classroom® Projects reframe the expectations of groupwork. As Vicki explains in her presentation, the traditional expectation is that each student in a group will write a paragraph, sign their names, and these paragraphs are then pasted onto the wiki. Students in Flat Classroom® Projects are asked to move beyond the usual expectation of individual work, beyond the dominant frame of a student in school.
           Schools have been factories, modeled after the industrial revolution. This frame of reference is structural, with many rules, codes, and policies. The social architecture of school is ready for reframing, from mass production into mass customization.
            Reframing education involves changing perspectives.  It has been about us (the adults affected by the educational system).  It is time for education to be all about them (the students affected by the educational system).
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E, (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.
Gallo, J. V. (1993). Teaching about reframing with films and videos. Journal of Management Education, 17(1), 127-132.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lead the World

Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay are the co-founders of Flat Classroom® Projects. Since the beginning in November 2006, more than 5,000 students have collaborated in the projects. The Flat Classroom® Projects now include the Flat Classroom® Project, the Digiteen Project, the Eracism Project, NetGenEd, and ‘A week in the Life’ Elementary Flat Classroom Project. In addition, Flat Classroom® Projects convene a conference and a Flat Classroom® workshop at the ASB Unplugged Conference in alternating years. They also run F.L.A.T.s, which are inspired by TEDx events and support the practice of spreading inspiring ideas. The next F.L.A.T.s features Anne Mirtschin on Wednesday December 7, 2011 at 5:00pm Eastern USA OR Thursday December 8, 2011 at 9:00am Melbourne Australia. Check the time where you are-> and join us at

Don't miss the book coming out in January 2012, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds from Pearson Publishing. 

Available on Amazon. Pre-order your copy now!
Find out more at our book site for the Flat Classroom®.

You can follow Vicki at @coolcatteacher and Julie at @julielindsay and the projects at @flatclassroom.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Global Education Conference 2011 presentations by members of the Flat Classroom® Community!

Don't miss these presentations during the Global Education Conference 2011.

Collabo: The question and answer community for educators - AJ Juliani
Monday, November 14, 2011 at 20:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Global Virtual 3D Student/Teacher Community! David Deeds
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 01:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

 Simple, Powerful Online Classrooms   Vicki Davis
 Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 11:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

 A Week In The Life   Toni Olivieri-Barton
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 02:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Building Schools in Mozambique: How students can empower entire communities  Sharon Peters
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 13:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Building Global Opportunities Together--Anywhere, Anytime   Eva Brown
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 16:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Designing a Global Collaboration Using Flat Classroom® Model   Cathy Wolinsky
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 00:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Embedding Global Collaborative Projects into the Curriculum Julie Lindsay
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 12:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

What does it mean to be a Global Educator and how can we design lessons that help students become Global Citizens?  Honor Moorman
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 13:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Reading Across the Globe: addressing the context of cultural difference through collaborative discussion Donna Roman
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 16:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Across Borders  Lisette Casey
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 20:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Global Projects Theresa Allen
Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 22:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Project Purpose: Students Making a Difference in Mozambique Ariana, Yahn, Allysen, Chantal, Sharon Peters
Friday, November 18, 2011 at 09:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

7 Steps to Flatten Your Classroom: Simple Steps from the Flat Classroom® Project  Vicki Davis & Julie Lindsay
Friday, November 18, 2011 at 11:00:00GMT [ time where you are ]

Take note that GMT times are for convenience.  To find the actual time of presentations in your timezone, please click on provided links and search for the nearest city. 

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Global Education Conference 2011 Keynotes

The 2011 Global Education Conference will be held November 14 - 18, online and free. Sessions will take place in multiple time zones and multiple languages over the five days.Chris Dede
Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies
Harvard Graduate School of Education Harvard University

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. His current research includes six grants from NSF, Qualcomm, and the US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences to explore immersive simulations and transformed social interactions as means of student engagement, learning, and assessment. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. His co-edited book, Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2005. A second volume he edited, Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods, was published by the Harvard Education Press in 2006. His latest book, Digital Teaching Platforms, will be published by Teachers College Press in 2012.

Howard Gardner
Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education Harvard University

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a leading thinker about education and human development; he has studied and written extensively about intelligence, creativity, leadership, and professional ethics. Gardner’s most recent books include Good Work, Changing Minds, The Development and Education of the Mind and Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons. His latest book Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed was published in the spring of 2011.

Ed Gragert
Executive Director

Dr. Edwin H. Gragert is Executive Director of iEARN-USA. During his 21 years at iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), he has pioneered the use of connective technologies and teacher professional development to facilitate on-line educational project work (“Exchange 2.0) on the primary and secondary school levels. Since its creation in 1988, iEARN has become the world’s largest educational telecommunications network involving project-based Learning through virtual exchanges. It currently links students and teachers in over 130 countries. Approximately 2,000,000 students are working daily on collaborative projects through the iEARN network.

