Friday, October 15, 2010

Flat Classroom

I find the flat classroom concept exciting and intriguing.  Technology has changed the world drastically and will only continue to do so, in ways that we cannot even imagine.  Immersing our students in this technology is an educational must.  

Likewise the technology is exciting to use, for adults and kids alike, and seems to infuse collaborative learning projects with a new energy.

The ways in which kids from widely different, geographically separated cultures can communicate is important not only for economic reasons (since the world of work has been restructured through technology) but also for larger reasons of cultural understanding.  By bringing students into contact with their peers all over the world, barriers such as racism and fear are broken.  We see this aspect specifically in the Eracism project.

I would love to be able to incorporate a flat classroom style project within my classroom.  I worry that strictly structured curriculum and the rigorous standards system currently in effect will make it hard to incorporate new and dynamic learning models such as this.  Ways around that include starting a project like this as an extracurricular.  You could use technology to foster a collaborative project (putting students in touch with international or domestic peers) for many extracurricular clubs—whether the school newspaper, literary journal, or Amnesty International group, to name a few. 

Of course, in schools where it could be fit into the curriculum, you could experiment with smaller and larger projects, depending on what your district allows.  In whatever way it could be incorporated, I believe the flat classroom represents something important that our students cannot miss out on.

1 comment:

  1. Love your idea of easing into the whole flat classroom idea by incorporating elements of it into extracurriculars! I is so challenging sometimes to maneuver around the rigid standards/curriculum/testing culture that is so ubiquitous in K-12! I'm doing it, though, in my classroom at PA Learners Online, and it's really been a fun experiment. If you can find an open-minded principal and tech coordinator, you will probably be able to bend and flex more than you think. :-)