We are here at the end of the project so we asked students to share what they learned during the Flat classroom project. In this activity we chose to have them to draw the picture of their learning reflection because we used the art class to express themselves. Here is the Animoto of their drawings and individual pictures.
The students were introduced to VoiceThread. It is a collaborative slideshow tool that allows users to use audio and video comments, as well as drawings on the slides.
First the fourth grade students signed in and learned to add their identity into the VoiceThread. The following week students learned to add pictures, test, voice or video. The main goal of this project is to create the multimedia collaboratively with other students they have never met. Participants from each school within each group will add the information and media to it and leave comments. It will be a fun way to compare similarities and differences of the places and their environment.
Students are divided into different subgroups. Each subgroup should take pictures and gather information about their topic to share. We checked out several digital cameras from the school library and students went around the school to take the images and the videos related to their topics. Some students also took the pictures when they were traveling around the city or in the restaurants. Before collecting the materials students had conducted research on their topics and also prepared questions for the video interview. The difficult part of these activities for the students was planning and listing the logistics for the project and collecting the right media and the correct information. However, with theses activities each and every student had the opportunity to plan, decide, research and share.
This week the students embedded their Voki into their Edmodo small groups. Since there are nearly 300 students participating in this project from around the world, the students have been divided into small groups around a given topic. For example, we have schools from Canada, California, Nepal, Illinois, and India. Students from these schools are divided into small group, with each group given a topic.
The group topics are:
7. Leisure Time
After posting their Voki into their team in Edimoto, students observed other student’s individual introductions and replied to their posts.
We have spent the last few sessions forming connections among students who are involved in the “A Week in the Life” project by sharing the class handshakes and replying to each other’s posts. Teachers monitor these groups and try to keep the discussions flowing. Sometimes the students get off the topic and do not follow the general guidelines we established for this project discussion. At the beginning of the project we held a class discussion about appropriate online communication and commenting.
Here are some of the clips that student solving other schools Jigsaw planet and they enjoyed it:
Speaking of commenting, we watched this video about leaving quality comments and then practiced commenting on others' posts within Edmodo.
This week students created individual handshakes using Voki to introduce themselves to their small group within the Edmodo. They had a great time creating Voki using different characters and making them talk. The students introduce themselves by providing basic information like their name, school, where are they from, free time activities, hobbies, favorite books etc. Our students hope other students around the world will enjoy going through their introduction as well.
In this session of the project students learn about different tools like Edmodo, Voki, and VoiceThread that allow them to connect, collaborate and share information within their groups and also among different groups.
To kick off the project, the class was divided into six groups. Each group created a "handshake" to introduce their country to the others students in the project. This was a great opportunity for the students to learn about researching, designing - using Google drawing, analyzing, exploring, collaborating, taking ownership in their work and sharing their information. In this process they also learned about the copyright and recognizing the other people’s work and giving credit to the owner.
The six groups that comprise of three or four students each decide who would take the following roles:
Helps find information to include in the handshake
Must have strong leadership skills and be able to pull the group together and keep everyone on topic
Helps find images to use in the slide that represent Nepal
Oversees the design and technical creation and sharing of the slide
Here are all six drawing slide that were created:
The students voted as a class which one should be sent to other participants. Here is the winner slide in jigsaw puzzle. Do you think the other participating students will be able to guess our country?
Here are some of the clips of students working on their project:
Here are all the six puzzles created by our fourth grade students:
This is the second year our school is participating in the Flat Classroom “A week in the life” project. Keeping in view the age of the students, time constraints, workload and resources it was decided that only the fourth grade students would participate in this project. The students were excited and eager to start the project. As they started to create their drawing slide for the class handshake they showed great research, design, collaboration and leadership skills.
The students also enjoyed solving other countries' handshake puzzles and were eager to learn about other schools and students around the world.
This year only the grade four students participated in the Flat Classroom “Week in the Life” project.
In the introduction class the fourth graders learned basic overview about the project – the objectives of the project, expectations and who are involved in the project.
The students also learned about the three essential questions, which they have to answer in this project.
The questions are:
1. What are the similarities and differences among children around the world?
2. How can we connect with each other through our commonalities?
3. How does your geography and where you live impact your topic?
At the end of the class sample projects from the last year were displayed for the students. This gave the students opportunity to better plan their own project.
In this project more than 250 students are participating from different countries - like Canada, India, China, and different parts of the United States.