Flat Connections Global News

Online global collaboration in education - January 2018

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Welcome to 2018! The year of improved and expanded online global collaboration for learning!

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This newsletter is all about how YOU can join a Flat Connections global project in 2018.
We know a LOT of things here at Flat Connections, including.....
  • How important it is to meet curriculum objectives
  • How schools and teachers need to plan ahead to embed authentic global learning experiences into their curriculum
  • How classroom teachers need support in finding reliable partners to collaborate with
  • How global projects can fall over if they are not managed correctly by educators who have experience and understand collaborative learning
  • How important intercultural understanding, global competency and fluency with digital tools is to support learning outcomes

Above all, we KNOW.....

  • There WILL be something in this collection that inspires you to join us - make 2018 YOUR YEAR of GLOBAL COLLABORATION with Flat Connections!

So......here is the final confirmed list of EIGHT online global collaborative projects we plan to run in 2018 - for all levels of K-12 - most of them will run twice so there will be FIFTEEN global project opportunities in 2018 - PLAN to join us!

Projects for Grade/Year K-2 (4-7 year old) students

Yes, younger students and their teachers can collaborate too - and join with others beyond the classroom for meaningful interactions and discoveries.

Buidling Bridges to Tomorrow

The Building Bridges to Tomorrow Project is a global collaborative project that joins together students at the lower elementary level (typically grades K-2, 4-7 years old). It is an exciting, challenging and unique experience that allows very young people (and their teachers) to connect and collaborate.

Projects for Grade/Year 3-6 (8-12 year old) students

We have THREE great global projects for this upper elementary/primary level. Students are keen to connect and explore, develop a deeper understanding of the world, while also developing better literacy, research and online learning skills.

Windows to the World

The Windows to the World global project is an intercultural ‘penpals’ experience where students in Grade/Year 3-6 (8-12 year old) write, respond, and communicate with peers, and develop online learning and digital citizenship skills. The tool Edmodo is used as the communication platform and the project focuses on developing literacy and online communication skills while connected beyond the immediate classroom.

Poetry with Passion and Performance

Turn all your students into successful poets!

The Poetry with Passion and Performance project is for Grade/Year 3-6 (approximate age 8-12). It has been created by the award-winning Australian educator Chris Trimnell, a Flat Connections Global Educator and Project Manager.

Poetry with Passion and Performance is designed to ensure student success by using carefully scaffolded poetry examples. Students will enjoy having a genuine audience as they are allocated to teams representing students beyond their own classroom walls. The final challenge will be to use any multimedia of their choice to co-create new versions of the poems with fellow team members.

Endangered Animals

The Endangered Animals project is for Grade/Year 3-6 (approximate age 8-12). It is an exciting, challenging and unique experience that allows young people (and their teachers) to work with other schools and explore the global issue of endangered animals and create digital artifacts together that share outcomes of the collaboration.

The Endangered Animals project has a focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with special reference to SDGs 13, 14 & 15.

The global collaboration will explore and share understandings and research around the following:

  • Interdependence of living creatures
  • Sustainability of animal environments
  • Evaluation of past and current practices on animal survival
  • Design of possible solutions for future action

Projects for Grade/Year 5-8 (10-14 year old) students

The 'middle school' years are when students really start to make sense of their own learning and want more autonomy and choice in the education process. We have two excellent global projects that will help establish new modes for learning, connecting and collaborating that are online, global, collaborative, and creative. Students also co-create shared understanding from each collaboration.

Friends for Sustainability

The Friends for Sustainability Project is for students in Grade/Year 5-8, of approximate ages 10-14. Students connect, communicate, explore global topics and issues and share ideas and solutions through co-created digital artifacts.

The Friends for Sustainability Project curriculum focus is Interdisciplinary, including concepts for how we live, how we communicate, cultural understanding and global awareness and uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a focus for global issues. The project also uses Design Thinking as a model to foster a better understanding of the process of collaboration.

Digiteen Project

The Digiteen Project is an exciting, challenging and unique experience that allows young people (and their teachers) to study and explore global digital citizenship and how to be a responsible and reliable online learner, collaborator and co-creator. This collaborative hands-on project is for students in Grade/Year 5-8, (approximate age 10-14).