From 1979-90, he was the Executive Director of ICYE-US, an international youth exchange program with both high school and community service volunteer exchanges among 30 countries. At ICYE-US, he worked closely with ECA at the US Department of State to initiative service-learning exchanges at the high school level. He was one of the founders of CSIET and the Alliance for International Educational & Cultural Exchange and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Alliance.

He worked for the International Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, concentrating on US-Korean relations.

Ed received his BA in Japanese political science from the University of Washington (Seattle), MA in Korean History and certificate from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University. He has had extensive language experience in Korean, Japanese and Classical Chinese. His PhD at Columbia University was in Japanese history, focusing on landownership changes brought about by Japanese colonial administration in the early 20th century. His book, Landownership Under Colonial Rule: Korea's Japanese Experience, was published by Columbia University and the University of Hawaii in 1994.

Ewan McIntosh
NoTosh digital | learning | design thinking

Ewan McIntosh is CEO of NoTosh Limited, a startup that works with creative industries on the one hand, and then takes the processes, attitudes and research gained from working on those projects to the world of education, providing schools, districts and Governments all around the world with ideas, inspiration and research on how to better engage teens.

McIntosh was a French and German High School teacher, before moving from the classroom into technology research and leadership as Scotland’s first National Advisor on Learning and Technology Futures. He later helped set up one of the most ambitious investment funds from a public service broadcaster in the UK, the $100m 4iP Fund from Channel 4 Television.

His latest creative projects include helping to redesign the 40th anniversary summit of the ITU, the United Nations agency responsible for telecommunications technologies, and co-directing the digital side of the Scottish National Party's re-election campaign, resulting in a historic landslide majority win that technically ""wasn't possible"".

Education projects are many and varied, working with schools on design thinking and developing leadership, helping create the world’s first TEDx event by and for eight year olds, and turning the textbook on its head through our interactive developments.

Ewan and his team are all about engaging people, whether they're voters, customers or kids in a classroom.

Alan November
Senior Partner
November Learning

Alan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. While Alan was a computer science teacher in Lexington, Mass, he was probably the first teacher in the world to have a student project on line in 1984, a database for the handicapped. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant, and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology.

Audiences enjoy Alan's humor and wit as he pushes the boundaries of how to improve teaching and learning. His areas of expertise include planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development. He has delivered keynotes and workshops in all fifty states, across Canada, and throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Central America.

Alan was named one of the nation’s fifteen most influential thinkers of the decade by Technology and Learning Magazine. In 2001, he was listed one of eight educators to provide leadership into the future by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse. In 2007 he was selected to speak at the Cisco Public Services Summit during the Nobel Prize Festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. His writing includes numerous articles and two best-selling books, Empowering Students with Technology and Web Literacy for Educators. Alan was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.

Each summer Alan leads the Building Learning Communities summer conference with world-class presenters and international participants. Visit for more details.

Michael Lees
Educational Consultant
Global Issues - African Network of Teachers for Service

Michael has enjoyed an eclectic professional journey, including roles as restaurateur, flight instructor, drama/science/math teacher, community service coordinator, guidance counselor, school administrator and now educational consultant. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership with a focus on service learning cultures in international schools. Having been anesthetized by suburban Canada in his early life, Michael kept his sanity by living vicariously through National Geographic magazine articles, television specials by Jacque Cousteau and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. His quest to explore this ‘pale blue dot’ has led him to meet some truly inspiring people from around the globe. The past two decades in international school settings has provided the opportunity to participate in some exceptionally rewarding and transformative community service learning experiences for both him and his students. Michael’s passion lies in bridging the islands of our individual efforts and building collaborative networks of people who seek to effect positive change in their communities and beyond. Michael is the founder of the Service Summit and a co-founder of the Global Issues-African Network of Teachers for Service (GI-ANTS). He has also been working towards developing a strategic partnership with the Association of International Schools in Africa.

Greg Jacobs
Co-director, Louder Than a Bomb
Siskel/Jacobs Productions

Greg Jacobs is the co-founder, with Jon Siskel, of SISKEL/JACOBS PRODUCTIONS, an award-winning Chicago-based television and documentary production company.

Greg and Jon produced and directed the documentary feature Louder Than a Bomb, which follows four Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam. Since its premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival in March 2010, the film has won sixteen festival prizes, including ten audience awards, as well the 2011 Humanitas Prize for documentaries. It was also selected for the 2011 American Documentary Showcase, a program created by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ""to cultivate greater understanding among people around the world.” After a national theatrical rollout in the spring of 2011, Louder Than a Bomb will have its television premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of the OWN Documentary Club.

Prior to Louder Than a Bomb, SJP produced the Emmy-winning History Channel program 102 Minutes That Changed America, which reconstructs—in real time—the events of 9/11 in New York City, using only sound and video from that morning. The two-hour special premiered without commercial interruption on September 11, 2008, followed by I-Witness to 9/11, a look at the stories behind the footage. More than five million viewers tuned in to the premiere, making it the second most-watched telecast in the network’s history, and the program has now been seen by over twenty million viewers worldwide. One of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years, 102 Minutes won three Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special, as well as the Most Innovative Program Award at the 2009 History Makers International Summit, a CINE Masters Series Award, a Silver Telly, and a FOCAL International Award. The show was also named the Best Nonfiction TV Episode of 2008 by iTunes. Most importantly, 102 Minutes has become standard viewing in high school and college classrooms across the country, a way for teachers to introduce their students to the emotional and historical impact of 9/11.

