Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

Challenge #15: Putting it all together

This course is my first attempt to really formalise making connections with others. I have engaged in smaller collaborations with classes from around the world, however many were more of a 'one off' and did not get into deep or meaningful connections. This was one of my  aims and hopes of joining fcct 12-1, to learn what I can do to create or at least provide the framework for my learners to gain these meaningful connections.

As Tasha Cowdy points out in her Challenge # 15 post our classes (along with Michelle Heibert's from Canada) have been workign together, or at least starting to.

Some lessons learned regarding collaborating with younger learners:

  • smaller groups work better
  • a mix of lo tech and hi tech might work best (Michelle and my class's handshake was a book with a QR Code link glues on to it. Snail mail)
  • Kids seem to be more engaged with tangible objects, artifacts they can use their senses to explore.

My tensions/wonderings I still have about global collaboration with early learners:

  • How to make it meaningful  for all of the learners. Some learners are still not engaged.
  • I wonder how effective these connections are or can be. Children are still learning about their own little world in the their classroom, perhaps by trying to connect to someone else a world away might not be all that meaningful/ I don't know, I truly believe that this is NOT the case and that young learners have a lot to offer and learn from a global project. However  I am still struggling with this
  • Being aware of the dangers of teacher driven collaboration rather than letting the kids drive it. Why? Because this tales TIME. Meaningful connections take time.

Certainly my lessons learned and my tensions can be revisited after the first iteration of our project.

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Comment by Julie Lindsay on January 16, 2013 at 3:05pm

Excellent points made Jason. Yes, I agree, you need to run through a 'project iteration' first and then reassess/evaluate. I have found it exciting and fascinating having you and Tasha in the class as you share with us the needs and energies of younger students. It has certainly given us at Flat Classroom more to think about in terms of suitability of tasks and tools once again. many thanks!

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