Students in the Digiteen Project research current topics to do with digital citizenship, co-write a collaborative report and co-create an accompanying artifact. They also perform and document offline action in the form of educational projects to promote effective digital citizenship at their local schools and in their communities.

Projects for Grade/Year 9-12 (14-18 year old) students

The final years of secondary school are when students should be demonstrating more independent learning and using online collaborative learning approaches to forge new working relationships with others.

Flat Connections Global Project

The Flat Connections Global Project is a fully supported and managed global collaborative experience for you and your students and is the ultimate online experience for middle and high school students (typically Grade/Year 9-12, 14-18 years old). It challenges all learners to connect and communicate beyond their immediate classroom and school. It also encourages collaboration and co-creation of final artifacts as well as student leadership, while exploring emerging technologies and envisioning the future of learning.

Students in the Flat Connections Global Project will work in cross-school teams to research and discuss new ideas and actions for future learning through the use of technology. The topics studied and discussed are real-world scenarios based on the current Horizon Report K-12 2017 on emerging technologies in education (for the 2018-1 project) as well as a variety of influential thought leaders and authors including Yong Zhao, ‘World Class Learners’; David Price OBE, ‘Open’; and Thomas Friedman, ‘The World is Flat’.

Global Youth Debates - A project for Grade/Year 5-12 (10-18 year old) students

The Global Youth Debates is a global collaborative project created around research and formal debating. It uses Web 2.0 tools to join students from diverse cultures for authentic debate.

It fosters global competence and international mindedness and online communication skills.

Global Youth Debates joins school debate teams in a community of learners around a theme and debate topic. Asynchronous formal debating supports communication of local and global situations and priorities.

Global Youth Debates is adaptable for all learning environments and is designed for students of age 10-18. It opens eyes and hearts as students debate on an issue that will bring together diverse ideas, develop transferable skills and create lasting friendships

What to do now.......

  • EXPLORE all of these global projects in more detail via the Flat Connections website. We have created an interactive timeline, embedded on the website, but also available online via the H5P site. Make sure you put it into full-screen mode for best effect. This will help you PLAN to join one or more projects this year.
  • DISCUSS the possibilities with others in your school - build persuasive arguments around learning objectives, curriculum objectives and state/national standards - you know global collaborative learning aligns with much of what you do in the classroom already in terms of literacy, ICT skills, global competency and intercultural understanding
  • ENCOURAGE others in your school to join you and take advantage of one of the Bronze, Silver or Gold subscription levels. If you are a 'lone wolf' in your school don't worry, the Teacherpreneur subscription is a cost-effective entry into a supportive community of other networked global educators
  • APPLY to join a Flat Connections global project NOW - 2018-1 projects start in February, March and April. 2018-2 projects start in August, September and October. So much choice! So many possibilities! Make sure you READ the global projects web page first and choose a subscription level, then APPLY via the Flat Connections shop.
  • ASK QUESTIONS - come to the online information meeting at the end of January (invitation below) - meet Julie Lindsay and the Flat Connections Project Managers - ask questions, find out exactly what you need to know to be able to join

Global colaborative learning in your classroom with Flat Connections

Thursday, Feb. 1st, 12pm

This is an online event.

You are invited to join us!
Julie Lindsay along with Flat Connections Project Managers will share updates, discuss global collaborative learning and how YOU can be part of Flat Connections in 2018. This is an opportunity to find out what projects suit your curriculum needs, how the project design process works, and to ask lots of questions!

The meeting is scheduled for February 1 at 11 am AEDT (Sydney, Australia). This is 7 pm January 31 in New York. See YOUR date and time here.
Please RSVP and a virtual room link and meeting confirmation will be sent to you.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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Have you hugged someone virtually today? Join an online global collaboration - free virtual hugs for all.

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Don't forget about Flat Connections online courses

For many years now Flat Connections has provided online courses for global educators including the 'Flat Connections Global Educator' certificate. Watch this space for important updates coming soon!
Connect with us to discuss possibilities for you, your school and your students today!
Email Julie - julie@flatconnections.com to talk about how your school can embed online global collaborative learning into the curriculum.

Flat Connections CEO and Founder, Julie Lindsay

Ask me how to embed online global collaboration into your curriculum.