SJP is currently in production on additional episodes of its groundbreaking Witness series for the National Geographic Channel. The shows that have already aired include Witness: Katrina, which won the 2011 News and Documentary Emmy for historical documentaries, Witness: D.C. 9/11, Witness: Disaster in Japan, and Witness: Tornado Swarm 2011. SJP also produced Head On, a two-hour special about the obsessive subculture of ""team demolition derby"" in Joliet, Illinois, which aired on Discovery in December 2006. In March 2009, Siskel/Jacobs Productions was named to Realscreen Magazine's ""Global 100""—its annual list of the world's most influential factual production companies.

Prior to launching SJP, Greg served as VP/Chief Creative Officer at Towers Productions, where he oversaw the content of more than two hundred documentaries on five different networks, including award-winning shows and series for A&E, History, Discovery, The Weather Channel, and CNN. A graduate of Yale University, Greg has a master's degree in history from Ohio State, and is the author of Getting Around Brown: Desegregation, Development, and the Columbus Public Schools.

Geetha Narayanan
Srishti School of Art Design and Technology

Geetha Narayanan is a teacher and educator, a curator and a research scholar who has been working in the allied and overlapping fields of education, training, research, arts and culture for over three decades. Geetha has

  • B.Sc. Honours degree in Mathematics from Central College Bangalore University
  • B.Ed from MES Teachers College Bangalore University with a gold medal in School Organization and Management
  • MA (with Distinction) in Education from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford UK
  • Honorary Doctorate of the University from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford UK

She was awarded the Charles Merrill Distinguished Teacher Educator award from Cornell University, USA in May 1999 and a Certificate for Service of Merit by the Association of School Curriculum Development USA in the same year.

In 2005 Geetha Narayanan won the prestigious Ars Electronica curatorial award which she used to curate an exhibition of new media art called TANA BANA which was shown in Linz Austria that year.

Geetha has written and published widely and her latest paper titled Crafting Change-why new media arts makes critical pedagogy possible has been published in August 2006 by the MIT press in its arts science and technology journal LEONARDO.

At present Geetha Narayanan is the Director of Mallya Aditi International School and Srishti, School of Art Design and Technology.

Geetha Narayanan is the author and Principal Investigator of Project Vision, an design and research initiative which is looking at the development of appropriate instructional strategies and technology-related tools that foster integrative thinking, greater mind-body unity and pedagogies that facilitate leapfrogging in young children from both elite and urban poor communities.

She is currently an International Advisor to the Consortium of School Networks USA.

Nikos Theodosakis
OliveUs Education Society and The Director in the Classroom

Nikos Theodosakis is an advocate for meaningful education. Filmmaker, educator and author, Nikos is founder of the OliveUs Education Society, and the architect of the InStill Life, Preserving Your Culture and The Director in the Classroom projects. His book ""The Director in the Classroom: How Filmmaking Inspires Learning"" examines connected learning through digital media production in the classroom and is a resource for teacher training around the world.

Nikos provides professional development to schools around the world by videoconference and consults with schools and organizations to help grow meaningful learning projects that connect and matter to students, teachers and their communities.


Carrie Wagner
Author, Photographer, International Educator
Self Employed

A professional with over 20 years of international experience, Carrie has expertise in community development, training/facilitation, project planning and implementation, small business proprietorship, and intercultural relations. A graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Environmental/Visual Design, Carrie has used her formal education as a foundation for a career in education and training. Her 11 years with Habitat for Humanity International included working at the grass-roots level to establishing and directing the International Training Department. In this capacity, Carrie developed standards for curriculum and training procedures to be used in 74 countries, collaborated with and advised 5 regional vice presidents (US, Africa/Middle East, Europe/NIS, Latin Ameri-ca/Caribbean and Asia/Pacific) to assess and meet training needs throughout the organization. As International Training Director, Carrie developed and hosted three International Trainers Conferences, bringing together 15 trainers from different parts of the world and directed the Global Leadership Conference, hosting participants from 42 countries for a tri-lingual event. Since leaving HFHI in 2002, Carrie has worked independently as a photographer, writer and educator. Her book, Village Wisdom; Immersed in Uganda, Inspired by Job, Changed for Life, was published in 2010. Carrie has recently completed the first edition of Village Wisdom Global Education Kit: Tools and Resources for Teachers.

