Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Flat is Your Classroom?

Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat, has infused many educational blogging conversations. We are all connected as the result of a communications revolution that results from the ubiquity of the Internet.

But, what about our classrooms? Have our classrooms achieved "flatdom," (creating connections between teacher, student and parent through the technology revolution that pervades every other aspect of our lives?)

How flat is your classroom?

Do you post your homework or in-class assignments online so that everyone has access to them no matter where they are?
Have you explored the capabilities of tools such as Springdoo or YackPack which help to easily create retrievable, audio connections?
Do you use blogging, podcasting or wiki tools so that students can create and retrieve content anywhere?
Do you use your class blog to keep your parents informed of classroom events and activities?
Have you taught your students to use Google Docs whenever they are involved in group projects or group collaborations?

In other words, have you created a flat classroom environment? There is no better time than now...


Scottie said...

If you wre awed by Friedman, please read
for it will take more than education to find our place in the 21st-century world, it will take a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic forces of "corporate globalization."
Best wihes for continued success,
--scottie jacob

BJ said...

As for connection tools, let me point out that YackPack also has a live mode. This lets groups talk in real time. I use it for conference calls and office hours with my students. They show up in the pack and we talk live. The students can use it for group meetings.

Adding this to the messaging has made the service much better for me. Yes, I'm probably biased, because I'm the YackPack CEO. But still . . . I don't know of another system like it.

BJ Fogg

Miss Profe said...

Until I read your post, I never considered online homework bulletin boards and blogs as contributing to a flat classroom. I am proud to say that my school does post homework. And, as a newbie to Web 2.0, I am working on a flatter classroom.

Thank you for the insights.:)

Karen Janowski said...

BJ & Miss Profe,
Thanks for stopping by. BJ, thanks for telling me about the live capabilities of YackPack. How cool is that for a classroom teacher to have office hours with parents!
Miss Profe, I'm thrilled to help you make that connection that will benefit your students. It's all about connections that remove obstacles to learning.