Thursday, December 17, 2009
Visit Flat Classroom Project
In his book, The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman looks at technological advances that are creating a more level economic playing field with disadvantaged countries rising in knowledge and wealth. Telephone and computer technology that was previously a stronghold of developed countries has been mastered by countries such as China and India. This makes these nations economically competitive. Friedman sees the flattening effect to be comparable to the Industrial Revolution.
Friedman also discusses the effect of outsourcing jobs from the United States to foreign countries. Reallocating jobs from America to a foreign country raises that country's economy and standard of living, and consequently, the demand for American goods and services. This is a positive development which will continue to grow until world economies are lateral or, a flat line. A flat world means we are all economically dependent and in more communication with each other. This represents opportunity to some and a threat to others. There can be a positive “flat” world with mutual benefits for all, or a negative “flat” world, where through terrorism, there would be mutual detriment for all.
After reading the book I felt it opened my eyes in the sense that I was able to compare it to the classroom setting and saw where the relation between, The World is Flat, and The Flat Classroom Project could be connected.
It was exciting to become a participant in The Flat Classroom Project. As an expert advisor our job was to provide feedback and point out resources to the team we chose to advise. After the ball got rolling we were able to communicate with the team members updates and additions. My specific groups topic was Globalization and Outsourcing. They focused on the background of the subject, current news on Globalization and Outsourcing, its impact on Education, Government and Politics, and the Arts. I feel that I would have enjoyed more interaction on part of the students because it was fairly one sided in the communication between Advisor and Student. There was some great dialog though from student to student.
When looking back on the organization of the involvement of the project, I feel like it was sudden and unplanned because of all the misunderstandings and lack of notice when things needed to be completed. If the communication or the project was a little better organized it may have gone more smoothly. I do understand though, that there were many levels of people working on this project together and sometimes it’s hard to manage such large groups of people.
Along with my involvement in the project I was able to experience many different means of communicating. I toughly enjoyed the Skype sessions, VoiceThread, and discussions on the Wiki and Ning. It amazes me all the various ways we can now stay connected.
Overall, I am pleased with playing an active roll in such an exciting project. I am also thrilled to be able to say that I participated in The Flat Classroom Project as an Expert Advisor. The opportunity and my involvement look great as a future educator.
Visit my Ning Page for the Flat Classroom Project!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I just love the SUPER WHY! website. PBS Kids is something the students can relate to because a majority of them watch PBS Kids when they get home from school. The programs are of great quality and always have an educational background to them. Plus the SUPER WHY! podcast made #11 on the Top 25 Educational Podcasts on iTunes! Check it out!
TeacherTube has been such a great resource for me and many others as it is a reliable and safe place to look for educational clips and short videos for classroom use. With children today, there are many different learners in the classroom. The students love to see, hear, and do! Try out TeacherTube the next time your looking for that "something extra" to add to a lesson! It's a great resource!!
We are working with and learning about Second Life in my class and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of how it could be incorporated into the classroom as a learning tool? If you are unfamiliar with Second Life take a look at the links and explore! Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas as to how it could be used in education.
The Flat Classroom™ Project is a global collaborative project that joins together middle and senior high school students. This project is part of the emerging tend in internationally-aware schools to embrace a holistic and constructivist educational approach to work collaboratively with others around the world in order to create students who are competitive and globally-minded. The project was co-founded by Vicki Davis (Westwood Schools, USA) and Julie Lindsay(Beijing (BISS) International School, China) in 2006. The Flat Classroom Project 2006 was featured in Chapter 13, 'If it's not happening it's because you're not doing it', of the latest edition of Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat' upon which it was based.
One of the main goals of the project is to 'flatten' or lower the classroom walls so that instead of each class working isolated and alone, 2 or more classes are joined virtually to become one large classroom. This is done through the Internet using Web 2.0 tools such as Wikispaces and Ning.
The Project uses Web 2.0 tools to make communication and interaction between students and teachers from all participating classrooms easier. The topics studied and discussed are real-world scenarios based on 'The World is Flat' by Thomas Friedman.
A podcast has a news feed (known as RSS) that allows it to be cataloged in various podcasting directories like iTunes and Podcast Pickle. The popular directory, Podcast Alley, has cataloged over 41,000 podcasts and nearly 2million individual episodes. If you are interested in listening to the podcasts mentioned here, launch iTunes and type the name into the search field.
In addition, the news feed allows podcatching programs like iTunes to automatically download new episodes. Once you have found the podcast you want to subscribe to, simply click its Subscribe button. There's no need manually check a website to see if there's new content; iTunes does it for you.
For the Top 25 Podcasts in Education visit www.openculture.com's list compiled from iTunes!