'I am committed to planting seeds for global citizenship. My life has encompassed incredible opportunities to engage in many cultures and places around the world. 3 years in Uganda, 3 years in South Africa, 5 years in International Training for Habitat for Humanity International, travel to over 25 countries; all have given me an appreciation for the gifts of wisdom nestled in every culture. My experiences have also given me a deeper understanding of common core values. While I’m thankful for my college education, I place higher value on the lessons I have learned through experience. Embracing diversity, I create opportunities that empower individuals to grow into their own global citizenship. I do this by designing and delivering presentations and workshops – for learning communities and for those who have civic and global service at heart. Sharing my life lessons through writing, photography and telling stories, is what I do best. Inspiring youth to see their potential for contribution to the world and seeing their sparks of curiosity make my work fulfilling. I am sometimes called a visual artist, an inter-culturalist, or an international educator, depending on the task at hand. I call myself a global cultural artist.'

June Lee
Assistant Vice President
Sesame Workshop

June Lee is Assistant Vice President of Global Research in the department of Global Education at Sesame Workshop. She joined Sesame Workshop in 2005 and currently oversees content development, research and outreach activities for Sesame Street co-productions in Indonesia and China. She also directs all of the summative evaluations that examine Sesame Street’s impact around the world and has managed over 25 research studies to date. June graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1999, where she majored in psychology and economics. In 2004, she received a doctorate in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.

Louise Mares
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Louise Mares is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the implications of developmental changes for responses to television content. In particular, she is interested in educational and prosocial outcomes of viewing, examining how children interpret the messages that adults create for them. Most recently she has been studying how children interpret television content about race and ethnicity. She has received a Fellowship from the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study to write up the results of this research during her sabbatical.

Fernando Reimers
Ford Foundation Professor of International Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Education and Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy at Harvard University. He teaches courses on the relationship between education policy, democratic citizenship, instructional improvement and educational innovation and social entrepreneurship.

His current research focuses on educational innovation and the impact of education policy, leadership, and teacher professional development on literacy competencies, citizenship and advanced skills and competencies. He is conducting research on school leadership in Brazil; evaluating a multi-country initiative to support civic education in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Paraguay; evaluating the impact of a curriculum to teach entrepreneurship to high school students in the Middle East, and leading the development of a global studies K-12 curriculum for a global network of independent schoos. He recently served on a subcommittee appointed by the Secretary of Education of Massachusetts to close the achievement gap for English Language Learners and immigrant students.

He earned Doctoral and Masters degrees in education at Harvard University and obtained a Licenciatura en Psicologia at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Emerson College for his work advancing global education.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peer Review Sounding Board Classrooms grades 6 through 8 or ages 11 through 14

Flat Classroom® Project 11-3 invites classrooms from Grade 6 though Grade 8 to become Sounding Boards for project wikis. More information is available at Sounding Board information. You also are invited to join the Flat Classroom Project Ning and the SB group.
There are over 400 students participating in the current Flat Classroom® Project.  Providing feedback as a sounding board classroom aligns with the NETS Standard of Communication and Collaboration which emphasizes students learn "to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others."
Sounding Boards provide feedback on one page of the topic wikis.  Peer review is in the following format:

List 3 things that are very good about this wiki project. Write 3 paragraphs (there are how many sentences in a paragraph?) Consider:

* Content - clarity, quantity
* Communication - between the students as collaborators
* Wiki Presentation - design, use of graphics, layout

List 2 suggestions for improving the wiki page. Write two paragraphs. Consider:

* Content - clarity, quantity
* Communication - between the students as collaborators
* Wiki Presentation - design, use of graphics, layout

List 1 piece of new knowledge your group has obtained thanks to this wiki page. Write one paragraph. Consider:

* Content - clarity, quantity
* Communication - between the students as collaborators
* Wiki Presentation - design, use of graphics, layout

Becoming a Sounding Board classroom is not time draining.  These peer reviews take one 45 to 90 minute lesson.  This activity will provide an opportunity for your class to practice peer review techniques.  This is a guide I used with my students -> 3-2-1 peer review 

Application online form:
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Global Education Conference Call for Proposals


Global Education Conference Call for Proposals
Second Annual
Global Education Conference
Streaming Live Online
November 14-18, 2011

Week-long, world-wide event featuring sessions and
keynote addresses focused on education technology and global classroom initiatives

August 31, 2011 – The second annual Global Education Conference, a week-long event bringing together educators and innovators from around the world, will be held Monday, November 14 through Friday, November 18, 2011. The entire conference will be broadcast online for free using the Blackboard Collaborate platform (formerly known as Elluminate/Wimba).

The Global Education Conference, a collaborative and world-wide community effort organized by the Global Education Collaborative and Classroom2.0, is aimed at increasing opportunities for globally-connecting education activities and initiatives. Last year’s conference featured 387 sessions and 60 keynote addresses from 62 countries with over 15,000 participant logins.
Sessions were held in multiple time zones and multiple languages over the five days, and are currently archived as a standing educational resource at

The Call for Proposals for the 2011 event is now open at  Presenters can submit proposals for general sessions focused on one of four possible tracks: Teacher Track; Student Track; Curricular Track; and Policy and Leadership Track. Proposals should focus on ideas, projects, and initiatives that promote global understanding and collaboration. The deadline for submissions is October 15  October 31st ! Keynote presentations are by invitation only.

