Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

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Challenge 13

I had a late start with challenge 13 and was not able to join the class group I wanted. I got busy and made my own wiki with the help of another student from our class who was also unable the join the "Neat Near You" group, we called it "Backyard Sleuths." The purpose of the project is to research interesting places close by (North Alabama) where teachers or students could learn and enjoy themselves. It could be used to help plan school trips or a family outing. It could also be used as…


Added by Melissa Bailey on April 17, 2014 at 2:02pm — No Comments

Research - Global Collaboration

After seeing all the information gathered in our quad blog, I am excited that education is moving in this global collaboration direction.  The iEARN website, with all the case studies, was a new find that seemed very informative too.   It aligns nicely with all the research our team found.

The site highlighted ten or so studies that involved global collaboration and its impact on teaching and learning.  There were dissertations, surveys, and research studies that all explored…


Added by Mary Swanson on April 16, 2014 at 2:34pm — No Comments

3D Printing in Education

I am so happy to work on this topic.  I am getting a 3D printer for my library in two weeks!  I have already done research on 3D Printing and am in process of gathering new data.  And, I am looking forward to working with Adam and Dan to learn more about the environmental effects and legal issues as well.  Furthermore; we plan on collaborating even after this class ends!

Added by Tracey winey on April 16, 2014 at 9:45am — 1 Comment

Global Collaboration: What the Research Says, a study compiled by Mary Swanson, Krista Brakhage, and Amy Armstrong

Our review of research on the topic of global education reveals many positives and negatives of this instructional practice.   A summary of the relevant pros and cons found for global collaboration is listed below:


  • There is positive impact in motivation, skill development, self-esteem, and interpersonal interaction.

  • Students gain an…


Added by Krista Brakhage on April 16, 2014 at 9:29am — No Comments

Leadership for connected learning and global collaboration

Sorry for the delay on this. I am going to first speak to moving to a one to one environment. It is one way to build a culture of connected learning and global collaboration. It allows for students and teachers to test out collaborating in groups within their school or district first before reaching out to others. Our district conducted a few pilot programs and did a lot of research before moving to a one to one environment. We had to build a system for supporting the technology in the…


Added by Daniel Shinneman on April 16, 2014 at 4:45am — No Comments

Challenge 14: Professional Development with Students

The following link is to my one-day schedule for professional development that would be held at my school. My partner Ryan Bailey and I came up with this schedule based on an actual PD day held at my own school. However, students were not included at this session. I am going to suggest this to Dr. Conner, who is our system professional development coordinator. We had a lot of fun talking to our former grads. Our UNA students were with us in the Lab and the AU and UA students were on campus…


Added by Melissa Bailey on April 15, 2014 at 1:25pm — No Comments

Challenge 15: Tell My Story

I have learned many things through Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds that have impacted me as an educator.  Through reading the text and completing the Essential Questions and Challenges for each Chapter, I quickly realized the power of the student centered classroom.  The main reason I am open to change as a classroom instructor is because the students love to utilize technology.  Students will almost always instantly engage in a lesson when technology is utilized.  Students…


Added by Jake Linville on April 15, 2014 at 4:44am — No Comments

Challenge 14

Jake Linville Taylor Leathers, Alicia Mcgee, -- Challenge 14

About the PD: Project-Based Professional Development “Teachers and Students Unite” is a pd designed by Taylor Leathers, Alica McGee, and Jake Linville for teachers to learn new and best practices of meeting students where they are in technology.

What to expect today:  The first half of the day is designated to learning how to implement new technology with current topics and examples with a question and…


Added by Jake Linville on April 15, 2014 at 3:24am — No Comments

Tell Your Story

I am not currently teaching but my favorite collaboration project was one that several of us worked on as a group called "Neat Near You". We created a project where students were to find and post neat places close to where they live. It was fun discovering history on places near different classmates. I found it very informative and create something that I feel would spark students' interest.


Added by Lori Varnado on April 14, 2014 at 2:50pm — No Comments

Challenge 15: Tell Your Story

I am not sure where to even start with what I have learned through Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds. I was overwhelmed with how little I really knew about Web 2.0 tools and collaborating when I began reading and looking through the book. I have added so many tools to my teaching bag!

