There is a new book on the market, that I think, is a much needed
"guide" for those that want to collaborate in their classrooms but are
not quite sure how to get it done. Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis have provided a wonderful resource in their book "Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds - Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time."
This is more than a book, it is designed using an interactive, action
based approach that puts readers through a three part process that
involves fifteen actions to give you, "a live learning experience connecting you to other learners."
In part one - "Meet the Flat Classroom,"
the authors will familiarize you with the concepts of flattening your
classroom through solid research and examples. You will read how to
embed and enhance current projects as well using stories from educators
and students that are globally collaborating. Part two - "Seven Steps to Flatten You Classroom,"
will get you involved by teaching you how to connect and build your
global reach as well as communicate effectively. The authors include
information about how to sustain your projects, build relationships,
while teaching digital global citizenship using what they call the "7 Steps to Flatten Your Classroom." Finally, part three - "Project Development,"
guides the reader through the framework to create and manage their own
global projects. These final chapters take the reader full circle from
connecting, to collaborating, and then creating and managing your own
global projects. Every chapter ends with a great summary, some essential
questions, one of the fifteen challenges, a diary entry from one of the
authors, and case studies. These features give great closure and
application to all of the concepts that have been covered.
I stated earlier, this is an interactive book with many great features
that help educators apply what they are learning, and share them at the
same time. Just about every page has a QR Code
to scan, a website to visit or resources for connecting to others. For
instance, they list key people to follow on Twitter under "Add Friend"
or give the address of a recommended social network. Furthermore, the
ISTE NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills that are discussed can be
found listed in the margin on the same page. Plus, they give you six
months of free access to their PD Toolkit that is chock-full of case
studies, downloadable tools, templates and assignments.
this is a great book written by 21st century educators, for 21st century
educators, in a way that not only instructs, but engages that reader
and gives them the tools to act and lead. I have met and spoken with so
many educators that want to include 21st Century learning and pedagogy
in the curriculum but feel overwhelmed and are not sure how to start. I
now have a resource to point them to that is a complete and actionable
resource to make them not just global collaborators, but leaders that
can share what they learn and spread the "Flat Classroom" ™ movement.
Or, better yet, become a Flat Classroom ® Certified Teacher!
Frank Pileiro is a Technology
Coordinator in Southern New Jersey. He is passionate about educating
with creativity and innovation, as well as imparting these skills to our
students with instructional technologies. He is the author of the
EdTech Innovations blog where he writes about educational technology
innovation and integration. He can be followed on Twitter @MrP_LPS