Session proposals are to be non-commercial. Interest in commercial sponsorship or presentations should be directed to Steve Hargadon at

For further information, please join our network at and follow us on Twitter (@GlobalEdCon) and using the hashtag #GlobalEd11.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Putting your best foot forward

When you present yourself to others, in person, on the phone, live audio, or online, first impressions do count. The importance of your reputation becomes crystal clear when you apply to schools, colleges, and universities and even more crucial when you apply for a job.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a moment. You have a job opening for a clerk typist 3 (a common designation in Pennsylvania) and 2700 applicants. Are you going to wade through resumes for people who call themselves the name of a film star from the other side of the tracks on social media sites? Are you going to hire someone who has pictures on their profile that are suggestive? Are you going to offer a second interview to someone who regularly uses language that would make a grandmother blush?
So how do you put your best foot forward online?
1. Username – Pick your pseudonym carefully. If you are under 18 (or 21 depending on your country of residence and your comfort level), do choose and use the same pseudonym everywhere online. Ask your grandmother what she thinks of your potential username BEFORE you use it. Consider your email address too. Many sites display your email address as well as your username.
2. Profile Picture – If you are under 18, DO NOT post your photo online. Use an avatar maker, and there are plenty, or a logo (like the Nike swoosh). Make your profile pic be your personal brand without jeopardizing your online safety.
3. Language – Remember that your grandparents have plenty of time on their hands, now that they are retired and they are probably reading everything you write. Do not use language that you would not use with them.
4. Information – Be careful WHAT you post online. Do not provide your address, your birthday, or phone number, or post that you will be at Big Macs at the Main Street Mall at 8:00pm.
5. Content - What you write can be as impressive as how you write. Try to discuss your area of interest. Try not disparaging other people by name and not discussing the latest beer bash at the local college.
As the new school year begins here in the USA, many of you will be creating user accounts on different platforms. Take a moment to think about your digital reputation and how that will affect the rest of your life. If you think anything you post online is private and can be deleted, I refer you to
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Announcing the Flat Classroom® Workshop for 2012 - Mumbai, India!

Announcing the Flat Classroom® Workshop at ASB Unplugged, February 2012. Our wiki has been updated and there is a link to a registration form at

This promises to be an amazing experience once again for educators and students. It is also being held in conjunction with the release of our book, "Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds". We do hope you can join us! More details about the program coming soon. However you may like to browse the wiki from 2010:

Don't forget to join our Flat Classroom® Conference Ning and join the group for this event!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flat Classroom® Projects - applications now open for elementary, middle and high school projects

Applications are invited now for a selection of internationally recognised and award winning global projects run by Flat Classroom® to start in September 2011. Co-founders Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay are excited to be offering these opportunities for classrooms globally to connect, co-create and learn together in a carefully designed and supported digital environment.

The Digiteen™ Project explores digital citizenship through interaction and provides an opportunity for students to not only talk about digital citizenship, but experience via online connection, collaboration, shared research and presentation. It also has an action project component where a classroom designs an action to be carried out in their own school community and then shared back to the global partnership.

The Flat Classroom® Project is designed to develop cultural understanding, skills with Web 2.0 and other software, experience in global collaboration and online learning, awareness of what it means to live and work in a flat world, while researching and discussing the ideas developed in Friedman's book.

The ‘A Week in the Life...’ Project aims to join Elementary School classrooms globally with a view to exploring what life is like in each area/country through discussion, sharing and collecting multimedia to create final products together. The curriculum focus is Interdisciplinary, how we live, how we communicate, cultural understanding and awareness.

Entry to a each project is via application and subscription. In order to help meet the subscription price, teachers can apply for a limited number of sweat equity positions as ‘lead teachers’.

All details for each of these outstanding projects can be found linked from the Flat Classroom® website. We welcome inquiries to

Watch this space for more announcements of new projects coming, including the repeat of the popular ‘Eracism’ Project, as well as an opportunity for educators to join our next Flat Classroom® Certified Teacher course, also starting in September 2011.

Also, our book, ‘Flattening Classroom, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration one Step at a Time’ is due for release January 2012. Find out more at

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Passionate Redheads

I had forgotten this video I found in my youtube when I was in there for another reason. So this is what I do in Second Life....

