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Flat Classroom Mod 2 – Communication

When I first began training adults 15 years ago, I realized quickly that adults needed to know why technology worked the way it worked.  They didn’t just blindly agree to what I was teaching them.  As a learner, I need to know why things are the way they are.  I have learned that we don’t always know why something isn’t working, but we can question it.  I sometimes forget this with my high school students.  The “Why” Question is really important for everything. While reading Chapter 2 or Step 2 about Communications, I was reminded of this.  I want the students to learn, but they are always questioning why they have to learn what I want them to learn.

What are the abilities and stabilities (habits) required to collaborate globally? The biggest ability I have used in the global collaboration projects I have been involved with are the ability to “GO WITH THE FLOW”.  I am a very uptight person in many areas of my life, but with global projects and technology in general you must let go of your preconceived goals and let life happen.  I also have a really strong “trouble-shooting” skill that I think is essential.  You can learn it, so if you don’t have it yet, you can practice it. But because you must “go with the flow” you must also be quick on your feet.

The habits you need is consistency, persistency and communicating.  Consistency aids the relevancy to the students when they observe you being consistent in the project.  Persistency assists you with make sure that all students and other teachers are involved with the project.

What are some creative ways schools committed to collaborating globally could structure class time? Teacher planning time? Schools must understand that when there are meetings outside of the school day that these teachers need to be flexible in their work schedule. For instance, if we do anything besides grading and planning at my current school, you are docked for your time. This seems very silly considering that we want autonomy.  If I get my job done slower than someone sles, I don’t get paid more since it took longer.  If I get my job done faster, I don’t get paid less than someone else.  Schools must look at the Net Generation as Don Tapscott explains it, they want flexibility and autonomy and so do I.  And I think so does the world.

What are some ways to prevent burnout as discussed in the chapter? I have not gotten there yet.  Most of my interactions have energized me because of the magnitude of it all and because of the amazing teachers.  I believe burnout can be prevented by only taking on what you can take on and doing what you love.  On my first FC Project I only did the minimum requirements and I want to grow from there.  I could have jumped in too far and gotten burnout, but small steps for me seem to really work.

I have been using Skype to talk to Theresa Allen (who was in the pilot group of FCCT). She and I are both in Digiteen currently and we have our students Skyping each other individually.  We did have a group Skype with both groups but felt that students get more out of the individual aspect of Skype.  We are looking to collaborate on a project together. We use it to chat before and after the students do and sometimes this is asynchronous. This happens when it states I am on-line, but I may be teaching, so I don’t reply to her right away. We have a delayed chat, but it is a chat.  My Skype Name is toniobarton for anyone who might want to chat.

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