As I reflect, some of the best experiences I have had through the Challenges have been communicating and collaborating with other teachers. The collaborative wiki and global project design…


Added by Angela Spires on April 14, 2014 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Challenge 15

This book has opened my eyes to what all is available to connect my classroom to the outside world. It has also helped me understand how important it is to flatten the walls of my classroom. I loved designing the collaboration project with my fellow classmates. It was much easier that I thought it was going to be. I will actually begin implementing that project in two weeks! There have been so many new ideas and tools…


Added by Jessica Wood on April 14, 2014 at 1:40pm — No Comments

Challenge 15

There are a few things that have impacted me through this course. I did not know the importance of a flat classroom or even think about teaching digital citizenship to my second graders. I realize the importance of already starting them on the right path with technology now. I also learned that I can introduce the technology slowly and build on what the students learn. Some of my favorites were Edmodo and Skype. The engagement that came from these was great! I also loved all of the… Continue

Added by Ashley McDaniel on April 14, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Chapter 15

I have definitely enjoyed the things that I have learned through this course and these experiences. I feel like these challenges have really opened my eyes to ways that technology can be used in our classrooms and has given me some great ideas for future use in my classroom. Technology is definitely a resource that all teachers should be taking advantage of and these challenges have helped me discover so many. It has also opened my eyes to global collaboration and how to implement that in a…


Added by Rebeccah Vickery on April 14, 2014 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Challenge 15 - Best Story of Global Collaboration

My best story of global collaboration throughout the fifteen challenges in flattening classrooms occurred during Challenge 13 in creating a Global Project Design. Along with four of my classmates, we collaborated on Google Docs and shared resources back and forth with one another. The project was centered around a Skype experience in which students were able to share their favorite meals and recipes, along with descriptions about their own kitchens at home. Cultural similarities and…


Added by Tiffany Burns on April 14, 2014 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Challenge 15

I feel like my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of teaching.  Global collaboration is modern and relevant to our culture today.  I hope to find ways to incorporate so many ideas that we have discussed in the upcoming school year.  First, I plan to participate in other projects and learn even deeper what helps a project be successful.  I have always believed that the first step to learning how to lead is to participate.  I am very appreciative of all that I have learned and I can't…


Added by Mallory Birmingham on April 14, 2014 at 12:28pm — No Comments

challenge 15

I have really enjoyed studying and working on the 15 challenges.  I have learned so much that I will use in my classroom now and in the coming years.  There are so many ways to incorporate technology in the classroom and collaborate globally.  I cant wait to see where these activities take my students as they grow.

Added by Jamie Rowan on April 14, 2014 at 11:50am — No Comments


Wow!  It is so hard to believe I have officially completed all fifteen challenges!  It seems like not long ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I have learned so much over the past few months.

It is hard to choose just one thing to tell about!  I guess one that I learned the most from was working with a group on a wiki.  This was the first wiki experience for me.  I enjoyed collaborating with my classmates on our wiki,…


Added by Alicia McGee on April 14, 2014 at 10:48am — No Comments

Chapter 15: Tell Your Story

I have really enjoyed this book study! This book study offered many  tools and new ideas to use in my classroom that I might not have every tried on my own. These challenges weren't always easy, because I do not consider myself to be extremely technologically savvy. However, by stepping out of my comfort zone, I feel that I was able to successfully complete the challenges and use them to benefit my classroom. I also enjoyed  collaborating with many other teachers. I loved being able to hear…


Added by Brooke Nicole Willis on April 14, 2014 at 9:31am — No Comments

Challenge 15: Tell your Story

        This book has been an amazing experience for me.  I began with a little knowledge of technology tools and feel like I have come so far since challenge one.  I teach 8th graders and in the midst of this course our system began a 1:1 initiative.  The students all were given Chromebooks.  I began implementing each challenge with them and they became my guinea pigs for the challenges.  Overall, it worked out perfectly.…


Added by Taylor Leathers on April 14, 2014 at 8:17am — No Comments

Challenge 15

Throughout this course, I have learned so much about the importance of technology.  Technology should not be simply used as a tool to improve a lesson plan, but should be used to enhance the overall learning experience for each student.  There are several opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate globally through technology.  Considering I do not have a classroom of my own, I have not been able to put these resources to practice.  However, I have been able to collaborate with…


Added by May Clouser on April 14, 2014 at 7:42am — No Comments

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