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

What people are saying about the Flat Classroom® Certified Teacher Course

I have enjoyed this course and the challenges it brought. I am most grateful for my new global colleagues and look forward to collaborating and sharing ideas and projects. I’m so excited about the project that I’ll be doing with Donna and Toni because it fits perfectly with our first unit of inquiry and our literacy workshops. Secondly, I am looking forward to the final Flat Classroom book by Julie and Vicki because it is so comprehensive and organized. It will be a good read for new and experienced educators to read before embarking on a project, but also as a reference during projects. This course is just the beginning…
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Diffusion of Innovations

In considering the diffusion of innovations, definitions of terms provide a foundation for the discussion. An innovation is “an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new” by an individual or organization. (Rogers, 2003, p.xx) The process of diffusion involves infiltration into a social system. I work in education, so the innovations about which I am concerned are found in the educational community. Rogers (2003) defines diffusion as the “process in which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.” (p.5) These are the four main elements involved in the diffusion of innovations. The innovation is the idea, practice, or object being introduced into the system. Dede (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008) offers the example of the landline video-phone. Other innovations in education include geocaching, podcasting, online school newspapers, flat screen monitors, charter schools, homeschools, and the whole language movement in reading instruction. Some of these innovations have diffused successfully into the K-16 schools and some have not.
I researched the unsuccessful diffusion of virtual worlds in education. Chris Dede (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008) asserts that all the elements must work in concert for an innovation to diffuse successfully. I know in my own experience that other teachers just tune out when I suggest a virtual world for teaching concepts. The communication channels are not open because I am not perceived as the authority at my school, and am not homophilous enough. Thus the communication process breaks down at the persuasion stage. As Rogers (2003) suggests, “diffusion is a social process” (p.35) in which the structure of traditional industrial age education impedes the diffusion of innovations that would change that structure. (p.25)
Hew and Cheung (2010) discovered five studies that suggested using virtual worlds enhanced learning. However, their conclusions found the use of virtual worlds was largely at the fringe of university level education and virtual worlds were not successfully diffused into the culture of academia. Salleh, Jack, Bohari, and Jusoff (2011) investigated the integration of technological innovations at the university level. They concluded that diffusing innovations successfully is crucial to organizational success, as the current generation of students choose to attend schools that embrace technological innovations. Adams (2011) reported on the successful diffusion of Skype in nursing education, documenting the astronomical growth of Skype internationally.
I would like to find research relating to how these innovations are used in PreK-12 education. I will have to dig deeper to find any or this may be a gap in the literature. Dr. Dede has a point that everything must change at once for an innovation to diffuse successfully. There are many barriers to overcome towards successful innovation in education in the communication of usefulness of these technological innovations, the structure of educational social systems or status quo, and the perceived timeliness of innovations.
Rogers (2003) refers to an innovator’s ability to deal with dissonance (p.22). Maybe to affect the four elements so innovations diffuse successfully we will all need to develop this ability.

Adams, L. (2011). Teaching techniques using Skype in clinical education. Radiologic Technology, 82(5), 475-477.
Hew, K. F. & Cheung, W. S. (2010). Use of three-dimensional (3-D) immersive virtual worlds in k-12 and higher education settings: A review of the research. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(1), 33-55.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Barriers to Adoption segment of Diffusion and Integration of Technology in Education. Baltimore: Author.
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.
Salleh, S.M.H., Jack, S., Bohari, Z., & Jusoff, K. (2011). Use of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Teaching and Learning. International Education Studies. 4(2), 153-156.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Relay Cometh !

The Relay for Life in Second Life is this weekend. The RFLinSL organization sent us this information recently:
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life began in May 1985 when a colorectal surgeon ran around a track in Tacoma, Washington, for 24 hours, raising $27,000 to support the American Cancer Society. Today Relay For Life is held in more than 4,600 communities in the United States and in 23 countries across the globe. To date, Relay For Life has raised more than $1.5 billion to help the Society accelerate the progress against cancer by saving lives, helping those touched by cancer, and empowering people to fight back against this disease.

In RL, Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of your American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

In 2005, the Second Life community, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society, saw fit to re-create a Relay For Life event within the virtual world setting, combining traditional design with new elements afforded by the online social platform. Doing this has allowed the American Cancer Society to reach out to a new demographic, thus expanding their mission.

It also enables real people, who might otherwise be physically incapable of participating in a Relay For Life, to get involved in a new way.

Last year, Second Lifers donated enough Lindens to the 2009 Relay for Life to raise more than $270,000 USD.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Schools of the Future

How will his future unfold?

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Questions -> Education

What if educating our children was all about answering their questions?

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where is your brain?

Vygotsky's work focused on social discourse in the classroom. Cole (1996)described Vygotsky's theory thus

mind works through artifacts, it cannot be unconditionally bounded by the head or even by the body, but must be seen as distributed in the artifacts which are woven together and which weave together individual human actions in concert with and as a part of the permeable, changing, events of life.(pp.136-137)

So where is your brain? My brain in found in my PLN who are gathered together in my social media networks. And schools are disconnecting kids from their brains? Does that make sense to you?

