Session 3 – Thing 7a: Begin to Build a Reading Habit

One education-based blog of particular interest to me and one to which I subscribed was created by Vicky Davis, the Computer Science teacher at Westwood High School in Camilla, GA.  Her blog features a short video clip about THE FLAT CLASSROOM PROJECT in which her class connects with Julie Lindsay’s IT class in Doha, Qatar (located in the Middle East, near India).  The project received numerous awards: Edublogs Best Wiki Award in 2006, winner of Taking it Global Project in 2007, ISTE SigTel Online Learning Award in 2007, and Edublogs Best Wiki in Education Award in 2008.  The project is based on the book “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman and is designed for students to work in groups to film videos to raise awareness to two real-world topics: poverty and racism.  Through wiki tools, the project offers real interaction and collaboration viewed by a global audience.  Using skype to communicate with each other, the students are global collaborators and participants as they work in groups on topics such as Virtual Collaboration, Globalization, and Outsourcing.  They connect, communicate, collaborate, and create.  In the video, Vicky Davis states that “a teacher cannot be just a deliverer of content; he/she must also be a connector.”  This online project embeds social learning into the mainstreamed curriculum and, as Vicky Davis states in the video clip, provides “experiential learning.”  One of the reflective thoughts shared in the video was:  “In a small way, Flat Classroom Project has permeated throughout the world as a best practice example of using Web 2.0 tools for global collaboration.  It has the power to produce international students with a world view on facts and not misinformed bias.  This connectivity can make a difference to the world in which we live.” Following the Flat Classroom Conference Qatar Opening, which was attended by Kaycie, one of the project participants from  Westwood High School in Camilla GA, she later posted her very inspirational, thought-provoking comments on her blog, describing how much her involvement with The Flat Classroom Project had impacted her learning experience. I believe Kaycie says it best, and I invite others to take a few minutes to read it. 

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