Once again, it is my pleasure to coordinate, with the help of the wonderful Lisa Durff, the Sounding Board process for Vicki & Julie’s latest Flat Classroom Project. This one is called NetGenEd and it’s already in full swing.

The Sounding Board process is a very easy, fun and eye-opening way for younger students (upper elementary, middle, and lower high school) to participate in one of these amazing, global projects. Basically Sounding Boards act as peer reviewers for the students participating in the project. Small groups of students in the Sounding Board classrooms will review one NetGenEd student group’s work and offer very simple peer feedback.

This time around, I have to admit, the project is even more exciting because it’s part of a larger project organized by Don Tapscott, author of Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. Here’s his intro to the wider project:

And check out this phenomenal keynote for the project created by Peggy Sheehy and her students at Suffern Middle School:

This will be the fourth time I’ve participated in the Sounding Board experience with a group of students and every time it gets a little bit better. We are looking for as many classrooms as possible to join us in this quick and easy, but exciting project!

Usually the time commitment for teachers and students is about 2 – 4 hours depending on the age group you’re working with. For my 5th grade groups, we usually spend closer to 4 hours, when I worked with 8th grade, we took just around 3 hours. Our aim is to make it as simple and easy to participate as possible!

We are looking for Sounding Board classrooms to participate in the review process during the first two weeks of April 2009. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have a planning session in Elluminate in late March (like we did during the November SB process – it was very helpful to get us organized and answer any lingering questions).

Update: We will have a quick organizational meeting in Elluminate (link coming soon) on Sunday, March 22 (10 am in Bangkok – check your local time here). For those who are new to the project, this is the perfect time to check in and get the basics.

If you’re interested, please join the NetGenEd wiki and add your name to the Sounding Board page! Please feel free to send any questions my way or leave them here in the comments. Looking forward to working with another amazing group of teachers and students!

0 thoughts on “NetGenEd Sounding Boards Needed!

  1. Hi, Kim,
    Could it be a mixed grade group? Are the time periods involved flexible? As a librarian I can get access to some groups for longer than their usual 45 mins once a week, but unlikely I get get a group for a 4 hour block…

  2. @Melissa,

    Yes! You can definitely have mixed age/grade groups! In fact that was one thing that the fifth graders really wanted to do the next time around.

    You will have a time frame of at least 2 weeks to complete the Sounding Board process (will probably take you around 4 hours total), but I would recommend working with the same group of students the whole time. I use flex scheduling to organize two 1.5. hour sessions and then do a final 45 min session as a wrap-up after they’ve done the project.

    Please feel free to join the wiki and add your name to the project if you’re interested :)


  3. Kim – I have a group of 7 9th graders and I think we could gain a lot from this as we have been using our class wiki pretty regularly this year, and the students are also just starting blogs. I am concerned about missing your planning meeting on March 22 – on my time that is about 7pm on March 21 and I will be in an airplane at that time. If there were some way I could get caught up on that without too much trouble, then yes – I would like my group to be involved as a sounding board group. Please let me know if this works for you!

  4. @Tracie,

    No worries about missing the planning meeting. The main focus of what we will do is go over questions and answers (I can help you via e-mail) and then sign up for which NetGenEd Student groups each class will peer review.

    If you could take a look at the Sounding Board page, add yourself to the table, and then check the SB Feedback page to see which groups your class would like to peer review (and then add your name next to those groups) we’ll be all set.

    Let me know if you have any questions :)

  5. I’m so excited about this and what you do. Students provide great audience from one another and it becomes a mutual learning experience. If a video cannot be understood at all levels, then it isn’t a good video and so the feedback from the students is GREAT.

    Just wonderful work that you do- you add so much to this process. We’re continuing to put the call out on all of our networks to find elementary classrooms. Interestingly each time there is a “new” project sometimes people don’t know about it. It has often helped to call it a “flat classroom project’ and then people go – “OH, OK.”

    It is interesting to see the people that are early adopters who will jump on such a thing and others who hang back because they’ve never heard of “netgen” — well, I’d never heard of it 3 months a go and you hadn’t either and here we are, again.

    And yes, with Don Tapscott involved it is very very special.

  6. @Vicki,

    It really is so much fun for the Sounding Board students too – every year they are so amazed at the scope of the project and how the participating students are able to collaborate across distance and time to produce such amazing work. So glad to be a part!

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