Cole, M.(1996. Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's not about the tools

In order to use technology effectively, an educational technologist needs to show others how to use tools to accomplish the objectives of the lesson, the unit, or the curriculum. Dr. Thornburg reminds of us a time when the blackboard was a revolutionary technology. He stresses that it is not the technology that makes a difference, but the mind-set of the one using the technology. It is not the tool itself but the pedagogy, or the art of teaching. As I have heard many others say, it is not about the tools it is about the content. Silvia Tolisano referred to this very subject in her blog post, "It's Not About the Tools. It's About the Skills."
Chris Lehmann also refers to the importance of the pedagogy over the tools when he says "active, engaged, constructivist learning will lead to active, engaged students" in his post about technology and pedagogy. Chris is the principal of Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia where the yearly Educon conference is hosted.
Dr. Thornburg emphasized that we need a historical perspective in order accurately predict the future. This is part of the mind-set of which he speaks. Rather than forsaking all that has gone before us to focus solely on new technologies, we all need to consider the lenses through which we are viewing events.
Chris Dede defines learning technologies as those which focus on student learning and instructional technologies as those which focus on pedagogy and teaching. I never separated the two in my mind; I just consider any technology as a tool to accomplish the objectives. When using VoiceThread in the classroom to connect first grade students I am not thinking about the VoiceThread, the computer, or the microphone, but about the first grade standard, "SWBAT recognize that other countries have different customs."
The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) emphasizes the ethical use of using technology to facilitate student learning.
The tools of technology can be used to stimulate critical by avoiding lower level questions and answers on Bloom's Taxonomy just as one would in a classroom devoid of digital technologies. By creating artifacts as culminating projects to units students incorporate higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, like analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. It's not the tool; it is how it is used to accomplish the objectives.
Note: I thought the blackboard originated in Scotland and was first used in the United States by a teacher at WestPoint.
Association of Information Technology Professionals. (2006-2011). Association of Information Technology Professionals. Retrieved from
Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Educational Technology: A Historic Perspective. Baltimore.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Educational Technology Defined. Baltimore.
Lehmann, C. (2007, January 5). Some thoughts about school 2.0 -- part 1 [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who ARE we punishing? We are punishing ourselves and the culture we have worked so hard to create. Let me ask you, were the folks who hid Jews from the Nazis during WWII breaking the law? Would you so easily have pointed the finger at them and shouted it is not right? Oh, so killing people is okay because it is the law. And here in America, killing dreams is alright because it is the law? So this Dream Act is saying, if you are an illegal immigrant and you go to college or serve in our military, then you can apply for citizenship. What exactly is wrong here? Do American kids all go to college or serve in our military? We are basically saying, improve the educational level of the majority of citizens, or defend the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, and you too can be called a legal citizen. Wasn't this nation founded by immigrants who gathered here together to escape unjust laws / regimes? Are we going to be unjust as well? How dare we! Your clean comments are welcome:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Revolution is here!

Are we ready to meet the challenges of a changed world? The world will not wait for us, so we either change or be outdated - which will it be?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Global Education Conference

Last year, the 2010 Global Education Conference recorded over 15,000 unique logins with presenters from 62 countries. Steve Hargadon is up to it again with the 2011 Global Education Conference.
This conference is free, online, and occurs November 14-18.  The conference takes place across several timezones and presented in multiple languages.  Much more information is available at the Ning group and is changing even while I write this post.  Proposals for presentations open on July 20th and many volunteers are needed to make this conference happen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tools of the Trade (crossposted on Angela Maiers blog)

There are tools I use in order to get my jobs done. I wear several hats and drink plenty of Starbucks. But seriously, the tools I could not live without include:
  1. An RSS Reader
  2. Meebo/Skype
  3. Google Calendar/Toodledo
  4. Twitter
  5. Evernote
  6. Instapaper
  7. Diigo/Delicious
I'm sure there are more which I have not mentioned. These must be the main things since they sprang straight to mind. How any educator can get the job done without these tools is totally beyond me. I use them daily. Let me tell you how I use these tools (although I am sure there are more ways to use them.)
  1. An RSS Reader - I use Google Reader to read f0r professional development and to grade student work. For instance, I simply subscribe to student blogs, and their posts are delivered to my one page instead of me checking many pages.
  2. Meebo/Skype - I am accessible 24/7 to students via chat services like GoogleTalk, Messenger, Yahoo, AIM, & Skype chat. I get a lot of work done by conversing with other educators in group Skype chats & sometimes GoogleTalk.
  3. Google Calendar/Toodledo - I like to plan. Spontaneity drives me to the edge. With Google Calendar I can subscribe to other calendars like ETT, or The Fire Escape, Classroom2.0LIVE, & Worldbridges. I can choose to have my cell phone alert me 10 minutes before a scheduled event. With Toodledo, I can write down all those To-Do items that keep me awake at night and schedule them. I can add items from my browser too.
  4. Twitter - my Personal Learning Network lives on Twitter. Well, they really live all over the world in their homes, but they are on Twitter. If I need a quick reference or someone else needs a quick answer, Twitter is the place to be. When you are looking for project participants or announcing an event, Twitter is your source. The more people you follow, or follow you, the more effective this network becomes.
  5. Evernote - my quick bookmark. I have integrated Evernote with my browser. So when I find those merino wool socks I like I can note it with Evernote in my Shopping folder. Then when I have the inclination, I can find those socks and buy them easily. I use evernote for those bookmarks I don't want to share with everyone, like merino socks (which I love!).
  6. Instapaper - when I don't have time to read, listen, or watch something but I want to return to it without subscribing to the whole page content, I use Instapaper. This gives me a newspaper of my own making. I usually get to this on Sundays with my coffee ... reading the Sunday paper just like Dad .....
  7. Diigo/Delicious - I use these services to bookmark sources I don't mind sharing. I might bookmark things to use with 3rd grade podcasters, or 2nd grade scientists, or even someone else like EdTechWeekly. I have set up a Diigo for Study Skills for their biome projects, so I won't get the "We can't find any information on that biome". I welcome anyone to tag resources for the Study Skills biome project by tagging one resource to
So if you have a group, a website, or group events, make sure your webpages have an RSS feed, a Google Calendar for events, and a twitter account people can follow. This is effective public relations - let the tools do the work for you. [Note Daniel Rezac on Twitter says we won't need to worry about RSS feeds soon =>BRAVO! I was able to get this to work on FF on my 'puters but not on the IE used at school, so it doesn't help students yet.]

