Chapter 1

Chapter One, Flattening Classrooms through Global Collaboration opens with this quote:

“We need to educate the ‘net generation’ differently not so much because ‘they’ are different, but because the world is different.”

-Dr. Eric Brunsell, University of Wisconsin

I love this quote because it reminds me of what I am so passionate about: making schools relevant for students… now. In education we have many things we do out of habit, not because it is truly what students need for the world they live in. I am less worried about responding to students need for stimulation and multimedia experiences, I am more concerned about giving them the tools they need to successfully navigate the world they live in.

As you read Chapter One, what quotes stand out to you? What thoughts do you have about the need for global projects? What questions do you have about what “counts” as a global project?

Add a comment and share your ideas!

17 thoughts on “Chapter 1

  1. Second time reading this chapter and STILL finding new inspirations! I am really looking forward to ‘flattening’ my own part of the world through this virtual book discussion. Thank you, Kyle!

  2. I also loved the opening quote. One thing that I found interesting was the Cisco Research. “Peer to peer learning is necessary and just as important as knowledge coming from the instructor.” This is a powerful statement and one that we need to reflect on as we design learning opportunities with our students.

    I am really loving all the QR readers and outside links in the book. It really enhances the learning. Also, if you tweet about the book, Vicki Davis usually responds.

    • I see this with my own children all the time. My daughter (9) loves to teach my son (6) anything. And he really listens to her. I wonder how we can make peer-to-peer learning more a part of classroom interactions and professional development (because I think teachers learn best from other teachers too).

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  4. Not quite the full quote, but “learning is a social experience.” I stopped midsentence because, although my district encourages and promotes the use of Twitter and other social media, the elementary teachers I support are intimidated. I am new to my campus and the concept of collaboration is one I employ daily. I’m a Media Resource Specialist, which is instructional technology for teachers and students. When I come to the room, it’s the Four Cs, baby (critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication). Whether or not we have a device, the kids always work in teams. For now, we are mastering collaboration locally, and testing ground with lit circles with sister schools through Edmodo. I look forward to bigger and better opportunities through this book club.

  5. As an ELL teacher, I am finding new inspiration and ways to ‘connect’ all of my students regardless of ethnicity and location. It’s an exciting time in the field of ELL and teaching altogether.

    • Theresa- I think the chance for ELL classrooms to connect either with home countries or new countries is really exciting. So empowering for them and such an authentic chance to practice their target language! -Kyle

      • Linda-Our students from differing countries feel so very empowered when I ask each in the group to tell where they/their parents are from. Kids love to tell about their customs, food, etc. I first ask each to locate their country on a World or US map. Kids from this country also enjoy telling which state they were born.

  6. I have so many great quotes from this chapter! Here are the ones I’ve written down:

    Many of us are finding that students become more open minded about people from other countries and cultures by simply meeting online. Page 2

    Through Flat classroom projects students are not simply learning about cultural diversity there living it and doing it. Page 2

    Global competition for jobs means that today students must not only be well educated create a problem solvers but they must also be a clipped to collaborate globally. Page 3

    Collaboration should start as part of the school curriculum beginning in the early years. Page 3

    Peer to peer learning is necessary and just as important as knowledge coming from the instructor. Page 3

    Don’t want to learn from their peers and make learning social. Page 4

    The aim of global corporation in education is to improve learning, breakdown classroom wild, and develop a fantastic idea. Page 4

    And effective global Clarita project is an educational project that flattens or joins classrooms and people from geographically dispersed places within a technology infrastructure built for a common curricular purpose. Page 7

    When students are provided choices for learning, we can reach more them. Page 9

    I hope to discuss these quotes and more during the virtual book club!

  7. I’m anxious to learn how this applies to flat “elementary” classrooms. Was excited to see “A Week in the Life…” as one of the 5 projects showcased in Chapter 1.

    • Hi Paul,

      I am eager to get one of the classes to join in this project again next year. However, one of my goals for next year is to work with a class and hopefully the flat classroom team to create a couple of projects for the elementary age class that go beyond exploration of culture. Could we not develop a project based on weather analysis, environmental impact ect. all geared toward the elementary age group?

  8. I just picked up the book and listened to the first club meeting. I apologize for being late to this fantastic party.

    Way back in 1996 (the Troglodyte years of the Internet), my late wife and I wrote a book about how the Internet might change classrooms (Internet Communication in Six Classroom: Conversations Across Time, Space, and Culture). So may things of changed and barriers to communication been dropped since then. I was so impressed by the community created here and I look forward to the next meeting.

    • Glad you can join us this way – hope you can come to the live sessions, would love to hear how the global projects you wrote about then compare to some of the project described in Flattening Classrooms!

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  10. As I was reading the first chapter I couldn’t quite get past the semantics of the term “flat” in this new way for a couple reasons. One was a reminder of the pre-Columbus concept of a literally flat world and the other a metaphorical idea of flat too simplistically suggesting fairness or homogeny. Both of those ideas continued to bother me as I knew neither adequately, or were meant to, represent this new concept of flat/global classrooms. I kept wishing the authors had created a different visual metaphor to describe our new reality in the globally connected environment, like a salad bowl or some sort of MC Escher continuum.

    So I poked into Friedman’s ‘The World is Flat’ mentioned on p5 of ‘Flattening Classrooms…’ and I thought it was worth sharing this bit of Friedman’s Introduction to the Paperback Edition because it made me much more comfortable with Lindsay’s and Davis’ new meaning of the term flat:
    “…using the simple notion of flatness to describe how more people can plug, play, compete, connect, and collaborate with more equal power than ever before… really helps people who are trying to understand the essential impact of all the technological changes coming together today.”
    “My [Friedman’s] use of the word ‘flat’ doesn’t mean equal (as in ‘equal incomes’) and never did. It means equalizing, because the flattening forces are empowering more and more individuals today to reach farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and that is equalizing power – and equalizing opportunity, by giving so many more people the tools and ability to connect, compete, and collaborate.”

    I hope to have enough time to finish the rest of Friedman’s book because it seems like very worthwhile reading, but it’ll have to wait until I finish ‘Flattening Classrooms…’ 🙂

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