Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Flat Classrooms

Two pretty amazing "School 2.0" stories to report from the trenches.

Vicki Davis' 10th grade Computer Science class at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia and Julie Lindsay's grade 11 ITGS class at International School Dhaka (ISD) in Bangladesh are in the middle of a two-week combined project to discuss topics from the Thomas Friedman book The World is Flat. The students are paired, with one student from each high school classroom, to work together. First they record an introduction to themselves, then they work together to produce a collaborative wiki, video, and podcast. There is even an amazing grading rubric. Wow.

Chris Craft, that innovative language arts teacher from South Carolina, has done it again. Using old computers and Skype, Chris brought his 6th graders into a direct videoconference with students at an American school in Lima Peru. To prepare, he had them work on a wiki and research common topics about Peruvian culture. They chose topics such as food, sports, and others. In their dry run, when they established video contact, the kids were wild with excitement. Click here to read this description of the actual day--you'll be glad you did! Talk about helping students become excited about learning. Double wow.

Vicki, Chris, and their students are the "Infinite Thinking Machines." Hear them describe their projects in a short audio clips here.