Flat Classroom™ Workshop at ASB Unplugged


The American School of Bombay and ASB Unplugged are proud to be the host of the Flat Classroom Workshop (and mini-Conference), 2011 in Mumbai, India. Flat Classroom™ Conference and Live Events Inc. have joined with ASB Unplugged, a conference organized in collaboration with the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation, the Near East/ South Asia Center of Overseas Schools (NESA), and the Laptop Institute. The Flat Classroom Workshop Strand will include a unique, project based learning approach allowing participants to use cutting edge technology tools AND interactions with educators on the leadership strand to redefine learning while involving students in the process.

Co-founders of the Flat Classroom Project , Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, have joined forces with colleagues and supporters from around the world to provide another opportunity for a face-to-face, real-time gathering that also includes a virtual element. The aim of getting together in the one place is to fully extend and foster connections and collaborations that will ultimately improve classroom practice and pedagogical approach using technology as part of a global flat classroom.

In an ever-changing world the impact of the Internet, in particular Web 2.0 tools, has been so significant it has changed the way students and teachers can interact and learn. There are opportunities for different learning relationships and for multi-modal outcomes using multimedia and online tools. The conference will provide opportunities for leaders in education, classroom teachers and administrators as well as students to learn with and from each other in a 'flat classroom' model. It is envisaged the workshop experience will culminate in actions that are then shared around the world and sustained by continued projects based on community and curriculum needs.

What is the Flat Classroom™ Workshop?

The aim of the workshop is to bring together geographically dispersed participants with a view to sharing ideas, while using mobile computing, learning about Web 2.0 communication and collaboration tools in a flattened world, and working on a project theme that can be transplanted back into their home school. The selected theme will inspire unity and action as well as fostering continued connections after the event in Mumbai. It is envisaged this will improve global understanding and cement friendships for ongoing collaborations. It is also envisaged that this will provide an opportunity for students and teachers together to 'create the future' through exploration of a global or social issue and developing an 'action' plan to work globally to overcome this

Who Should Attend?

The workshop is aimed at Middle and High school students. It is envisioned that past and present participants in Flat Classroom Projects and previous workshops projects will be interested in coming as well as classrooms who are wanting to have a flattened learning experience and take the ideals and skills back to their own schools. Each participating school is encouraged to register up to 4 students, and if interested, 2 teachers. Workshop teams will be made up of participants from different schools and countries. The workshop is a process therefore attendance for the entire conference session is required.

What will you do?

An essential element of the workshop is to join students (and teachers) together in a constructivist learning environment, and by using global collaboration tools, work through a project-based, action-oriented learning workshop. Skill development in Web 2.0 and multimedia tools along with enhanced cultural understanding and digital citizenship support the pedagogical approach to collaborative learning in a digital world. The skills and tools will provide the scaffolding for developing ideas and putting into place actions that could make a difference to the world. We invite you to browse the recent Flat Classroom Workshop in Hong Kong, as well as the ASB Unplugged 2009 wiki to see what we did there.Essentially teams work together on brainstorming problems and solutions to the workshop theme. They pitch these ideas to educators for feedback and then develop multimedia presentations based on their topiAll conferences and workshops connect via the Flat Classroom Conference Ning

Flat Classroom™ Conference

In recent months co-founders of the Flat Classroom Conference, Julie and Vicki, have established a non-profit organisation, Flat Classroom Conference and Live Events Inc. through which they run conferences and workshops globally for students and educators. Riding on the success of the inaugural Flat Classroom Conference held in Qatar 2009, the Flat Classroom Conference February 2011 will see 250 educators, education leaders and students from 45+ schools and 14 countries come together in Beijing. China to envision and create material to foster better communication and global collaboration and embed new approaches to curriculum design into the classroom.

What is the Flat Classroom Project?


The Flat Classroom project is a ground breaking, internationally recognized project which combines hundreds of students from various cultures, countries, and backgrounds into a meaningful collaborative writing and digital storytelling project to study the trends in information technology. After the initial project won multiple international awards and was included in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat v.3, it has been remixed into 11 different projects following the same model. These projects have joined together almost 2,000 students from more than 20 countries and is widely considered a best-practice for as a holistic and constructivist educational approach that creates students who are competitive and globally minded.
The project was co-founded by Vicki Davis http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/ (Westwood Schools, USA) and Julie Lindsay http://123elearning.blogspot.com/ (Beijing (BISS) International School) in 2006 when they were located literally around the world from one another. This project uses a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools including wikis, educational (social) networks, cross-timezone calendaring, collaborative digital storytelling and publishing to "flatten" or lower the classroom walls to join two or more classes virtually to become one large classroom.
A little more about the projects:
The current projects cover the following topics:
  • Flat Classroom Project - The topics studied and discussed are real-world scenarios based on 'The World is Flat' by Thomas Friedman. Students collaborate on a wiki then produce an individual multimedia piece in response to their topic. A clip in this piece is 'outsourced' to a team member in another classroom, so not only do students study the flatteners as discussed by Friedman, they use them in the project. This project is run three times each year.
  • As a sister to the Flat Classroom Project the Horizon Project, as mentioned in Don Tapscott's recent book, 'Grown Up Digital', is now renamed as the Net Generation Education project and run in collaboration with Tapscott himself, also lowers or 'flattens' the classroom walls by emphasizing connection, communication, collaboration and creativity as well as higher-order thinking skills and problem solving. This project is based on the Horizon Report released annually by New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiate that outlines 6 trends they believe will be impacting college and university campuses within the next five years.
  • The Digiteen Project which also runs 3 times each year, has linked classrooms of middle school students from Australia, Canada, USA, Spain, India, Qatar, USA and more with the aim of promoting better online citizenship through research and discussion and culminates in each school taking action within their own community to promote this
  • Other projects include Eracism (a global debate amongst students) and 'A Week in the Life.....' (an Elementary School level project)