My eighth grade students just spent two class lessons working as a Sounding Board for the The Horizon Project – another fantastic collaboration with Julie Lindsay, Vicki Davis, Vienna International School, Presbyterian Ladies College and Shanghai American School (check out our finished work on our class wiki).
This particular group of students has been through an excellent international collaboration and this was a great way to demonstrate that other students are participating in the same kinds of projects all around the world.
After going through the process of learning about the trends and then reviewing and evaluating the projects in progress, they shared some of their thoughts:
- they discovered how technology might be used – once it’s potential is unlocked
- they explored how technology can enhance education
- they determined that all technology will be simpler, yet will do more advanced things
About what will happen to education:
- everything (including school) is going to go digital
- school will be more complex – more authentic
- the concept of international schools and regular schools will not exist, because everyone will be connected
and my personal favorite:
- school would be better because you’d be preparing more for your future life
An excellent part of the project was the section where students were asked to pose 3 questions that arose from their reading. Here are a few of my favorites:
- How will people in the near future use these user created content pages if half the world is in poverty, and hardly any of the schools in those areas have computers?
- Will the older generations like it if or accept it if user created content pages become more liked by the student body and are used frequently for various reasons?
- How can social networking help and not turn it into some place for chit-chat like mypace, facebook, friendster, hi5?
We are so lucky to be a part of this amazing project. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to colleagues, students, parents, and administrators why what global collaboration is important. Being able to share projects like this help validate what I do in my classroom and help inspire teachers and students to try something new. My eighth grade class and I send a huge virtual thank you to the Horizon Project coordinators for allowing us to take part!