Saturday, March 2, 2013

The connection between global collaboration and tech integration

In a few days I'll be setting off for Yokohama for the Flat Classroom Leadership Workshop.  I'm excited about this for many reasons:  firstly I've been interested in getting involved in Flat Classroom projects for a number of years but this is the first time I've been given the opportunity to explore the methods and strategies for leading an this international global project.  Secondly I've never been to Japan before and so I'm looking forward to immersing myself in a totally different culture.  Thirdly there are many old colleagues of mine who are now based in Yokohama.  I'm looking forward to seeing them again and in addition I'm looking forward to meeting up with some other friends and members of my PLN on my stopovers in Hong Kong on the way to and from the workshop.  Finally Flat Classroom will run as a strand in ASB Un-Plugged 2014.  Since we are hosting this, I want to be sure that I understand the pedagogical best practices for this project.

To prepare myself for Flat Classroom, I'm reading back through and reflecting on the Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds book by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis.  This is what I'm thinking about today:
Correlation -v- Causation 
As one looks at global collaboration, one cannot ignore the technology underlying the collaboration.  So as you look at a classroom that is moving rapidly into global collaboration, you will also find a classroom that is rapidly integration technology in potentially novel ways to the students.
Vicki and Julie tell us that "it all starts with you."  The teacher has to create the climate for learning by being a learner him/herself.  One of the things we are encouraged to do is to "surround yourself with the best".  This got me thinking about Twitter - which is how I have connected with educators around the globe.  It also got me thinking about the online conferences and webinars I attend and the online courses I've enrolled in. It is through my use of technology that I have been able to build a PLN and surround myself with these giants in education.  I just looked through the list of the cohort presenters at Flat Classroom and it occurred to me that I know these people - some I've not yet met in person of course, however these are the people that I have connected with and already learned a great deal from and despite the fact that we are located in very different places geographically, because of technology we have been able to connect.

I hope to learn a lot more next week at the Flat Classroom Conference, and I hope to share this learning in turn with a wider global audience through my blog and through my tweets.

Photo Credit: chant0m0 via Compfight cc

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