One of the fabulous teachers from my previous post was so enthusiastic about collaborating with other schools that we started planning our very own “flat classroom” project today!
Mary is a fellow new teacher here at ISB and she has been doing some amazing things with our Smart Boards already this year (not to make Graham any more upset, but every classroom has a fixed Smart Board, data projector and surround sound speakers), so she is totally ready to kick it up a notch! Our idea is to create a private Ning (which I did today – super easy!) for all of the students and teachers involved so that we can start sharing and learning from each other.
Our goal is to enable students to develop their very own personal learning network so that they are able to construct knowledge with peers from all over the world – just like we do every single day!
Here are some of our ideas:
- Because our students are just about to learn about graphing, our first idea was to create an online survey for each school to complete. We would then determine which kind of graph is best for the data, graph the results and then analyze and interpret the data.
- Next, using our surveying and graphing skills, we would send out a pre-assessment survey about a topic that our class is studying (we’re thinking of using the “sound” unit). Based on the results of the survey, our students would develop an online tutorial (either a video, a VoiceThread, a screen capture using Jing, a Smart Board notebook exported as a video, or any other tool that would work) to teach the other students about sound. The other classes could do the same for us so that we all learn something new and we all have an authentic audience for our work.
- In order to keep developing reading skills, we could create leveled groups of readers – just like we do in class – with our collaborative partners. Each group could have their own virtual group on the Ning. This way, even if we don’t have an ability match directly in the classroom, we can find appropriate partners within our network of classes.
- Our students are going to be studying Australia soon and, thanks to the amazingly well-connected Alexander Hayes, we have a great contact with a rural aboriginal school in Western Australia. How amazing would it be for our students studying Australia to actually communicate and collaborate with native Australians!
These are just the few ideas we brainstormed during our first meeting today. What else could we be doing in our collaborative virtual classroom?
Are you interested in joining this project?