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Week in the Life............

This is one of the fantastically awesome final projects produced for the newest Flatclassroom Projects. Produced by high schoolers, you think to yourself, and being an elementary teacher, you move on. But wait! What was the average of the kids in this project? Participants ranged in age from 8 years to 10 years of age (about Grades 3-5). A downloadable/printable form is here -> Consider flattening your classroom this coming fall through participation in a Flat Classroom Project

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Revisiting the Yellow Brick Road...

Where do you begin on your travels down the road of web2.0? For many of us this is a most overwhelming and puzzling question. Here are some pointers, although certainly not the definitive answers.

  • Set your Google preferences to strict filtering [click on preferences on the Google search page, scroll down to strict filtering, click the radio dial (round thing), click save]
  • Search Google for something of interest, perhaps global warming. Read a couple articles.
  • Visit a teacher site, perhaps the Look for one lesson that you could use.
  • After you see the some of the possibilities, collect a few articles of interest using a reader. Here are Wes Fryer's instructions to get RSS, which is simply like subscribing to magazines.
  • After reading text for awhile, visit NPR and listen to a podcast of interest.
  • After text and audio, go to the next level, video. Visit TED Talks and watch a video.
  • Why is your orientation to the web important? Marc Prensky may explain it here
These are starting points for your journey. I have not included more confusing levels, master these first at your own speed. When you feel ready for more, join Classroom 2.0 This is a Ning community of many educators. Many are willing to guide, many are experimenting, many are brand new explorers.

Visit Classroom 2.0

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Photo by Karl-Erik Bennion, uploaded Jul 8, 2004, available at

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tips to writing a first-rate blog post ! (A recycled post 'cause I'm at the beach!)

The following are some traits of successful blog posts (written for fellow learners at my school):

1. The posts (or comments) are well written. This includes not only good content, but standard English conventions including the COPS -> capitalisation, organisation, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
2. The posts (or comments) are responsive. They respond to other people’s ideas – whether it is a post by a teacher, a comment by a student, or an idea elsewhere on the Internet. The power of blogs is in connections – they are connected to a larger community of ideas. Participate in that community.
3. The posts (or comments) include textual references to support opinions. Adding quotes or links to other works strengthens your post.
4. To be part of the dialogue, part of the conversation, you have to participate fully, consistently and often.
5. Your posts (or comments) are respectful of others. It’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to be disagreeable. Be respectful of others and their opinions, and be civil when you disagree.
6. Your posts aim to include 3 technorati tags.
7. Your posts speak to visual literacy by carefully choosing an image to include. The image should refer to what is written.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm going to the BEACH!

This is Nik against the world. He loves the beach, the beach house, and watching Elmo on youtube until he falls asleep... So if you don't here from me for a week, in the words of Nik -> I'm going to the BEACH! (include a jump at the end)
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Bury your head in the sand

One change I would like to see schools embrace is a commitment to educating tomorrow’s citizens with the tools those citizens will need during their lifetimes. Every private school is essentially a business. The clients are parents of students, who will shop elsewhere if they are not offered a competitive, 21st century education for their children. This lack of strategic thinking is due to the industrial age focus of many schools.

Unfortunately, the feelings of frustration reach throughout many schools, and already several teachers, staff, and students have expressed their intent to go elsewhere in subsequent years. Albert Einstein is known to have said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That is industrial education. We have different needs, a different era, different jobs, a different playing field, but we are preparing students over and over again using an outdated model. There are zero efforts to work on this change in most schools.

Instead of adhering to an outdated paradigm, schools could consider how they could contribute to societal change, how they could attract and keep families, and how they could influence faculty, staff, and students. Although evidence of paradigm shifts are currently seen elsewhere in society, organized K-12 education is still holding onto the outdated model. Those private schools that shift paradigms will attract paying customers (parents) and will be successful in the long term. Those that hid their heads in the sand will lose economically.
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